Seiko Gen 1 7A28-7120 RAF Chronograph c.1984
The Seiko Gen 1 chronographs were issued to pilots and navigators of the RAF from October 1984 to November 1990.
In the early 1980s, the British military began making the switch from mechanical watches to those with quartz-powered movements. At around the same time, the iconic Seiko 7A28 movement was launched onto the civilian market, which is now renowned for being the world’s first analogue quartz chronograph, boasting accuracy within 10 seconds per month.
In addition to their greater accuracy, the new quartz watches supplied by Seiko were far cheaper to produce than their previous mechanical counterparts supplied by Newmark, Precista, Hamilton and CWC.
Subsequently, the MoD issued a total of 11,307 Seiko Gen 1 7A28-7120 chronographs to the Royal Air Force.
Under MoD specifications, these watches were housed in a water-resistant stainless-steel case with fixed bars. The dial was marked with an encircled ‘P’ indicating the luminous material used on the dial and hands to be Promethium 147.
The watch features three individual sub-dials. The sub-dial at the 9 o’clock position records the elapsed chronograph minutes up to 30 minutes. The sub-dial at 6 o’clock displays the continuous seconds and the sub-dial at 3 0’clock records the chronograph time to 1/10th of a second.
The Seiko Gen 1 7A28-7120 is well regarded by military watch collectors, having been manufactured to a good, robust standard and simple design.
Issued in 1984, the Seiko Gen 1 for sale is amongst one of the very first of its kind to be produced for the RAF. The watch, therefore, represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire an early example of a popular modern-day classic.