THE VINTAGE SEIKO DUOTIME GMT
1972 Seiko Duotime 5619-7000 / Credit: Kyotoya Pawn Shop
We’ve briefly discussed the Seiko Navigator Timer but what about another OG Seiko GMT watch? Perhaps you haven’t even heard of this bad boy but it is certainly worth a mention. Moreover, it is really a testament to the diversity of Seiko’s offerings in the 1970s. The Seiko Duotime.
The Seiko Duotime was produced in the early 1970s for a very short period between 1972 and 1974. It used the Caliber 5619A – the same 56 that is famously shared with King Seiko, Grand Seiko, Seiko chronometers, and the Lord Matic line. We should note, however, that it only appeared in Seiko catalogs as of 1973. The Seiko Cal. 5619A had 23 jewels, a 46-hour power reserve, and a 21,600 bph rate. A reliable automatic movement with hacking seconds and quick-set date.
The Seiko Duotime was not very bulky at all, especially compared to the Navigator Timer or World Time which have a real presence on the wrist. The Duotime was slim, so much so that you could even miss out on the fact that it was a GMT watch (except, of course, for the orange pointer hand). It was sold on a steel Seiko bracelet with hardlex crystal and luminous hands – at the time for only 17,000 yen which is only about $300 in today’s US dollars! Incredible because my run of the mill 1985 Seiko Chronos 8123 was 25,000 yen at the time and cost no where near the price of a Duotime today! Although my quartz Chronos was more expensive than many other vintage Seikos that are far more popular now.
1973 Seiko Catalog
The Duotime came in two variations initially, a silver dial and black dial versions. Both with the same orange GMT pointer hand and steel Seiko bracelet. My preference is for the black dial as in looking through examples online the dial seems to look very nice when aged well. In the catalog, the Duotime is always found in between the Seiko 5 Actuses and the Seiko World Time and Navigator Timers, which is very fitting as it was somewhat at an intersection of the dressier yet sporty Seiko 5s and the solid tool watches that were the 6117s. Ultimately, a versatile vintage tool watch worthy of any wrist.