1988 Seiko 7A38-7280 Quartz Chronograph

1988 Seiko 7A38-7280 Quartz Chronograph

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Though we typically only offer vintage mechanical watches, it’s hard to ignore the allure of a quartz watch that started a revolution. At a time when quartz meant LCD displays and designs so far removed from tradition that they were hardly recognizable as wrist watches, Seiko took a step backwards in order to bring watch design forward. Introduced in 1983, the 7A28 was the worlds first analog quartz chronograph, and to say they got it right is an understatement. It is a 15 jewel movement devoid of a single piece of plastic. It can be regulated to dial in performance, and was built in a way that allowed for the replacement of worn components. The same can’t be said for most of the quartz movements seen even today. Two years later, in 1984, the 7A38 was introduced. Just like its predecessor, the design allowed for three sub registers: one measuring minutes, another is the designated seconds, and a tenth of a second totaler. The center seconds is stationary unless the chronograph is engaged, at which point it measures elapsed seconds for the chronograph. In addition, there was now a day and date window nestled neatly into the 1/10 second sub register. Either can be set independently via the crown in the second position. Along with this new feature, a whole host of new designs was now available to suit any taste. If you are unfamiliar with this movement, we can all but bet that a little research will have you ready to track down your own. In the last couple of years, collectibility for these 7A models has begun to skyrocket, and it’s easy to see why. This example from December of ‘88 is an eye catching tonneau with an integrated bracelet design, and a mesmerizing white, satin grain dial. Three large, recessed sub registers sit prominently mid dial, and each sports a split finish of grain with matte satin borders. The mid dial has a rich “north to south” grain in metallic white, and is framed by a glossy tachymetric chapter. The hands, applied markers, and printing are all finished in black creating a crisp, stark contrast throughout. The case has an even, thin profile, great contours, and a nicely balanced polished bezel. The hooded lugs have been machined to allow the flat jubilee style bracelet to seamlessly transition into the case. The 7A38 has been completely cleaned and serviced, and a new cell installed. All functions are operating smoothly, and it’s keeping perfect time. Great 1980’s styling and an historic Seiko movement come together in a sporty casual that’s bound to be a go to in any lineup.


Original Seiko Mixed Finish Five Link Bracelet in Stainless Steel


Serviced 7/4/19

Diameter- 37mm

Lugs- 20mm

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