1966 Seiko 6619-8280 Sportsmatic 5 MIL Watch

1966 Seiko 6619-8280 Sportsmatic 5 MIL Watch

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During the Vietnam conflict a couple of Seiko variants found their way onto the wrists of many enlisted men and special forces operatives alike. Whether purchased at exchanges or issued by CISO to MAC-V SOG operatives, two in particular have been documented and verified by first hand accounts, and through photographic evidence provided by Frank Greco in his book Running Recon: A Photo Journey with SOG Special Ops Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The first iteration of these watches were the 6619 models which were available in two sequential styles; the 8280, followed by the 8060. Later the 6119-8100 would take their place.

This example from November of 1966 is the earlier 8280. Featuring a dark, charcoal gray sunburst dial with a lacquered finish, it is marked in crisply painted Arabic numerals in a jungle green luminous material. It has an oxidized patina at certain angles that’s evenly distributed. A silver minute track traces the edge of the dial which is framed by a brush finished, matte steel chapter ring. Large baton hands with matching luminous plots make for superior legibility along with a long and lean polished second hand, and a day date aperture in opposing black and white. The case is in stainless steel with a slim profile, sloping lugs, and a rolled edge. In keeping with tradition, we’ve paired it with a premium black NATO as it was the preferred means of those that wore them in uniform. If a vintage military watch steeped in clandestine history is on your list, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better looking one.

 

Ague Trading Co. Premium Black NATO with Steel Hardware (aguetradingco.com)

 

Serviced 11/8/17

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