Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-701B SAA005J - the 'mythical' yellow-faced RAF Vulcan

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Seiko7A38 at January 31, 2016 at 11:40 AM

It's been a while since a 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' has been offered for sale. This cosmetically tidy-looking example was listed on eBay Germany about half an hour ago, with a Buy-it-Now asking price of 499 Euros. Pity about the recalcitrant sweep second hand. :/


Seiko 7A38-701B 

Seiko "Vulcan Bomber" aus Sammlung. 7A38-701B.

Die Uhr läuft und ist für ihr Alter in einem guten Zustand.

Lünette,Zifferblatt,Zeigersatz in gutem Zustand

Einziges Manko, aufgrund der etwas längeren "Liegezeit"

Der große Sekundenzeiger hängt fest, ist aber für einen versierten Seiko Fan oder guten Uhrmacher kein Problem.

Vermutlich ist der Motor/Antrieb etwas verharzt.

Die Bilder sind Bestandteil der Artikelbeschreibung. 


Recalcitrant sweep second hand or not (possibly an easy fix), I didn't expect that 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' to hang around very long.
It certainly didn't - sold in the early hours of this morning against a Best Offer:

Although Goofbid's eBay Best Offer History tool header summary shows 8 offers in total, only the uppermost was made (and accepted) against the 'Vulcan'. The other 7 rejected offers were made on other watches listed by the seller. A quick currency conversion from Pounds Sterling (shown) indicates that it sold for 449.50 Euros. Maybe 50 cents either way.

February 1, 2016 at 5:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 543

Paul it was me.  :P  Just sold a Grand Seiko for a couple of grand and had some spending money.  :D   When I was in the USAF in 1969  I worked on a base that had 3 Avro Vulcan heavy bombers stationed there.  ;)  De-bunked rumor or not "Vulcan" has stuck to this watch. :roll: 

February 4, 2016 at 11:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 153

Ooh well done Don and welcome to this exclusive little owners club, lovely picture not seen that one before, you have a very nice example. :D 

February 4, 2016 at 11:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Here's an opportunity for someone else to join the 'Vulcan' owners club.

This 7A38-701B was listed earlier this afternoon, by a UK ebay seller, with an opening bid price of only £10 (and no reserve).

I am selling my watch collection and here is a very very very rare Seiko Chronograph the model of which was believed to have been issued to Vulcan bomber pilots. 

No box or papers. 

As you can see from the pictures the black Tachymeter bezel shows some very minor paint loss and there are some minor scratches in the glass, but I believe these do not detract from the beauty of this watch. 

There has been some minor stretching of the wrist band, but perfectly functional. 

The watch battery has only just run out. So any buyer would need to renew. Not water tested.

I have therefore set this auction off at a low start price with no reserve. 

Don't miss out. This is a very rare Seiko!

November 30, 2016 at 9:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

I could have added something to that post the following day, but decided to hold off posting awaiting the outcome of the auction. ;)

When I'd first seen the listing, I knew I should have recognized the seller's eBay user ID, desfontania, but couldn't quite place it.

A day later, he uploaded a couple more photos (including the case-back) and added a lengthy amendment to the description:

On 01-Dec-16 at 13:46:22 GMT, seller added the following information:

I am selling my watch collection and here us a very very rare Seiko Chronograph , the model of which was believed to have been issued to Vulcan Bomber crew. 

No box or papers. 

As you can see from the picture the black non rotating bezel does show some very minor paint loss and the glass has some very minor scratch s which I believe do not attract from the watches beauty. 

There has been some minor stretching of the watch band and there are 21 links. Will fit wrist circumference of circa 20cm.

The wrist band isn't perfectly functional and secure.

 I have just changed the battery and watch keeps time and second hand returns to zero. All other dials rotate. 

The watch has not been water pressure tested. 

Any owner may wish to service the watch as I have no record of last service. 

Low start price with no reserve so a chance to own this very rare sought after Seiko. 

I have also added photo of reverse of case.

At which point, my normally infallible memory kicked in - total recall. So I decided to have a low-ish punt at it 'for old times sake'.

Indeed, for the better part of the week, I was the high bidder at a mere £116, but I didn't expect to, nor really wanted to win it. :/

It was just a matter of waiting for the inevitable last minute / second snipefest , which predictably happened this lunchtime.

The 7A38-701B sold for £577.89 after 16 bids. Quite astonishing - given the overall condition and it's previous selling prices.

If you check the bidding history, the reason for the higher than average selling price is plainly obvious ....


UK Seiko collector Bob Barkell (bidder 1***b) went in with a Banzai 'killer' throwaway snipe bid of £567.89 - over £250 higher than the previous bid, expecting to blitz everbody. Indeed, he might possibly have won the auction for £320, which I'd have considered a more realistic price. Except he, in turn, was out-gunned by an unknown snipe bidder w***n, who from categories shown in their 30-day bidding activity, appears to be a collector of Aeronautica / Militaria. He incidentally also has a better strike rate than Bob ! :lol:

December 7, 2016 at 12:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Why have a low-ish punt at it 'for old times sake', with no intention of winning the auction you may ask ? :|

Well, Seiko 7A38-701B s/n 394699 and I go back a long way - to May 2009.

It was my first 'Vulcan', as I triumphantly posted on the RLT forum, at the time:  Cheap Seiko 7A38-701B 'RAF Vulcan' on Ebay ....

This is the only photo that was included in that German eBay listing - eBay hosted images were pretty small in those days. :roll:

Fortunately, in those 'good old' days before eBay clamped down on communication between potential buyer and seller, it was still possible to send them your email address in an eBay message, to ask for better quality / higher resolution images, which is exactly what I did. Whereas they're not great, these three are what the seller emailed me.

The second image gives some indication of how badly stretched the original p/n Z1118S bracelet was. :( As a then relative newcomer to collecting, I was extremely pleased at having got my hands on an elusive 7A38 'Vulcan' for such an exceedingly cheap price at the time. However, I wasn't quite so happy with the condition of the bracelet. It really wasn't safe to wear the watch as received. In fact, more or less straight away, I fitted a subsitute replacement 'lookalike' p/n B1688S bracelet.

In November 2009, I bought another better example, with an almost unmarked bezel and decent bracelet - again on eBay Germany.

Here they are together - my newer incoming on the left; my original bargain priced 'Vulcan' fitted with B1688S bracelet on the right.

Whereas there was a certain cachet to having two 7A38-701B Vulcans in my (then one and only) 24-watch collection box ....

.... There were still many other 7A38's I wanted to collect. So I decided the first one had to go - on a one-in-one-out basis.

I re-fitted the original badly stretched p/n Z1118S bracelet and listed it on eBay in December 2009. The eBay listing has long since disappeared into the ether. I'm not even completely sure which photos I actually used in the listing, but going by their captions, these few selected from my folder, must have been among them:

I'd almost certainly taken liberties and pushed the bracelet links together for the first two photos. The fourth one gives a truer picture.

It sold, giving me quite a handsome profit, for £360, to the person with that eBay ID desfontania, who's just sold it for £577.89

Going by the feedback he left me, considerably 'more than a year ago' (7 years in fact), he seemed happy with it at the time. :)

December 7, 2016 at 3:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 16

It certainly was one heck of a final price. The buyer clearly wanted it badly!

December 11, 2016 at 11:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

That certainly was, Nigel. :) Unfortunately the new owner, like myself, doesn't seem to have formed a lasting bond with it. Because earlier this evening, my original 7A38-701B 'Vulcan', serial number 394699 was back on eBay again, listed by the UK buyer who'd bought it last December.

For Auction a very rare Seiko 7A38-701B watch. The movement is the same as used in the First MOD issue Seiko watch with the addition of a Day Date window. The watch is in excellent condition for its 35 Years and had a new battery last Year. There are two minor marks to the crystal and the stopwatch hands zero as shown. The original bracelet is fitted and fastens securely. Adjustment is done on the clasp.

This is a nice example of a rare early Quartz Chronograph for collectors or anybody who wants an accurate watch that stands out from the crowd.

Free postage applies to UK sales only. Please contact me for a postage quote if intending to bid from outside the UK. Payment within 48 Hours in all cases, please.

The seller hasn't mentioned the stretch in the original Seiko p/n Z1118S bracelet, but hasn't made any attempt to hide it either.

Bearing in mind the price he paid for it in December last year: £577.89, I expect the seller's reserve price will be north of £500. :/

March 30, 2017 at 2:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Yesterday evening, out of curiosity, I sent a cheeky message to the eBay seller enquiring what his reserve price might be set at.

He declined to divulge, stating: I am afraid I do not disclose reserve prices but obviously, I wish to recover the purchase cost.

Amusingly I received an eBay notification early this morning, advising that the seller had since lowered the reserve price:

March 31, 2017 at 5:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Something unusual happened to that eBay listing for a 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' earlier this morning - it seems to have disappeared. :/

Around half a hour ago, I checked the listing; saw it had received another bid, taking the price to £360 (by coincidence, the price I'd sold it for back in 2009). Went to click on the link and got Nada. :(


Now it's nowhere to be found on my eBay watching page - yet I've not received any notification from eBay (bid cancellation notice).

It's almost as if the listing has been removed (by eBay), but if you search on item number it doesn't give the usual error message .

Edit: By 10:00am, it now returns this error message:

April 7, 2017 at 4:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Thanks to Achim for the 'heads up' because I hadn't spotted this one (yet). ;) I'm clearly not running enough regular eBay searches on just 'Seiko Chronograph'. :/ This 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' in pretty decent looking original condition (apart from the engraved clasp), was listed a couple of days ago by a Venezualan eBay seller, as a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of $99 and no reserve. There's no mention of the model number in the title or description (hence the reason why I hadn't seen it) and from the rather amusing and totally irrelevant item specifics, it would appear that the seller created the listing by cloning somebody else's listing, using eBay's 'Sell one like this' button. :roll: Still at least the details in the description are slightly more correct. :lol:

It's stainless steel with a yellow face

Silver hands and hour markers

Digital and analog dial



Stop watch

Dual time


Japan quartz movement

Original Seiko Stainless steel link band

Luminous style hands

Keeping accurate time and date

Pushers working as they should

Just cleaned and is ready to wear

September 11, 2017 at 2:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

That Venezuelan eBay auction for the 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' (or should I rather say 'Victor', according to the clasp engraving) ended late yesterday evening, selling for $622 after 26 bids.

I was the victor. :D Yeah, OK so I absolutely blitzed it with multiple snipes - bit of an unnecessary overkill as it turned out. :roll:

September 17, 2017 at 6:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 543

Congratulations Paul. :D  May I ask how many 7A38-701B's you have now ? :/     

September 17, 2017 at 11:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 107

It was good that I noticed this auction; now the right person won it. ;) Congrats, Paul. Do you think this will be an upgrade for you?

September 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Well, it's an 'upgrade' in terms of quantity, Achim. :) It brings me back to two again - where I once was albeit very briefly, back in December 2009, (before I sold my first one). That's not strictly true. I now actually own 2½ 'Vulcans' ('Victors', whatever). There is a third project watch, that I bought a few years ago, which had been severly water-damaged and has lain in pieces, awaiting the miraculous appearance of a replacement dial. It's going to take a Valiant effort to find one. :P

The reason I delayed replying to your question was because I honestly didn't know. It was difficult to tell from the eBay seller's photos. In terms of quality, I wasn't sure it was in that much better overall condition than my previous example. Now I have it in my hands, I can see that in some aspects it is. There's less rubbing wear to the silver anodized coating of the case and bracelet. However, there are more tiny dings / loss of black enamel to the bezel inlay of this one, but they're all very small. The bracelet has slightly less stretch, but perversely is short of adjustment links (it only just fits my 7½" wrist on the last pair of adjustment holes). Then there's that engraving on the clasp. But I think 'Victor' (the previous owner) will remain in perpetuity. There are a couple of small scratches on the crystal, so that will need replacing. But what bugs me more than anything is the sweep second hand being well off its marks. I'll take some better photos later, when I've had a chance to properly clean and sort it. For the meantime, here's another slightly different wrist shot to the one I posted in the WRUW thread this morning.

September 27, 2017 at 7:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

See my posts higher up this page, regarding this particular 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' s/n 394699, which I once previously owned. I guess we may never know why eBay deleted all records of the previous listing, but one thing's for certain - it didn't sell back in April. Yesterday evening, the eBay seller downsman re-listed it, with an opening bid price of £45 and, much to my amusement, no reserve price set this time. For reasons best known to himself, he's set the auction up as ship to UK (as before), but this time appears to be blocking bids from other countries. He's used a different set of photos in this listing and I have to say that my old 'Vulcan' is looking a bit the worse for wear in a couple of them. After an overnight flurry, bidding has currently stalled @ £235.

Yellow-faced Seiko 7A38-701B Quartz Chronograph Circa 1983. In full working order. Some scratch marks to crystal and case back, please study the photographs. The watch has had a new battery professionally fitted in the last 12 months. The strap is original and serviceable but worn.

October 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Bidding on the above auction for a 7A38-701B 'Vulcan' remained at £235 for most of the week, until this morning when it was bid up to £270. Even with just 2 minutes of the auction left to run, bidding had still only crept up to £275. The stage was set for a last minute snipe-fest.  It ended a few moments ago, with my old 'Vulcan' selling for £512 after 21 bids.

October 27, 2017 at 4:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 9954

Before I go any further, I'll start this post by saying that although I've personally had no dealings whatsoever with UK eBay seller monty7019, over the last few months, I've developed a strong dislike of his listing practices. Particularly the incessant keyword spamming and his overly-long, frequently bnlls!t riddled descriptions. Earlier this evening, he listed this average condition 7A38-701B 'Vulcan', fitted with an ill-matched 'Rally' leather strap as a 7-day auction with an opening bid price of £295. Apart from the lack of an original bracelet, the bezel is pretty graunched and has a couple of nasty dings in it. The watch is also suffering from a recalcitrant sweep second hand.

Extremely Rare Seiko 7A38 701B - the mythical & legendary "RAF Vulcan Bomber Crew Military" Men's Chronograph Watch - this model was only made across a time period of a few months in 1983!

It was believed that this model was issued to RAF Vulcan Bomber Crew after a batch supposedly turned up in ex-military supplies. This is now considered to be highly doubtful but the Vulcan name and legend has stuck to this model!

Stunning bright yellow dial - I've had more comments about this watch than any other watch I've owned!

Keeping Accurate Time with all chronograph buttons working.

The Chronograph second hand can occasionally be sticky and sometimes the hands don't reset exactly to zero (but can be manually reset easily).

Bidders with less than 10 feedback - I realise we all have to start somewhere but due to a large number of non paying bidders I kindly ask you contact me first before bidding or your bid will be cancelled.


Brand: Seiko

Model: 7A38 701B "Vulcan Bomber" Chronograph with Day Date - some enthusiasts still believe this model is connected (trialled by?) to the RAF or even the Royal Navy (HMS Vulcan??) but many now think any military connection is just a myth.

Dial - Stunning Bright Yellow - the most distinctive 7A38 dial - the (now highly doubtful) rumour was that the colour was specified by the RAF so Vulcan Bomber Crew would be able to read the time on night nuclear bombing missions!

Age. Made in September 1983 (according to the serial number). This watch was only produced for a period of a few months in 1983 and as such is very rare - try finding another for sale!

Gender: Men's

Movement: Very high quality Seiko 7A38 Quartz movement - all metal construction with 15 jewels! - keeping accurate time, the chronograph functions work fine most times but the chronograph second hand can be a bit sticky (in cold weather - may just need oiling?) and the chronograph second and minute hands sometimes don't reset exactly to zero (but can be reset easily by pulling the crown to the first position and pressing the chronograph buttons until the hands reach zero). Being of high quality design / construction, this movement is fully serviceable / repairable.

The Seiko 7A28 was the worlds first quartz chronograph movement and the 7A38 uses the same base with Date and Day functions added. The Seiko 7A series movements are still regarded as one of the best quartz movements ever made.

For more details on the Seiko 7A28 movements please see the link below:

<Diameter (without crown): 38 mm*
Day and Date displayed at 3 O'clock
30 minute Chronograph Function
Crystal: Mineral with some scratches
Case Material: stainless steel
Strap Material: replacement high quality leather strap
Keeping accurate time.

This is a stunning vintage men's Seiko Chronograph. The watch is keeping accurate time, the chronograph functions work fine most of the time but the chronograph second hand can occasionally be a bit sticky (in cold weather - may just need oiling?) and the chronograph second and minute hands sometimes don't reset exactly to zero (but can be reset easily by pulling the crown to the first position and pressing the chronograph buttons until the hands reach zero). This movement is fully serviceable / repairable. The watch is in nice condition for age with some marking to the bezel, case (including a couple of dinks) and mineral glass. The stunning dial is in excellent condition. Please refer to the pictures as these form part of the description.

*Please note as this is a vintage watch I do not guarantee that it is still water resistant as rubber seals degrade over time. Use in wet conditions is at the buyers risk. Measurements as approximate.

Please check my feedback and you will see I have already received excellent comments when selling other watches. Please ask all questions before bidding. All items are guaranteed to be authentic.

Payment by Paypal to be received within 48 hours of the auction closing.

UK Postage: Fully insured Royal Mail Special Next Day delivery: £7.25

International Postage: Fully Insured Royal Mail International Signed for Delivery: £10.75

NB: Shipments outside of the EU may be subject to import taxes - these are the responsibility of the buyer. I always declare the full value on international packages.

The watch will be shipped within 2 working days of cleared payment being received.

Thank you for viewing this item. If you have any questions please feel free to ask (all questions should be asked prior to the auction closing).

Blah, Blah, Blah .... :roll:

April 15, 2018 at 6:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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