Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-728A SAA128J and 7A38-728C SAA138J (UEFA EURO 88 Limited Edition) 7240XS14 dial Two-Tones

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Imagine this nightmarish scenario.


You’re on Mastermind, sat in that famous sweaty high-back black leather chair, facing the late great Magnus Magnusson.

You have 2 minutes to answer questions on your chosen specialised subject: The Seiko 7A38 and derivatives.

Time has almost run out. You need one more correct answer to win through to the next round. The beeper sounds.

Magnus says "I’ve started so I’ll finish", and asks the all-important final question ….

What is the principle visible difference between the Seiko 7A38-728A’s sales code SAA122J and SAA128J ?

Deathly silence .... “Pass”. 

Then he reads back the answer to the final question you passed on, which you should have known all along. 


September 16, 2012 at 4:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Back in June 2009, Derek ‘LuvWatch’ kindly gave me a ‘heads up’ on Seiko Oceania’s database.

Immediately I realized what a useful resource it was, for helping to identify all the different 7A38 variants ....

and set about building my own Excel database from it, to assist with my future collecting activities.

It took me a couple of weekends to build it, copying and pasting across all the relevant data fields.

Even today, if you search Seiko Oz on just Caliber: 7A38, it still returns the same 310 lines of data.

The data for some models is completely missing – e.g.'s 7A38-6010, 7A38-701A and 7A38-7050 and some others are incomplete.

So you have to extrapolate, and add it in yourself. For the Seiko variations (alone), my Excel spreadsheet runs to about 350 lines.

I later added another 100 or so lines, as an addendum, covering other non-Seiko variants: Yema N8’s, Orient J39’s, etc.


However, it seems I may have been remiss in filling in one or two gaps in my ‘knowledge database’ of Seiko 7A38’s. 


By mid-2009, I was probably familiar with 70% of the model variations. Over the last 3 years I’ve either seen (sometimes purchased) them on eBay, or seen photos posted on other watch forums, and added to the comments field against the relevant model variant.

A few others, which I still hadn’t seen, and had almost begun to doubt whether some of them actually existed ....

I’d tried to figure out how they might look by comparing them to similar models, then analysing their component parts.


One such was the 7A38-728A SAA128J (and the identical 7A38-728C SAA138J).

Note my (duplicate) comments against them on this section of the spreadsheet:


The obvious difference (from my spreadsheet) being their 7240XS14 (instead of 7240X914) dials.

Here’s a screen print of a comparative search on Seiko Oz (just the two-tones – ignoring the all-over SGP 7A38-728A):


September 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Everybody (whether they recognise it as such, or not) must be familar with the 7240X914 dial.

It's used on two of the most commonly found 7A38's - the two-tone 7A38-7289 and 7A38-728A.

Here's a couple of nice examples which both appeared on eBay in the States, back in March 2009:

Though all you'll actually see of the (full) dial part number is 7A38 7240, which in this case makes it slightly more interesting.

Incidentally, the only differences I've been ever able to discern between 7A38-7289 SAA110J and 7A28A SAA122J are their day wheel languages and case-back stampings. Theoretically, the -7289 was a US market model, but both of them seem to turn up everywhere.

I can spot 'em a mile off - even from diabolical eBay listing photos like this one:

This was a 7A38-728A Two-Tone which I bought on eBay UK in July 2009 for a mere £30.50. :)

September 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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I'm not averse to two-tones - I have literally dozens of them in my 7A38 collection, so that's probably just as well. :D

Nor do I mind Roman numerals, in moderation ....

But I've always thought that the gold painted rings on the sub-dials of the 7A38-7289 and 7A38-728A looked a bit cheap and tacky. 

So you can imagine my reaction (a quick double-take, followed by a gulp) when I saw this 7A38-728A on eBay Germany last week: 

Seiko chronograph stahl gold

I knew what I was looking at immediately, but I sent the eBay seller a message asking him what the 7A38-xxxx case-back number was.

It could have been a 7A38-728A or a 7A38-728C, remember. ;)

Later, I updated my 7A38 database Excel spreadsheet to reflect my 'new' discovery:

September 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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If you've read this far, you'll probably have gathered that I was pretty chuffed at finding this subtle sub-variant ....

and also got the impression that this was the first one I'd ever seen. Well I was convinced it was, at the time, anyway.

Since early in 2009, I've right-clicked and saved every photo of every 7A38 (good, bad or indifferent) that I've seen on the 'Net.

The idea being to use them for reference.

Forgetting all the photos of Yema, Orient, Cartier Ferrari Formula, etc. variants, I have over 10,000 images of Seiko 7A38's alone.

But it becomes a habit, after a while. I mean how many photos of two-tone 7A38-728x's do you actually need ?

They're sorted in folders, and my two-tone 7A38-728x folder contains a shade under 600 images.

Needless to say, I don't actually look at the contents of some of these folders very often.

After re-naming and adding the photos from that eBay listing, I decided to wade through the folder to find a couple of nice photos to use in my third post. I found those, but then out of curiosity, decided to click all the way through to the end. Guess what I found ? 

This one was listed on Yahoo Japan in December 2009 - and I han't even spotted the difference at the time. 


But that is the only other I've seen, besides the one on eBay Germany. 

September 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Well almost - certainly in terms of sightings of actual watches. But there was something else I'd also overlooked in the past. 

Back in February 2010, Kurt, another erstwhile 7Axx collector, had sent me photos the pages of his 1988 German Seiko catalogue:

September 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Now here's a funny thing - though I don't think it's a coincidence. :|

I posted a Q&D wrist shot of my newly acquired 7A38-728A in the WRUW thread, earlier this afternoon.

In the comments underneath it I wrote: It needs a bit of light re-brushing in a couple of places on the bracelet ....

What I didn't write was that there is also a very small area on the bottom R.H. corner of the watch case that needs re-doing.

In fact, under magnification, it looks like it has been re-brushed professionally sometime in the past - it's a little bit shinier, that's all.

Anyway, then I added a link from my WRUW post to this thread, and just quickly scrolled through it once again.

The condition of the one I'd bought from eBay Germany is almost identical to that which appeared on Yahoo Japan in 2009 ....

Right down to that small re-finished area on the bottom R.H. corner of the case, which is visible in the Japanese seller's photos !

For a moment, I thought I might have bought the exact same watch. But No. The serial # of that one was 7D2291. Mine is 7D2295.

Do you think Seiko might have been having problems with their case lapping machine, and QA subsequently allowed both these watches to pass through final inspection, after a little re-touching ?

September 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Oh well, perhaps these SAA128J 7A38-728A variants, without the gold subdial rings, aren't quite as rare as I thought they might be. :/

I was just having a quick browse on eBay Germany and found this 'assorted job lot' collection of 6 watches that includes one: now

Konvolut Herrenuhren mit Armbanduhr- Box, SEIKO Chronograph, CITIZEN,... Uhr(en)

In the seller's individual close-up photo, it's not in too bad a condition, but would obviously benefit from a new crystal and a bit of TLC.

December 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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I started this thread almost 6 years ago, back in September 2012. For reasons that seemed right to me at the time, I started it in the General Discussion area, giving it a rather flippant title: Another little 7A38 mystery finally solved, at last ....

It's languished there, halfway down page 6 of that forum section, likely unviewed, for a very long time. :( In hindsight, because it contains a good deal of pertinent information, I should probably have composed it here in the first place. So in case you're wondering where this 'new' 7A38-xxxx model specific thread suddenly miraculously sprang from; it's been there all the time. I've just given it a new topic title and moved it to where it rightfully belongs. Plus there's some new additional information, which solves the other unanswered part of the 'little mystery'. ;)

September 7, 2018 at 2:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Unfortunately, because it was 'out of sight, out of mind' this thread didn't get automatically updated with any new eBay listings, as I would have done had the thread been in this forum section. The 7A38-728A SAA128J, with the more tasteful plainer 7240XS14 Roman numeral dial, is a comparatively rare variant - certainly in terms of sightings, but there have been at least a couple listed on eBay Germany since I last updated this thread in December 2012.

As I stated earlier, I still right-click and save just about all and any photos of 7A38's that I see listed on eBay. I'm fairly methodical in my allocation of file names. So I ran a search on my photo folders and came up with these three:

March 2015 - As far as I can tell, there were only these 2 photos. It appears that half the bracelet may have been missing, but then again it might just be missing a spring bar. I really can't remember - and my photo captions provide no clue. :/

October 2015:

January 2017:

In an effort to provide some back-dated information on these long since ended German eBay listings, I wasted some considerable time, ploughing back through my eBay notification emails. I did find what I believe to be the correct item numbers for two of them, but the listings had long since dropped off eBay history. :(

One thing these three watches share in common (as with previous examples in this thread) are 7Dxxxx prefix serial numbers indicating December 1987 manufacture.

September 7, 2018 at 2:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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If you hadn't already guessed, from the revised and somewhat lengthy topic title, what prompted me to resurrect and update this thread, was my very first sighting of a 7A38-728C SAA138J. I may have mentioned the model number briefly in my earlier posts in this this thread, but I hadn't previously investigated the difference between the 'A' and the 'C'. It's pretty obvious, once you eventually get to see one 'in the metal'. This one was listed on eBay Germany in the last week of August:


HAU Seiko Chronograph 7A38-728C.

Anlässlich der UEFA Europameisterschaft 1988

Quarz. Datum & Kalender bei der 3. Stahlarmband mit Faltschließe.

Erhaltung: Kaum gebraucht

Es werden nur Originalfotos zum Angebot hinzugefügt!


Kombiversand möglich!

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Harking back to my nightmarish scenario, if the final beeper hadn't already sounded, perhaps another 'Mastermind specialist subject' question to follow:

What is the principle visible difference between the Seiko 7A38-728A’s sales code SAA122J and SAA128J ?

Would have been:

What is the principle visible difference between the Seiko 7A38-728A sales code SAA128J and 7A38-728C SAA138J ?

Pretty obviously, now I've finally seen photos of one, it's the UEFA EURO 88 stamped caseback. Checking Seiko Oceania's database once again, that's the only difference in their parts lists: part number 7A38728A versus 7A38728C. Both are described as just 'CASE BACK' - nothing else that might give any clue. Note the case-back serial number 7D2008 follows on closely from the two examples of UEFA EURO 88 stamped 7A38-728B seen to date (7D1996 and 7D1999).

The German seller described the watch's condition as Kaum gebraucht, which translates as hardly worn. Looking at the almost pristine case-back, with its JWCII inspection sticker still present, that's certainly plausible, however the tarnishing of the gold plated bezel was of some concern. Regardless I decided to have a go at winning the auction. I knew there would likely be considerable interest - indeed according to one of my outbid notifications, the listing had nearly 30 watchers and so I was expecting some serious competition. Bidding reached 166 Euros at one point, but then the high bidder retracted their bid. I really had no idea what it might go for, so set a 'killer' snipe bid and crossed my fingers. Surprisingly I won the auction for a fairly reasonable 155.55 Euros after 21 bids. :)

September 7, 2018 at 3:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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I collected the package containing my recently acquired 7A38-728C SAA138J from the Post Office depot mid-week, though I've had little time before this morning to examine it closely. Here are a couple of Q&D 'as received' shots.

How the German eBay seller had managed to make the bezel look so tarnished in their primary listing photo is completely beyond me. :roll: It's virtually pristine, gold plating nice and bright with just a couple of tiny hairline scratches. :) Indeed, the whole watch exudes the impression of having been 'hardly worn', as they stated in their description. There was absolutely zero play in the bracelet, which included its full original complement of 10 removable adjustment links. It's been a while since I've come across a B1627C that was so 'tight'. Here's another photo I took of it this morning, alongside my almost identical 7A28-7A28A SAA0128J (left).

Apart from their condition (and serial numbers) the only immediately visible difference is the UEFA Euro 88 case-back stamping.

Here's a slightly different wrist shot to the one I've just posted in the WRUW thread.

After my initial concerns about the 'tarnished' bezel which thankfully turned out to be nothing more than poor photography on the seller's part, I'd have liked to be able to say the watch is 'almost mint', but unfortunately, it's let down by a small flaw on the 7240XS14 dial. I'd spotted a couple of odd black bits, which appeared to be floating on the dial in the seller's primary image. Somehow, half the the length of the 15 mark on the constant seconds sub-dial has flaked off. :( I guess I'll have to pluck up the courage to re-touch it at some point. :/ Here's a closer shot that shows it better - and colateral damage to the 14 and 16 marks:

The dot to the left of 30 is probably part of it. :(

September 15, 2018 at 6:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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With the much increased activity on many other 7A38-xxxx model specific threads, for one reason or another, I'd completely overlooked adding a couple of updates to this neglected topic. Here's the first, which I should have posted last year !! 

In early December 2018, a German eBay seller listed a NOS 7A38-728A SAA128J.

Seiko 7A38 Seiko Quartz Chronograph Sports 100 Cal 7A38 Ungetragen OVP Bi Color

Hallo im Angebot eine sehr schöne Seiko Quarz Chonograph.

Die Uhr ist neu und ungetragen.

Es ist das Modell 7A38 728A Sports aus den 90er Jahre glaube ich wenigstens.

Die Uhr mißt Außen 37 mm , sie ist in eine Bi Color Ausführung.

Die Uhr ist ein Lagerfund, NOS neu und Ungetragen, wenige Lagerspuren.

Die Uhr ist von unsere Uhrmachermeister geprüft , neue Batterie.

Die Uhr ist Top in Ordnung.

Die original Bedienungsanleitung ist nicht dabei, dafür aber aus dem Internet ausgedrückte Blätter / Bedienungsanleitung (Englisch).

Ein wirklich schöne Uhr für den Liebhaber als Weihnachtsgeschenk allemal Okay.

Privatverkauf : keine Wandlung und oder Garantie weder noch Rücknahme.

Die Uhr ist aber Top !

Abholung! Bitte vereinbaren Sie einen Termin vorweg.

Versand DHL mit Sendungsnummer. zwecks Track und Trace.

It sold soon after it was listed for the very reasonable 139 Euros Buy-it-Now price.

June 23, 2019 at 6:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Another somewhat average worn condition example was listed by a German eBay seller in April this year as a 7-day auction with an opening bid price of 55 Euros. The seller described it as being in 'Heavily used condition.' and stated that after replacing the battery, the chronograph didn't work. Note also that the bracelet had been fitted with a 7-hole adjustment Seiko SQ clasp, in place of the short original.

Seiko 7A38-728A Herrenuhr Chronograph Bicolor

Seiko 7A38-728A Herrenuhr Chronograph Bicolor

Stark gebrauchter Zustand.

Das Glas hat Kratzer und sollte getauscht werden. Gehäuse hat Gebrauchsspuren, Kratzer, Goldabrieb.

Nach einem Wechsel der Batterie funktioniert nur die Uhrzeit, Chronograph ohne Funktion! Defekt!

Durchmesser: 37mm ohne Krone.

Privatverkauf ohne Garantie und ohne Rücknahme.

It sold for only 60 Euros after 3 bids.

June 23, 2019 at 6:20 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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What actually eventually reminded me of the existence of this particular topic, is that yesterday afternoon, German eBay re-seller silversurfer365, whose frequently less than forthright listings are always good for a laugh, listed a two-tone 7A38-728A, with a typically over-optimistic 'pie-in-the-sky' Buy-it-Now price of 199 Euros, or the option to make a much lower more sensible offer.

Fresh service with oil und neuen Kronen- und Bodendichtung. Das Band hat Goldabrieb sieht aber am Leder auch moderner aus.

Ein braunes neues Vintageleder lege ich für 10€ auf Wunsch bei. Seiko Chronograph Watch 7A38-728A. Zustand: Gebraucht.

Alle Funktionen gehen bestens, Uhr, Chrono, Datum und Justage sowie Selbsttest. Frisch vom Uhrmacher zurück.

Die Uhr hat ein neues Plexiglas verbaut. Ein Mineralglas in neu von Sternkreuz lege ich gerne für plus 6 € sowie kostenfrei eine neue Ersatzbatterie. Lederband als Beispielbilder braun oder schwarz 10 €. neu.

Wo anders kosten diese seltenen 7A38 über 500€ oha italy.

I dunno where he gets that last line of the description from. :roll: It translates as:

Where else does this rare 7A38 cost over 500 € or so italy.

Answer: In this condition, from eBay Germany two months ago for 60 Euros !! :lol:

Note the heavy wear to the crown and gold plating generally and the fact that this watch is fitted with a non-original 7-hole adjustment Seiko SQ clasp. Normally, in his efforts to disguise his re-selling activities, Carlo is usually very careful to hide the case-back serial numbers of watches he's trying to sell. The serial number of the one that sold in April for 60 Euros was 7D1372. If you zoom in on Carlo's last photo, you can see 72 peeking out from under the clasp. If any further confirmation were needed, that this is the same watch, the bidding history of the April auction shows his abbreviated encrypted eBay ID v***u, with a matching feedback number of 620 was the winning bidder. ;)

June 23, 2019 at 6:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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No great surprise really, as this appears to be German eBay seller silversurfer365 preferred modus operandi. Checking my eBay watching page, I just noticed that yesterday afternoon, he ended that listing for the 7A38-728A, which he'd paid 60 Euros for, two months ago, as item no longer available. :roll:

June 27, 2019 at 2:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Well perhaps these 'rare' variants of 7A38-728A aren't quite so rare as some people would have you believe. :/ 'EXTREMELY' my arse. :roll: Leastways, not so rare on eBay Germany anyway. This well-worn example, which comes with four (removed) bracelet adjustment links, was listed earlier this afternoon, as a 7-day auction with an opening bid price of 135 Euros (or the option to make an offer).

Zustand siehe Bilder. Läuft einwandfrei.


Alle Infos wurden mit gutem Gewissen geschrieben.

Privatverkauf ohne Rückname, Garantie und Gewährleistung.

July 3, 2019 at 11:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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The German eBay seller re-listed the above 7A38-728A twice (as 7-day auctions), reducing the opening bid price each time, most recently to 100 Euros, but still retaining the 'Make Offer' option. It sold yesterday morning.

The eBay Bid History shows it sold for a Best Offer (not necessarily 100 Euros).

Unfortunately that annoying eBay API feed 'glitch' means look-up tools still can't provide any clue as to what price it may actually have been sold for.

Belated Update (26th August):

Some 5 weeks later, using the latest eBay 'BO workaround', I'm finally now able to confirm that 7A38-728A did indeed sell for a best offer of 100 Euros. As shown by this alternative eBay link:

July 19, 2019 at 1:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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