Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > eBay, LeBonCoin, Mercado Libre, Yahoo Japan, etc. > More eBay bullsh!t - Another civilian 7Axx masquerading as Military

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Yeh O.K. - yet another thread ranting about dishonest eBay sellers. :roll:

As I've written many times before - I don't do 'Military'.  It's a personal thing. 

Yet there seems to be a never-ending stream of punters / military watch collectors willing to pay £500 - and sometimes even more, for neglected, knocked-about examples of the much-prized 7A28-7120 RAF Gen. 1. Their reasoning totally escapes me. These watches are not rare, by any stretch of the imagination. It's a well document fact that over 11,300 were produced.

Indeed, I remember writing in a thread about these particular watches, on RLT a couple of years ago - quite deliberately sarcastically: (post # 24):


There's a few Seiko 7A28 RAF Gen. 1 threads already, so rather than start yet another one ....

I thought I'd add this little snippet onto this most recent one, especially as it doesn't mention crystals.

On nearly every photo you'll see of a 7A28-7120 Gen. 1', the original crystal (if still fitted) is scratched.

Comes with the territory, I suppose, having once been a military issued watch. 

Naturally, being 'military', the scratches are evidence of combat - as opposed to falling over outside the mess. 

Surprising that didn't earn me a spell in jankers ! 

May 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 12495

But there is no denying that the 7A28-7120 RAF Gen. 1 was indeed a genuine military issued watch - regardless of its collectability.

More recently, I wrote in the SAAF 7Axx thread, started by Andre (in regard to those watches):

Most of you know I don't do 'Military'. Whereas there's no denying the existence of small quantities of genuinely 'issued' watches -

viz. 850 + 500 7A's by SAAF, what annoys the hell out of me is the number of would-be sellers (both on eBay and watch forums) who falsely associate / try to pass off their bog-stock retail versions as having such military connotations. I've seen lots over the years. 

May 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 12495

So what should appear in my eBay searches this morning ? An allegedly 'Military' 7A38-7080 listed by a Canadian ebay seller !!

The description starts off:

Offered for auction is this beautiful minty SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH SPORT 100 Speedmaster Military Watch

This is rare 1986 black PVD coated anti reflective South African or British Military issued

It is defiantly a very well made high quality navigator timepiece ....

and continues, with more bullsh!t: Come with a NOS military grade rubber SWISS divers dive strap.

and ends with this pathetic piece of irrelevant drivel:

Finally, as an retired infantry soldier, I want to say thank you to all who are serving today, and to all those who served yesterday, God Bless you all!

May 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 12495

So where shall I start ? 

Well apart from all the bullsh!t keyword spamming, clearly designed to appeal to the less-than-savvy military-minded watch collector ....

There's the case-back:

This seller picked '1986' because that was the year that the SAAF purchased 500 stainless 7A38-7070's - not black 7A38-7080's.

His watch's serial number is 424666 - showing clearly that it was manufactured in February 1984

Other than that:

The watch is far from 'minty'. It is not a (JDM) 'Speedmaster' variant. It is not a Military watch.

The 7A38-7080 is not rare. This example was not manufactued in 1986. It is not PVD coated, but black chrome plated.

Neither the crystal nor the worn well-polished surface of his example are anti reflective.

This watch was never issued by the South African nor British Military.

It is not a navigator's timepiece .... if it were, it would have a compass / slide rule bezel - not a Diver's bezel. 

Finally it's fitted with some cheap NOS military grade rubber SWISS divers dive strap, because the original B1242 bracelet is missing !

May 2, 2013 at 12:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 12495

Since Andre started off our little topic about the Seiko SAAF 7Axx chrono's back in April, it's received a steady flow of traffic. :)

It may have dropped off the first page of the 7Axx General Discussion forum section, but it's had over 2000 hits since then.

So I guess we've only ourselves partly to blame when listings like this one on eBay Germany appear from time to time:

To give the seller his due, he has included the word 'Style' in his listing title, but in reality this is just another very poor example of a civilian 7A28-7040, minus its bracelet - and yet another blatant case of keyword spamming. 

November 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 12495

It's been a while. But whenever I see fraudulently mis-titled 'Military' eBay listings like this it still makes my my blood boil. 

So I've edited the seller's original title: SEIKO 7A38-7070 Military Modell bei der SAAF aus 1984 ....

to reflect what he's actually selling: SEIKO 7A38-7070 Dog-eared Civilian version on a cheap NATO !


Löse einen Teil der Sammlung auf,

SEIKO 7A38-7070 in der Version mit den seltenen Zeigern aus dem ersten Produktionsjahr

Wurde auch beim Militär SAAF als Piloten Uhr im Dienst getragen

Leider wurde das Datum wohl mal zur falschen Uhrzeit gestellt und hat den Mitnehmer für das Datum beschädigt

Sonst ist alles OK.

Uhr hat Gebrauchsspuren, es ist eine Vintage Uhr.

Wer eine neue makellose Atomuhr sucht sollte bitte auch so Eine kaufen.


Unfortunately, the early version of this watch, with the 'polished edge' hand set was NOT the version supplied to the SAAF. 

February 12, 2015 at 12:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 12495

In days gone by, seeing an eBay listing with a misleading 'look at me' title like the one below would have made my blood boil. 

Nowadays, with eBay seemingly turning a blind eye to just about anything in the interests of profit, misrepresentation is rife. 

I guess I'm becoming a bit blasé to it all. So I just think to myself (out loud sometimes) .... yet another opportunist w*nker.

Outstanding Seiko Chronograph with the renowned 7A28 movement, This is the identical movement that the Military Generation 1 has. The watch and bracelet are in original condition heavily gold plated with a sheen finish. The watch and crystal are in pristine condition and all functions work perfectly. For overseas buyers please email for estimate of shipping costs.

The watch in question is of course, a common or garden gold-tone 7A28-7020 / -7029, which you can very easily pick up on eBay in the States from anywhere between $50 for a well worn beater (movement donor) to $200 for NOS / mint boxed examples. £400 

July 5, 2015 at 12:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 12495

But just to show you that there's nothing new under the sun ....

Indeed I'm surprised (at myself) that I haven't mentioned it in this thread before (maybe I've written about it in another thread :/ ) ....

Almost exactly 5 years to the day, I started another slightly sarcastic thread on the RLT watch forum:

Somewhat De-Militarized Seiko Raf Gen. 1 Movement.

Started by SEIKO7A38, 6 Jun 2010

The eBay listing (item # 320540992889) has long since dropped off history, but the title and description were as follows:

Seiko Military RAF Gen 1 Chronograph 7A28 *Movement*

Seiko 7A28 Movement

Seiko Military RAF Gen 1 Chronograph 7A28 *Movement* In perfect working condition, the movement came out of a well sealed 7A28 (non military) watch case and can only be described as mint. The case will be supplied along with the caseback. These movements are getting very thin on the ground, it's always handy to have a spare for these mega rare SEIKO RAF Gen 1's especially if they carry on rocketing in value!! and they will... I have security marked the movement for my protection, It is functioning 100%. Bid in confidence.

Although my photos have also disappeared into the ether, I remember the movement was still fitted with the gold 702L dial from a 7A28-7029 - indeed the seller's description states that the movement would come supplied in it's watch case - so a 'head only'.

July 5, 2015 at 1:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 12495

It's been a long time since I've seen a 7Axx mis-represented as 'SAAF'. This one isn't on eBay either, but on OLX in the Philippines.

Listed 10 days ago, it sort of looks the part - suitably battered with badly discoloured lume (probably also caused by a battery leak).

Vintage Seiko 7A28 SAAF Pilot Chronograph

No suprise that there's no sign of an AFxxxx serial number ever having been engraved on the badly butchered case-back.

Just another tired piece of junk from the Philippines. :roll:

March 12, 2017 at 8:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 12495

Saw this listed on eBay in the States yesterday evening by another misinformed keyword spamming seller - and it got my back up. :mad:

The watch is just a common or garden civilian 7A28-7040 - JDM version (hence the block capital CHRONOGRAPH script  rather than the more usual Chronograph italic dial script). They aren't at all rare - used examples are always plentifully available on Yahoo Japan. (Indeed, a quick check reveals 3 currently listed on there). The standard export version 7A28-7040 (as purchased by the SAAF) is equally common on eBay worldwide (albeit, more usually found as the 7A28-7049 US export version in the States).

And as for: Only Supplied To South African Military - My Arse ! :roll:

This a Rare find! Awesome Vintage Chronograph..everything works great and as you can see from the pictures it's in good shape.

Seiko also supplied the South African Air Force (SAAF) with its 7A28 movement (7A28-7040 / 7A38-7070) between 1985 to 1986.[12,13] It replaced the Swiss automatic chronograph Lemania 5012 which the SAAF procured in

Watch is completely original!

August 22, 2017 at 4:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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