Seiko 7A28

The Seiko 7A28 is an iconic watch because it represents the first quartz powered analog chronograph ever produced. The 7A28 was introduced in 1983 and can be found in 42 different variations of which some were produced for the army (South African Air Force and UK's MoD).

In the 1980s, the Swiss industry was suffering from the quartz crisis. On the other hand Seiko was being very successful during that period and raised the bar very high by issuing this model. The 7A28 movement is not like today's cheap modular and plastic quartz movement, it is a well-engineered, good looking 15 jewel metal caliber that was built to be serviced like a normal mechanical movement.

  • Ref: Seiko 7A28-7120, 7A28-7020
  • Diameter: 37.00 mm
  • Thickness: 10.20 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Quartz 7A28

The Seiko 7A28-7020 (top) was featured in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” whereas the 7A28-7120 was issued to RAF crew (bottom left). The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a similar look to the Omega Speedmaster. Search these watches on eBay.
The Seiko 7A28-7020 (top) was featured in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” whereas the 7A28-7120 was issued to RAF crew (bottom left). The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a similar look to the Omega Speedmaster. Search these watches on eBay.

The stepper motors used for the chronograph functions of the 7A28 are carefully protected by individual metallic plates.

As mentioned earlier, the Seiko 7A28-7120 was issued to the UK's MoD in 1984 to equip their RAF/RN aircrew. The first contract saw 11,000 timepieces issued. This watch is a holy grail for watch Seiko watch collectors as it's getting quite rare, and therefore commands high prices in the $1000 range.

The 7A28 was also featured in a few movies:

  • In the movie Aliens (this chronograph is often called “the Ripley” because it was worn by the character Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver).
  • It was worn by Roger Moore in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” (ref 7A28-7020).

  • Ref: Seiko 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-6000 “Bishop”, 7A28-7000 “Ripley”, 7A28-7049
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 10.00 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Quartz 7A28

The 7A28-7000 “Ripley” (top) was featured in the Aliens movie. The 7A28-7049 (bottom left) had a diving bezel. The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a great classic design with a tachymeter bezel. Search these watches on eBay.
The 7A28-7000 “Ripley” (top) was featured in the Aliens movie. The 7A28-7049 (bottom left) had a diving bezel. The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a great classic design with a tachymeter bezel. Search these watches on eBay.

The chronograph starts when pressing the 2 o'clock button. The center seconds hand has a one-second tick, whereas the dial at 3 o'clock displays the 1/20ths of a second. The elapsed minutes are indicated at 9 o'clock and a running second can be observed at 6 o'clock. If you press the pusher at 10 o'clock after having started the chrono, the hands will stop moving, but the chronograph will keep running, which is a nice split timing feature! You can reset the chrono by holding the 4 o'clock button.

Seiko heavily advertised the 7A28 Quartz chronograph. At the top, from left to right, you can see vintage advertisement for the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-7049 and 7A28-6000 “Bishop”. There were also variations with a moonphase, as you can see on the bottom left advert. Search these watches on eBay.
Seiko heavily advertised the 7A28 Quartz chronograph. At the top, from left to right, you can see vintage advertisement for the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-7049 and 7A28-6000 “Bishop”. There were also variations with a moonphase, as you can see on the bottom left advert. Search these watches on eBay.

It is also worth noting that the 7A28-6000 “Bishop” and 7A28-7000 “Ripley” were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a famous car designer. He also worked with Seiko on the models 7A28-5000, 7A28-500A, 7A28-7A00 and 7A28-7001.

To some, the Seiko 7A28 can be seen as a modern and affordable alternative to the Omega Speedmaster, the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” is a great candidate for this. Although it has not been to the moon, the 7A28 is an undeniable icon in watch history!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 7A28:
1989 Seiko Gen 1 Military Chronograph RAF Pilots Watch 7A28
  • £645.00 ($838.40)
  • Watchcount94
  • Bids32
  • Score15389
Vintage Seiko 7a28-703B Quartz Chronograph Watch
  • £310.00 ($402.95)
  • Watchcount80
  • Bids16
  • Time left20h 57m 39s
Seiko 7a28 710A Chrongraph Watch
  • $515.00
  • Watchcount81
  • Bids13
  • Score9908
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