Seiko 7A28 Collector’s Guide
Seiko 7A28 is a series of watches that introduced the first analogue display quartz chronograph movement to the world. Seiko launched the series in the early 1980s, and the movement went on to appear in many notable watches.
It consists of 42 variations, including models issued to the military and those used in movies. Certain variations of the Seiko 7A28 watches were issued to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the South African Air Force (SAAF). Two models from the 7A28 family were also featured in the 1986 sci-fi flick “Aliens” and another one was used in the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” starring Roger Moore.
WORLD’S FIRST ANALOG DISPLAY QUARTZ CHRONOGRAPH MOVEMENT
The Seiko 7A28 entered the market during the height of the LCD technology of the 1980s. This was the time when watches featured features such as built-in television, calculator, thermometer, translator, and so on. Seiko joined the LCD bandwagon with its Seiko TV Watch, but for the 7A28 family, the Japanese watchmaker sought a different direction.
That direction would place the watchmaker and its Seiko 7A28 movement on history books as the world’s first analog quartz movement. Unlike a digital watch, analog watches use hour and minute hands to tell the time, and for this particular watch family, a quartz crystal works together with a power cell, circuit board, and a small stepping motor to move these hands. In addition to timekeeping, the quartz crystals also indicated the power reserve or battery life of the watch. As the battery ran out of power, the second hand in the 7A28 movement changed to moving at 2 second intervals, thus alerting the wearer.
Seiko banked on this “first” and advertised the 7A28 series as “Watch history being made.” The company marketed the watches to high-end consumers and featured the watch propped against the dashboards of luxury vehicles such as the Porsche 911 and Audi Ur Quattros. The initial “Watch history being made” advertisement.
Seiko, on their own website, have selected from their vast array of successes, the 7A28 analog quartz chronograph as one of their featured milestone achievements.
The 7A28 movement featured 15 jewels, contained no plastic parts, and can be regulated, and repaired, so older models can be kept in service. With this movement, Seiko boasted 10 seconds per month accuracy.
The Seiko 7A28 movement and its parts
Image credits: mwrforum user SteveG (left image), SCWF user ItauAs described “Seiko planned to take on the Swiss at their own game. So rather than a modular, disposable plastic movement, the 7a series had a proper, quasi-decorated 15 jewel metal movement that could be regulated, disassembled and repaired. It even has a very traditional finger damper spring on the centre seconds pinion. Seiko really threw investment, thinking and effort into this one. This explains why, despite often impressive abuse, so many survive. Notice those little rectangular plates over parts of the movement? Each of those protects a tiny stepper motor – one for each of the chronograph functions. And that’s what this watch is all about.”
The movement allowed 3 sub-registers, and although the position of these varied depending on the model, they all operated in the same way.
The sweep second-hand remains stationary at 12 o’clock during normal operation, while the middle subregister dial displays seconds. One pusher allows the chronometer to start. The sweep second hand then ticks off seconds. There is a 5/100th second dial and this moves in 1/20th-second intervals. A third dial counts minutes as the sweep second-hand moves. The other two pusher buttons are for reset and split time on the chronometer.
The technical guide contains much more detail.
The 7A28 movement can be found in Yema N7 watches, branded Shimauchi Ltd. V905(A). Seiko also manufactured 7A38 series movements which were a day/date complication, and 7A48 movements which were a moon phase complication, but these are not explored in this article.
APPEARANCE IN A JAMES BOND “A VIEW TO A KILL”, AND “ALIENS”
Seiko further cemented its place in popular culture when some 7A28 variations appeared in two talked about movies of the decade, “A View to a Kill” and “Aliens.”
The 1985 James Bond film “A View to a Kill” featured a 7A28-7020 model SPR007, one of three Seiko watches included in the movie. The other two were the quartz two-tone analog 6923-8080 model SPD094 and Seiko caliber H558-5000 model SPW001.
Although Agent 007 used all three Seiko Bond watches in “A View to a Kill,” most scenes saw Moore sporting the 7A28-7020 model SPR007, a stainless steel watch that had a white dial and four step motors.
“A View to a Kill” was the 14th installment of the spy movie series and Moore’s last appraisal of the MI6 agent’s role. As a result of this particular stint, the Seiko 7A28-7020 variant is now known among watch collectors and enthusiasts as “James Bond.”
A year after “A View to Kill” hit theaters, 20th Century Fox and Brandywine Productions released the sequel to 1979’s “Alien.” The 1986 sci-fi action horror film directed by James Cameron featured two watches from the Seiko 7A28 family. One variant, the silver and black 7A28-7000, was worn by actress Sigourney Weaver who plays the role of former warrant officer and alien attack survivor Ellen Ripley9. The other, 7A28-6000, can be seen in the film as being worn by actor Lance Henriksen who plays the android named Bishop. As a result, the watches became known as “Ripley” and “Bishop,” respectively, thanks to their time in the limelight. These two watches were chosen for their futuristic design that aligned with Cameron’s vision for the film.
Seiko has been supplying military-grade watches to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for more than three decades, and this relationship started with the 7A28 movement. In the mid-1980s, the watchmaker released its Seiko 7A28-7120 variant with reference number SPR047 and NATO Stock Number (NSN) 6645-99-768-3056 to be used by the ministry’s Royal Air Force (RAF). Gen. 1 RAF-issued Seiko watches were on the wrists of British Air Force pilots and navigators from October 1984 until November 1990. The 7A28 movement was replaced by the Seiko 7T27 caliber in 1993.
Other than the MoD, 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 1980.
Seiko started production of its caliber 7A28 in 1980 and went on to release watches with this movement to the consumer market as well as supplied them to the military. It is believed Seiko supplied a total of 11,307 pieces of the 7A28 watches to the RAF, while it provided the SAAF with 850 Seiko 7A28 units.
The company produced the 7A28 for roughly a decade or so before the series was phased out in the 1990s. Production run finally ended around 1992. Seiko replaced the 7A28 movement with the less expensive 7T12 movement.
LIMITED EDITION RE-ISSUES
Seiko did not launch any limited editions for the 7A28 series. However, it released re-issues of the “Aliens” watches, the 7A28-6000 Bishop and the 7A28-7000 Ripley, as limited editions in recent years thanks to their burgeoning popularity and collectibility. The limited-edition watches were available to the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) only.
In 2013, the company introduced the Seiko X Giugiaro Spirit Smart Watch series to commemorate the 30-year partnership between the Japanese watchmaker and the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The series is based on the 7A28-6000 Bishop but features the newer 7T12 quartz movement. Design-wise, it stayed mostly true the iconic black-and-red original version (SCED003), with minor changes and more color options (SCED005, SCED007, SCED001, SCED011, and SCED009).
After a couple of years, Seiko followed up the resurgence of the “Aliens” watches with another limited edition, this time based on the 7A28-7000 Ripley. The new Seiko X Giugiaro Design watches, which came in grey (SCED035) and black (SCED037) color variants, looked similar to the original but without the crown and extra button on the left side. Like the re-issued Seiko Bishop 7A28-6000, the SCED035 and SCED037 were both run by the Seiko 7T12 quartz movement.[9,14,15]
SEIKO 7A28 SPEEDMASTER BY GIUGIARO
The Seiko 7A28 marked the company’s first collaboration with independent industrial designers, the first of which was Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Italian is famous for designing cars, although his portfolio includes other products like motorcycles, cameras, computer prototypes, guns, and even a pasta shape called “Marille.” He worked with the likes of Alfa Romero, Audi, BMW, Bugatti, Volkswagen, and Nikon, among others. In 1999 he was nominated the Car Designer of the Century.[15,17]
Giugiaro’s work with Seiko started with the Speedmaster series of 1983. The series includes a number of watches using the 7A28 movement, including 7A28-5000 ref. SBBJ001, 7A28-500A ref. SBBJ003, 7A28-7A00 ref. SBBJ005 and SBBJ007, 7A28-6000 ref. SSAY048, 7A28-7000 ref. SSAY058, and 7A28-7001 ref. SSAY068.
The collection targeted young motorcyclists and motorists so the design was based on ergonomics. This meant Giugiaro had to ensure the watches were highly functional and enhanced user experience but at the same time embodied what futuristic design looked like back in the 1980s.
These unique features include, for instance, an adjustable strap that allowed the watch to be fitted on bicycle handlebars or steering wheel spokes. In this way, the watch became a professional instrument to measure speed or distance. Casing offsets and an angled face provided users a hassle-free and convenient timepiece, one that did not get tangled with shirts or jacket cuffs and one that could be read without turning the wrist. The designs incorporated large pushers so that they could be operated easily while wearing gloves.
Overall, the watches in the Seiko Speedmaster series featured some very interesting style features described as very “European,” “modern,” “frightening” but at the same time “exciting”. Their characteristic asymmetrical shapes and tilted dials proved to be a challenge for Seiko which managed to pull it off despite technological limitations at the time.
“We have to say that the first venture with Giugiaro was a shock. I really don’t think that we would ever get something like that from an in-house designer,” said Products Division senior manager Yoshio Hirabayashi regarding the designer’s first sketch. “This really provided a stimulus to our designers and developers. It set them thinking, ‘Now we’re really going to have to develop a very special mechanism for this. In that sense, we reaped some extremely rich benefits.”
Seiko’s initial expectation when it tapped Giugiaro was to have a new design for its Speedmaster series. However, it got more than that. John Goodall in his “A Journey In Time: The Remarkable Story of Seiko” says the company not only received a watch with unique styling but also a design that other watch manufacturers weren’t able to copy or match. As a result, Giugiaro designed Seiko watches become in demand and a collector’s item.
The collaboration was so successful that the two partnered once more to release the Macchina Sportiva collection of 1996. This series was inspired by motorsports and also proved successful.
Seiko released a total of more than 40 variations of watch with the 7A28 movement, with more than 100 reference numbers.
The Seiko Oceania database provides a useful list of cross-references, including the part numbers for the original bracelets.
The watches can be broadly categorized based on their design: Classic, Giugiaro, and the Sports 100 collection.
In this article the watches will be listed numerically, starting with the Giugario 7A28 – 5000 series, but first there is a theme which runs throughout the series of models, as explained below using the wording on the dial of the outwardly similar 7A28-7100 and 7A28-703A models.
The 7A28 series of watches have many different dials, and these will be catalogued in the article below. However, the two “Pepsi” models above illustrate a common thread throughout all the models. The 7A28-7100 above is a JDM model, and all JDM models of the series feature “SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH QUARTZ” on the dial. The export 7A28-703A model above by comparison has “SEIKO QUARTZ Chronograph” on the dial. Some of these “SEIKO QUARTZ Chronograph” models are also labelled “SPORTS 100”. In addition to the cursive Chronograph the export model generally has MIN. on the chronograph minute sub-register and 1/10s on the 1/20 second sub-register.
The JDM model clasps are generally marked “SPEEDMASTER” with a helmet logo, and the export models “SEIKO” with the SQ logo.
Worn and Wound has a good description of the operation of the 7A28:
Press the button at 2 o’clock and the chrono starts. Instead of a blizzard of flickering digits, the centre seconds ticks off the seconds one at a time while the 1/10ths dial zips round. In fact, it’s moving at 1/20th second intervals. The minutes total up over at the 9 o’clock subdial and there’s a running seconds at 6 o’clock.
Today, that’s all pretty unremarkable. But back in the early 1980s, when most watches had little grey, digital screens, this was serious stuff. And it got better. Hit the button at 10 o’clock and the chrono keeps running, but the hands stop. So not only do you have a chrono, you have a split timer.
If you enjoy fiddling, you’ll discover something else about the 7A series… if you push and hold the 4 o’clock pusher, the two chrono subdials and centre seconds whizz round and reset themselves. And all this for around $250 back in the early ‘80s – that’s a blinding amount of watch technology for a mere $650 in today’s money.
SEIKO 7A28 WATCHES BY GIUGIARO
A photographic compilation of 4 Giugario watches is shown below with others from the 7A28 series. The six models were the 5000 (and 500A), 6000 and 7000 (and 7A00 and 7001) series. However, all 7A28 models are discussed numerically in this article below, starting with the 7A28-5000 series.
The “Steering Wheel”
This model in the Speedmaster series featured an integrated strap which allowed the watch to be positioned on the handlebar of a bike.
The black model was the 7A28-5000 (SBBJ001) and the dark green variation the 7A28 – 500A (SBBJ003).
Model numbers SBBJ001 and SBBJ003 referenced in the advertisement above. Listed price 50,000 yen.
The Seiko 7A28-5000 is an easily identifiable watch, thanks to its distinct steering wheel-shaped casing. It is this shape that earned it the nickname “Steering Wheel” in collectors circles. The casing and the links in its rubber bracelet were in black chrome (PVD).
The black dial features “SEIKO” in white and “CHRONOGRAPH” in red at the 9 o’clock mark. Hour and minute markers are big and small dots, respectively. The hour, minute and sub-dial hands are white, while the chronometer second hand is red.
The watch features three sub-dials at the 12, 3, and 6 o’clock positions, but in other models this “vertical” arrangement becomes a more normal “horizontal” layout.
Press the button at 11 o’clock and the chronometer starts and stops. Reset is at 2 o’clock. The centre second hand ticks off seconds, while in normal operation the second hand is the subregister at 3 o’clock. The 5/100th second dial is at 12 o’clock and this moves in 1/20th-second intervals. The 3 o’clock dial shows seconds during normal operation, and the 6 o’clock dial counts minutes as the center second hand completes a rotation. The chronometer function is by the upper left corner button, and the split function is at 7 o’clock.
This watch is part of Seiko Speedmaster collection designed by Giugiaro. The 7A28-5000 can be identified through two reference numbers: SBBJ001 and SBBJ0011.
Below is a model on a replacement Seiko strap, and collectors should try and obtain models with the original strap as this makes them more authentic. The original clasp has no inscription.
The watch is quite bulky to wear sitting high off the wrist.
The Speedmaster case back features 10 bar water-resistant protection and has the corresponding 2 wave insignia. The model number 7A28-5000 is engraved on the case back and is more commonly referred to than the series number SBBJ001. The Case back reads: ST. STEEL + PLASTICS + BASE METAL ST. STEEL BACK.
The Seiko 7A28-500A is essentially the 7A28-5000 but in a dark green color for the dial and strap or bracelet. The word “CHRONOGRAPH,” indicators and hands are all in yellow. The variant can be identified through reference numbers SBBJ003 and SBBJ0031.
SSAY048, SSAY0481 SSAY038, SSAY0381
SPR039, SPR039J0, SPR039J1, SPR039J8, SPR039J9
The 7A28 – 6000 features in the advertisement, below right, and the design feature is a casing offset to the right to enable easy access to the pushers on the right. Another benefit of the offset casing in relation to the strap to ensure it does not interfere with shirt or jacket cuffs.
The other striking feature is the cockpit-style of the design, with the 3 sub-registers sitting in a motoring style cockpit, now with a more conventional “horizontal” style. This model is the JDM model with “SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH QUARTZ” on the dial.
In the above advertisement SSAY048 is listed as the model number, and the advertised price 50,000 yen.
This is the JDM model and features the crown and a pusher on the left and 2 pushers on the right (while the 2013 reissued model SCED series only features a crown and 2 buttons on the right), and a bidirectional rotating bezel.
The JDM model is marked BCRP or black chrome plating (PVD) and featured a clasp with a helmet and Speedmaster inscription.
No Sports 100 inscription on the JDM model.
This is the export model with “SEIKO QUARTZ Chronograph SPORTS 100” on the dial. The Speedmaster Sports 100 series as Seiko named them, were a huge boost for the imago of Seiko. The clasp featured Seiko and the SQ logo.
Case back reads “WATER RESIST” and “BCRP ST. STEEL BACK”. BCRP is Black Chromium Plating, and it is very easily scratched.
The sports 100 model is SSAY048, SSAY0481
SPR049J, SPR049J1, SPR049J8, SPR049J9
The case back differs from the prior model and reads “WATER RESISTANT 10 BAR” and “BASE METAL ST. STEEL BACK”, making no mention of the BCRP coating.
GIUGIARO LIMITED EDITION RE-RELEASE MODELS
For the 30th anniversary of the Giugiaro collaboration in 2013 Seiko re-released the Bishop watch like the Seiko Spirit SCEDXXX in 6 colour combinations. The new versions have two pushers and one crown, all on the right. They used the 7T12 movement which did not allow a split time pusher on the chronograph.
There were 500 models of each of the 4 models on the left and only 200 of the 2 models on the right, sold in TIC TAC stores.[9,10,14,15]
The 7A28 – 60×0 series of watches is the classic chronometer collection and all models are round cased classic watches with knurled bezels. One style uses propeller hands and the other thin baton hands with a central stripe. These are not Giugiaro collection watches.
Seiko 7A28-6010, with reference nos. SCAY980 and SCAY9801, features a round case, an outer dial for chronograph elapsed seconds, and a silver dial with the “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” displayed at the 12 o’clock mark. It also has three sub dials at the “horizontal” 3, 6, 9 o’clock positions and uses compressed Roman numeral hour indicators. The sweep second hand has a ring on the reverse end, and the chronometer bezel has faint red second markings. The model came with a leather band.
The watch came with an ostrich style leather band and cost 40,000 yen when new.
The Seiko 7A28-6020 can be identified through reference nos. SCAY990 and SCAY9901. On the dial are the markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” and three sub dials at the “horizontal” 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. It has a Breguet-style numbered white dial. It also features a classic style outer bezel chronometer elapsed time index. It has the same leather strap as the 7A28-6010.
SPR042J0, SPR042J1, SPR042J4, SPR042J8, SPR042J9
This is a classic gold model with thin pencil fluted hands. Thin index markers are used to indicate the hours, rather than numerals.
The strap above is an ill fitting replacement for the original strap.
This is a black PVD coating version of the 7A28-6030, with red chronometer related hands, (second, and subdials 1/10s, and minutes).
SPR046J0, SPR046J1, SPR046J4, SPR046J8, SPR046J9
SBBJ005, SBBJ0051, SBBJ007, SBBJ0071
This is another Giugario designed watch, with a cockpit style for the sub-registers. The dial is rotated slightly to make it readable with the wearers hands resting on the handlebars of a bike, with distinctive white watch hands, and the strap is unmarked. A small step runs from the watch case across the first 3 links of the strap.
Like other Giugiaro-designed watches, the Seiko 7A28-7A00 sports a unique look. It comes with an offset dial with red or yellow ring surrounding the crystal and plastic buttons or Chrono pushers and a titanium case resin bracelet. On the gray dial rests three sub dials located at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. Hours and minutes are indicated by red markers and white hands. “SEIKO” and “CHRONOGRAPH” can be seen at the 12 o’clock position.
The 7A28-7A00 can be identified through reference numbers SBBJ005, and SBBJ0051, (both the red models) and SBBJ007, and SBBJ0071 (both the yellow models).[1,18]
Detail of the yellow model SBBJ007.
SPR019J0, SPR019J1, SPR019J8, SPR019J9
SSAY058, SSAY0581, SSAY068, SSAY0681
The Seiko Giugiaro 7A28-7000 series watch is probably the most famous of all Seiko Giugiaro watches not only because of its unique design but also because James Cameron (or someone on the crew of Aliens) decided that it should be on the wrist of the main protagonist Ellen Ripley, played by actress Sigourney Weaver.[9,10,14,15]
In this design, the vertical stopwatch pushers are located inside the asymmetrical case extension and this is the feature that makes this watch totally unique. In reality, the pushers have turned out to fatigue and become brittle, and good models are hard to come by.
The design is fantastic, and Seiko, along with Giugiaro, did an excellent job of fully encapsulating the futuristic theme of the era that was industrial, blocky, and verging on dystopian. It feels like an evolution in ergonomics and functionality meant for a stylized industrial environment versus anything else. The design was probably closely connected to the idea in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the then-popular science fiction that many people believed the future meant living on massive spacecraft or space stations far away from earth, and that most people’s jobs would be in maintaining or running such engineering feats.
Weaver’s Ripley character lives in just such a fantasy science fiction world with the added military component, so this watch gets a macho as well as utilitarian side to its personality.
The watch has orange hour and minute hands with a central red stripe, a yellow chronometer second hand and white hands on the sub-registers. JDM Speedmaster clasp with helmet.
SPR019J0, SPR019J1, SPR019J8, SPR019J9
The original Seiko 7A28-7000 watch went by a few names in addition to its reference number. On the watch is written “Speedmaster,” which perhaps today Omega would have an issue with. Sometimes, the watch was also labelled and known as the Seiko Chronograph Sport 100, as explained below. The caseback has a small waves logo which looks like Seiko dive watch logo, even though the Seiko 7A28-7000 was clearly not a diver. On the wrist, the matte light gray aluminum and steel case is cool-looking but, of course, highly avant-garde. It feels large for a period timepiece but isn’t too large at all by today’s standards. Of course, you have the unique “up-down” chronograph pusher and an additional pusher, as well as the crown for the watch on its left-side.
The Speedmaster Sports 100 series as Seiko named them, was a huge boost for the image of Seiko. They managed to combine the traditional appeal of the analogue watch with the dynamism of the digital-era counterpart. Giugiaro’s aesthetic and design sensibilities were particularly well suited to mass and popular culture. They were designs highly functional, unusual and groundbreaking and that reflected the 1980’s era, however, they are still classically futuristic even after 33 years.
The 7A28-7000 series had an unparalleled configuration of function buttons (start/reset/stop) which were always accessible despite the angle of the watch in relation to the wrist and easily operated even when wearing motorcycle gloves.
The only similarly styled watch was designed by Roger Tallon in 1974 (Mach 2000 by Lip).
SPR031J, SPR031J1, SPR031J8, SPR031J9
Sports 100 model of 7A28-7000. Markings on the dial include “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” cursive “Chronograph” and “SPORTS 100.”
Apart from the dial markings, and the higher water resistance, although who would take this watch diving, the main difference with the earlier model was the embossing of Seiko and the Seiko Quartz (SQ) logo on the clasp.
SPR031J, SPR031J1, SPR031J8, SPR031J9
Seiko 7A28-7009 is another Sports 100 watch, similar to the JDM version above, but with red pushers. Its futuristic design is reminiscent of the popular “Aliens” watches. It features orange hands, stick hour indicators, and sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. Markings on the dial include “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” cursive “Chronograph” and “SPORTS 100.”
In 2014 and 2015 5 replica Giugiaro models based on the 7T12 movement were released, made in limited numbers of 300014. Shown below is the SCED035. The other models are the SCED037, SCED039, SCED041 and SCED043.
The cockpit theme was still used in advertising.
From the 1983 Seiko Catalogue
The original advertisement for Seiko Speedmaster 7A28 – 701A and 7A28 – 7010 models, 7A28 – 701A black dial and 7A28 – 7010 white dial. The watches in this series are considered by many to look like the classic Omega Speedmaster, and indeed the clasp is stamped Speedmaster. The dial reads SEIKO CHRONOGRAPH QUARTZ. The 7A28 – 7010 on an original bracelet is shown below. This model has thin sword hour and minute hands,and a pillowcase shaped case, with a blasted stainless steel case surface, but not the edges of the case.
It had the Speedmaster clasp with helmet logo.
The 7A28-7010 white faced model is shown below. This has been referred to by some as 7A28-701L as this is written on the dial.
The original price for this model was 30,000 yen. Again, this used the Speedmaster clasp with helmet logo.
SPR007, SPR009, SPR010
The next model in the series was the 702x series, and as for the 701x series, the black dial is 702A and the white dial 7020. Seiko 7A28-702A came with reference no. SPR009. It is a stainless steel round-cased, black-dialed variant of the 701x model with lugs. The most significant dial changes are the word Chronograph in cursive text, and the use of applied stick indexes. The markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph”are located at the 12 o’clock position, while three sub-registers lie in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. The minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s. It also includes an outer flange tachymeter. The clasp is embossed Seiko and has the SQ logo.
7A28-7020 JAMES BOND
The Seiko 7A28-7020 with reference no. SPR007 is the famous James Bond watch8from “A View to a Kill.” It’s a stainless steel, white dial variant with stick markers and three sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. The minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s. Meanwhile, at the at 12 o’clock position, “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” markings are displayed.
The other Seiko 7A28-7020 variant is reference no. SPR010 which comes in dual tones and a dark-colored (but not black) dial. It features gold-plated details in its bracelet, stick index markers, and hands. Like the SPR007, it also includes three sub dials and markings at the same positions. The minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s. Both feature an outer flange tachymeter. A French advertisement for this watch is shown below.
The 7A28 – 7020 is shown on the right, and the 7A28 – 7040 on the left.
In an 1983 advertisement, Seiko introduced the 7A28-7029 as “Watch history being made.”
The variant with ref. nos. SPR014J0, SPR014J1, SPR014J8, and SPR014J9 features an all-gold theme from the dial to the bracelet and pushers. Aside from that, it comes with the typical attributes of this series: three sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 positions; markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” at the 12 o’clock mark; stick hour indicators; the minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s., and an outer flange tachymeter.
SPR001, SPR001J0, SPR001J1, SPR001J8, SPR001J9
The Seiko 703x series of watches have a more angular pillowcase style case and an outer bezel.
The Seiko 7A28-703A, can be easily distinguished by its dark blue and red tachymeter bezel which earned it the nickname “Pepsi.” The movement is housed in a stainless steel water-resistant case. This variant sports a blue dial on which is written “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” at the 12 o’clock mark. Hours are indicated by broad stick markers and three sub dials appear on the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The chronometer hands, the second hand and sub-registers can be either red or yellow. The minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s.
This has the original strap with Seiko and the SQ logo on the clasp
See also the JDM version 7A28 – 7100 later in the article.
Seiko marketed the 7A28-703B with reference no. SPR005 as “The world’s first Analogue Quartz Chronograph.” The watch is featured on the dashboard of a Porsche 911 in the advertisement above.
The variant features a black tachymeter bezel. A matching black dial includes three sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions with the markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” displayed at 12 o’clock. The minute sub-register is labelled MIN. and the 1/20th second sub-register is labelled 1/10s. The countdown 10 minutes on the bezel feature a more yellow colour on a black bezel, whereas on the 7A28-703A model they are shown against a red background.
Here is the model shown with a contemporary 1983 National Geographic advertisement.
Colonel William Pogue wore a Seiko 6139 – 6002 on his Skylab 4 mission on 16 November 1973. This watch is similar to that watch, hence its nickname.
7A28-7030 a Gold dialled version of 7A28 – 703A. It has a black second hand on the middle sub-register.
This panda dialled Seiko 7A28-7039 looks very similar to 7A28-703B (SPR005). The 9 designation means it was for the American market. It sports the same silver/gray and black color theme. It features a black dial with a matching black tachymeter bezel and silver/gray strap and sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. On the dial appear the markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph” at the 12 o’clock mark. The variant is identified through ref. nos. SPR015J, SPR015J1, SPR015J8, and SPR015J9.
This watch has a clasp marked Seiko with the SQ logo, and the caseback does not feature the Seiko tsunami wave.
SPR013, SSAY028, SSAY0281.
One of the most commonly seen JDM 7A28’s on Yahoo Japan is the 7A28-7040 Diver. They differ from the ‘normal’ export version in lacking ‘SPORTS 100’ on their dials and having CHRONOGRAPH printed above QUARTZ – as opposed to Chronograph beneath it.
They also have the Speedmaster and the helmet logo stamped on the bracelet clasp, instead of SEIKO SQ (the bracelet has a different AA number).
The JDM Version below is missing MIN on the 9 o’clock subdial and 1/10s on the 3 o’clock subdial.
The Seiko 7A28-7040 was one of the movements supplied to the South African Air Force (SAAF). Between 1985 and 1986, 850 of these were procured by the SAAF, and were engraved AFxxxxx. A poster featuring the watch is shown below.
The model was the Sports 100 version. It can be identified through reference nos. SPR013, SSAY028, and SSAY0281.
SPR017J, SPR017J1, SPR017J8, SPR017J9
The Seiko 7A28-7049 is a 7A28-7040 lookalike that belongs to the Sports 100 collection. This is indicated by the “Sports 100” mark on the dial below the cursive “Chronograph”. The 9 designation means it was for the American market.
The watch can rotate 360 degrees on bracelet. Speedmaster bracelet with helmet. Not a Guigiaro design.
Very rare watch with titanium and stainless strap.
SPR035J, SPR035J1, SPR035J7, SPR035J8, SPR035J9
Black PVD and gold accents on titanium.
Seiko 7A28-7070 with ref. no. SPR029 is part of the Sports 100 collection. As such, it displays “SPORTS 100” in its black dial below “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” and a cursive “Chronograph”. Three sub dials are at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock marks. Time is indicated through stick markers. It also features an outer flange tachymeter.
A pillowcase model very similar to the 7A28 – 701A model but indexes inside a chapter ring with a squarer case at the lugs, and as a Sports 100 model, with a Seiko QS clasp. The chronometer subdials are marked MIN. and 1/10s.
Seiko 7A28-707A with ref. no. SPR027 is an all silver/gray entry to the Sports 100 collection. It features an outer flange tachymeter, stick hour indicators, three sub dials, and the markings “SEIKO,” “QUARTZ,” a cursive “Chronograph”, and “SPORTS 100.”
Similar to the 7A28 – 7010 model, without a contrasting chapter ring, and a case as in the 7070 model above. Sports 100 model, with a Seiko QS clasp. The chronometer subdials are marked MIN. and 1/10s.
SPR023, SPR023J0, SPR023J1, SPR023J8, and SPR023J9
Another Sports 100 timepiece, the Seiko 7A28-7080 uses titanium and an integrated bracelet with unique horizontal design. The black dial is features the markings “SEIKO” in gold, “QUARTZ,” cursive “Chronograph”, “TITANIUM” in gold, and “SPORTS 100” below 12 o’clock. The stick hour indicators and the hour and minute hands are white while the second hand is yellow. Three sub dials located at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The 7A28-7080 also features an outer flange tachymeter. 
Similar to the PVD titanium 7A28-7060 and 7A28-7069.
The Yacht Timer has more of a Bull head look with two pusher buttons at 2 and 10 o’clock. The elapsed minutes on the chronograph are shown in 5 minute marine coloured blocks.
SSAY091, SSAY0911, SSAY080, SSAY0801, SSAY08P, SSAY08P1
JDM version of the 7A28-703A, not Sports 100, with panda dials, and comes with Speedmaster and helmet clasp on the band. Different from the 7A28-703A in that this dial does not read SEIKO QUARTZ Chronograph, and the subdials at 9 and 3 do not have MIN and 1/10s written on them as the 7A28-703A model does.
7A28-7120 GEN. 1 RAF
SPR047J, SPR047J0, SPR047J1
In the mid-1980s, the watchmaker released its Seiko 7A28-7120 variant with reference number SPR047 and NATO Stock Number (NSN) 6645-99-768-3056 to be used by the ministry’s Royal Air Force (RAF).
The MoD bought and issued a total of 11,307 Gen 1’s, which makes it one of the most popular issued military chronographs to date.
It has a matte, blasted finish, an integrated, unmarked bezel, and fixed strap bars. The dial features a “circle P” to indicate that the Lume is Promethium 147.
The correct strap is shown below.
Seiko 7A28-7130 can be identified by reference nos. SCAY018 and SCAY0181, both of which feature a black dial and BCRP case.
“SEIKO” and “QUARTZ” can be seen on the dial at the 12 o’clock mark. The 7A28-7130 also sports three sub dials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The time can be read through gold stick hour indicators and matching gold hands.
Similar to the 6030, but without the knurled ring and the inner bezel.
7A28-7140 BRIDGESTONE MOTORSPORT
A special edition model for Bridgestone, built using the Yatchtimer casing (7A28-7090) with Bull head style pushers, but in black chrome BCRP. A rare model as only 240 were produced. The seconds sub-register is white, while the chronometer functions, the center sweep, and the elapsed 1/20s and minute sub-registers are red.
Rare model with yellow elapsed 1/20s and minute sub-registers, with red hands.
The 7A28-7160 is thought to have been issued in 1988 to commemorate Honda engine’s return to F1 auto racing. The dial has a corrugated chapter ring to indicate elapsed seconds from 0 to 15, and the seconds register is white faced, while the elapsed 1/20s and minute sub-registers are black.
This model is thought to be part of a limited edition commemorating the 10th anniversary of Honda’s return to F1 as an engine supplier. Issued in 1992 the case backs date to 1988. The dial has Honda and the Honda logo on a light coloured background, with 1992 on the grey part of the cockpit style dial. All the sub-registers are white, while elapsed 1/20s and minute sub-registers have red hands, together with the sweep second hand.
This September 1988 model is a limited edition piece no. 203 and with the 10th Anniversary case engraving, Marked A728-7170.
Any mint or original condition 7A28 model which has a style which you like, would be best. Check to see that there are no signs of corrosion from leaking batteries if the watch has been sitting around. Also check that the chronometer elements are working and that the sweep second hand is not sticking.
Any of the three models featured in the movies add a point of difference. The 7A28-7000 worn by Ellen Ripley and the 7A28-6000 worn by the android Bishop in “Alien” are Giudiaro watches and have early 80’s style. The 7A28-7020 in the James Bond movie “A View to Kill” is more classical in style, and much more of a watch to be worn every day.
The Gen 1 RAF model 7A28-7120 commands high prices trending to $1000 for an excellent model, and is considered by many to be the grail watch. To find one on the original leather strap would be the goal for many collectors. But, on a grey NATO strap it will please most people. The SAAF model 7A28-7040 is much more rare for military enthusiasts.
From The Spring Bar Store:
1 quadsoftware, Seiko 7A28 Movement models
2 John F., HighTechies, The Seiko TV Watch, blog post Jun 2014
3 hammerandgem, An Overview of Watches: Quartz (Analog & Digital) & Mechanical (Automatic & Hand-Winding), blog post
4 jamesbondwatchesblog, Seiko Quartz 7A28 Instruction Manual, scanned manual
5 M. McArthur-Christie, Seiko 7A28 PT 2: The Quiet Beauty, blog post, Feb 2014
6 Seiko website, Seiko Quartz Cal. 7A28A Parts Catalogue, online catalogue
7 Seiko forum, Seiko 7A38 – by the numbers, forum
8 Dell Deaton, James Bond Watches Blog, “Secret History: The Seiko Watches of 007”, Revolution, part 6 of 6, blog post
9 Ariel Adams, A Blog to Watch, Seiko Giugiaro, ‘Aliens Ripley’ Watch Hands-On New Limited Edition Reissue, blog post, November 2015
10 S. Foskett, Grail Watch, Seiko SCED: A Modern Reissue of the 1980’s “Aliens” Chronographs, blog post, December 2015
11 Ned Frederick, Earthlink, Seiko Chronographs Issued via Ministry of Defence – UK, online article
12 R. Basson, Rbasson, Seiko 7A28/38 & 7T42
13 Seiko 7A38 – by the numbers, SAAF Chrono’s 7A28-7040 & 7a38-7070, forum thread, April 2013
14 Seiko Japan, Seiko X Giugiaro, website catalogue
15 I. Giannopoulos, monochrome watches, Giugiaro’s Legacy: A Watch And A Car – A Different Perspective On the Reissue Of an Iconic Quartz Chronograph by Seiko, online article Jan 2016
16 Wikipedia, Giorgetto Giugiaro
17 Seiko Watch Corp, A Journey in Time: The Remarkable Story of Seiko, e-book 2003
18 my.reset.jp, Seiko Sports Giugiaro Collection Catalogue, online catalogue
19 Seiko Au, Seiko Service Website
20 Itau, thewatchsite.com, Seiko 7A28-7080 Titanium, forum post March 2015
21 thewatchsite.com, 7A28-7039…The most beautiful Seiko EVER………., forum thread January 2012
22 thewatchforum.co.uk, Thoughts On My 7A28-703A, forum thread September 2011