Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph Seiko RAF issued chronograph
The Seiko chronograph was issued by the Royal Air Force from 1984 until 1990 and replaced the mechanical chronographs that were issued to pilots from the 1940s (initially these were supplied by Lemania although later a variety of companies supplied suitable watches). The watch is referred to within military watch circles as a Seiko RAF Gen 1 to denote it from the later Gen 2 watches which were issued after 1990.

Seiko was the first company to develop an analog-quartz chronograph in 1983, prior to this all chronographs were either mechanical or used a digital LCD display. Technically the movement (the 7A28) was a great achievement and they have a reputation for being well made and, with regular servicing, long-lasting timepieces (I wrote a piece about servicing the movement here)

One very nice feature is the 1/10th second dial next to the 3 o'clock marker - this files round at an extraordinary rate, so fast and smooth that it looks unreal!

As with all British military-issued timepieces the watch follows stipulations laid down by the Ministry of Defence, generally this makes for a very legible and sober design. The case of the watch is different from any that Seiko offered to civilian customers - it has a matte sand-blasted finish and the overall impression is of a very nice well balanced watch (I like the size and evenness of the three sub-dials).

The watch is a good size at 38mm and the case, hands and dial are all in very good order - you’d be hard pushed to find a better example. The case back markings show the watch was issued in 1988 (5069 is the issue number /88 means issued in 1988), 6649-99 was the specification for a quartz, pilots or navigator’s chronography wrist watch.

Case diameter (excluding winding crown): 38mm
Case material: stainless steel
strap width: 18mm
time keeping: grade A+