If you ever wondered how a watch company could celebrate the biggest international sport event in the world, take a look at Seiko World time from 1964. This piece has been created for the olympics in Tokyo and by design allows the wearer to calculate time around the world. It features one additional hour hand and a rotating bezel with all 24 time zones. The two photos below show the original Seiko World Time 6217-7000 with a beautifully engraved Olympic flame and you can find more information about their history and their owners here.
The model I own is a later one from October of 1968 (model reference 6117-6010). The design has been modified a bit and it no longer features a case back with an Olympic flame on it. However, it has some significance in the horology world because of its “error bezel”.
If you take a look at the Seiko World Time bezel, you will see names of cities from each time zone. It starts with GMT (London) and ends with Iceland. The “Error bezel” is a bit different and it includes a British Standard Time experiment that took place from February 1968 to November 1971. As a result of this experiment, the UK has been moved to the timezone that the rest of the Europe is on. And of course, all World Time Seiko watches from this period include this experiment.
The watch itself is very comfortable to wear and despite lots of information, the watch face doesn’t look too busy. The GMT function is useful ( during normal times when we are allowed to travel) but you have to learn how to use it. The watch face and the bezel are quite small so it might be quite challenging for some people to read the time in other timezones.