LCD watches hit their stride in the 1980s with features and functions being extended and improved, but sometimes it’s the earliest models that show the style and craftsmanship that traditional analogue watchmakers put into this new technology.
Seiko’s 0139 is one of these. Released in 1976 the 0139 added dual time to the standard offering of time and date.
It has a single button at one o’clock and a multi-functional crown and that’s it.
The button toggles between ‘normal’ time and dual (or Zone II) time while the crown switches between seconds and date in the top row. To set the time, the crown is pulled out, just like an analogue watch, then moved clockwise to select and anti-clockwise to set.
Normal time is a 12-hour clock, with AM/PM markers, and Zone II time is a 24-hour clock.
Pushing the crown in triggers the light.
Interestingly, none of these functions are printed on the bezel which is typical of the early Seikos, but while the functions aren’t totally intuitive, they aren’t hard to work out and, of course, it came with a manual to explain it.
It’s a solid watch, feels great on, and has a large viewing area. The crystal has no printing on it, the words Seiko and Quartz LC are printed on the bezel beneath it.