Seiko H127-5000

Seiko H127-5000

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

If that’s the case Seiko should have been very flattered after several of their designs ended up in cloned versions from the factories of Hong Kong in the 1980s.

Their dual-LCD world time watch, the A239, was copied and rebranded as Caravelle, Armitron and Zeon among others albeit with dual melody alarm added (NB Seiko only had one watch with a melody alarm, the A169) and this was another popular knock-off — the H127 which also reappeared as a virtually identical Armitron watch.

It was one of Seiko’s first dabbles into analog/digital watches and, while the future of the analog/digital formats saw more prominence given to the analog section, these early versions saw the analog and digital have almost equal billing — if anything, the digital section was a little larger.

It’s entirely possible the highly popular G757 series of Seiko watches (where the analog portion was also LCD, meaning a moving-parts mechanism wasn’t required) was strongly influenced by this watch. It’s possible Casio’s AE-80 owes a little to this watch too.

Like many similar watches using a small mechanical movement as part of a larger LCD watch, the analog portion is often non-working in these watches. Whether this is somehow voltage-related to the main circuitboard, or some other reason, it makes finding a fully-working one that much better.

Be careful of buying these watches ‘untested’ — it’s often code for ‘the analog doesn’t work’.

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