Seiko h357-516A

Seiko h357-516A

From March 1981 comes this lovely H357 calibre – with case 516A.

There was a lot of work that went into this 7-jewel calibre and Seiko must have loved it, because they put it into more different cases than any watch I’ve ever seen.

Try doing a Google Image search for Seiko H357 — amazing number of styles huh; and it’s the consummate all-in-one watch with everything from dual analog/digital time display, day/date, alarm, time signal and chronograph. While one of the two side buttons switches between modes, it is the crown that does a lot of the heavy lifting, setting not only the analog but also the digital time, alarm and date, and also triggering the alarm/time signal on and off.

One model even featured in a James Bond movie – For Your Eyes Only – the H357-5040, which is proof positive of the high regard the watch was held.

Seiko wasn’t finished with the *57 series after this, though. They then created the H557 (3-jewels) which was mostly the same, other than adding a light.

Finding one of these today isn’t difficult, although many were wrecked by leaking batteries where the acid found its way into the tiny analog section and rusted/damaged the wheels, or toasted the coil.

That said, they do seem to restore quite well if you’re patient. Most of the ones I’ve worked on have arrived non-working and thorough cleaning and effective oiling is about 80% of the work. Another 10% is in repairing one part or other, and then 10% refuse to work properly no matter what you do!

On the plus-side, finding a working one is unlikely to break the bank and it’s a classic look which still attracts attention today.

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