I have now owned my Seiko 7016-5001 chronograph for a couple of months and think it is now time to review it.
The Seiko 7016 chronograph, nicknamed the Monaco due to its shape and slight resemblance to the Heuer chronograph with the same name, is something a bit special and very under rated.
The 7016A calibre was produced from 1971-1978 and came in 2 case designs, a round case and this far more popular rectangular case. looking at the serial number on the caseback I know mine was made in February 1973.
The correct plexi glass is now quite difficult to find so care should be taken to ensure it is in good condition. Mine arrived with a scratch across the plexi, but metal polish and a cloth soon removed it and polished the plexi nicely.
The dial goes a long way to indicate how special the watch is. My dial is light silver grey with applied markers and a single black sub dial at 6 o'clock. the sub dial has 2 hands, an orange one for the chrono minute totaliser and a white one for the hour totaliser. As far as I am aware this is the first chronograph to feature a mono counter, something that Patek, now famous for their mono counter chronographs, didn't introduce until the mid 2000's.
There is also a quick set bi lingual day and date at 3 oclock.
So far what we are looking at is an automatic chronograph with mono counter and day/date made in the early 70's (and only 7 years after Seiko released their first chronograph which was a simple single button 60 second counter). To top it off, what the dial doesn't indicate is that this is also a flyback chronograph.
If anyone knows of another automatic day/date mono countered flyback chronograph of this period I would love to hear about it. Before anyone says 'the Enicar Mantagraph', Seiko supplied both the movement and cases to Enicar so it is essentially the same watch.
One thing the dial does not have is a constant second dial, but neither did the Breitling Chrono-Matic and several other auto chrono's of the same period. personally I think this takes nothing away from the watch and simplifies the dial layout.
There are more revelations when it comes to the movement specifications.
The 7016A calibre is a 17 jewel automatic with a beat rate of 21,600 or 6 beats a second. At 6.4mm high, when released, it was the thinnest auto chrono movement made and remained so until 1987 when Piguet released a movement which was only 5.5mm high. As with all Seiko movements it is made completely in-house, not that that is overly important.
The only negative point about this movement is that it cannot be hand wound although this is quite common with Seiko movements.
The living with and wearing experience is really good. The case sits comfortably on the wrist due to its modest size, rounded edges and hidden crown. my watch came with its original bracelet and a black Di Modell rally strap. both are very comfortable, but I prefer the rally strap which suits the watch very well.