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The Seiko Railway Watch

The Seiko Railway Watch

Japan's railway train conductors use railway watches, even today.


The train conductors are responsible for always keeping a watchful eye on the front of the train. That is why they use Seiko's railway watch, which is bigger than a wristwatch, has easy to see numerals, and can always be set into the same spot.


The time on this railway watch is correctly adjusted by the crew in front of a supervisor.


The watch often falls and gets hit since the driver's seat sways a lot. That is why it is made of hard-to-break acrylic. It would easily crack and shatter if it used glass.


The driver's seat is subjected to a lot of magnetism, so they can't use a radio watch. If a radio watch were to be affected by the magnetism during reception, then it would not be able to receive signals correctly.


Even quartz is weak against strong magnetism, so it is made with stronger anti-magnetic properties than regular watches.



Regular Antimagnetic Watch

Seiko Railway Watch
MAGNETIC RESISTANT 16000A/m = 200 Gauss

Grand Seiko Quartz
SBGX091 SBGX093 40,000 A/m= 500Gauss 

Grand Seiko Automatic
SBGR077 SBGR079 80,000 A/m= 1000Gauss 

Rolex Milgauss
80,000 A/m. = 1000Gauss (This is in a league all of its own, which is pretty impressive.)


 Type Magnetism resistance
(in case of direct
current magnetic field)
Common timepiece Up to 1,600 A/m
(approx. 20 gauss)
The minimum magnetism resistance requirement for a watch. (For reference)
Type 1 antimagnetic watch
(magnetic resistant watch)
Up to 4,800 A/m
(approx. 60 gauss)
A magnetic resistant watch almost always maintains its performance when placed at 5 cm from magnetic field generating devices of everyday life.
Type 2 antimagnetic watch
(super magnetic resistant watch)
Up to 16,000 A/m
(approx. 200 gauss)
A super magnetic resistant watch almost always maintains its performance when placed at 1 cm from magnetic field generating devices of everyday life.




Information source

East Japan Railway Company

Reference URL
Japan Clock & Watch association 


My older brother's Seiko Railway watch

We were celebrating my older brother getting accepted into high school.

My father gave him this Seiko Mechanical railway pocket watch as a gift for getting in.

My father said "The shinkansen bullet trains are always on time thanks to this watch".


My brother didn't look all that happy. It was really weird for high schoolers to be walking around with a pocket watch even 40 years ago.


To this day, there is a spot to put this watch next to the driver's seat on the train.

I remember this whenever I see one.