All in the Family

Two small 1970s autos back together after decades

I’m changing things up a bit for this post. Most of my collection is of recent military/retro inspired quartz designs, but overall there is an eclectic blend of all sorts of watches that just make me feel good.

In this post I am going to cover a Seiko 7005 I have had since it was new and a Mido Multistar II my dad wore in some phase of his life that I don’t remember seeing until after his death in 2015.

Until recently, I never had them together. Now that I have them side by side I notice they are of the same era and have many similarities. One is European, the other Japanese, but they are both from the time when mechanical watches were about to be replaced for the most part, by quartz watches.

Like everyone, I guess, there are multiple reasons we might keep old things. Our tastes change over time, we adopt trends, we get rid of old things at times, while others we have emotional attachments to so we hang on to them.

Some things are just thrown in a drawer and get lost over time and several house moves. Some things are projects started but never finished. For these two family watches, their stories are related on parallel tracks, but different. Now they sit together, for maybe the first time?

There remain many unknowns about each one, but I am trying to firm up their histories with this post. I am not an expert on Seikos or Midos. I have not done much research on the web. I know just enough about watches in general and these two models to know the approximate years they were produced.

The Seiko 7005-7001R came into my possession around 1971. I vaguely remember the original box and think it was a gift to me either for a birthday or Christmas? I would have been around eleven or twelve years old. It was also a time right after our military family moved from Okinawa, Japan back to the US into a house on McChord AFB, WA. I don’t remember being interested in watches, or asking for this or any particular watch. I don’t think it was my dad’s or my brother’s before I took charge of it.

The watch is well-worn as you can see from the scratches on crystal, case and bracelet. As far as I know, it has never been serviced. I just recently noticed some corrosion on the minute hand. It seems to operate fine, but I have not checked its accuracy. I usually rotate my watches every day or sometimes two or three times a day depending on activity, so I don’t know how much it gains or loses a day.

Why do I still have this watch!? For most of my life, it was in a drawer. I’m not even sure how much I wore it between 1975-2010? Maybe my parents thought a boy should have a “nice” watch at the time. It was an automatic, not a manual wind, anyway. We were a middle class, military family and my parents came from humble backgrounds, so they were not ones to spend on flashy things. The 70’s were a world away from the 2020’s. Things were more affordable, there was actually a real Middle Class! Rampant consumerism and Yuppy spending hadn’t quite kicked in. There were fewer choices.

I seem to remember it being big on my wrist, but back then I wouldn’t have taken out links? Maybe my dad did? I probably wore it off and on up until I was about 18, then I think it was left undisturbed for a decade. From the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s I was not interested in watches and can only remember a digital Casio. Through college and some Army time I can’t remember wearing it? Just the Casio.

Me and dad with the ’67 Impala wagon. About the time I got the watch?

I was introduced to the Mido Multistar II in 2015-15, after may dad passed away. My brother gave me a box of old watches and military memorabilia and asked me if I wanted any of it. Among a bunch of non-working Timex Easy Readers I saw two other watches that looked interesting, One was a 1987 Timex quartz dress watch with a rectangular case with rounded corners that had nice looking Arabic numbers. The other was the Mido. It looked rough. I got it running, but the crystal looked like it had been glued on with epoxy?!

Right away I remember thinking, “that’s my dad”. He was a fixer. He fixed everything-from household repairs to cars, so I could see him somehow having knocked off his crystal and fixing it himself? Maybe moisture got in? I don’t know but it had a not-so-neat bead of some type of glue around the crystal that had now yellowed over time.

I loved the dial and the bracelet. I took the gold Timex and the Mido to my watch guy. The Timex quartz he could not fix, of course, but he gave the Mido a new crystal and a good cleaning and it is humming along.

Once I got them side by side I realized they were similar in many ways. They both have a tonneau shaped case. The Mido about 35mm and the Seiko 35.5. The Seiko is more square and flat top and bottom of case is wider, with sharp corners and edges and a brushed texture on top. The Mido case tapers for a more rectangular overall feel and has rounded features. The Seiko crystal is slightly domed,but seems almost flat while the Mido seems more double domed.

The dials, again, have a similar look, but are different, each in their own 1970s way. They both have baton style hands and rectangular beveled, applied hour markers. Neither has any numbers. The Seiko 7005 is date only. The Multistar offers day and date. The Seiko crown is absolutely tiny. The Mido crown is signed, bigger and much easier to grip. Lug-to-lug length on the 7005 is 43mm. The case design actually has two discernible stubby angular lugs and the bracelet integrates into the top of the case. The Mido is a little shorter at 40mm and its rounded corners kind of hide any lug from the top view. The cutout is below so the bracelet integrates at the bottom of the case.

The 7005 dial is a flat medium blue. The fat beveled hour markers have square cut-outs that reveal the blue of the dial. The date window is outlined with a white line which works well to highlight the date. My favorite part of the dial is the cross-hair reticle.

The dial of the Multistar is a speckled metallic brown. I really like it; not sure if it looked like this new or if it was moisture damaged? It’s hands and hour markers are slimmer and longer than the Seiko’s. They have a white line painted in them that is not lume. The line on the hands has a broken space so that a small white rectangle pops toward the tip. A nice detail that is hard to see due to aging.

Both were probably purchased in a military exchange store. Maybe in the US or in Japan? Again, I don’t know the years they were purchased. Then 7005 could have been purchased in 1971 in Japan right before we came back to the US. The Mido might have been purchased in the mid to late 70s in the US or early 80s overseas when my dad went back to Okinawa. I have seen one listing for a similar Mido that claimed it as a 1976 model.

Both bracelets are sloppy with classic three-fold snap clasps. The 7005’s is a three-piece oyster style link. It seems to have had a very slight brushed finish when new? The Mido link is a four-piece brick style.

The Seiko bracelet is close to 18mm wide while the Mido tapers from 18 to 16mm. I prefer the Mido bracelet. The brick links have a nice look and is a bit tighter of tolerances. I am assuming both are original bracelets. As with bracelets of this type it is often hard to get a good fit.

Neither watch is particularly eye-catching. They both have a pedestrian, classic, understated look. They look like old Dad watches- everyday, non-flashy workhorses. At the same time they have a 70s vibe, a vintage feel that gives them some personality.

The Mido is a bit more refined and feels more solid. Probably has a better movement(maybe a Schild 2066) than the Seiko 7005-7001, and can be wound manually. Again, I like the dial color and the bracelet of the Mido. Also, I know it was my dad’s at one time. The Seiko has been with me off and on for 50 years, so what can I say?

Seiko side
Mido side

Seiko 7005-7001R

Case diameter: 35.5 mm

Thickness: 10mm

Lug gap: 18mm

Length Lug to lug: 43mm

Water Resistance : 30m?

Movement: Auto 17 jewel 7005-7001

Crystal: acrylic

Mido Multistar II

Case diameter: 35 mm

Thickness: 12mm

Lug gap: 18mm

Length Lug to lug: 40mm

Water Resistance : 30m?

Movement: Auto Schild 2066?

Crystal: acrylic



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