The Seiko Motorist is a watch that doesn’t pop up for sale often, so once an opportunity came, I didn’t hesitate much. It’s not perfect, but it is good enough. It’s fairly worn but aged in a way that gives it a unique character. And it’s green!

Some Seiko watches are not easy to find. Take the Seiko Voice Note M516-4009 as an example. It took me quite a long time to land one. The same thing happened when I tried to hunt down the first hand-wound quartz watch, the Seiko 8T23. A few years ago, Seiko 8T23s easily sold at auction for close to or slightly above the $2,000 mark. If one were ever listed with the Buy It Now option, it would disappear instantly. The demand was high.

Some things change, and some things do not

If you go to eBay now and try to find the Seiko Voice Note or Seiko 8T23, you will find three or four examples of both models. That was not the case just a few years ago. It’s worth mentioning that the Seiko 8T23s are listed at lower prices than they used to sell for, while the Ghostbuster Seiko has rather ambitious prices in the $2,000–3,000 range. It seems that the supply is now greater than the demand. Well, that isn’t true for the Seiko Motorist. It was difficult to find a few years ago, and it’s still close to unobtanium today.


To get you on track with what we already know about the Seiko Motorist, I invite you to read my article from 2022. As the title “Dear Seiko, Bring Back The Motorist” suggests, this watch was on my active search list. I don’t want to repeat myself much, so please read my thoughts on the dial and case in that article. Today, since I landed the watch and now have firsthand experience, I will focus much more on the wrist presence and details you cannot get from pictures.

Saving the Seiko Motorist

Before I do that, I must share how the watch got to me. When I spotted it, as you can see in the photos above, it looked much different from how it does today. The case had tons of stains and smudges all over the plating and looked quite poor. I was unsure if it could be saved, so I consulted with my watchmaker beforehand. He was sure he could easily remove all the stains, so I decided to proceed. After my colleague Brandon helped me source the watch from Japan and it arrived, I could barely see the dial. The Plexiglass was heavily scratched and had thousands of tiny cracks. But I hoped for a great revival once a new crystal took its place.

First impressions

I would say it got a great revival indeed. It now looks so much cleaner, and the dark green radial grooves around the perimeter of the dial give this watch an unbelievable spirit. The combination of green and shiny gold plating is so warm and lively that it cheers up the mood no matter the weather outside. Besides 12 decent hour indexes integrated into the green outer ring, there is only one strong applied element on the dial. Until I wore the Motorist for a few days, I didn’t realize it looked like the one on the famous “torch dial” watches.

Seiko Motorist

A purposeful crosshair dial

The Seiko Motorist’s dial is purposely rotated to the right to provide a legible diagonal reading of the time without turning the wrist. That minor element I just described is pivotal when you turn your eyes to your wrist. Sitting under 12 o’clock, a torch-like marker helps to instantly align your eyes to the dial’s rotation. Everything happens subconsciously, without any effort, but the crosshair lines play an equally (if not more) crucial role. With the Seiko Motorist, you realize that these lines serve not only as a design but also as a vital functional element.

Seiko Motorist case profile

The case

The shape of the case is poetic. It’s so fluid and organic that it creates views you’ve never seen. No matter what angle you look at the Motorist from, it’s unique. I dare say that each different angle makes it look like a different watch. In my first article on the Motorist, I shared how excited I was when looking at the case from the back. It even offers a delight I was not aware of.

A winding addiction

Due to the thin, high case wall, the case back sits quite deep. That in combination with a significant curve reaching the highest point at 4 o’clock, where the crown sits, provides a winding experience unlike any other watch I know. The way my round fingertip slides over the crown and then sinks through the edge of the curved case wall is simply sensational. I love to wind this watch over and over again. You will never want that with an automatic movement, so, dear Seiko, make it manual if you decide to bring Motorist back.

Seiko Motorist case profile

Driving with the Seiko Motorist

I had a two-hour drive ahead of me yesterday, so I took my Seiko Motorist. Honestly, I am not sure what the proper position of the watch should be on the wrist, and I would like to see its original manual. If you have one, I’d be grateful if you shared it with me. Maybe there isn’t any special position, and you can turn it around your wrist in any position that suits your seat and steering wheel. I experimented with it a bit, and having the case fully on the side of my wrist isn’t very comfy. But if I turn it just slightly to the side, the case shape hugs my wrist nicely.

Seiko Motorist

Final thoughts

Usually, I prefer chronographs for longer car trips, but I have to say it’s refreshing to have such a classy dial style when driving. When I see the Motorist logo, I imagine that’s how my signature would’ve looked when signing it in the 1960s with a fountain pen. When my Seiko Motorist arrived, I fitted it with a soft brown leather strap, and it has never left the watch. I think brown suits the warm gold and yellow tones best. Final thoughts? I will stick to chronographs when driving, but it’s important for me to disrupt my habits and stereotypes from time to time. The Seiko Motorist does that very well indeed. Happy hunting.