Seiko is an innovative watchmaker with a history of impressive firsts. Most notably, it created the world’s first quartz watches and the later Kinetic models that combined the accuracy of a quartz movement with the convenience of a self-charging automatic. Seiko isn’t shy about offering new features, but we’re pleased to see that its latest quartet of chronographs also reference the Japanese brand’s impressive history. The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronographs give a nod to Seiko’s back catalogue, while also offering fans cutting-edge watchmaking technology.
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There’s a boatload of features and history tied up in these latest releases so it’s worth taking a minute to note where they sit in Seiko’s portfolio – note that they carry both Speedtimer and Prospex monikers. First introduced in the ’60s, the Speedtimer family of watches is aimed at sports enthusiasts. There’s some overlap with the Prospex collection – it means Professional Specifications – that caters more towards divers and adventurers. Either way, you can guarantee that watches from these collections are tough and built to last.
Seiko has dropped four new watches that pay homage to the styling of the original Speedtimer line, with one of the models – SFJ005 – directly referencing the 40th anniversary of Seiko’s first analogue quartz chronograph.
The four watches share the same case, movement and dial layout. Stylistically, they’re very distinctive. Unlike regular chronographs that feature standard timekeeping functions in the centre and markers for the time around the dial edges, Seiko has opted for its own unique dial layout.
At the bottom of the dial, there’s a sub-dial that contains the normal timekeeping hands. It’s the top half of the dial that features three chronograph sub-dials. From left to right they measure, 1/10th of a second, seconds, and 1/100th of a second. The surrounding dial is blank to aid the watch’s legibility. Each model is housed in a robust 42mm case, with prominent chronograph pushers creating an eye-catching ‘X’ pattern. They’re all powered by Seiko’s new Calibre 8A50 solar movement that can be charged by both natural and electric light.
The dials feature wonderful contrasts between the hands and sub-dials, with the SFJ001 model opting for a Panda-style colouring and the SFJ003 for a monotone dial. However, the big interest is going to be in the limited edition pieces. As mentioned, SFJ005 is a tribute to Seiko’s world-first analogue quartz chronograph and has a grey dial with orange hands. The blacked-out model, SFJ007, celebrates Seiko’s long-running collaboration with World Athletics and is launched in time for Seiko’s timekeeping at 2023’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Prices range from AUD$1,350 to AUD$1,500.
Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronographs
Reference: SFJ001, SFJ003, SFJ005, SFJ007
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Solar Chronograph Calibre 8A50
Strap: Stainless Steel Bracelet
Water Resistance: 100M
Price: AUD $1350 – $1500
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