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Seiko speedtimer 1

Seiko’s Stunning New Chronograph Collection Revives the Speedtimer

Iconic Japanese watchmaker Seiko has a long history of innovation, perhaps more than you’d think. While we know the brand from its class-defining use of quartz movements and dive watch releases, Seiko actually lays claim to a surprising and deeply controversial legend, the first Automatic Chronograph. Way back in 1969, Swiss legends TAG Heuer and Zenith were in a race to revolutionise the industry with their El Primero and Caliber 11 releases, respectively, but all the while, Seiko was coyly working on its own genre-breaking timepiece. Sure, the Seiko 6139 Speedtimer, as it has come to be known, may not enjoy the same legacy that the other ‘first automatic chronographs’, it’s an incredible feat of ingenuity worthy of a comeback.

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Seiko speedtimer

The original Seiko Speedtimer released in 1969

Paying tribute to the original column wheel and vertical clutch design, Seiko has added six new Speedtimer watches to the Prospex collection. Dripping in nostalgia and littered with history, the latest iterations are a step back in time, but they aren’t all the same.

A limited-edition watch with a new automatic chronograph movement echoes the 1964 stopwatch, alongside a second version with the same calibre and a series of four solar chronographs complete the range.

1 5th second stopwatch from 1964

The1/5th second stopwatch from 1964

Specifically, the limited edition chronograph’s dial pays homage to the 1/5th second stopwatch from 1964. The numerals at each ten-second mark and the markings stand out prominently against the plain white dial, a call-back to the legibility requirements of its predecessor.

From a design perspective, the chronograph second hand is gently curved down towards the dial so that the tip of the hand is as close as possible to the dial’s markers. This then extends to the tachymeter markings at the very edge of the dial, ensuring that elapsed time can be read accurately at a glance. Finally, the large concave pushers ensure the high operability for which the original stopwatch was renowned.

Seiko speedtimer 2

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition

Under the hood, the watch incorporates a new movement from Seiko’s most advanced chronograph 8R series, Calibre 8R46. According to Seiko, it shares the same performance attributes as Calibre 8R48 but incorporates two sub-dials instead of three, while also adding a date window at the six o’clock position.

“The vertical clutch and column wheel ensure the precision and durability which are the hallmarks of the 8R Calibre series.,” Seiko wrote. “The escapement is lightweight and strong, thanks to the use of MEMS technology which enhances the stability of the watch’s precision. With the push of the reset button, the hands return back to zero instantly and in perfect synchronisation.”

1 seiko speedtimer solar chronograph

Seiko Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

In a fitting nod to Seiko’s legacy of innovation, the remaining four pieces are solar chronographs powered by Calibre V192. While the case shape is faithful to the original, it cops a revamped 39mm diameter, finished with a combination of hairline and smooth polishing on the bracelet. These new solar chronographs are offered in four different dial colours; white, navy, gold and black.

All six creations in the new Speedtimer series will be available from November 2021 at the Seiko boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide. The new pieces range fromAUD$1,050 to AUD$4,995.

Check it out

Seiko speedtimer solar chronograph

Seiko Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

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Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.