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Alongside Seiko’s rich and ever-growing sporting heritage in the field of professional diving most of us are vastly familiar with throughout the Prospex collection, producing high-precision timing instruments has also been a forte for the Japanese brand as one of the earliest brands to produce an automatic chronograph in the watchmaking industry. That being said, Seiko introduces a series of six new stunning chronographs models to the Prospex line up, consisting of two mechanical models and four stunning solar-powered models that joins the collection.
|Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Opaline - Ltd Ed 500pcs Ref. SBDL101
Inheriting a design inspired from some of Seiko’s most historical chronographs including the 1964 Crown Chronograph, Seiko’s and Japan’s first chronograph wristwatch, and the 1969 Seiko Speedtimer chronograph which was powered by the innovative in-house Cal. 6139 automatic chronograph movement, these new releases alluringly revisits Seiko’s prodigious tradition in sports timing while flexing their modern watchmaking expertise in producing some really good-looking, yet performance-oriented chronographs — Seiko definitely hit a home run with this one.
Seiko set a stage for themselves on a international level with the endorsement of their incredibly accurate time-measuring equipments by sports federations worldwide in many of the world’s leading sports events, this success was made possible with the incorporation of Seiko’s “heart-shaped cam” mechanism, a revolutionary development which delivered a level of precision once thought unachievable by manual sports timing devices. Following the release of the 1964 Crown Chronograph during the Summer Olympics, in May 1969, Seiko launched the Seiko Speedtimer, the world’s first mass-produced automatic chronograph timepiece driven by a column wheel and vertical clutch, an especially favored feature that became widespread in today’s scene of high-end chronograph watches. These were phenomenal watches that allowed Seiko to be established as one of the leaders in wristwatch chronograph technology, and these series of newly-released models certainly pays a strong tribute to the mighty performance and visual beauty of their eminent forefathers.
Seiko Cal. V192 solar-powered quartz chronograph movement
Encased in a robust 316L stainless steel case construction, the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Opaline - Ref. SBDL101 vaguely resembles the case shape of some of Seiko’s modern 62MAS reissues with its slightly rounded lug design, a well-crafted case design many Seiko lovers are largely familiar with. Measuring with a pleasing diameter of 39.5mm, a lug to lug distance of 45.4mm and a thickness of only 13.3mm, the sub-40mm size will definitely satisfy the masses with just the perfect amount of wrist presence without feeling overwhelming while remaining extremely versatile for a whole range of wrist sizes. Like many of Seiko’s other Prospex models, the finishes here are skilfully executed to a high level of detail with circular satin brushing on the top of the lugs and a smooth high polish at the side of the case. Pairing with the watch is a sporty 20mm stainless steel 3-link bracelet, secured with solid end-links and the middle section be done in black PVD throughout for a captivating two-tone look. It further tapers down gracefully to about 18mm at the milled clasp.
Being a watch originally built for the tracking of time, the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Opaline - Ref. SBDL101 houses a fixed black polished tachymeter bezel which is utilized in conjunction with the chronograph function to measure elapsed time over a fixed distance. Taking a closer look at the finer details, the bezel sharply slopes downward to divide the markers and etched tachymeter numerals on the outer perimeter, adding a beautiful layer of dimension to the watch as the polished bezel captures the light in various angles.
Satin brushed and high polish case profile
The silver-ish white “panda” dial of the Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph is delicately finished in a sandblasted texture to ensure a high level of readability and legibility, an attribute critical for a sports watch meant for professional use. Equipped with three contrasting navy subdials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock position with the 3 o’clock subdial displaying the 24 hour time, the 9 o’clock subdial showing the running seconds and the 6 o’clock dedicated to dual functions: a 60-minute elapsed time counter and a power reserve indicator. Notably, the power reserve indicator presents itself with a subtle nod to the world of auto racing with ‘F’ and ‘E’ markers, which are symbols commonly found on fuel gauges in automobile vehicles to indicate fuel level.
Bearing a close resemblance to the 1969 Seiko Speedtimer, the hour indices are intricately applied with boxy markers, accompanying the broad sword-style handsets, which are treated with Seiko’s renowned LumiBrite paint for an easy time-reading experience even in the dark. The dial is then complete with a curved scratch-resistant sapphire glass, treated with generous amounts of blue anti-reflective coating to ensure utmost clarity.
|Seiko's LumiBrite luminous|
Underneath the solidly-constructed exterior, the Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph is driven by the reliable Seiko Cal. V192 solar-powered quartz chronograph movement, boasting a power reserve of about 6 months on a full charge and an accuracy rating of approximately ±15 seconds a month. Operated through the chronograph pushers on the side of the case, the movement features a 60-minute chronograph function, a date complication and a 24 hour indicator. Despite not being a dive watch, the watch is well-equipped with a substantial 100m of water resistance, providing protection from light water splashes in everyday use.
Paying tribute to one of Seiko’s most legendary chronograph timepieces, the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Oplaine - Ref. SBDL101 is limited to 500 pieces. It showcases the modern watchmaking prowess of the Japanese watch manufacturing giant in a gorgeous value-packed Prospex chronograph that got so many things right. From the lovely dimensions to the exceptional craftsmanship, Seiko’s rich timekeeping heritage is unmistakably reflected in both the iconic visual aesthetics and remarkable timing precision of this new release, and we can definitely expect this one to be a fan-favorite in no time.