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Seiko has become a well-respected brand whose watches have been enjoyed by millions since its founding in 1881. The brand is an undisputed king of watchmaking - from its first mechanical watch in 1913 to the 2014 prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for its hi-beat caliber. In recent years, Seiko has worked hard to streamline its offerings. The Prospex and Presage lines have become more defined and stand on their own capably.
Today’s watch is not from the Prospex or Presage range but the lesser-known Seiko Selection. The Selection range is a newer series from the Japanese brand that has garnered attention from many watch enthusiasts. From the first collaboration in 2017 with famous automobile designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro to Pokémon special models in 2020, the Seiko Selection range never disappoints with its special edition timepieces. However, the Selection range can also take pride in its multitude of affordable watches with timeless designs. The watch we’re taking a look at today is precisely that.
|Seiko Selection Solar Chronograph Blackout PVD Ref. SBPY169
With a 42.2mm diameter, the watch has a lug-to-lug of 48.3mm and a thickness of 12.2mm. Do not let the diameter put you off, as the relatively short lug-to-lug coupled with the curved profile of the lugs will help the watch wear comfortably on the wrist and suit most wrist sizes. The all-black nature of the timepiece will also naturally appear smaller on the wrist. The SBPY169 is made of 316L stainless steel and features a mixture of satin-brushed and high-polished finishing. Yes, even with an all-black PVD coating applied, the watch is still finished with both polished and brushed touches. How’s that for attention to detail. The bevelled edges of the lugs are polished, while the rest of the case is finely satin-brushed. Such a level of detailing is usually unseen for an entry-level watch, but Seiko manages to outdo itself again.
The dial is a cool shade of black that perfectly complements the surrounding black bezel. Seiko went with the classic 3-6-9 layout here, with the ticking second hand at 3, a 60-minute counter at 6, and a 24-hour indicator at 9. Stick indices are used throughout, with the indices at 3,6 and 9 shortened to accommodate the chronograph subdials. A date wheel is located at 4.30, which is a helpful complication that does not disrupt the dial’s proportions as it is color-matched. The watch will also allow you to calculate the speed of an object as it has a tachymeter scale etched on the bezel.
Seiko Cal. V175 solar-powered quartz chronograph movement
Covering the dial is a piece of sapphire crystal for scratch resistance and dial clarity even in harsh lighting - thanks to the anti-reflective coating applied. The push-pull crown and screwed-down case back combine to give the watch 100m of water resistance which means that you could even go for a swim without removing the timepiece from your wrist. Seiko’s proprietary Lumibrite can also be found on the hands and indices, allowing one to read the time even in dark conditions.
Powering the SBPY169 is the Seiko V175 movement. It is solar-powered and will thus not require battery replacements. It is also highly accurate, with a stated deviation of +/- 15 seconds per month. On a full charge, the movement will be able to run for six months continuously without a light source. The movement also has a low battery indicator where the second hand will tick once every 2 seconds to indicate that it is time to charge up your watch. Simply place the watch in an area with sufficient artificial or natural lighting to charge the movement. No need for special LED lights or anything! You’ll never have to worry about it not running when you just want a watch to grab and go. Solar calibres offer complete peace of mind and are a terrific alternative to the typical quartz watches.
Seiko's LumiBrite luminous
Seiko pairs the Selection Solar Chronograph Blackout PVD Ref. SBPY169 on a 20mm oyster-style bracelet. The bracelet tapers gently to a signed Seiko folding buckle. It is robust and comfortable and will match both dressier and casual settings.
The SBPY169 is a simple solar-powered chronograph that boasts handsome good looks and the specifications to ensure that it can be robust and take a beating if needed. It offers terrific value for money, and you could even collect different colour variations of this timepiece without making a significant dent in your wallet! It makes the perfect grab-and-go watch in any situation for any occasion. Like how they almost ended the Swiss watch industry during the quartz crisis, Seiko has again made us realise that you do not need to spend a lot of money to add a terrific chronograph to your collection.