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Reviewing the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph

Seiko dive watches – aplenty. Seiko chronographs? Not so much, particularly the automatic type. That was until recently. Sure, there are many quartz models on offer when it comes to finding a reliable and accurate chronograph from Seiko’s universal catalogue of sporty models, but still, the presence of the Japanese brand’s chronograph collection is much smaller than its dive watch category. Seiko is slowly changing that, focusing more and more on the chronograph as it continues its legacy in producing accurate, sporty timepieces.

 

The brand is taking the complication seriously once more, nodding to its heritage from the 1960s with a faithful reinvention of the Speedtimer watch. Its name is the Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph and there are two versions: a silver limited edition and a charcoal standard version. These sit alongside four solar-powered versions which we covered here, clad in a stainless steel physique and displaying the time on a silver, navy-blue, gold or black dial colour.

 

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition

 

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph watches feature different dials that are inspired by important models from the company’s historic catalogue. Both are fitted with a new movement from Seiko’s 8R series, equipped with a vertical clutch and column wheel for a smooth and seamless performance. Before the brand had manufactured these important components, its chronographs were controlled by the heart-shaped cam lever, which delivered an impressively high level of precision, enabling Seiko to provide accuracy timekeeping to sports federations on an international scale.

 

 

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition watch is exclusive to 1000 pieces worldwide and is inspired by the design of a much earlier instrument, the Seiko 1/5th Second Stopwatch. This stopwatch was a crucial and legible time-measuring tool that featured markings and indices that are close in style to the new limited edition version. The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition watch features a white dial with crisp black 10-second markings and a central chronograph second hand that, due to its curvature, can get as close as possible to the markings and its surrounding black tachymeter scale on the flange.

 

The 42.5mm stainless steel case of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition watch has concave push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock for easy control over the chronograph functions. These, of course, are reminiscent of the original 1/5th Second Stopwatch design. Along with a sapphire crystal glass exhibition feature, the back of the case also features the “Limited Edition” lettering engraved upon the surface of the stainless steel, together with the watch’s individual serial number. If the stainless steel bracelet of the watch is not the wearer’s preferred choice, there is the option to switch this new limited edition Seiko watch to a black leather strap, also provided with the purchase. The strap incorporates stitching designed to enhance the durability of the band.

 

 

The movement of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition watch is one of its winning features. It’s a new in-house developed engine named the 8R46 Calibre with automatic and manual winding. With an accuracy of +25 to -15 seconds per day, it delivers a 45-hour power reserve and sits inside the watch’s robust 100-meter water-resistant case.  Instead of the usual three sub-dials offered by the movement’s predecessor, the 8R46 movement features a retro-inspired bicompax dial layout, with subsidiary seconds at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. A date at 6 o’clock adds balance to both sub-counters, recreating the harmonious layout of the original 1/5th Seconds Stopwatch. Bringing the model into the new era, however, the watch is topped with anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass and features Lumibrite on its hands and indexes.

 

Specifications of the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition watch

  • Case: 42.5mm – stainless steel with super-hard coating– depth 15.1mm – 100-meter water resistance – anti-glare sapphire crystal glass front – screw-down see-through sapphire exhibition caseback – engraved “Limited Edition” lettering and serial number
  • Dial; White – black 10-second markings – curved central chronograph second hand – small seconds at 3 o’clock – 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock – date at 6 o’clock – Lumibrite hands and indexes – Bicompax layout inspired by original 1/5th Second Stopwatch from Seiko from 1964
  • Movement: Calibre 8R46 – self-winding - +25 to -15 seconds per day accuracy – 45-hour power reserve – automatic and manual winding – 34 jewels
  • Strap: Stainless steel – three-fold clasp – push-button release mechanism – additional black leather strap
  • Reference: SRQ035J1
  • Availability; limited to 1000 pieces worldwide
  • Price: £2,780

 

The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph watch

 

Alongside the limited edition Seiko Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph is a standard model that will join the brand’s current catalogue. Its design is also inspired by a much earlier model named the Seiko Crown Chronograph. It was both Seiko’s and Japan’s first chronograph wristwatch and launched in 1964. The model was built from the ground up at Seiko and featured a straightforward one-push mechanism. A little later down the line, in 1969 to be exact, Seiko launched the Seiko Speedtimer watch powered by the Calibre 6139, which followed on from the brand’s heart-shaped cam mechanism previously produced for earlier stopwatches. The Calibre 6139 included a column wheel that extended on Seiko’s innovative and forward-thinking timekeeping technology at the time. It provided a smoother performance, enabling effortless control over the start, stop and reset functions of the chronograph.

 

 

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph watch features a charcoal dial closely inspired by the 1964 Crown Chronograph. The hour markers are sharp and bevelled and have been treated with Lumibrite material. Echoing the design of the 1964 original, the watch features chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock, a curved chronograph central second hand and an outer tachymeter scale. At the heart of the watch is the same Calibre 8R46 used in the limited edition variant. The watch is 100-meter water-resistant and sealed with a screw-down caseback. The three-fold clasp securing the model’s brushed stainless steel bracelet to the wrist completes a retro-inspired look thanks to its bicompax dial layout offering small seconds at 3 o’clock and 30-minutes at 9 o’clock.

 

Technical Specifications of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph:

  • Case: 42.5mm – stainless steel with super-hard coating– depth 15.1mm – 100-meter water resistance – anti-glare sapphire crystal glass front – screw-down caseback – push buttons ay 2 and 4 o’clock
  • Dial; Charcoal – curved central chronograph hand – baton index hour track - small seconds at 3 o’clock – 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock – date at 6 o’clock – Lumibrite hands and indexes – Bicompax layout – dial inspired by the original 1964 Crown Chronograph
  • Movement: Calibre 8R46 – self-winding - +25 to -15 seconds per day accuracy – 45-hour power reserve – automatic and manual winding – 34 jewels
  • Strap: Stainless steel – three-fold clasp – push-button release mechanism
  • Reference: SRQ037J1
  • Price: £2,600

 

If you would like additional information on the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph watches, you can visit the link here or speak to a member of the Jura Watches sales team on 01335 453453

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