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Reviewing the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

The Seiko Prospex Solar Chronograph watch collection comprises four sporty solar-powered models featuring a 24-hour indicator, a 60-minute chronograph sub-counter, and a power reserve indicator, all rolled into a design that nods to a 1969 classic.

 

To appreciate the Seiko Speedtimer for what it was back in the late 1960s (and therefore the new line of  Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph watches), we need to take a look at some ways in which the chronograph has evolved over the years. When it comes to building a chronograph watch certain values distinguish a good one from a bad one. That said, chronographs have always been incredibly hard to manufacture until recently. Solidity, reliability and smoothness are all qualities that make measuring elapsed time with a chronograph an effortless and enjoyable experience. To give a basic overview of how a chronograph works; the top pusher activates the levers that engage the wheels to drive the chronograph hands alongside the main minutes, hours and seconds of the movement. The bottom pusher disengages them, whilst the heart-shaped cam resets everything once that second pusher is pressed.

 

 

When it comes to the heart-shaped cam, a component that Seiko developed during the 1960s, the reset mechanism works perfectly. But for the top pusher – the one that activates the chronograph – the cam’s role needs to be a little more complex and this is where the column wheel comes into play. Despite the costs encountered to manufacture one, the column wheel is an innovative and integral part of a modern-day chronograph movement, particularly for brands like Seiko. It not only makes the connection between the chronograph mechanism and the movement smooth, but it blocks the reset mechanism whilst the chronograph is in working motion. The column wheel provides a cleaner, smoother operation under the fingertips and prevents the “knocking” or “jolting” often experienced in those chronographs without one.

 

The heart-shaped cam

 

 

The heart-shaped cam developed by Seiko during the 1960s marked an important milestone in the brand’s heritage since it enabled the watchmaker to enter the sports timing world with a generation of high precision timekeeping instruments. These stopwatches were used to capture elapsed time at many of the world’s most prestigious sporting events and were utilized by some of the most successful sports professionals. A few years later, the heart-shaped cam was incorporated into the core of a wristwatch named the Speedtimer. The Seiko Speedtimer was also the world’s first automatic chronograph watch with a column wheel mechanism and a vertical clutch system. It was powered by the Calibre 6139. These two devices worked to improve elapsed time measurements. Inspired by this very Speedtimer watch is a series of 6 new models released by Seiko named the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer. Their designs remain faithful to the original Speedtimer stopwatch and comprise two automatic limited edition models, as well as a series of four solar-powered models that we’re going to look at in this article.

 

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph watches

 

 

The 39mm stainless steel Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar powered watches come in four different dial variants: white, navy, gold and black. Each display comes equipped with a sub-counter at 3 o’clock showing a 24-hour scale whilst the sub-counter at 6 clock offers a chronograph 60 minutes function. A small second function resides at the counter at 9 o’clock, surrounded by a tachymeter scale. The contrasting chronograph counters on each of the dial options enhance readability but also give each version an assured sporty appeal on the wrist. The silver dial version of the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer model ref SSC813P1 features navy blue-filled counters. The navy-blue dial ref: SSC815P1 features black-filled counters and a pop of red colour seen in the central chronograph seconds hand and the tachymeter bezel. The gold version ref: SSC817P1 features navy-blue sub-counters, as does the black dialled model ref SSC819P1.

 

All of the new Seiko Prospect Speedtimer Solar Chronograph watches feature a black tachymetric bezel and all are topped with a scratch-resistant curved pane of sapphire crystal glass integrated with anti-reflective technology to rid the dial from any undesirable glare. The central hour and minute hands of each model are treated with Lumibrite material to assist with timekeeping in the dark. Strengthening the design of the Seiko Speedtimer watch even further is the solid and robust-looking stainless steel case of each of the solar-powered models, integrated with 200-meter water resistance. These sporty Seiko chronographs are all powered by the quartz Calibre V192, which uses the energy from sunlight and artificial lighting to power the hands around the dial keeping perfect time. The quartz movement promises an accuracy of +15 seconds per month. All of the models come with a screw-down caseback and feature a matching stainless steel bracelet with a triple folding clasp and push-button mechanism for a secure fit.

 

 

For more information on the white, navy, gold and black dial versions of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar powered watches, please call and speak with a member of our Jura watches sales team today on 01335 453453, or visit the following link here.

 

Technical specifications of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph watches

  • Case: 39mm – height 13.3mm - stainless steel – curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – 100-meter water resistant – screw-down caseback – black tachymeter bezel
  • Dial: Silver/navy/gold/black – contrasting colour-filled sub-counters – 24-hour track at 9 o’clock - 60-minute sub-scale at 6 o’clock – small second sub-dial at 9 o’clock – chronograph central second hand in red – date window at 4:30 – power reserve at 6 o’clock – Lumibrite central hour and minute hands – baton indexes and hour markers
  • Movement : V192 – quartz, movement – solar-powered – accuracy of +15 seconds per month
  • Strap: Stainless steel – triple folding clasp – push-button mechanism
  • Price: £590
  • References: Silver SSC813P1 / Navy SSC815P1 / Gold SSC817P1 / Black SSC819P1
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