Seiko revives Speedtimer nameplate with new automatic chronograph watches


The history of chronographs is filled with evocative names like “Speedmaster”, “Daytona”, “Monaco” and many more. While so many of these series are still alive and flourishing, one of the most historic nameplates in Japanese chronography has been dormant for a long time – until now. Seiko’s Speedtimer line was first introduced with the Caliber 6139 automatic chronograph movement in early 1969 (arguably the first automatic chronograph on the market, although early sales were limited in Japan for several months) , and the name has graced many Seiko chronograph models for years. , from the Caliber 6139 and Caliber 6138 automatic chronographs to the world’s first analogue quartz chronograph with the 7a28 series. The name Speedtimer finally returns to the Seiko team for 2021 and brings with it a new in-house automatic chronograph movement equipped with both a vertical clutch and a column wheel. With an impressive new powertrain and two looks inspired by classic Seiko chronograph references from the 60s, the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph series, including the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ037 and the limited edition Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ035, offers a capable of envisioning the future of one of the brand’s most famous nameplates.

The limited edition Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ035 mechanical chronograph and the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ037 mechanical chronograph share the same bold 42.5mm stainless steel case design. The overall shape is clean and simple, taking inspiration from the Seiko 1/5 Second chronometer from 1964. As much visual space as possible is reserved for the dial, which leads to a narrow and steeply inclined chamfered bezel and simple straight lugs. brushed. With simple, flat brushed case sides and a low profile sapphire crystal, the cases of the SRQ035 and SRQ037 hardly obscure their considerable overall thicknesses of 15.1mm, although a contrasting polished finish on the bezel can help break up some. little this profile on the wrist. The two models are starting to differentiate themselves with their crown and pusher designs. The limited edition SRQ035 takes the pair’s more detailed approach, with flared tips on its oversized piston pushers reminiscent of the 60s 1/5 second chronometer and a raised chamfer section atop the pillbox crown. unsigned. In contrast, the SRQ037 keeps its piston pushers and square-cut pillbox crown unadorned. Both models are fitted with a sapphire crystal case back and offer a sporty water resistance of 100 meters.

Although the limited edition Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ035 mechanical chronograph and the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ037 mechanical chronograph use dials inspired by the Seiko chronographs of the ’60s, the pair offer profoundly different perspectives on the main theme. For the SRQ035 limited edition, Seiko keeps its inspiration centered on the 1/5 of a second chronometer from 1964. The result is an austere and ultra-readable white dial layout that bears its chronometer roots on its sleeve in the initial images. Apart from the narrow inner tachymeter bezel in contrasting black, almost all of the dial elements forgo traditional wrist chronograph cues in favor of the more utilitarian look of a sporty chronometer. The multiple concentric printed scales for the chronograph minutes and seconds are a prime example of this line of thinking, as are the bold printed Arabic minute numbers for the minutes. The sub-dials both feature full scales and a flat-printed construction, while the main timing handset sports a set of exaggerated narrow counterweights evoking the appearance of the central seconds hand of the 1/5-second stopwatch. The overall look is bright and functional with almost a manometer-like clarity, but Seiko’s treatment at 6 o’clock is likely to be divisive. Due to the inclusion of a date window at 6 o’clock and the brand’s “Prospex Automatic” signage, the Arabic numerals at 6 o’clock are completely omitted, giving a slightly empty and unbalanced feel in the initial images. .

In contrast, the two-register chronograph dial of the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ037 mechanical chronograph follows more familiar wrist chronograph indices for a more refined look. Like the recently introduced Presage Style60 series, the SRQ037 takes inspiration from the Seiko Crown Chronograph from 1964, creating an interesting stylistic bridge between Seiko’s dressy and sporty sub-brands. The sunburst anthracite main dial surface introduces an impression of visual patina in the images, which is reflected in the warm khaki lume used for the hour scale and the large dauphine handset. The wide-fluted applied indexes deepen the vintage feel in the images, while the deeper black surfaces and railroad scales of the recessed sub-dials give this relatively simple design a sense of visual complexity.

Seiko powers both the limited edition Prospex Speedtimer SRQ035 mechanical chronograph and the Prospex Speedtimer SRQ037 mechanical chronograph with its new 8R46 automatic chronograph movement. The 8R46 shares its same base platform with the current 8R48 automatic chronograph, but opts for a two-register layout with a date at 6 o’clock rather than the three-sub-dial layout of the 8R48. As with other members of the 8R family, the 8R46 is a showcase of some of Seiko’s most advanced movement-making techniques, incorporating both a vertical clutch mechanism and column wheel actuation in its complication of chronograph and using MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) manufacturing technology to create a more durable and precise end product. The overall performance of the 8R46 is solid, with a 45-hour power reserve at a rate of 28,800 bph. The 8R46’s finish is light and typical of Seiko, with a striped cut-out rotor topping a set of clean brushed bridges with polished chamfers.

The limited edition Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ035 mechanical chronograph and the Prospex Speedtimer SRQ037 mechanical chronograph are both paired with an exclusive new take on the classic oyster-style three-link stainless steel bracelet. The rounded profile of these strong links and the fully brushed finish give this bracelet a softer, more vintage look that pairs well with the rest of the designs in the original images. For those who prefer bracelets, Seiko also includes a classic black leather strap with both models.

With new well-equipped and high-performance movements paired with designs echoing some of Seiko’s most historic chronograph models, the limited edition Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ035 and the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ037 are a fitting renaissance for one of the most iconic Japanese giants of production chains. Only 1,000 copies of the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ035 mechanical chronograph will be produced. The SRQ035 and SRQ037 will be available in Seiko stores and select authorized dealers from November 2021. The MSRP of the limited edition SRQ035 is $ 3,200, while the price of regular production SRQ037 is slightly lower than $ 3,000. For more information, visit the brand’s website.


About Robert L. Thomas

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