Switzerland has been a dominant force in watchmaking for the last century or so, but that never stopped Seiko from working relentlessly to best their European peers. In fact, the Japanese founded watchmaker had well and truly caught up to their continental cousins by the late ’60s, releasing the first-ever automatic chronograph movement at the same time a coalition of Swiss brands did. It’s this first chronograph from 1969 that inspired the recently released Seiko Speedtimer Chronograph collection, debuting a quartet of new styles.
The very first Seiko Speedtimer chronograph was powered by the in-house calibre 6139, a significant technical breakthrough in watchmaking at the time thanks to the column wheel and vertical clutch within. Now, Seiko has released a new collection of Seiko Speedtimer Solar Chronographs, directly inspired by this first blue and red chronograph.
The three other references in the new collection feature a contrasting black and white “Panda” dial, a full black version as well as a gold and black dial option. The entire new collection is powered by Seiko’s own calibre V192 movement, which is solar-powered via a small cell on the dial and offers the time, date and chronograph function. When fully charged, the battery will run for six months, with a guaranteed accuracy of ±15 seconds per month.
The new Seiko Speedtimer Chronograph collection all feature the same 39mm steel case, which will still offer a decent amount of presence on the wrist thanks to the 13.3mm case thickness. All four of the watches within the collection also feature striking bezels, with sloped facets and tachymeter engravings around their circumference.
Arriving on a three-link steel bracelet that is secured with a folding clasp, the entire collection also boasts 100m of water resistance, making them perfectly capable of handling pretty much anything your day-to-day life might throw at them. All considered, it’s an interesting collection that tastefully references Seiko’s impressive history as a manufacturer of quality mechanical chronographs, while bringing the design into the 21st century. The four different references are currently available, with an RRP of $1,050.