After a slew of Alpinists, it seems Seiko is now putting the Speedtimer model on heavy rotation.
Following a November release of Speedtimer Solar Chronograph models, the Japanese timepiece giant now presents its Prospex Speedtimer Limited Edition Chronograph – a 400-example model that will retail for €3,200 (around P180,000).
What makes this watch extra special – aside from its limited supply and features which we’ll get to later – is that it more decisively leverages the company’s renown in sports timing. Seiko brass proudly point to the fact that the brand has been a proud timekeeper to the world’s greatest athletic events.
In 1964, it heralded a new age in accuracy through a stopwatch conscripted into timing duty. Since 1985, Seiko has been “the timekeeper of choice” of World Athletics. This July, it reprises this role for the 17th straight time in Eugene, Oregon where the premier international track and field competition will be held. That’s also why this relatively rare Seiko takes the name World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Limited Edition (code: SRQ041).
The 42.5-millimeter chronograph is fitted with Seiko’s 8R46 movement, and features column wheels and vertical clutch systems. It yields 45 hours of power reserve, and gets 28,800 vibrations done per hour (or eight beats per second).
Its 15.1mm-thick case and bracelet are rendered in stainless steel (a separate black calfskin leather strap comes with each purchase, should you feel like swapping the bracelet out), and you can admire the goings on in front through a super-hard coating dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating in the inner surface. The screw case back is likewise transparent, and bears the insignia and text “WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS OREGON 22 OFFICIAL TIMER.”
Unlike other Speedtimers, this one has oversized button pushers – again calling to mind the brand’s distinguished history in timing – for ease of operation. You might want to, say, time that shot of espresso you’re pulling, or how long your Zoom meeting is going (good luck). However, we’re not sure how these big buttons and the large case, will sit on the wrist. Better try them on at the store before you fork over that cash.
But we really like that sand-patterned dial that Seiko says “evokes the texture of the running track.” The long second hand (which is curved at the end to keep from hitting the glass above, and to be nearer to the indices) and 30-minute counter at nine o’clock are painted yellow, a nod to Seiko’s timing and measuring devices, and an excellent contrapuntal punch to the dark dial. Even better, Lumibrite on the hour and minute hands should make this chrono beautiful to behold even in the dark.
We’re a little perplexed about the Prospex branding though, since this sub-brand of Seiko is supposed to be primarily for the divers among us. But overall, we like what we see, and suspect that the 400 units of this watch may prove too small a number versus those wanting to see this Speedtimer in their collection.