Seiko takes great pride in its proprietary Spring Drive calibers for many reasons, but chief among them is their ability to function tirelessly and reliably in all kinds of challenging conditions — up to and including outer space: Seiko watches with these in-house movements have been certified for space travel and worn aboard the International Space Station. As its latest U.S.-exclusive timepiece, the Japanese watchmaker offers a Spring-Drive-equipped watch with a dial design inspired by space travel and the moon. Here is the lowdown on the new Seiko Prospex LX U.S. Sky Special Edition, Ref. SNR051.
Firmly positioned in Seiko’s Prospex LX family (LX being shorthand for “luxe”), all of which trace their sporty aesthetic to a brand milestone, the 1968 Professional Diver, the watch has a robust 44.8 mm case made of titanium with a super-hard-coating for superior scratch resistance and finished with the brand’s signature Zaratsu polishing. The integrated three-link bracelet is made of the same material and a screw-down crown and caseback helps to ensure the case’s 1`00-meter water resistance. (It’s still technically a dive watch, after all, even though it’s clearly aimed more at an astronaut than a scuba diver.)
Under a sapphire crystal with what Seiko calls a “super clear” coating, the dial features an eye-catching texture reminiscent of the lunar surface, swept over by hands treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite luminescent substance as well as by a contrasting blue GMT hand designed to echo the view of the Earth from the moon. The latter hand indicates a second time zone on a multi-tone-gray GMT bezel made of sapphire, while the date appears in a window at 3 o’clock and a power-reserve indicator at 8 o’clock.
Making the new model truly space-worthy is the Spring Drive Caliber 5R66 inside, which achieves an accuracy of +1/-1 seconds per day thanks to its ingeniously designed Tri-Synchro regulator, a device that uses a combination of mechanical energy to drive it, electrical energy to charge its intergrated circuit and quartz crystal, and electromagnetic energy to regulate its glide wheel, which spins in only one direction and boasts an ultra-precise braking system to ensure the smooth motion of the seconds hand. The movement stores a 72-hour power reserve and, due to its proprietary technology, maintains its high level of functionality and accuracy even when the watch is subjected to intense pressure and temperature changes — such as those a wearer on a space mission would likely encounter.
The Seiko Prospex LX U.S. Sky Special Edition SNR051 will be available in January 2022 at select Seiko retailers exclusively in the U.S., in a special presentation box, at an MSRP of $5,500.