Seiko launched its Prospex line of specialized sports watches internationally two years ago; thus far, this collection has been known in the U.S. mostly for dive watches such as the Marinemaster. At Baselworld 2016, however, Seiko introduces a Prospex watch uniquely suited for pilots, equipped with a new, ultra-reliable solar-powered movement.
The radio-wave movement in the Seiko Prospex Radio Sync Solar World Time Chronograph, Caliber 8B92, is capable of receiving radio signals from atomic clocks across a much wider geographic area than any of its predecessors, delivering greatly enhanced coverage throughout Europe and China as well as the United States and Japan. When conditions allow, the watch’s time synchronizes automatically up to three times a day; the wearer can also perform this operation manually, at any time, with just the press of a button.
In the areas of accuracy and reliability, the watch’s movement also excels: because it is charged by solar power, it never needs a battery change, and its precision, according to Seiko, is such that it loses just one second every 100,000 years. Its internal calendar is built to be accurate all the way to 2099.
The watch is outfitted with world time and chronograph functions, displaying 25 time zones (via abbreviated names of world cities) and incorporating a rotating slide rule on the bezel for converting weights and measures and calculating distances, fuel loads, and speeds. The bezel itself has an easy-to-grip notched-edge design, and the pushers on the 3 o’clock side (for the chronograph functions) and 9 o’clock side (for the radio time-syncing and world time functions) have different tactile feels to minimize the risk that a user will inadvertantly press the wrong one. The chronograph measures elapsed times to the 1/5 second, up to 60 minutes, and also includes a split-time function.
The cases of all three new Prospex watches are stainless steel, 47 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm thick, with screw-down crowns aiding a water-resistance of 100 meters. The hands and indices are coated with a luminescent substance called Lumibrite, and the crystal, made of Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex material, has a nonreflective coating.
The Seiko Prospex Radio Sync Solar World Time Chronograph is available with a stainless steel case and bracelet (Ref. SSG001); stainless steel case and bracelet with black hard coating (Ref. SSG003) and stainless steel case with calf-leather strap (Ref. SSG005). Prices range from 640 to 730 euros; the watches will be available at retail in August 2016.