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Seiko draws on sporting heritage for latest Prospex Speedtimer collection

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Do not dismiss Seiko’s new Prospex Speedtimer line as just another Daytona clone. This is a family with heritage dating back to the pre-quartz 1960s when the Japanese watchmaker was creating mechanical timing devices for major sports events including a range of highly accurate stopwatches.

Towards the end of the decade, in 1969, Seiko introduced the Seiko Speedtimer with the Caliber 6139 as the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch, two components that delivered real improvements in the measurement of elapsed time in a wristwatch and are still used in high end chronographs.

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These 1969 watches are the inspiration for a new collection of Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronographs, which come in two designs.

One design is inspired by a Seiko 1964 1/5th second stopwatch. It uses a new movement, the calibre 8R46, and its dial has two sub-dials to the left and right and a date window at the six o’clock position.

The 8R46’s vertical clutch and column wheel ensure precision and durability, while the escapement is lightweight and strong, thanks to the use of MEMs technology.

There is attention to detail born out of Seiko’s work as a precision sports instrument maker including a chronograph second hand that is gently curved down towards the dial so that the tip of the hand is as close as possible to the dial’s markers and extends to the internal tachymeter bezel at the very edge of the dial.

This makes it easier to get the most accurate reading of elapsed time. It is also practical, with large concave pushers giving fingertip precision.

There are two Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronographs. The white dialled version (SRQ035) is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. The other with a charcoal grey dial (SRQ037) is not limited.

Both use the same 42.5mm steel case and are sold with a steel bracelet and a leather strap. The limited edition white SRQ035 model is retailing for €3,200 while the dark grey model sells for €3,000.

In addition to the automatics, Seiko has released four versions of a Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph, which are just as sporty and even more precise given their use of a quartz-regulated V192 Solar Chronograph movement.

They come in four different dial colorways — white, navy, gold and black — presented in brushed and polished steel 39mm cases and bracelets. The recommended retail price in Europe is around €680.

All six creations in the new Speedtimer series were launched in November and are on sale at Seiko boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide.

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