With these limited edition timepieces, Seiko celebrates two milestones in Seiko’s chronograph history.
History of Seiko chronographs started with a pocket watch chronograph in the early 1940’s and in 1969, Seiko unveiled Caliber 6139, the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch. This year, with the launch of two limited edition automatic chronograph timepieces, Seiko is paying tributes to two landmark watches, from 1964 and 1969. One is in the Prospex collection and the other in Presage.
The Caliber 6139 was one of the world’s first automatic chronographs and it incorporated both a column wheel and a vertical clutch, enabling a real improvement in the precision with which elapsed time could be measured in a watch. The new Prospex limited edition watch that commemorates this 1969 landmark uses Seiko’s most advanced chronograph caliber, 8R48, which was first created in 2014.
In addition to the vertical clutch and column wheel, it incorporates Seiko’s unique three pointed hammer and a heart-shaped cam which ensure the perfect synchronization of the hands’ fly-back. The watch is based on a much loved design from that era that became known among Seiko’s fans as the “Panda” thanks to the two black sub-dials set against the white dial. It has the same hairline finish on the dial as the original, the same hands with the same orange tip to the chronograph second hand and the same hour markers and tachymeter bezel markings.
In addition, the new execution offers a third sub-dial for the time of day second hand, an updated case design with Zaratsu polishing and a box-shaped sapphire crystal. It is presented in the Prospex collection as a limited edition of 1,000.
The 1964 Crown Chronograph was Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first chronograph watch. Every aspect of the watch was designed from scratch and it marked the beginning of Seiko’s chronograph wrist watch manufacturing. It had a simple one-push mechanism but it amply demonstrated the same commitment to precision as would Caliber 6139 and all its successors with the inclusion of a column wheel to control the start, stop and reset functions.
The Seiko Chronograph 55th Anniversary limited edition (SRQ03) takes inspiration from design of the 1964 Crown Chronograph with its box shaped crystal, its sharply defined numerals on the narrow bezel and the inwardly tilted case shape that allows the watch to sit tight on the wrist.
The movement is Caliber 8R48 with its 12 hour chronograph and 45 hour power reserve, the crystal is sapphire with anti-reflection coating on the inner surface and the lugs are Zaratsu polished. The watch is presented in the Presage collection as a limited edition of 1,000.
Both timepieces will be available from December, 2019 at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.
Seiko Automatic Chronograph 50th Anniversary Limited Edition: SRQ029
Seiko Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited Edition: SRQ031
Caliber 8R48, Automatic Chronograph
Chronograph up to 12 hours
Column wheel and vertical clutch systems
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 45 hours
Stainless steel case and bracelet with super-hard coating (SRQ029)
Stainless steel case with super-hard coating and cordovan strap (SRQ031)
Three-fold clasp with push button release
Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Diameter: 41.0mm/ Thickness: 16.0mm (SRQ029)
Diameter: 42.3mm/ Thickness: 15.3mm (SRQ031)
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Approximate recommended retail prices in Europe: €3,700 (SRQ029) / €3,400 (SRQ031)
Limited editions of 1,000 each