The four new launches of the inventive Seiko Astron GPS Solar collection include three timepieces with dials in blue, grey and black (SSJ013, SSJ014, SSJ015), which join the main Astron collection, and a limited-edition watch (only 1500 pieces will be available). The roots of this collection date back to 2012, when Seiko launched the first Astron GPS Solar. At that time, it was deemed revolutionary and took electronic watchmaking to a whole new level by connecting the watch to the Global Positioning System (GPS) system and having it adjust to every time zone while generating all the energy it needs from light alone. It is, however, important to note that if there are changes in the region/time zone/DST, manual selection may be required.
All four watches come housed in 41.2 mm titanium cases. The faceted bezel with hairline finishing on top offers an ideal contrast to the polished sides. The contours of the watches have a fluidity that runs all the way through the lugs to the integrated bracelets sporting a sharp design. This lends an appealing angularity to the overall visuals while the neatly-tapered ends of each bracelet that meet the clasp add a touch of easy grace. The super hard coating of the case and the bracelet are scratch-resistant and titanium ensures that the watches sit comfortably on the wearers’ wrists. The water resistance of all four watches is 100 metres.
The dial of each watch has been simply designed. There’s a single subdial at 8 o’clock. This serves the purpose of indicating the receiving process of GPS satellites as well as each watch’s charging status, leap second data receipt and in-flight mode. A date window can be seen at 3 o’clock. The applied indices and hour and minute hands come matched with the colour of the bezels and their Lumibrite filling ensures readability in all possible viewing circumstances. The bezel of the grey-dialled version comes with a rose gold-coloured, super hard coating that gives it a striking two-tone design. The blue, grey and black dials are reminiscent of the quartz crystals that were used to create the tuning fork-shaped quartz oscillators of the original Quartz Astron, introduced by Seiko in 1969. The limited-edition watch features the same design sensibilities as the other three timepieces except the dial that comes with horizontal stripes in alternating shades of grey.
The watches are powered by Caliber 3X62, a new GPS Solar movement, whose enhanced reception of solar signals allowed Seiko to exercise a greater freedom in design. The watches automatically connect to the GPS network up to twice a day to maintain their precision of one second every 100,000 years. So, how does this work? When the dial detects sunlight, each watch connects to the GPS satellite network and adjusts automatically to the correct time. If the watch is hidden from light, it remembers the time of its last successful manual connection and attempts to receive the GPS signal again at that same time. The power reserve of the watches is as follows: when fully charged, they can operate for approximately six months.