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Seiko’s latest Astron watches have a brand new caliber

Seiko debuts 3 GPS solar chronographs in Astron lineup

Seiko SSH156 Astron GPS Solar Kintarō Hattori Limited Edition

You might wonder why Seiko is blowing out 110 candles on its anniversary cake when it feels like it just celebrated its centennial jubilee last year. Let’s unravel that timeline, shall we?

In 1881, Kintarō Hattori laid the cornerstone of what would evolve into the Seiko empire, later debuting the Timekeeper pocket watch in 1895. Seiko later introduced their first wristwatch, the Laurel, in 1913, which was celebrated last year with lots of fanfare. Now, 2024 is another significant year for the brand (they really like their anniversaries don’t they?), and this time they’re celebrating the first time “Seiko” appeared on a watch, which happened in 1924. Seiko has introduced three new masterpieces to its Astron collection to honor this, though they’ve promised 9 new watches as part of the celebration, a few of which have already been released.

So far, we’ve witnessed the resurrection of a 1924 Seiko watch, which is now part of the Presage collection, as well as special editions that pay homage to Prospex divers, among others. Now, Seiko has unveiled its latest pieces, welcoming the Astron into the fold with a groundbreaking model boasting an unprecedented array of features and complexities.

Seiko adds 3 new chronographs to the Astron lineup

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronographs

At the forefront stands the SSH156 Astron GPS Solar Kintarō Hattori Limited Edition, a striking fusion of black and gold-tone titanium, replete with a multifunctional chronograph and integrated bracelet. Joining the SSH156 are the SSH151, SSH153, and SSH155, all infused with the same design elements and superior craftsmanship. While the SSH155 mirrors the limited edition’s black finish, the SSH156 boasts exclusive visual enhancements, befitting its status at the top of the pack. These have a truly aggressive presence, sending shivers down your spine. The standard models measure 43.3mm in diameter and 13.4mm thick, with the limited edition SSH156 slightly larger at 43.4mm across and 14.1mm thick, a subtle yet significant difference.

Seiko introduces the caliber 5X83

Now, let’s talk about that new caliber 5X83, which is really the creme de la creme of this lineup. Far from a traditional mechanical chronograph, this caliber represents a fusion of cutting-edge GPS connectivity and solar-powered functionality, emblematic of Seiko’s relentless pursuit of advancement within the Astron collection.

Boasting a myriad of ingenious features, the caliber seamlessly synchronizes with the GPS network twice daily or on-demand, facilitating precision timekeeping wherever you might go. At its core, the main time is elegantly displayed, complemented by an auxiliary time zone indicator positioned at 6 o’clock, easily switchable with a simple press of the pushers for ultimate convenience.

The sub-dial at 9 o’clock acts as a multifunctional hub, with charging status, in-flight mode, and the day of the week all available. All of this is powered by a solar panel integrated into the dial itself.

The aesthetics of these tech-heavy Seiko watches

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph black and gold

We would be remiss if we didn’t at least discuss the aesthetics. While these tech-heavy watches are obviously more about functionality, you still want your Seiko to grab attention, right?

In terms of design, these Seiko watches maintain a consistent theme, showcasing a robust titanium build enhanced by the brand’s famous “super-hard” coating. Their features include resilient double-domed sapphire crystals, titanium bezels accented with ceramic inserts, and secure screw-down casebacks, guaranteeing water resistance of up to 100 meters. The limited edition SSH156 model distinguishes itself with a striking faceted black ceramic bezel complemented by luxurious gold-finished details, oozing a bit of Rolex luxury.

Prices and availability

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph

The Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time Chronograph collection offers a diverse price range, starting at $2,500 for models SSH151 and SSH153, and escalating to $3,900 for the exclusive SSH156 limited edition. You can anticipate their debut in the market around June or July 2024.

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Sarah Veldman
Freelance Writer
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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