One of the reasons I love watches is the fact that there are typically hundreds of little mechanical parts inside of them. The reason I like this Seiko is quite the opposite – it talks to satellites 12,550 miles up, never takes a battery and is powered by the sun.
I have a few quartz watches in my collection. (I’m not including the Spring Drive movements in that category – go ahead and get upset.) I have a Seiko Premier with Kinetic drive. I have a Breitling Cockpit B50 with a thermocompensated quartz, but it’s a rechargeable. Plug it in for about an hour every few months and it will go for another few months. I also have a few Citizen EcoDrives – a simple three-hander, an EcoDrive with Radio Reception and two with GPS reception. So I have nothing against quartz movements as long as there is never, never a battery to replace. That’s just the way I roll.
So, the tech inside of this Astron is state of the art for Seiko. Whenever it detects it’s in some sunlight (and likely outside), it tries to connect to at least four GPS satellites. If it’s able to connect to one, it will update the time. Connect to four or more and it will adjust the time zone for wherever your feet happen to be planted at that moment. Does that make this an ultimate travel watch? I think so. (By the way you can also force it to update whenever you wish by holding down a button.)
This Astron Solar GPS Dual Time is coated (think it’s DLC) stainless steel. It has a ceramic bezel, black croc strap that’s actually nice for Seiko and a black deployant buckle.
This version is a limited edition version (one of 300) with the blue applied markers. Seiko did a super-nice job with the overall finishing – it’s almost Grand Seiko-level. This is the third or fourth edition of the Astron GPS Solar line that Seiko has released – this one features a dual time on the dial at 6:00 and power level/day of the week flyback at 10 and 2 respectively. The previous version was a chrono – which is very nice but a much thicker watch.
There is one, very small aesthetic thing that blows me away about the watch. Take a look at the applied Seiko logo in the images below. See how it appears to float? See how you actually get a shadow underneath the Seiko logo? That is so freakin’ cool.
WHAT I LIKE:
- That applied, floating Seiko logo on the dial. Awesome.
- GPS + Solar brings out the geek in me
- Handome watch – busy but in all the right places
- Ceramic bezel
NOT SO MUCH:
- Don’t know the longevity of the movement (relying on GPS, solar, charging, etc.)
- Not as intuitive as the Citizen GPS technologies (nor as fast to acquire signal)
- DLC-like coating just waiting to be scratched
MODEL NAME: Seiko Astron GPS Solar Dual Time
REFERENCE NUMBER: SSE067
MOVEMENT: Seiko 8X53
CASE SIZE: 45mm
WATER RESISTANCE: 100m/330ft
NOTES: Solar powered, GPS time and location accuracy
MANUFACTURER LINK: http://www.seiko-astron.com/8x_dual-time/