Seiko launches two panda-flavoured Speedtimer chronographs inspired by a 1972 designZach Blass
- Seiko expands the 2021-debuting Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph line with two references inspired by a 1972 design.
- The SRQ047 has a stone white dial with blue counters, a blue tachymeter ring, and orange-tipped central chronographs seconds hand.
- The SRQ049, with a blue-grey dial and silver counters, is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces in honour of Seiko’s 100th anniversary.
In 2021, Seiko celebrated the 140th anniversary of the company with six Speedtimer chronographs – two fully mechanical models and four solar-driven models. Last week, Seiko launched two more Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph watches: the SRQ047 and the limited edition SRQ049. But, this time around the catalyst for the novelty duo is the 100th anniversary of Seiko. Confused? With the Seiko Corporation’s penchant for celebrating anniversaries every chance they get, being confused is understandable. How are we celebrating the 100th anniversary now when we celebrated the 140th anniversary in 2021? Well, yes the company that would become Seiko was born in 1881, but the first wristwatch with ‘Seiko’ on the dial was introduced in 1924. Yes it is still 2023, and these watches will be available in December 2023, so the celebrations are a tad premature. Nonetheless, this ultimately means Seiko fans have two panda-flavoured and 70s inspired chronographs to look into ahead of the holiday gift-giving season.
The first of the two models, the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ047, is directly inspired by the Seiko ref. 6138-8020 from 1972. It is not so much a structural derivation, with an entirely different case and bracelet design. The dial layout, and complications, are also different. But, aesthetically, you can see the parallels with a vertically brushed stone white or silver dial complemented by blue counters, a blue tachymeter scale, and an orange-tipped central chronograph seconds hand. Looking closer at the stepped blue counters, the chronograph counters at 9′ and 6′, representing the 30-minute elapsed minutes and 12-hour elapsed hours respectively, are visually delineated with orange-tipped hands – meaning all hands tied to the chronograph complication have this visual indicator. The small seconds hand at 3′, along with the central hours and minutes hands and applied hour indices, have white LumiBrite fillings that will glow in the dark.
Looking at the limited edition SRQ049, the blue tachymeter scale and orange accents remain. But, the remainder of the dial aesthetic is inverted from the SRQ047 with a blue-grey dial complemented by silver counters. Like the SRQ047, a colour-matched date window is placed at the 4:30 position. Both watches are comprised of a stainless steel case and bracelet with a super-hard coating, with the case dimensionally clocking in at a sporty 42mm in diameter and 14.6mm in thickness. The limited edition SRQ049, however, is A$300 more due to the inclusion of an additional leather strap. Within the context of Seiko, both find themselves at the premium end of their pricing. To be fair though, these 100-metre water-resistant chronographs utilise the in-house automatic 8R48 column-wheel chronograph movement with 45 hours of power reserve. So it is a good bit of tech and spec for a starting price of US$2,500 / A$3,900. But, I will not pretend that it is far and beyond its Swiss-powered competitive set from brands like Hanhart and Sinn. Ultimately, the real value of this offering stems from the heritage inspiration of these two references and for those compelled by modern Seiko with a historically rooted aesthetic.
Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ047 & SRQ049 pricing and availability
The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph SRQ047 & SRQ049 watches will be available at the Seiko Boutiques and select retail stores worldwide from December 2023. While the SRQ047 is a regular production model, the SRQ049 is a limited edition of 1,000 pcs. Price: A$3,900 (SRQ047), A$4,200 (SRQ049 Limited Edition)
|Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph
|42mm (D) x 14.6mm (T)
|Stainless steel w/ super-hard coating
|SRQ047: Stone white with blue counters
SRQ049: Blue-grey with silver counters
|Stainless steel w/ super-hard coating, SRQ049 includes an additional leather strap
|Seiko in-house automatic 8R48
|Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
|SRQ047: December 2023
SRQ049: December 2023, limited to 1000 pcs.
|SRQ047: A$3,900, US$2,500
SRQ049: A$4,200, US$2,700