“A hundred and forty years?! Seiko has been around for that long?!”
Yes, yes it has. A 140 years is quite a some time, isn’t it? It’s actually older than that other known horology house. Y’know, the one with a crown? Also, it’s a fair bit older than its Japanese counterparts with all of them beginning their lives after the 1900s. Seiko, in case you haven’t crunched the numbers, has been around since 1881.
Enough of the history lesson. Today, we’re taking a look at the 140th Anniversary Limited Edition collection that has just made its local debut. The collection consists of four models with each one stemming from the Astron, Presage, Prospex and 5 Sports range. Estimated prices kick off from RM1,400 to RM9,250.
Seiko Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time (ref. no SSH093)
True to the Astron brand, the most tech-laden model in this collection is the SSH093. In fact, it’s the only one not powered by a mechanical movement. The GPS-enabled calibre 5X53 is solar-powered and is rated to +/- 15 sec per month. Fully juiced up, you’ll be getting a “power reserve” of 6 months and a “power save” mode of 2 years. The watch features a perpetual calendar (up to Feb 28 2100) alongside a world time zone tracker (39 time zones), power reserve display, a time transfer function (alternating the time display between the main and sub-dials) and of course, an automatic time zone adjustment function courtesy of the GPS receptor.
Beyond the features, the SSH093 comes in a white-blue colour scheme that’s central to this limited edition collection. Moving on, the 42.7 mm case and bracelet are made out stainless steel with a “super-hard coating” while a curved sapphire crystal sits atop it. A generous helping of Lumibrite is featured on the hands and the base of the indices while a blue ceramic bezel is to be found.
The SSH093 is water resistant up to 100 m. Flipping it around, you’ll see a screwed down, solid case back that features the running order of 1,400 units worldwide. The SSH093 carries a tentative price tag of RM9,250.
Presage Sharp-Edged GMT Series (ref. no SPB223)
Next up, we have the limited edition SPB223 which is one of the five models under this new subrange. The other four are non-limited, series production variants. As expected, the colour scheme remains faithful to this collection with a white-blue combination across the dial, bezel, hands, minute track and ‘GMT’ wording on the dial. Speaking of dials, the new GMT series sees Seiko incorporating a 3D hemp leaf motif across all models. This, in combination with the applied hour markers, does give it quite a fair bit of visual punch.
Inside the SPB223 beats Seiko’s 6R64 calibre. The 29-jeweled movement beats at 4 Hz and boasts an accuracy rating of +25/-15 sec per day. The watch has a power reserve of 45 hours and a water resistance of 100 m. As you can tell from the photos, a subdial displaying the former is present alongside a date readout dial at 6 o’clock.
The bezel features a 24-hour track and the blued GMT hand sports a tiny amount of lume at the tip of it. The stainless steel case itself measures 42.4 mm in diameter and a sapphire crystal with AR (anti-reflective) coating on the inner side caps things off.
Should you turn the watch around, you’ll be greeted by an exhibition case back showing off the 6R64 calibre and a glimpse of the running order of 3,500 pieces worldwide. The tentative price tag for the SPB223 is RM6,000.
Prospex First Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation (ref. no SPB213)
Right, I’m going to come clean on this one. Among the four released, my favourite is the SPB213 and that’s saying something because I’m not a particularly huge fan of dive watches. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason why but the colour scheme of this 140th Anniversary series is really working with the 62MAS-inspired SPB aesthetics.
Moving on, it’s not that big of a change inside. You still get Seiko’s in-house 6R35 calibre that ticks at 3 Hz and has a power reserve of 70 hours. As this is a legit diver, a 200 m water resistance figure is the norm along with a screw down crown. The stainless steel case measures just 40.5 mm. Also, the hands and hour markers feature tons of Lumibrite. A smattering of Lumibrite sits at the edge of the blued seconds hand. Finally, the 12 o’clock mark on the bezel sports a lumed pip.
The highlight of the SPB213 is the blue steel bezel. The shade of blue has just the right amount of shine to it without making it look tacky. It really complements the white dial and lends the SPB213 a sense of visual cool-ness if you will. Why do I say that? Well, the blue bezel really shows off its depth under varying lighting conditions. I managed to catch it at the right angle and it ended up having this lovely shade of turquoise even.
The SPB213 is limited to 6,000 pieces worldwide. Price? That is an estimated RM5,100.
Seiko 5 Sports (ref. no SRPG47)
Finally, the cult hero. I’m well aware that there are a million and one combination of 5 Sports models out there. But when they look this good and are priced this sensibly, can you really blame Seiko for pushing the limits of this range?
In terms of its movement, it’s the usual affair here. You’ll get Seiko’s 4R36 calibre with around 41 hours of power reserve and a beat rate of 3 Hz. A 100 m water resistance is what you’re getting here.
Elsewhere, things are relatively familiar as well. You’ll get a 42.5 mm stainless steel case and bracelet with a Hardlex crystal sitting on top. To add to that, the hands, hour markers and counter balance of the seconds hand all have a generous helping of Lumibrite. No lumed pip here, unfortunately.
I feel that the SRPG47 has a bit of an upper hand against the SPB213. And it comes down to the bezel and dial finishing. If you look closely enough, you might just be able to catch faint traces of concentric rings running around the bezel. Thanks to my colleague, DT, for noticing this tiny detail.
With that said, I feel that there’s a small flaw. And this flaw lies in the shade of blue on the hands. See, the blue can look closer to purple when the light hits it at an angle. The production run could be a bigger issue for the limited edition hunters out there. The SRPG47 has a “limited” run of 11,000 units worldwide. Price wise, it carries a tentative tag of RM1,450.