Introducing the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer 1/100th Second Chronograph
Seiko presents the Prospex Speedtimer 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph, featuring an unconventional design with quadruple sub-dials and buttons or crowns.
A pioneer in mechanical chronographs and quartz watches, Seiko has recently delved into its extensive chronograph archives, bringing back iconic models like the mechanical Speedtimer chronograph. The Japanese giant has turned to quartz options, adding the Prospex Speedtimer 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph to its lineup. It impresses with an ultra-precise elapsed time recorder, measuring down to 1/100th of a second, and captivates with its quirky quadruple sub-dial design, all while being more budget-friendly compared to its mechanical counterparts.
The Prospex Speedtimer stands out with two highlights: its design and functionality. Let’s begin with the design, which immediately catches the eye. This chronograph features a quirky design, characterized by four sub-dials and four crowns, offering a blend of futuristic and nostalgic elements. the unusual layout is a nod to 1999’s Kinetic Chronograph. The tonneau-shaped case and the well-flowing bracelet design further enhance its aesthetic appeal.
The functionality of the Prospex Speedtimer is equally interesting. It boasts a highly precise elapsed time measurement down to 1/100th of a second. In fact, the top three sub-dials are dedicated to tracking elapsed seconds. The sub-dial at 12 o’clock functions as a typical 60-second counter, while the sub-dial at 10 o’clock measures intervals of 1/10th of a second. Additionally, the sub-dial at 2 o’clock has a lightning seconds hand that precisely records 1/100th of a second.
Furthermore, the sub-dial at six o’clock serves a dual purpose. It acts as both the regular hours and minutes counter, and doubles as the elapsed minutes counter when the chronograph is activated. This design, however, does not compromise the readability of time while the chronograph is running. By pressing the button at seven o’clock, the mode of the sub-dial at six o’clock can be toggled to display regular time, even during chronograph operation.
Four variants have been introduced, including two regular production versions and two limited editions. The regular versions consist of an all-black dial option and a white “panda” dial option. One of the limited edition variants pays homage to a model from 1992, which was the first-ever 1/100th second chronograph by Seiko. It features gilt details on the dial and black center links on the bracelet, recreating the aesthetic of the vintage original. Lastly, there is a special all-black limited edition, including the case and bracelet, designed specifically to commemorate the World Athletics Championships Budapest, where Seiko serves as the official timekeeper.
The new Prospex offers something intriguing and remarkably distinct from a typical Seiko timepiece, primarily due to its unconventional, quirky, and daring design. However, this design is not merely for aesthetic appeal, as it also serves practical purposes by accurately recording elapsed time down to 1/100th of a second. Considering the combination of its design, features, and solar-powered movement, the starting price of €890 seems more reasonable, even though it is higher than the typical quartz chronograph offered by the brand.
Seiko Prospex Speedtimer 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph
Movement: cal. 8A50; solar-powered quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, and chronograph
Case: 42 x 12.9 mm; steel; water resistant to 100 m
Strap: Steel bracelet
Availability: Limited edition fo 4,000 pieces for SFJ005 and SFJ007
Price: €890 (SFJ001, SFJ003), €930 (SFJ005), €970 (SFJ007)
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|Movement||Self-winding caliber A-500; 60 hours power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||42.5mm; titanium; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Salmon (6N gold plated) with gené or frosted area; Super-LumiNova filled Arabic numerals|
|Strap||Ballistic gray rubber; titanium folding clasp|