Seiko’s Speedtimer Chronograph Collection Just Keeps Getting Better

Is this finally the sporty Seiko automatic chrono you’ve been waiting for?

When Seiko announced a new Speedtimer collection in 2021, it felt like a long time coming. The historic name was revived and the brand’s proud history in automatic chronographs was finally leveraged after a long dormancy.

But what did watch fans get most excited about when the Speedtimer came back? It was the collection’s affordable, solar-charging chronograph range with the popular “panda” (black subdials on white) and “reverse-panda” dial styles. The collection’s automatic chronographs looked very cool but they weren’t as sporty and they cost $3,000+.

Seiko has since continued to build out the Speedtimer line with more variety, but they’ve now closed the loop: two new references offer automatic chronographs with the monochromatic, contrasting dial designs everyone loves. Is it the slam dunk it would appear to be?

To many, the new watches will look awesome at first blush, but there might be a couple of sticking points when they dig into the specs. Perhaps 42mm will sound big. Or $2,500-$2,700 will sound like a lot of money. We’d say they’re worth a closer look and a suspension of judgment before seeing them in person. As with any Seiko release, there are details to nitpick and more notable nuggets to dissect about these killer-looking chronos.

Firstly, they introduce a new line and design in the Prospex Speedtimer collection. Compared to the automatic chronographs that preceded them, they take an entirely different form with a sportier case shape and a different version of the 8R-family automatic movements offering three subdials rather than two.

While new to the Speedtimer line, though, they do have precedent. The limited edition SRQ029 released in 2019 was in the Prospex collection but preceded the Speedtimer name’s revival. It had similar case and dial designs, though with differences including a 41mm diameter in titanium as opposed to the new watches’ 42mm in steel.

That model was meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first automatic chronograph wristwatch to market, when Seiko famously (controversially) beat even the Swiss (debate among yourselves) in 1969 with its reference 6139. That vintage chrono was also known as the Speedtimer and, although it’s not intended as something like a reissue, it would seem to reference that history—being a 55th anniversary in 2024, after all (yes, another anniversary Seiko is celebrating). 

According to the brand, however, the new models’ specific design traits (like its panda colorway and orange-tipped chronograph seconds hand) are based on a vintage Speedtimer model from 1972. Despite these anniversaries and historical nods, though, the new models feel relatively modern.

They’re not, however, quite as sporty as the popular and accessible Solar Speedtimers which feature tachymeters on black external bezels, much like the most famous chronographs you can think of. At the same time they’re sportier and more contemporary than the existing automatic Speedtimers’ vintage vibes.

We think they look fantastic, but there are going to be fans that remain skeptical about their price and dimensions (and perhaps a 4:30 date window). But these watches probably deserve to be experienced in person before being judged. If they’re anything like the SRQ029 from 2019, which we’ve had a chance to try, they won’t seem too big on the wrist nor like anything other than a strong value.

Tech Specs

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ047 & SRQ049 Specs

Movement: 8R48 automatic chronograph; 45-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: 42mm x 14.6mm x 49.5mm; steel (super hard coating); water resistant to 100m
Strap: Steel bracelet; SRQ049 includes calf leather strap
Availability: SRQ047 (panda) not limited; SRQ049 (reverse panda) limited to 1,000 examples
Price: $2,500 (SRQ047), $2,700 (SRQ049)


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