Racers, start your engines because Seiko has just gifted us with a new take on one the most iconic Seiko chronographs of all time. Meet the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph 1969 Re-Interpretation (AKA SRQ043), now with a blue dial.
In the lore and legend of Seiko, Speedtimer stands tall. The chronograph was first created, as Seiko’s PR material politely puts it; “for Tokyo’s high profile international sporting event in 1964.” Things really kicked up a notch in 1969, when Seiko, in a nail-biting race to release the first automatic chronograph (a race with three winners, depending on how you score it), unveiled the Calibre 6139, a sophisticated column wheel movement beating at 3 Hz. This movement, or rather the first watches is was housed in, were typically released under the ‘Seiko 5’ label and branded as Speedtimers (learn more about Seiko’s early chronographs here). Decades after this pioneering release, in 2021, Seiko revived the Speedtimer name, only now it lived within the sporty Prospex family. Today we’re treated to another contemporary re-imagining of a 1969 classic.
Powered by the unremarkable-yet-reliable 8R46 movement, with 45 hours of power reserve, this large 42.5 x 15.1mm thick steel-cased watch doesn’t look too much like its inspiration, thanks to a much rounder case silhouette and more prominent pump pushers. However, the dial is where the story lives. The blue is rich and glossy like its inspiration, but its the hands that are full of character. The main hours and minutes have a very true-to-the-original feel, broad chunky facets with a wide lume plot. Similar attention to detail has been paid to the subdial hands, which have a teardrop flair characteristic of vintage Seiko chronographs. The hour markers also have a double-ridged design that will be sure to catch the light, and adds some extra dynamism to an already attractive dial.
Seiko fans have long been clamouring for the revival of the desirable historic chronograph models, and with good reason, and it looks like Seiko is finally set on delivering. These modern re-interpretations are just that, interpretations, as sadly, we can’t have the form factor that added so much charm to the originals. Having said that, the dials are very good, and the overall package, as we’ve come to expect from Seiko, is top-notch.
Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph 1969 Re-Interpretation SRQ043
Movement: Caliber 8R46, automatic chronograph with 45 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel 42.5 x 15.1mm, water resistant to 100M
Strap: Black calf or steel bracelet with folding clasp
Price: GPB 2740
Availability: From September 2022