As we saw in yesterday’s post, the Seiko Astron GPS is an incredible break through in technology. The ultra-low power consumption is one of a few new technologies Seiko had to develop in order to make this GPS timepiece possible. One of the other technologies Seiko had to develop was a new type of GPS antenna. In most GPS devices, the antenna is a chip, stored within the device. Most of these devices are encased in a hard plastic (or non-metal) case to help receive the signal easier. For the Astron GPS, the standard internal chip type antenna would not work with well with a stainless steel or titanium enclosure. For the watch to receive reception easily, Seiko has developed a new High-Sensitivity Antenna Ring for the watch to receive reception easily. Seiko has given the Seiko Astron GPS Solar a ceramic bezel, not only for it’s scratch resistance and durability, but also for their new antenna ring to receive the easiest reception possible. The ring, which lies under the ceramic bezel, will not receive the interference of signal as it would inside a steel or titanium case, and in turn, makes for fast reception.
The ceramic bezel not only has a great purpose, but also looks great on the SAST003. The sleek black bezel along with the slightly darker shade in titanium compliment each other very well. While the bracelet is a brushed finish, the case sides are polished beautifully, a unique characteristic achievable by using Seiko’s proprietary High-Intensity Titanium. This titanium is not only 60% the weight of stainless steel, but also 1.5 times harder than pure titanium.
The 3 dimensional indexes give a true representation of how incredibly deep the dial is, not to mention making he watch look incredible. The dial on all the Astron’s are easily spotted as being solar panels, which in my opinion, gives a semi-futuristic type look to the watch. The full exposure of the solar panel is essential for the watch to easily charge. So far, we have attempted to receive signal with the same watch twice, and the energy level indicator has not gone down from a full charge as of yet.
Another cool feature on the Seiko Astron GPS Solar is that all these watches have an “in flight mode”. Kind of like a cell phone, after you board a plane, you have to turn off all your devices (or switch them to airplane mode). This prevents any interference with pilots radio signals etc. You would not want your Astron GPS to receive signal during flight and interfere with the radio signals, so when you switch the watch to airplane mode, it will only keep time by the base of the movement, which is accurate to 15 seconds a month. After you get off of your flight, you can push the upper right button for 6 seconds, and the watch will adjust to whatever timezone you have landed in. This will also recalibrate the accuracy to the 1 second every 100,000 years deviation.
I hope you all enjoyed the latest installment on our Astron week. Stay tuned for the next review on the Seiko Astron GPS Solar SAST007 on the AZ Fine Time Blog.
Check out the video review…
See more pictures below…