Just when you thought Seiko’s Astron GPS technology couldn’t get any better, Seiko launched their new 8X82 equipped Astron GPS Chronograph! While the chrono is a new feature, there is a whole lot more to this timepiece that makes it so special. Power is everything, and the new 8X82 is even more efficient then its predecessor, the 7X52.
Before we get in depth of the capabilities of the new Astron, we would like to introduce the 1st in the series, the Limited Edition SSE001. This model will be slightly different than the rest of the line up. The case size will be slightly larger then the other models at 45mm. The ceramic bezel will be faceted, and the bracelet will be titanium, with ceramic links. You may also notice that the dial is white, something never before seen in the Astron GPS series. Thanks to a new type of dial that allows much more light to penetrate, new dial colors are achievable in the series. The SSE001 will be limited to 7,000 pieces for the world and include a leather strap option in the package.
You will see the same black dial as before seen in the Astron GPS, with the SSE003 being the 1st model in the series to have it. The 003 has titanium case and bracelet, and what is very exciting is that all the new Astron GPS Chronograph models will be coated in “Diamond Shield” hard coating, making them extremely scratch resistant. This plating technology is something we are seeing for the 1st time in the US from Seiko, but has been seen in the Japanese Domestic Market. All models of Astron GPS Chronograph aside from the limited edition will be 44.6mm case diameter. A big difference from the 47-48mm in the original and “Stratoshere” series.
The new dial capabilities allow for a metallic blue dial on the SSE005. Accompanied by a vibrant blue ceramic bezel, this model has been getting a lot of attention within the new line up. This model will also be in Seiko’s Bright Titanium with Diamond Shield coating. The functionality of the new 8X82 movement has been improved, allowing for more features, but also is more user friendly. The GPS connecting feature is still essentially the same where you will hold the upper LEFT (as opposed to the right on the 7X52 models) button for 3 seconds for 1 satellite connection (accuracy update) and 6 seconds for GPS multiple satellite connection (to update location/timezone). To change timezones manually without satellite connection, instead of holding down a button then using other buttons to change timezones, this is now done by pulling out the crown one click, and turning until the second hand points to you current location.
The chronograph is very easy to use at it is operated like most any chronograph. Using the upper right button will start and stop the chrono, with the lower right button used to reset. The stopwatch will measure up to six hours and as little as 1/5th of a second. The central seconds hand will act as your 1/5th of a second counter when activated. The sub dials not only register the minutes and hours, but also display the satellite connection at 10:00 and your different mode displays (satellite connection, airplane mode, power reserve) at the 6:00 sub dial. You will notice that the SSE013 pictured above has a tachymeter engraved in the ceramic bezel, instead of city codes. This model has a stainless steel case (with black hard coating), and all other steel models in the line up will feature tachymeter bezel.
The SSE015 will be stainless steel case as the 013, but on the extra-strength silicone strap with 3 fold deployment clasp. The case on this model, as well as other Astron GPS Chronographs will be finished in the mirror like, Zaratsu blade polishing technique. The craftsmanship that goes into the exterior only compliments the technologically advanced internal components.
The SSE017 will have the popular color combo of black and orange, feature a stainless steel black hard coated case and come on the extra-strength silicone strap. You will notice that all of the new Astron models have larger, heavier hands. Thanks to more efficient conversion of light to energy, the watch is not only capable of moving the larger hands, but also add a chronograph feature, and reduce the size by 30%. To give you an idea of how much electricity is needed to connect to the satellites, it is equivalent to 10,000 times that of a battery watch, or 300 times that of a radio controlled watch. Very impressive to say the least.
Other exciting news on this series is that now Astron will have a ladies model. The reduction of size has made this possible and while still a larger ladies piece, is still very much in trend of fashion. The dial will be white mother of pearl with diamond markers, have white ceramic bezel and rose gold plated case, with white leather strap.
The new 44.6mm wide, 13.3mm Astron GPS Chronographs are scheduled to arrive this fall, and will start as low as $1,825. All models are currently available for pre-order through AZ Fine Time, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.
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