BASELWORLD 2016 – NEW SEIKO PRESAGE

BASELWORLD 2016 – NEW SEIKO PRESAGE

Seiko made its first watch in 1913 and has been on a roll ever since. In 1956 they made their first automatic watch and introduced their proprietary shock resistant system called Diashock in 1958. Their next technological innovation was in 1959 when they invented the magic lever spring winding mechanism and was followed in 1964 by the in-house production of balance springs with their own specially created alloy. In 1967, Seiko manufactured Japan’s first hi-beat caliber and in 1969 they created the world’s first automatic chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel systems.

Seiko Presage SRQ019, SRQ021

For over a century, Seiko has been pushing the technological envelope of it’s purely mechanical watchmaking skills. Today, they have taken the wraps off a new global collection of purely mechanical powered timepieces dubbed Presage.

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BASELWORLD 2016 – ETERNA SUPER KONTIKI CHRONOGRAPH

BASELWORLD 2016 – ETERNA SUPER KONTIKI CHRONOGRAPH

Eterna Super KonTiki Flyback Chronograph

Being in the watch business for 160 years is certainly something to celebrate.  Eterna is celebrating this prestigious milestone by debuting a trio of exceptional chronographs that are sure to stir the souls of enthusiasts the world over. Welcome to the NEW Eterna Super KonTiki Flyback Chronograph with an in-house Eterna movement.

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SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH GIUGIARO DESIGN 2015 LIMITED EDITION SSE037

SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH GIUGIARO DESIGN 2015 LIMITED EDITION SSE037

SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH GIUGIARO DESIGN 2015 LIMITED EDITION SSE037

At the beginning of February 2015, Seiko Japan announced their first collaboration with Giorgetto Giugiaro on their widely popular Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph.  This holds a special place in many ways for Seiko fans…  Not only is Giorgetto Giugiaro a world acclaimed car designer, he also worked with Seiko during the era of their first analog quartz chronographs in the early 1980’s.  It seems only fitting that this renowned designer who collaborated with Seiko on breakthrough technology of the 80’s, is contributing to their latest breakthrough, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph.

 

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NEW SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH SSE025 SSE031 SSE033 FOR 2015

NEW SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH SSE025 SSE031 SSE033 FOR 2015

NEW SEIKO ASTRON GPS SOLAR CHRONOGRAPH SSE025 SSE031 SSE033 FOR 2015

For 2015, Seiko is introducing at least 3 new models of the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronographs to the line up.  The first addition we have seen is the titanium SSE025, with rose gold accents for the hands, indexes, crown and pushers accompanied by a brown crocodile strap with 3 fold deployment clasp and Seiko’s Diashield coating on the titanium for added scratch resistance.  MSRP is set at $2,550.

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GRAND SEIKO SPRING DRIVE CHRONOGRAPH GMT 18K PINK GOLD SBGC004 REVIEW

GRAND SEIKO SPRING DRIVE CHRONOGRAPH GMT 18K PINK GOLD SBGC004 REVIEW

GRAND SEIKO SPRING DRIVE CHRONOGRAPH GMT 18K PINK GOLD SBGC004

Arizona Fine Time is extremely proud to bring you a hands on review of a Grand Seiko that, while it has been out for a number of years, has never before been seen in the US market.  One of the finest utilitarian movements in the Grand Seiko line up is their 9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT, with 416 components, 50 jewels and a power reserve of 72 hours, including standard use of the chronograph feature and using only one barrel.  Take this incredible caliber, and house it inside an immaculately mirror finished, 43.5mm 18k pink gold case.  We now introduce you to the incredibly rare and luxurious, SBGC004.

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Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko’s Galante brand was sold in Japan for nearly 8 years before it made its first presence in the US market.  Introduced in 2005, the Galante series focuses on bold and unique designs, that cater to the fashionable and the “more then egoist” crowd, who still appreciate outstanding craftsmanship and mechanics.  AZ Fine Time became the 1st authorized dealer for Galante in the states last year, with our first piece being the SBLL021, the FC Barcelona Limited Edition.  Earlier this year, we saw our first Spring Drive GMT variation in the SBLA079, or the Blue Rose Limited Edition.  Today, we are proud to bring you the first Spring Drive Chronograph model the SBLA081, otherwise known as the Snow Leopard Limited Edition.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

As stated in the name, the watches inspiration comes from the illusive snow leopard, not only in color of the design, but also in elegance and intelligence.  The motif of white is expressed throughout the watch including the strap and dial, which represents the cool, calm and distant nature of the snow leopard.  Black accents are found for the roman numerals 6-12 and every the even numbers on the 24 hour chapter ring for the GMT feature.  There are also 2 shades of grey accents, the darker acting as guidance lines from the polished GMT hand to the 24 hour counter as well as the sub dials, and the lighter shade used for the unusual font of the even numbers on the 24 hour counter.  The roman numerals from 1-5 are white resting atop a vibrant mother of pearl layer expressing unique beauty, symbolic of the snow leopard.  The dial itself uses a radial finish in the center, while the rest of the portion with the black roman numerals has a very subtle granite texture to it.  The center seconds for the chrono is also unique, with more granite texturing to is silvery hand, creating a semi-sparkly effect.  As you will find on many Galante models, the dual sided continuous second hand at 9:00 is curved, as well the indexes the hands are gliding over.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

There are 4 diamonds making up the 8:00 marker.  These diamonds are in reference to the snow leopards intelligence, symbolizing 8 multiple intelligences.  The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that all people have different types of intelligence and breaks it down into eight categories.  These eight categories are bodily/kinesthetic (meaning physically coordinated or learning well through physical activity), musical (for the musically inclined),   mathematical/logical (meaning good with numbers), verbal/linguistic (for those good with reading, writing, speaking, etc.), spacial/visual (for those who are good at creating mental images to execute a plan), interpersonal (knowing how to work well with other people), intrapersonal (for those who know and can control their own emotions and thoughts), and naturalist (or knowing nature such as plants, animals, etc).  The significance of the diamonds implies that the one to wear this Galante possesses multiple intelligence’s

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The case size is large at 44.4mm wide and 18.8mm thick.  The cases design is the signature of the Galante brand, using four “pillars” (one at each of the cases lugs) in part of its assembly.  The screws at the top of each pillar are what hold the case together, aside from giving it the unique design element.  Throughout the series of Galante, you will find variations of case sides, mostly faceted and very distinct.  The SBLA081 features what they call a “Coin Edge V Cut”.  This extravagant layout has rounded edges giving a similar appearance to what would be a coin edge (like you might typically see on a bezel), but in a much larger scale.  The “V cut” aspect is between each rounded edge, giving it the shape as described, a v cut facet between each groove.  What adds compliment to this elaborate case design is the Zaratsu finish, giving it a mirror finish throughout the entire piece that can only be achieved by hand.  Only a handful of craftsman are capable of accomplishing this technique.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The movement used in the Galante Snow Leopard is Seiko’s in house manufactured 5R86 Spring Drive caliber.  As we all know, Spring Drive has become coveted by collectors,  proving its proprietary “hybrid” movement  to be not only the worlds most accurate caliber driven by a mainspring, but also retains the artistry that collectors long for.  The 5R86 features a chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel for optimal performance, GMT, 72 hour power reserve display, has an impressive 416 components, 50 jewels, and the astounding +/- 15 seconds per month accuracy rating thanks to its Tri-Syncro Regulator mechanism that replaces the traditional escapement with a quartz frequency regulated glide wheel that rotates only 8 times per second because of an electromagnet relaying the information from the quartz crystal.  This ingenious feat in watch mechanics not only is extremely precise and consistent, but is also built by hand.  Very few craftsmen in Seiko Epson’s Shinshu Watch Studio are capable of assembling these movements.  Another note you may have already noticed is that the 5R86 movement found in Galante is not the same finish as other 5R86 movements.  Galante has a unique gunmetal colored and striped rotor, with a unique ribbed pattern on the top main plate of the movement.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The rare Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition is limited to only 100 pieces for the world.  These include a grey rubber strap with tang buckle as an option.  The white strap it comes on includes a 3 fold deployment buckle, and as another option, AZFT will also include a black leather strap with deployment buckle to give another totally new look to this timepiece.  The MSRP on this model is $9,800 and is extremely limited in the states.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

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Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE 8X82 Series Hands On

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

It was 2012 when Seiko first introduced their new interpretation of the Seiko Quartz Astron (the worlds first Quartz watch in 1969), introducing the Seiko Astron GPS Solar, the worlds first GPS controlled solar watch.  On September 19th, Seiko Watch Corporation had the official launch of the new variation, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph, bringing not only new functionality to the Astron, but also reducing its size roughly 30%!  Today we are proud to bring you our first review of the new Astron GPS Chrono’s, featuring their 8×82 caliber.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

The SSE001 will be the 1st in the series and limited to 7,000 pieces world wide.  The first thing people may notice is that this is the only Astron GPS to have a white dial.  Thanks to a more efficient way to convert light to energy, Seiko was able to achieve new dial colors for the Astron GPS models.  The SSE001 will also have a few distinct differences compared to the rest of the chronograph line up, including a faceted bezel design, unique crown and a case width of 45mm.  The titanium bracelet on this model will also have ceramic center links, with titanium for the rest of the bracelet and case.  This limited edition will also include a black leather strap with three fold deployment buckle.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

The rest of the silver toned titanium collection will include SSE003 (black dial), the SSE005 (blue dial pictured above), and the SSE007 (black dial with yellow gold accents).  These use Seiko’s proprietary Bright Titanium which is 40% the weight of stainless steel, just as hard, and is capabale of receiving a unique finish.  All models in the Astron Chronograph collection will be finished in Zaratsu polishing technique, giving it a distortion free mirror finish and then a special hard coating (known as DiaShield) is applied.  DiaShield can increase the scratch resistance to nearly twice the hardness of stainless steel and protects its beautiful finish.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE009

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE009

Other models in the Astron Chronograph line up will have a black hard coating process as seen in the SSE009 pictured above.  Along with the SSE003, 005 and 007, these will have a rounded bezel as opposed to the faceted on the limited edition.  These will also have city code indicators engraved into the bezel, making for easy manual timezone adjustments if necessary.  Another new feature in these new Astron’s is the addition of an electronic crown.  The electronic crown makes it easier to manually adjust timezones by pulling out the crown one click, the seconds hand will point to the current city code you are set for, and you turn the crown to the new desired timezone.  The hands from there will adjust themselves.  For daylight savings adjustment, all you need to do is hold down the upper left hand button for about four seconds with the crown out one click.  This will turn daylight savings either on or off.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE011

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE011

Not all of the new Astron Chronograph’s will be titanium.  They have also introduced several models in stainless steel, that also use DiaShield.  The SSE011 is the first in the collection with black dial, stainless steel bracelet and a red accent at the tip of the second hand.  The pushers for the chronograph on the right hand side are different in design then the titanium models but do function the same.  The chronograph functions as most do, using the upper right hand button to start and the lower right to reset.  Those two buttons do not have any other function aside from working the chrono.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

The SSE013 will have a black hard coated stainless steel case and bracelet and blue accents on some of the indexes.  The bracelet for the steel models differs from the titanium, using a 5 piece link bracelet, versus the titanium’s 7 piece.  The weight difference is pretty substantial with titanium pieces at 110g, steel on bracelet at 175g, and steel on rubber at 125g.  Another interesting note on the stainless models is that these will have a ceramic bezel with engraved tachymeter as opposed to the city codes.  This allows to measure time and distance with its 1/5th of a second chronograph.  The ceramic bezel still maintains its purpose as on the orginal Astron GPS models, with the in-house developed antenna ring underneath.  Airplane mode, which turns off the GPS receiver, is much easier to do on the chrono’s.  Just hold down the lower left button for four seconds.

 

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

There will be 2 models in the line up featuring an extra-strength silicone strap.  SSE015 (pictured above) and SSE017 (black dial, black hard coated case, and orange accents).  These will both have a 3 fold deployment clasp and is extremely comfortable to wear.  The SSE015 has a great sporty feel to it with white chapter ring and silver/white sub dial rings.  It is very easy to distinguish all going on within the three sub dials.  The 10:00 sub dial will measure your actual running seconds.  Once GPS satellite connection is initiated by holding the upper left hand button for six seconds, the hand will indicate how many satellites you are connected to as well as if you received successful connection pointing to “Y” for yes and “N” for no.  Your 6:00 sub dial show your current power reserve (which still maintains the 6 month power reserve running, or up to 2 years in sleep mode), unless you are connecting to satellites or running the chronograph.  The hand will point to the “1” if the upper left button is held for three seconds.  This means you are connecting to one single satellite for an accuracy update (which this also does automatically when exposed to bright light).  When held for six seconds, the 6:00 hand will point to the “4+”.  This is to pinpoint location and adjust the hands to that timezone, using multiple satellites.  When running the chronograph, the 6:00 hand will measure up to 6 hours and your 2:00 sub dial is used to measure minutes.  Your center second hand will only be used for measuring up to 1/5th of a second, only when the chronograph is running.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

The crowning achievement in the new 8X82 Astron GPS Solar Chronograph series is its size.  At 30% smaller then the originals, the chrono’s are much easier to wear for dress or casual.  Measuring at 45mm on the Limited Edition, and 44.6mm wide on the rest of the series, these pieces are much more wearable and compare to a typical self-winding chronograph at only 13.3mm thick!

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

The prices in stainless steel vary from $1,825 on strap to $1,875 on bracelet.  The titanium models are all $2,450, with the limited edition SSE001 at $3,300.   You can view and purchase and of the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronographs HERE, including three new limited edition models SSE019 in all black hard coated titanium with rose gold accents.  The first ladies Astron GPS with white ceramic, mother of pearl dial and diamond markers labeled SSE021.  Finally, the new Novak Djokovic Limited Edition SSE022.  These three models are scheduled for November delivery.

 

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