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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Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph – Line up

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE003

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE003

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE017

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE017

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.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Ladies

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Ladies

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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