The Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph: improved
Seiko further expands the line-up of its satellite watches, already a leader in such segment, by introducing the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph, latest evolution of a watch already in the forefront presented in 2012, refreshed in 2013 (see article here) and mated, in 2014, with the model which we have, affectionately, nicknamed Stratos, completing a collection numbering 26 models and in 3 different designs.
They all share an exceptional feature by mounting a tiny GPS antenna under the bezel so as to receive geostationary satellites' signal affording, at the touch of a button, to automatically adjust the hour in each time zone on earth; the definitive watch for the globetrotter as well as the "tech nerd" and beyond. The Seiko Astron GPS is a rather classic watch uniting Japanese hi-tech to a design fit for the wrist of a corporate executive and this first edition has produced a success of planetary dimensions.
The Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph revives that concept and develops it by becoming thinner, easier to use by adding the chrono function and copying the style of another Seiko. It is thinner by further miniaturizing interior components which had already reached record size in the first version and brings the case thickness to 13 mm.; easier to use since the new caliber 8X82 has been re-engineered for further ease of use (the Astron has, among its functions, the perpetual calendar programmed until the year 2100).
It is, indeed, a "classic" chronograph with 3 dials which gives you the feeling to have an automatic chronograph on your wrist unless you already knew you actually had some of the best Japanese digital technology. But since we spoke about style, those of you familiar with SEIKO will recognize a reminiscence with the Brightz Collection sold exclusively in Japan and elsewhere except in Europe.
The Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph is available in 8 configurations, 4 in stainless steel and 4 in titanium with a super hard coating patented by Seiko; two new dials in blue and white, never before available. But there are two personal considerations: while the finishes are absolutely excellent, I prefer the steel version since the titanium is in my opinion too light. Such an impressive timepiece, the case measures 45 mm. in diameter, should translate in a heavier feel when wrapped around your wrist.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Seiko; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®