Seiko enters the race for watches with an integrated bracelet in the Gerald Genta style and presents the new Astron GPS Solar.
The new Astron stands out for its unmistakable octagonal shape (where have we seen that before?) although with different-sized sides and its textured brick-shaped dial reminiscent of so many other competitors.
The watch that comes in a titanium case with a diameter of 41.2mm, a thickness of 12mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 48.6mm. It gets the super-hard coating that protects it against scratches, a sapphire glass front, a smooth bezel, a crown at three o’clock, two rectangular pushers and 100m of water resistance.
The textured dial features a black minute outer ring, applied hour markers and hands all filled with Lumibrite, framed date window at 3 o’clock and lastly a sub-dial at 8 o’clock that provides three pieces of information: the travel mode, GPS signal and leap-second reception.
There are four variants that bring the new Astron to life, the SSJ013 comes with a blue dial and silver indices, the SSJ014 features a black dial and rose gold indices, bezel, crown and pushers, the SSJ015 comes in all black, case to the dial, and finally, the SSJ017 which is a limited edition of 1,500 units whose grey dial features a textured stripe pattern instead of the brick pattern of the three regular variants.
Inside, and as indicated on the dial, it is equipped with a quartz movement powered by solar energy Caliber 3X22, which whenever the dial is exposed to the sun, receives the GPS satellite signal and adjusts the time automatically, which guarantees a precision of one second every 100,000 years (we wish we lived that long to check it).
The four variants are attached to an integrated tapered titanium bracelet, with the “all black” version featuring the same black coating as the case, with a folding clasp that offers three levels of smart adjustment.
The watches will be available from July 2023 priced at €2,100 for all variants except “all black”
whose price is € 2,300.
Its octagonal design is not original, so it is just one more in a market flooded with watches with a similar shape and the same can be said of the dial.
The option for titanium we would say is risky since it would be more understandable (and affordable) to debut the watch in a steel case. The two side pushers would make any layman (and not only) wonder if it was a chronograph, not being that we don’t think they are justified and whose functions could not be added to the crown, not to mention that it is unaesthetic.
Finally, the quartz movement, regardless of its unquestionable qualities, accuracy and historical connection to the Astron collection, we do not believe that it is the main preference of the supporters of this niche market.
In short, the idea is good, and the design interesting, but the execution is questionable, so let the market play.
Read more here.
Model: Astron GPS Solar
Reference: SSJ013 (blue dial), SSJ014 (titanium and rose gold case), SSJ015 (black dial and case), SSJ017 (grey dial)
Dial: Blue, black, grey
Case Material: Titanium
Case Dimensions: 41.2 mm diameter, 12.0 mm thickness
Case Back: Titanium
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Strap: Integrated titanium bracelet with triple folding clasp
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GPS, zone adjustment
Winding: Solar quartz
Price: € 2,100 (SSJ013, SSJ014, SSJ017), € 2,300 (SSJ015)
Availability: July 2023
Limited Edition: No (SSJ013, SSJ014, SSJ015), Yes 1,500 pieces (SSJ017)