As everyone knows, Seiko has made an important contribution to the development of the chronograph. In 1969, the brand released Caliber 6139, which is also the world’s earliest chronograph movement equipped with column wheels and vertical clutch devices. However, in fact, the history of Seiko chronographs can be traced back to earlier, the brand produced chronograph pocket watches in the early 1940s. Today, Seiko celebrates its long and proud timekeeping tradition with two new automatic chronographs. The new watch is a commemoration of two iconic timepieces from 1964 and 1969, one of which belongs to the Prospex series and the other belongs to the Presage series. Two new watches will be available in December 2019 and will be available from Seiko boutiques and select retailers worldwide.
Commemorating the 1969 classic
It is true that Caliber 6139 released in 1969 is an important milestone in the history of Seiko, not only because it is one of the earliest automatic chronograph movements in the world, the real significance is also that it is equipped with a column wheel and a vertical clutch device at the same time, making the timing accuracy Significantly improved. Today, the combination of a vertical clutch and a column wheel has been widely regarded as a prerequisite for advanced chronographs; in 1969, it represented an important advancement in automatic watches.
1970 Original ‘Panda Disk’ Chronograph
The new Prospex limited edition commemorating the 1969 milestone uses the most advanced chronograph caliber 8R48, which was first introduced in 2014. In addition to the vertical clutch device and column wheel, Caliber8R48 movement also combines Seiko’s unique three-fork zero-homing hammer and heart-shaped cam to ensure accurate and fast timing function when starting and perfect synchronization when zeroing. The new watch follows the much-loved design of that era-with a white dial as the background and two black sub-dials, affectionately called ‘Panda’ by Seiko fans. From the brushed finish of the dial to the hour and minute hands and chronograph seconds hand with orange tip, to the hour and tachymeter scales, new and old watches are the same.
Seiko Prospex 50th Anniversary Limited Edition (SRQ029J1)
In addition, the new watch has a third sub-dial for the regular second hand, which uses Zaratsu technology to upgrade the case design, and is equipped with a box-shaped sapphire crystal. It is reported that this Prospex 50th Anniversary Edition is limited to 1,000 pieces.
Commemorating the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph
1964 Original Crown Chronograph
The Crown chronograph, introduced in 1964, is the first chronograph watch in Seiko and even the history of Japanese watchmaking. Every aspect of this watch is designed from scratch and also marks the beginning of Seiko chronograph production. The watch uses a simple one-button mechanism, but equipped with a column wheel to control the start, stop and reset of the chronograph function, fully demonstrates its firm commitment to accurate chronograph, compared to Caliber6139 and all subsequent generations.
Seiko Presage 50th Anniversary Limited Edition (SRQ031J1)
The new chronograph faithfully reproduces the design of the Crown chronograph from 1964. It is equipped with a box-shaped sapphire crystal, a narrow bezel marked with clear numbers, and a case that is tilted inward, making the watch fit snugly around the wrist. Of course, every detail has been improved and upgraded: Caliber8R48 movement has a 12-hour cumulative timing function and can provide 45-hour power reserve; the sapphire crystal is coated with an anti-glare layer; the lugs are super-polished (Zaratsu) retouched. It is reported that the 50th anniversary edition of this Presage automatic chronograph is limited to 1,000. (Photo / text watch home Xu Chaoyang)