Seiko fans around the world are a pretty hardcore bunch. They don’t take smack from fan boys of other brands at the best of times. It’s pretty much a reflection of the Japanese watch manufacturer’s uncompromising attitude towards its products, the new Seiko Astron being a very good example. It debuted 2012, and remains one of the more accurate premium quartz timepieces. So for 2018, Seiko wants to give you an even more accurate movement with the new 8X42 calibre. If you haven’t heard of the Astron, it’s a pretty cool set-up.
Once you’re outdoors, it captures the correct time of any place in the world at a touch of the button, using solely solar energy. It automatically starts syncing with GPS satellites waves for accurate timing within five seconds of the dial being exposed to relatively strong sunlight. In their absence, say if you wear the watch under your sleeve, the Astron automatically searches for the GPS signal based on the last successfully adjusted time. Simply put, it keeps accurate time every day without requiring special attention.
But it wouldn’t be a Seiko if it didn’t do something weird or out of the ordinary which, in this case, is the aesthetics. It's metal charisma and dark blue to signify maturity; the solar watch perfectly matches the stylish suit of a tasteful dresser. The bright-silver titanium case and band, dark-blue ceramic bezel and dial set with five sapphires are like the candles of the Astron GPS’ fifth anniversary. Those sapphires are quite loud on what Seiko admits is a sedate dial, so that you can tick the “special” box.
One feature which is not overt is the perpetual calendar, which could be the new hip complication of 2018. The Astron kicks out 40 times zones but it has big date windows, and will provide the correct date until the year 2100 or the battery runs out, whichever comes first. That’s no joke: the Astron is one of the most energy and solar-efficient timepieces around, and could actually last a very, very long time if it sees the sun regularly. Available as part of a limited edition of 1,500 pieces.