The new releases from Seiko keep coming. These are the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph (ref. SQR047) and the 100th Anniversary Limited Edition (ref. SQR049). The panda dial SQR047 is a regular production release, while the blue-grey SQR049 will be limited to 1,000 pieces. Together, they’re a handsome pair of Speedtimers with just enough heritage inspiration.
Besides the flipped dial colors, SQR047 and SQR049 have the same specs. The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph steel case measures 42mm in diameter and 14.6mm thick and comes on a redesigned nine-link bracelet. Both the case and bracelet have alternating brushed and polished surfaces. The standard production SQR047 has a silver-white dial with blue-grey subdials and a matching tachymeter. These colors are flipped on the limited SQR049. Seiko says it references a Speedtimer introduced in 1972, i.e. the ref. 6138-8020 “Panda.” There’s a date window at 4:30, the chronograph hands are orange-tipped, and the Seiko and Prospex logo are stacked at 12 o’clock. Both watches are powered by the automatic Seiko caliber 8R48. It’s a solid, in-house movement with column wheel and vertical clutch that beats at 4 Hz with a 45-hour power reserve.
Availability will begin in December at select retailers. The blue-grey SQR049 is limited to 1,000 pieces to celebrate Seiko’s 100th anniversary, while the panda SQR047 is not limited. The SQR047 has a retail price of $2,500 and the SQR049’s is $2,700.
While not perfect, this pair of chronographs make for nice additions to the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph line. The panda in particular references a fan-favorite ’70s Seiko, in a slightly slimmed-down form.
The new Prospex Speedtimer falls in a pattern with other recent Seiko releases: more heritage inspiration, and at a higher price point. While we’ve questioned this a bit with some model lines (like last week’s updated Marinemaster release), it looks to be well executed with this new pair of chronographs.
The 8-series movement is more than adequate, the updated bracelet and case both look like upgrades, and the dial is clean and balanced. Sure, there’s the 4:30 date window, and we’ll have to see how the 14.6mm of thickness wears on the wrist. And while the price is aggressive, as much of Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph pricing is nowadays, it doesn’t feel out of line for what’s on offer: namely, a well-designed chronograph with a solid in-house caliber. When you consider its relative position with the competition, it’s a strong addition to the Speedtimer lineup.