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In the 1960s, Seiko unveiled a ground-breaking generation of high-precision equipment that was warmly welcomed by many international sports organizations and featured in many of the world’s sports events. Key to Seiko’s success was an assortment of stopwatches that included Seiko’s inventive “heart-shaped cam” mechanism, a feature that provided hallmark access to precision timing. In 1969, Seiko Speedtimer with the innovative Caliber 6139 was unleashed. The Speedtimer was the world's first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch, two devices that greatly enhanced the measurement of elapsed time in a wristwatch and are still necessary in high functionality chronographs. Since then, new range of six watches inspired by the Speedtimer and Seiko's pedigree of producing sports timepieces have been added to the Prospex repertoire. Today, we introduce to you the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph The Black Series Ref. SBDL103.
|Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph The Black Series Ref. SBDL103 / SSC917
Encased in a robust 316L stainless steel case construction, the The Black Series Ref. SBDL103 vaguely resembles the case shape of some of Seiko’s modern 62MAS reissues with its slightly rounded lug design, a well-crafted case design many Seiko lovers are largely familiar with. Done in a complete sleek black outlook, it measures with a pleasing diameter of 39.5mm, a lug to lug distance of 45.4mm and a thickness of only 13.3mm, the sub-40mm size will definitely satisfy the masses with just the perfect amount of wrist presence without feeling overwhelming while remaining extremely versatile for a whole range of wrist sizes. Despite being full-black, the finishes here are skilfully executed to a high level of detail with circular satin brushing on the top of the lugs and a smooth high polish at the side of the case. Pairing with the watch is a sporty 20mm stainless steel 3-link bracelet in matching black tone, secured with solid end-links, tapering down gracefully to about 18mm at the milled clasp.
Being a watch originally built for the tracking of time, the Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph houses a fixed black polished tachymeter bezel which is utilized in conjunction with the chronograph function to measure elapsed time over a fixed distance. Taking a closer look at the finer details, the bezel sharply slopes downward to divide the cream markers and etched tachymeter numerals on the outer perimeter, adding a beautiful layer of dimension to the watch as the polished bezel captures the light in various angles.
Seiko Cal. V192 solar-powered quartz chronograph movement
Onto the dial, a delicately finished in a sandblasted texture in grey tone to ensure a high level of readability and legibility, an attribute critical for a sports watch meant for professional use. Equipped with three black subdials at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock position with the 3 o’clock subdial displaying the 24 hour time, the 9 o’clock subdial showing the running seconds and the 6 o’clock dedicated to dual functions: a 60-minute elapsed time counter and a power reserve indicator. Notably, the power reserve indicator presents itself with a subtle nod to the world of auto racing with ‘F’ and ‘E’ markers, which are symbols commonly found on fuel gauges in automobile vehicles to indicate fuel level.
Furthermore, this timepiece has sapphire, antireflection coating glass for maximum readability under bright light. Bearing a close resemblance to the 1969 Seiko Speedtimer, the hour indices are intricately applied with boxy markers, accompanying the broad sword-style handsets, which are treated with Seiko’s renowned LumiBrite paint for an easy time-reading experience even in the dark.
Satin brushed and high polish case profile
Underneath the solidly-constructed exterior, the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph The Black Series Ref. SBDL103 is driven by the reliable Seiko Cal. V192 solar-powered quartz chronograph movement, boasting a power reserve of about 6 months on a full charge and an accuracy rating of approximately ±15 seconds a month. Operated through the chronograph pushers on the side of the case, the movement features a 60-minute chronograph function, a date complication and a 24 hour indicator. Despite not being a dive watch, the watch is well-equipped with a substantial 100m of water resistance, providing protection from light water splashes in everyday use.
All in all, this sporty watch is a must-have if you are looking for a versatile, multi-functional, solar-powered timepiece. From the lovely dimensions to the exceptional craftsmanship, Seiko’s rich timekeeping heritage is unmistakably reflected in both the iconic visual aesthetics and remarkable timing precision of this new release, and we can definitely expect this one to be a fan-favorite in no time.