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Seiko’s Striking New Automatic Watch Honors Its First-Ever Chronograph

Back in the 1940s, the Japanese watchmakers at Seiko were well on their way to stardom, introducing one of, if not the first, chronograph timepieces. While the company’s earliest variants were brought to the masses under the guise of a pocket watch silhouette, it wasn’t long until they would implement the same chronograph layout in a wrist-worn variant, including the 1969 Caliber 6139, which was the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch.

Before the 1969 release, however, Seiko released the Crown Chronograph. This groundbreaking example was both Seiko, and Japan’s, first chronograph watch, boasting a handsome design, one-push mechanism, column wheel, and the ability to control the timepiece’s start, stop, and reset functions. Now, for the Crown’s 55th Anniversary, the company has introduced the Presage-based SRQ031 model, paying homage to one of watchmaking’s most influential examples. Like its predecessor, the SRQ031 features a nostalgic design accented by a box-shaped crystal, a slim bezel, and tilted case to give the watch a pronounced aesthetic. Inside, an upgraded 8R48 movement, vertical clutch, column wheel, and heart-shaped cam provide wearers with unparalleled precision. Only 1,000 examples are slated for release, so head over to Seiko’s website to procure one of your own for $3,735.

Purchase: $3,735