Back in the late 1960s, Seiko was one of three watchmakers — with Zenith and a consortium led by Heuer and Breitling as the others — who were trying to create the world’s first automatic chronograph watch. Arguments abound over which brand was technically the first to do so, but all succeeded in their mission around the same time in 1969. That was the year when Seiko introduced the first Speedtimer, the Caliber 6139 Seiko 5 SPORTS Speed-Timer, a watch now commonly referred to as the “Pogue” after NASA astronaut William Pogue wore the watch on a mission to outer space in 1973. Now, Seiko has brought the iconic Speedtimer name back on a brand-new pair of automatic chronographs.
It’s quite rare for Seiko to make automatic chronographs these days, so even without the revival of the Speedtimer name, these would be significant releases. One is a limited edition — reference SRQ035 — with a white dial that’s modeled after a 1964 stopwatch from the brand that utilized a then-revolutionary heart-shaped cam mechanism that brought increased precision. The watch uses a new automatic chronograph movement, Caliber 8R46, which features both a vertical clutch and column wheel in a bicompax layout with a date complication at six o’clock. The 42.5mm watch is on the thick side at 15.1mm, but it does boast a water resistance rating of 100m. Joining the limited SRQ035 is the non-limited SRQ037. Sporting a dressier design, the gray-dialed watch has the same movement, specs, and measurements as its sibling, but the hands, indices, and dial design are all different, with the watch’s beveled hour markers and sharp dauphine hands paying homage to Seiko’s first chronograph wristwatch, 1964’s Crown Chronograph. Both watches are sold on three-link stainless steel bracelets.
The SRQ035 is limited to 1,000 pieces and is priced at $3,200, while the non-limited SRQ037 goes for $3,000. They are the headliners of Seiko’s new Speedtimer collection, a part of the brand’s high-end Prospex line that also includes a quartet of new solar-powered chronographs that are priced at $675.