Seiko have just launched their brand new Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph 1969 Re-Interpretation in a nod to the 1960s when Seiko introduced itself to the international sports timing stage with a new generation of high-precision equipment, making its major competition debut as the official timekeeper for Tokyo’s high profile international sporting event in 1964. Seiko was subsequently endorsed by many international sports federations and used to capture elapsed time at numerous leading sports events around the world.
It’s success can be put down to the range of stopwatches that incorporated Seiko’s advanced “heart-shaped cam” mechanism, a feature which delivered a level of precision once thought unachievable by manual sports timing devices. As a result of this success, Seiko introduced the Seiko Speedtimer with the innovative Caliber 6139 in 1969. It was the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch. These two devices delivered real improvements in the measurement of elapsed time in a wristwatch and are to this day a prerequisite in high functionality chronographs.
As with the 1969 original, every detail of the new watch’s design is tailored to reflect the precision required for elapsed time measurement at the highest level. The sub-dials and markers on the outer dial ring are white so that they stand out against the blue dial, and the chronograph hands are red to ensure that elapsed time can be easily seen at a quick glance.
The second hand is gently curved down towards the dial so that the tip of the hand is as close as possible to the dial’s markers, extending right to the tachymeter markings at the dial edge. The minute and hour hands and the edge of the indexes are coated with Lumibrite so you can read the time in low light. The pushers are prominent and have a wide and flat upper surface area for accurate operability, emphasising the precision that has gone into the design of the watch.
Much like the original watch, this new Speedtimer is powered by Caliber 8R46, which incorporates both vertical clutch and column wheel mechanisms. The vertical clutch eliminates any shuddering or jumping of the hands, enhancing the measurement accuracy, while the column wheel ensures the precise control of the chronograph operation. The movement also incorporates Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer which ensures that when the re-set pusher is depressed, the hands return to zero instantly in perfect synchronization.
The watch comes fitted with a stainless steel bracelet that is specially designed and constructed for this new series. However, you do have a choice of strap, as the presentation case also includes a beautiful black leather strap with specially designed stitching for increased durability.
The new Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph 1969 Re-Interpretation will be available to purchase from September 2022 at Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide, as well as from Seikoboutique.co.uk, priced at £2,740.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Seiko