I’ll be honest, with the ongoing stream of releases that Seiko puts out, the solar-powered models are generally not the first ones I gravitate toward. Seiko simply has so many great mechanical watches in its collection that the solar-powered timepieces usually fall the wayside in my mind. But when they look as good as the new Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronographs, I am all eyes and ears. The new Seiko Prospex SC911, SC913, and SC915 comprise another compelling offer from the Japanese brand. Let’s find out more.
It doesn’t often happen that a new release catches your eye and you feel immediately at home with it. It’s not the excitement of discovering something new in terms of design. No, it’s this extremely comforting feeling of seeing something that feels familiar but simultaneously gets you excited. That’s the feeling I had when I laid my eyes on the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SC911. It is part of a trio of new solar-powered chronographs that have the potential to draw in a large crowd of both watch fans and not-so-regular watch buyers. These new chronographs look great and get their inspiration from the iconic Seiko chronographs of the 1960s and ’70s.
The Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronographs at first glance
Let’s start with some basics. The three Speedtimer models each feature a 41.4mm stainless steel case that is 13mm thick and water-resistant to 100 meters. With new Seiko releases, the first thing I usually do is check the case size. In the past, the brand released timepieces — especially in the Prospex line — that looked amazing but were too big for many watch fans. Recently, however, Seiko has graced us with Prospex releases that are not as unwieldy, making them a great fit for various wrist sizes. With a case size of just over 41mm, the size of these new chronographs is spot-on.
Looking at the colorways here, we see hints of a few of Seiko’s popular chronographs from the past. For me, the famous blue-dial 6139-6002 “Cevert” and the 6138-8020 “Panda” are the first references that come to mind. These new watches, however, feature three registers. The small-seconds indicator sits at 9 o’clock, the 60-minute chronograph register at 6 o’clock, and the 24-hour sub-dial at 3 o’clock. All three models come equipped with a curved sapphire crystal to emphasize the vintage-inspired feel. Additionally, they come on a stainless steel bracelet with a three-fold clasp and a pushbutton release. The Oyster-style bracelet comes with a brushed finish that fits the circular-brushed finish of the top of the lugs perfectly.
Three different models
Seiko offers the watch in three different variations. The first — and the one that my eyes were drawn to immediately — is the SC911, which comes with a panda dial. The white main dial features a sunray finish and a black and grey inner bezel ring with the chronograph-seconds scale. It makes room for the rectangular applied hour markers that are filled with Seiko’s Lumibrite compound. The three black registers are placed at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. I love the simple, straightforward style of the Lumibrite-filled hour and minute hands. The central chronograph-seconds hand and the chronograph-minute hand at 6 o’clock are executed in bright red, adding the right amount of zing to the design.
Tucked between two counters at 3 and 6 o’clock, you will find the date window slightly south of the 4 o’clock marker. The placement seems a bit odd, but I would like to see it in the metal before I judge it. The watch features a gray-and-black aluminum bezel insert with a tachymeter scale. I love the overall aesthetic of this SC911. Besides the 6138-8020 “Panda”, the watch also reminds me somewhat of another Seiko classic, the 6139-6040 “Silver Ghost” that fellow Fratello writer Mike Stockton owns.
The Prospex Speedtimer SC913 and SC915
The second model is the SC913, which comes with a blue sunray dial and a blue-and-red “Pepsi” bezel. Once again, the chronograph hands are also executed in bright red, but this time, they match the red color on the bezel. Completing the trio is the SC915, which comes with a black dial with a sunray finish and a black-and-red “Coke” bezel. With the date disc in the color of the dial with white printing, the date window on these models seems to blend in a bit better. On the SC911, the black date disc with white printing contrasts the white dial, causing it to stand out immediately.
Seiko’s quartz caliber V192 powers all three watches. The solar-powered movement operates for up to six months without being exposed to light. As you might have spotted, the power-reserve indicator is integrated into the 60-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock. In reality, you probably will only use it if you haven’t worn the watch for a long time. But as these watches make for great daily wearers, chances are you will never check the power reserve. These three new Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronographs will go on sale in November 2022 and retail for €700. With looks like these and the practicality of a solar-powered movement, these have the potential to be a hit for Seiko. I can’t wait to take them for a spin and find out more.
For more information, visit the official Seiko website. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on these new Speedtimer Solar Chronographs in the comments section!