Quartz watches are normally not easily included in to the space reserved for luxury wrist watches. In most cases, they lack the finesse and sophistication associated with the expensive mechanical watches created from the stable of Swiss watchmakers par excellence. But, there are rare occasions that call for a closer look at certain quartz watches that are a class apart. The Seiko Astron is a new solar watch with GPS functionality and is certainly worth a place among the luxury watch brands available in the market. The key feature of the watch is its ability to locate your location on the planet and set the time automatically. It uses GPS function to connect to satellites and gain the necessary information on the location as well as the time zone.
Why Seiko chose the name Astron for this watch model? Watch aficionados would be familiar with the close association of the name with the watchmaker. Back in 1969, when they came out with their very first quartz watch, they called it by this name. But, the latest model of the Astron does not have to do anything else at all with that model from nearly half a century back. Seiko is not trying to pay homage to the very first quartz watch from their stable or anything like that.
The main challenge for creating such a watch was in tackling the power management problems. The GPS functionality is definitely going to cause the consumption of a lot of power. Managing the power supply requirements solely on solar energy was a task that was taken up by Seiko with confidence. The end result is a bulky watch at 47 mm in size. As the watch has to incorporate the GPS receivers in to the case, this increased size is quite understandable. Such a big watch is not going to be comfy to wear with a bracelet. But, they do provide you with an option to use a silicon strap and this would certainly make it comfortable on your wrists.
The Seiko Astron dial has a lot of features incorporated in to it. Other than the hour, minutes and second hands, it does have a date window (located at 3 O’ clock position), a twenty four hour register (located at 6 O’ clock position) and a complex register with the ability to handle a variety of operations located at 10 O’ clock position. This register can provide information on the number of satellites it is connected to at the moment, power indicator on a scale from E (for empty) to F (for full), airplane mode indicator as well as the indicator denoting on/off status of day light savings time. Instead of creating separate indicators for each of these functions, Seiko chose to include it all to the register at 10 O’ clock position.
With the help of its GPS function, the watch is able to accurately pinpoint your location on the planet and choose the appropriate time zone among the 39 existing ones around the globe.
The asking price of the watch is in the range between $ 2,300 and $ 3,850.