Seiko, the official timekeeper of the World Athletics Championships since 1985, is responsible for determining the winners of different athletic disciplines where fractions of a second can make or break a record. Held in Oregon in July 2022, Seiko comes with over 50-years of experience in timing sports events. Celebrating its seventeenth consecutive role as the official timekeeper of this prestigious athletics event, Seiko presents a Prospex Speedtimer Limited Edition Chronograph SRQ041.
Seiko and Sports Timing
Seiko’s high-precision timing equipment has been used in sporting events for well over fifty years. The 89ST series of manual stopwatches produced in 1963 could measure 1/5th, 1/10th and 1/100th of a second thanks to an innovative heart-shaped cam mechanism. The Crown Chronograph 5179 wristwatch, the first chronograph wristwatch produced by Seiko and the first of its kind in Japan, was a natural evolution of Seiko’s stopwatches and appeared just in time for the 1964 Summer Olympics. Although we tend to remember 1969 as the year when America won the space race and landed a man on the Moon, there was another race between Swiss watch manufacturers to develop the first automatic chronograph movement. While Zenith and the Heuer/Hamilton/Breitling coalition rushed to the finish line, another contender in Japan – Seiko – was also developing an automatic chronograph movement 6139 for its Speedtimer, the first to be fitted with a column wheel and vertical clutch.
Race track motifs
Similar to the Speedtimers released in 2021 and earlier this year, the stainless steel case is reinforced with a super-hard coating. The 100m water-resistant case, which measures 42.5mm in diameter and has a thickness of 15.1mm, displays polished and brushed surfaces and features the oversized piston-style pushers that hark back to Seiko’s stopwatches of the 1960s.
The dial has a grey grained pattern that is designed to evoke the texture of the sand on the running track. Yellow, which is the colour used on all Seiko’s timing and measurement equipment, is used for the hand of the 30-minute elapsed time counter at 9 o’clock and for the central chronograph hand that curves at its tip to alight on the track. Both counters are slightly recessed, and display snailed interiors with white markings to match the 60-seconds track on the perimeter of the dial, with the number 60 picked out in yellow. The applied hour markers have double-faceted profiles, and the white Lumibrite plots on the adjacent track assist legibility in the dark. The spine of the hour and minute hands is also treated with Lumibrite. A detail many will appreciate is the tone-on-tone date window with its dark grey background to match the dial and light grey numbers.
The sapphire crystal on the caseback is printed with the logo of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 and reveals the automatic chronograph movement. Like Seiko’s innovative automatic chronograph calibre of 1969, the Prospex Speedtimer is also equipped with a vertical clutch and column-wheel mechanism to ensure the highest possible levels of precision and durability. Assembled by hand, the in-house calibre 8R46 is derived from Seiko’s most advanced chronograph 8R series. Beating at a frequency of 4Hz, it delivers a power reserve of approximately 45 hours. In addition to the chronograph functions, it displays small seconds and date and offers stop-seconds functionality.
The watch is fitted with a three-link stainless steel bracelet but can be replaced with the black calfskin leather strap with yellow stitching included in the box.
Availability and Price
The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Oregon22 Limited Edition SRQ041 is a limited edition of 400 pieces and will be available in June 2022. The retail price in Europe is EUR 3,200.
You can visit Seiko’s dedicated page for more information on the Seiko SRQ041.