Seiko Introduces a Speedtimer with a New Blue Dial

In a follow up to a release from nearly a year ago, Seiko has introduced a new version of their Speedtimer chronograph with a bright blue dial. The current iteration of the Speedtimer is kind of a tricky thing to wrap your head around. According to Seiko, it’s a tribute to their iconic 6139 chronograph from 1969, but it doesn’t look much like it at all. Instead, the inspiration is found in the watch’s movement, which features a column wheel and vertical clutch, just like the original (the first watch with both features). That makes for a very inside-baseball type of vintage inspired watch, and feels particularly unusual for Seiko given their tendency to draw on their heritage releases in a much more tangible way, with new releases that look and feel a lot like the old ones in many cases. For whatever reason (we’re guessing movement limitations) the Speedtimer is an exception to the rule, drawing a crooked line from the original to the new release. Does that matter? It might if you’ve been craving a new version of the 6139 that holds true to the aesthetic of the original. But if you’re just after a nice looking, vaguely vintage inspired chrono, the new SRQ043 should more than suffice. 


The new Speedtimer reference has a blue dial set off by two white subdials at 3:00 and 9:00. The 3:00 subdial counts the running seconds, while the 9:00 subdial tracks elapsed minutes up to 30. Seiko has clearly put a great deal of thought into legibility here, with the chronograph elements of the watch standing out via high contrast accents (the subdial hands and centrally mounted chronograph seconds hand are all red). In addition, the hour markers are white, and they pop nicely against the blue dial. A tachymeter scale around the outer perimeter is in black, and works as a nice frame for the rest of the dial. The dial also has a subtle vertical hairline finish that Seiko claims changes appearance depending on lighting conditions. 

The case is stainless steel and measures 42.5mm in diameter and is 15.1mm thick. The lug to lug measurement is 50mm. There’s no getting around it: this is a big, chunky watch. It doesn’t gain any points in the sleek department in the pusher design, either. These are big, oversized pump style pushers that seem to be jumping out of the case in photos, and while the watch is probably too thick for the pushers to make regular contact with the wrist, they leave a visual impression and take up an awful lot of real estate.

If the dimensions of the case aren’t exactly ideal, at least on paper, much of the reason is probably down to the movement. The 8R46 is a relatively new Seiko caliber, which as mentioned above uses both a column wheel and vertical clutch. It has a power reserve of 45 hours, and given that this watch falls into Seiko’s sporty Prospex line, we can assume that it has robust qualities that will keep it reliably ticking away should you wish to put your Speedtimer through its paces. The SRQ043 has 100 meters of water resistance, so you can even get this one wet if you’d like. 

The Speedtimer is positioned as a premium offering in Seiko’s large catalog, and carries a retail price of $3,200. The watch is expected to ship in September. Seiko

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.