Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition Review

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition Review

Seiko proudly celebrates the life, career and achievements of its founder with the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition watch. Released this October, the month of Kintaro’s birth, the limited edition of 2,500 pieces has been carefully designed to commemorate its founding father with many unique details that reflect his journey of watchmaking including his iconic ‘S’ trademark on the case back that changed the world of luxury watch design.  

With a vision for Seiko to always be “One step ahead of the rest”, Kintaro Hattori began his life in 1860, born in central Tokyo when Japan was experiencing massive changes both socially and industrially. It was during this time that the country found itself taking centre stage in many industries, appearing out of its self-imposed isolation and realising its capabilities in technology most of all. Kintaro, at the age of 17, saw this as an opportunity to set up his own timepiece repair business at home. After only four years, he founded his own company and began repairing, importing, and selling clocks and watches. He quickly became known as the largest watch and clock dealer in Japan and in 1913 introduced his first wristwatch, the Laurel.

Ten years later, the Seikosha factory and the offices of K. Hattori & Co Ltd. burnt down in a fire that devasted Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1st. Cementing his desires to always be one step ahead, he immediately began to rebuild and continued to guarantee his reputation with the public by replacing around 1,500 watches and clocks free of charge that were to be repaired but had been destroyed in the fire. Under the roof of his new factory, Kintaro Hattori launched his first watch to carry the Seiko name and soon became known as the “King of watches in the East”. The iconic ‘S’ trademark that has been used since 1900 remains a pivotal feature of the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition and celebrates the remarkable history of its founder.

Befitting of its heritage, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary watch features a streamline 42.8mm black coated titanium case with a high gloss ceramic bezel and gold tone accents that command attention on the wrist. The titanium case and matching bracelet are treated with a scratch resistant hard coating while the bezel, made from Zirconia ceramic, has been neatly designed with sixteen facets, one for each decade since Kintaro’s birth. The design of the limited edition continues to tribute its founder, most notably on the case back, where Kintaro’s name and three reminders of his legacy are detailed. The trademark “S” finds itself centre stage while his motto “One step ahead of the rest” appears handsomely above it. The name “Seiko” which was first used in 1924 is also decorated on the rim.

In spite of honouring the brand’s heritage, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition is anything but vintage in its technology or aesthetic. Boasting the GPS Solar Caliber 5X53 Dual-Time movement, the timepiece connects twice a day to a GPS network to maintain absolute precision. No matter where you are in the world, it will automatically adjust to daylight saving time and for those moments when you land in a new time zone, you can simply push the button on the right hand side of the case and the hands will instantly move to the correct local time.

The GPS Solar Caliber 5X53 Dual-Time movement also impresses with a day display at 3 o’clock, date between 4 and 5 o’clock, dual time function, a feature to prevent the GPS signal reception in flight mode, overcharge prevention feature and a perpetual calendar accurate to February 2100. A power reserve display also gives you instant access to your watch’s reserve which can last up to 2 years – a feat mastered by its incredible solar powered technology. While we’re not sure Kintaro Hattori could have ever imagined Seiko engineering something as advanced as the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition, there’s no denying the timepiece does a fantastic job of highlighting it’s heritage and showing how far the brand has come since its beginning.

To complete the look of the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary watch, dual curved sapphire crystal glass treated with a super-clear coating is used to house the smooth black dial decorated with broad hands and diamond-polished applied hour markers. Lumibrite is also used on the hands and indexes for optimal legibility in low lighting. The timepiece is presented in a special presentation box with a commemorative “S” mark badge and includes a supplementary crocodile strap, perfect for those that like to change up their look. The box also includes a card carrying a message from Kintaro’s great-grandson and the company’s current Chairman & CEO, Shinji Hattori.

A truly unique timepiece and one for the collectors, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition is available to order today for £3,450 on the Jura Watches website here. If you have any questions about this model or you’d like to place an order for your own, you can also get in touch with the Jura Watches team on 01335 453453 or at help@jurawatches.co.uk.

Specifications: Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition (SSH073J1)

  • Case Size: 42.8mm x 14.6mm
  • Case Material: Titanium with black super-hard coating
  • Bezel: Fixed, Zirconia ceramic
  • Glass: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
  • Case Back: Screw down with special engraving
  • Water Resistance: 200 metres
  • Movement: 5C53 GPS Solar movement
  • Accuracy: +/- 15 seconds per month
  • Power Reserve: Approx 2 years
  • Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds, dual-time function, AM/PM indicator, date, day, perpetual calendar, battery charge level indicator, automatic hand position alignment, day light saving time, in-flight mode function, automatic time adjustment, overcharge prevention, power save feature, satellite acquisition status display, reception result display, time transfer function, world time in 39 time zones
  • Dial: Black with Lumibrite on hands and indexes
  • Strap: Titanium bracelet with three-fold clasp push button release
  • Extras: Additional crocodile leather strap, special presentation box
  • RRP: £3,450
  • Limited Edition: 2,500 pieces
  • Release Date: October 2020

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