Hands-On – The Full-Black Seiko Prospex Speedtimer LE SRQ045

The name Speedtimer has a strong presence in the history of Seiko. It refers to multiple timepieces of the past and present, and in general to the brand’s background in sports timing. More precisely, Speedtimer brings back memories of a watch that has been at the top of innovation in 1969, as it was equipped with one of the earliest automatic chronographs, calibre 6139. In 2021, the Japanese brand resurrected the name for a bold duo of mechanical chronographs. The Speedtimer is now becoming a classic in the brand’s portfolio and today it gets a full-black, sporty look with the new reference SRQ045.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ045

We’ve seen quite a lot of Seiko Speedtimer watches in recent months, with the inaugural SRQ035 & SRQ037, the Blue Dial SRQ039, the Oregon22 Limited Edition SRQ041 and the SRQ043 with a deep blue dial and white accents. All of these watches are mechanically identical, with differences to be seen on the dials – colours and designs – and the new full-black Limited Edition SRQ045 is no exception to the rule. But look closely and you’ll see that it isn’t just about blacken-out the case. This new model comes with its own dial design and some rather cool details on the hands and markers.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ045

What remains true with this new blacked-out edition of the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer is the case and its rather large proportions. No need to hide the truth, it’s a watch with presence. The case is 42.5mm in diameter and 50mm in length. The main issue according to us is the height of the case, at 15.1mm, and the thickness of the bezel. In the same vein, the pushers are tall and large. This is a watch that won’t get unnoticed, both visually and on the wrist.

For the occasion of this limited edition, the case has been fully coated in black with the brand’s hard-coating. It is found on all elements – case, bezel, crown/pushers and caseback – and gives a slightly mean look to this piece. It also visually reduces the size of the case a bit and does make the elements of the dial pop more. The case is 100m water-resistant and equipped with a sapphire crystal.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ045

In addition to this new black case, the brand has given its SRQ045 its own dial, with a rather long list of distinctive elements compared to previous editions. The dial is here matte black with a sandblasted finish, avoiding reflections. It’s also designed in an unprecedented way, with no elements shared with previous editions, to the exceptions of the hours/minutes hands, shared with the limited edition SRQ035. What changes are the markers, which are transferred and not applied, and coloured in orange. They are linked to double-digit numerals for the minutes. A cool detail is the design of the hands of the sub-counters, which are asymmetrical.

Under the see-through caseback is the in-house calibre 8R46, with its column wheel and vertical clutch architecture – even though the chronograph function is located dial side, and the view through the back isn’t the most appealing (the watch you see here is a prototype and didn’t feature a see-through back). This movement runs at 4Hz and stores 45 hours of power reserve. It features a lightweight escapement made thanks to MEMS technology.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph SRQ043

The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ045 is worn on a black leather strap with a triple folding clasp in black-coated stainless steel. It will be released in a limited edition of 600 watches, available worldwide from February 2023. It will be priced at EUR 3,000. For more details, please visit seikowatches.com.

Technical specifications – Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ045

Case: 42.5mm diameter x 15.1mm height – 50mm lug-to-lug – stainless steel case with black hardcoating – dual-curved sapphire crystal – screwed see-through caseback- 100m water-resistant

Dial: matte black dial with white tracks and orange accents – Lumibrite on hands and indexes

Movement: Calibre 8R46 – in-house – mechanical chronograph – 34 jewels – 28,800 vibrations/hour – 45h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date

Strap: Black leather strap with black-coated triple-folding clasp

Availability: Limited to 600 pieces
Available from February 2023


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