Today, Seiko pays homage to its founder, Kintaro Hattori — who in 1877 set up a timepiece repair business at his home at the age of 17 — with a limited edition Astron GPS Solar watch.
Just four years later, in 1881, Hattori founded his own company, repairing, importing, and selling clocks and watches in Ginza, Tokyo. By 1892, he had established the Seikosha Factory, which ultimately led to the manufacturing powerhouse known as Seiko.
Introducing the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition. Presented in a 42.8 mm x 15.6 mm titanium case and bracelet with a super-hard scratch-resistant black coating. The bezel is made from scratch-resistant material: ceramic — which has a high gloss finish and has 16 facets, one for each decade since Hattori’s birth.
Prominent, applied indices mark the hours on the dial, with a special oversize gold-plated marker at twelve, which matches the gold-plated crown, chronograph pushers, hour and minute hands, and the ring around the second time zone subdial at 6, as well as its two hands.
First introduced in 2012, the Seiko Astron GPS was the world’s first GPS solar watch. Once connected to the world’s existing GPS network, the Astron adjusts the time with atomic/mobile phone precision and can correct for every time zone at the press of a button. Not to mention, the battery-powered quartz technology is automatically recharged by light entering the dial.
Seiko’s Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition is powered by the latest generation Astron movement, caliber 5X53, that offers dual-time with AM/PM indication, a perpetual calendar (correct to Feb 2100), automatic daylight saving time function, high-speed time zone adjustment, time transfer function, signal reception result indication, world time (39 time zones), and a power save function. The movement is accurate to ±15 seconds per month (without receiving a GPS signal and at temperatures between 5°C and 35°C). Plus it has a magnetic resistance rating of 4,800 A/m.
Like the gold accents on the dial side, and the buttons and crown, the case back is gold-plated and feature “KINTARO HATTORI” and three reminders of his legacy. The trademark “S” that he registered in 1900 is embossed in the center of the caseback, his motto “ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE REST” appears above it, and the name “SEIKO” which was first used in 1924 takes pride of place on the rim.
The Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition dial is protected by a sapphire crystal and the case is water-resistant to 200 meters. Both a three-fold clasp with a push-button release and a crocodile strap are included. The watch is offered in a special presentation box with a commemorative “S” mark badge and includes a card-carrying a message from Kintaro’s great-grandson and the company’s current Chairman & CEO, Shinji Hattori.