Originally introduced at Baselworld 2012, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar is an unprecedented solar powered quartz GPS watch. It features automatic GPS calibration of hours, minutes and seconds, including automatic and manual time zone adjustment, across all time zones (and with regards to Daylight Savings time); it also has a perpetual calendar function, correct to February 2100.
GPS signals can be received from any of the free Global Positioning Satellites, from any place in the world, via the built-in antenna which wrapped around the inside of the case band. The GPS signal, like on radio-controlled watches, automatically calibrates the hours, minutes and seconds.
The biggest advantage of GPS calibration versus atomic radio-controlled calibration — especially considering that both are essentially atomically calibrated systems as far as accuracy, is the range. GPS reaches virtually anywhere on Earth, provided of course, there is a unobstructed line of site of at least 4 of the 24 Navastar GPS satellites currently orbiting the Earth (there are also 4 spare satellites).
Like GPS, radio-controlled watches require an unobstructed line of site, but unlike GPS, signal calibration is transmitted from the nearest of 6 worldwide atomic radio broadcast stations which are on the ground, and the range is therefore limited to approximately 1,800+/- miles. GPS based systems are not limited — this is why GPS/Satellite phones and non-cellular based GPS navigation units are important to scientists, military and anyone far out of the range of traditional communication signals — because range is unlimited.
Powered by quartz caliber 7X52, which consists of a low-energy consumption solar powered GPS module, accuracy is +/- 15 second per month (without receiving a time signal) and precise to the second when the signal is received. The case measures 47 mm by 16.5 which is fairly large, however, that is the price you pay for such advanced technology. Like its 1969 predecessor, the world’s first quartz watch, the new Astron will make a significant impact of wristwatches in the future. Expect more models to utilize similar technology down the road.
Sapphire glass with anti-glare treatment. Solid case back. Water-resistance is 100 meters.
Shown in a limited edition titanium with a hard black coating with ceramic bezel variation, the Astron also comes in a number of other variations which are pictured here.