iW Fall 2020 - Page 47

SEIKO ’ S OUT OF THIS WORLD INNOVATION : THE SPRING DRIVE PROSPEX LX SNR029

For those seeking a classic-looking Seiko homage with all the attributes of current-issue Seiko technology , take a look at the GPHG-Award-winning Seiko Prospex LX SNR029 . This watch literally straddles both of our planet ’ s unknown universes : space and water . At a list price of $ 6,000 , this watch gives its Grand Seiko cousin a run for the money . This Prospex LX is titanium , with a case developed by Porsche designer Ken Okuyama and powered by Seiko ’ s 5R65 Spring Drive movement that is less susceptible to atmospheric deviations than a standard automatic watch . The movement is found in Grand Seiko models and was actually worn in space by video game designer Richard Garriot , a citizen who paid the Russians to make him the sixth non-astronaut to travel to space . Needless to say , he wore a Seiko Spring Drive watch ( whaddya think about that , Omega , Breitling , Casio , Rolex and Fortis ). If you can get your hands on this classic – grab it !
American market , priced at a very competitive $ 900 , each coming with a Special Edition presentation box and exclusive gift with purchase .
The watch case design is nicknamed the “ Sumo ” by its legions of fans , because of its broader lines and thick printed bezel numerals . The watch features a wide ( 45mm ) and thin ( 12.9mm ) all-stainless-steel case and bracelet , powered by a Seiko automatic caliber 6R35 movement , beating at a frequency of 21,600 BPH , pivoting on 24 jewels , with a 70-hour power reserve . It ’ s water resistant to 600 feet and has a scratch resistant sapphire crystal , magnified date window for easy visibility , rotating bezel , Lumibrite hands and markers and a three-year manufacturer ’ s warranty .
Face it folks , for $ 900 this is one hell of a watch – and by the time you read this it will probably be sold out anyway , and headed to become a $ 1,500 watch on the collector ’ s market . And so it goes with Seiko .
Prospex is Seiko ’ s sports watch brand , with models for every budget , ranging from $ 395 to more than $ 6,000 , some featuring the same Spring Drive found in the Grand Seiko ( see sidebar on the LX SNR029 ).
It ’ s fascinating to watch Seiko grow and prune their brands into unique shapes , like an artistic gardener tending to a Bonsai tree . With the chain sawing of brands across many U . S . distribution points in 2019 , Seiko drew a line in the sand : cut broad distribution , cut SKU ’ s , focus heavily on retailers and educate the consumer on the products to create new demand .
This release reflects that tactic in action . The Ice Diver collection plays off the perception of heritage , coupled with limited availability , backed by a lot of watch for the money . Instant collectible equals increased market desire for subsequent releases . caption Hats off to the company for delivering sales during a time period when
we ’ re seeing other companies disappear into the vanity fueled , limitededition , lofty- priced abyss .
FALL 2020 | INTERNATIONAL WATCH | 45