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Seiko Launch Prospex 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph

Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

In recent years the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer range has been heavily focused on their back catalogue with modern re-interpretations of past models, such as the SRQ043J1. Now though, they’ve embraced modernity with the Seiko Prospex 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph featuring the brand-new calibre 8A50.

Starting with the case, it’s 42mm in stainless steel with a broad, round shape that seems even wider than it actually is because of the triple pushers at 10, 2 and 8 o’clock as well as the offset crown at 4. The function of each crown is helpfully written on the edge of the dial next to them for start/stop, reset/split and mode. It’s also worth pointing out that a couple of the references have additional super hard coatings in black.

Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer 40th Anniversary Solar Chronograph

Rather than your usual tri-compax layout with running minutes and hours and chronograph seconds all being central, they’ve been distributed between four subdials. Hours and minutes are on the oversized subdial at 6 o’clock; the 1/10th of a second chronograph is at 10 o’clock; running seconds are at 12 and the titular 1/100th of a second chronograph is at 2 o’clock. The hour and minute subdial also doubles as a 60-minute counter when you swap to the stopwatch display using the “mode” pusher. It’s makes the Prospex 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph one of Seiko’s most versatile chronographs to date.

Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer Solar Chronograph (
Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

In terms of style, there are four versions available. The first version is a tone-on-tone black edition, there’s then a panda dial edition with black subdials and a white base. Next is the two limited editions with one being a khaki version inspired by Seiko’s first 1/100th of a second chronograph from 1992. Lastly there’s the full black edition with a texture inspired by the surface of an athletics track. Of the four, the panda is my personal favourite because it emphasises the unique display the most, if you’re going to be daring and defy convention you may as well embrace it.

Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer 40th Anniversary Solar Chronograph
Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer 2023 World Athletics Championships Solar Chronograph

Beneath the surface is housed the new 8A50 solar chronograph calibre. Being a solar movement means that it’s quartz and the battery is charged by exposure to natural or electric light, which effectively means it has an infinite power reserve so long as it’s not kept in an opaque storage container all the time, even then Seiko give it an estimated duration of 6-months. Plus, as a quartz piece it’s very accurate with a deviation of +/- 15 seconds per month.

The standard editions of the Seiko Prospex 1/100th Second Solar Chronograph are priced at £760 while the limited editions are £830. That price increase is a reflection of the extra coating on the cases and the more detailed dials they feature. As for the availability of the limited versions, well, they’re pretty accessible with 4,000 pieces in each colourway available. I think it goes without saying that given a choice between this and an automatic Speedtimer, I’d go for the automatic every time. But I appreciate these watches for pushing the boat out in terms of chronograph design and showcasing the latest Seiko solar chrono movement.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Seiko Prospex One Hundredth of a Second Speedtimer Solar Chronograph 40th Anniversary Edition and 2023 World Athletics Championships Edition
  • Ref: SFJ003P1 (black dial)
    SFJ001P1 (silver dial)
    SFJ005P1 (40th Anniversary Edition)
    SFJ007P1 (2023 World Athletics Championships Edition)
  • Case/dial: 42mm diameter, stainless steel case, black/khaki grey/silver/black running track inspired textured dial
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Seiko calibre 8A50, solar quartz
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
  • Price/availability: £760 (black/silver dial), £800 (40th Anniversary Edition) and £830 (2023 World Athletics Championships Edition) limited to 4,000 pieces each limited edition

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.