New Releases Watches

Seiko Revisit Their Landmark Mechanical GMT with New Prospex ‘Navigator Timer’ Limited Edition

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer Limited Edition Mechanical GMT SPB411J1

Following the launch of the Prospex Landmaster Seiko have again delved into their catalogue of models that have disappeared from their modern collections to revive the Prospex ‘Navigator Timer’ from 1968. Besides having a name that seems to be eminently aware of how close it’s toeing the line towards copyright infringement of the Breitling Navitimer, the 1968 original has the distinction of being one of the first mechanical GMT watches with a rotating 24-hour scale bezel – something which has been recreated for the new Prospex ‘Navigator Timer’ Limited Edition Mechanical GMT.

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer Limited Edition Mechanical GMT SPB411J1

Structurally, the watch has a similar case to the Prospex Turtle diver, with a tonneau shape and large curved flanks. However, that’s somewhat deceptive because the ‘Navigator Timer’ is a svelte 38.5mm in diameter compared to the larger dive watch. That size is a nod to the original vintage piece from a time when smaller watches were more popular. Interestingly, the trend for smaller watches is coming back around so it’s incredibly well timed. The case is made from stainless steel with Seiko’s super hard coating, as is that signature 24-hour scale rotating bezel.

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer Limited Edition Mechanical GMT SPB411J1

The dial is pretty understated with grey sunburst finishing and simple bar indexes. On top of that, the 24-hour GMT hand is bright red, letting you tell the time in multiple time zones at the same time. I like it, it makes the ‘Navigator Timer’ very legible and easy to read at a glance, which is what you want from a tool watch. I think tool watch is the correct term for this watch because it’s kind of a melting pot of other watch genres. The case design feels like a diver but the complications and even the name of the watch are more traditionally associated with pilot’s watches.

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer Limited Edition Mechanical GMT SPB411J1

Under the surface is the new Seiko Calibre 6R54, which was released earlier this year in the Glacier Limited Edition and subsequently the main collection via the Diver GMT. It’s Seiko’s first mechanical GMT to have a three-day power reserve and as such, is a fitting tribute to the historical importance of the ‘Navigator Timer’ as a mechanical GMT.

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer Limited Edition Mechanical GMT SPB411J1

The Seiko Prospex ‘Navigator Timer’ Limited Edition Mechanical GMT is limited to 4,000 pieces at a price of £1,500, a solid mid-range in terms of Prospex price and exclusivity. At the moment, I’m riding a Seiko high. They are able to put out such a prolific slate of new releases while maintaining a high degree of originality in each design, it’s astonishing. Let’s just hope that doesn’t turn into Seiko fatigue if they start releasing too many similar watches.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Seiko Prospex ‘Navigator Timer’ Limited Edition Mechanical GMT
  • Ref: SPB411J1
  • Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter x 12.mm thickness, stainless steel case, grey dial
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Seiko calibre 6R54, automatic, 24 jewels
  • Frequency: 21,500 vph (3 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 72h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
  • Price/availability: £1,500, limited to 4,000 pieces

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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.