Seiko are continuing their exploration of significant Speedtimer models from bygone years with another stylish re-interpretation. The first of these re-interpretations came in early 2022 with the 1964 edition followed later in the year with the 1969 version. Now, they’ve jumped forward to 1972 for the Prospex Speedtimer ‘Panda’ 1972 Chronograph Re-Interpretation, available in both a standard and 100th Anniversary limited edition.
You can immediately tell that it has a much more modern and sporty design with broader, facetted lugs that follow the curve of the case compared to the straighter lugs of the 60s inspired pieces. The case itself measures 42mm in diameter in stainless steel with Seiko’s super hard coating providing improved scratch resistance. The case is the same for both the regular and limited editions, with the main difference between the two being the dials.
And when it comes to the dials, the difference is that the standard version is a regular panda display while the limited edition is a reverse panda. The term panda refers to a white dial with black subdials, creating a pattern similar to the markings on a panda bear’s face. Intuitively a reverse panda display is the opposite, with a black dial and white subdials. It’s a colourway that was popularised in the late 60s, early 70s by watches like the Paul Newman Daytona, so it’s use for the 1972 re-interpretation is appropriate.
Diving into the display a bit deeper, both follow a tricompax layout with a 30-minute timer at 9 o’clock, 12-hour timer at 6 and a small seconds subdial at 3. There’s also a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, then around the central disc of the dial is a 60-minute scale and peripheral tachymeter for calculating speed. To be honest, they’re both extremely conventional chronographs. Proof that sometimes classic designs are best because they are both very nice watches.
Beneath the surface, both versions of the Prospex Speedtimer ‘Panda’ 1972 Chronograph Re-Interpretation house the 8R48 automatic chronograph movement. It features a 45-hour power reserve and has an accuracy of -15/+25 seconds per day, it one of Seiko’s newer movements replacing the 8R46 used in the previous Speedtimers. The main update to the calibre is that it’s more compact, allowing the new watches to have slightly slimmer cases with a thickness of 14.6mm compared to 15.1mm, a small but notable improvement.
In terms of price and availability, the standard edition ref. SRQ047J1 is £2,350 while the 100th Anniversary limited edition ref. SRQ049J1 is £2,500 with only 1,000 pieces being produced. Both are presented on an interesting 9 row bracelet with contrasting thick and thin links. Seiko have released a lot of watches this year and I can easily imagine this becoming the best seller out of the lot thanks to its class and relative simplicity. People love classics.
Price and Specs:
More details at Seiko Boutique.