Accurate To a Fault

Seiko’s New Astron Watches Celebrate Quartz Timekeeping


March 26, 2019 Announcements By

Baselworld, the biggest watch event of the year, is happening now at the Messe Basel in Basel, Switzerland. We’ve got a team on the ground there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.

Price: $2,000-2,600
Availability: September 2019
Movement & Winding: Solar Quartz
Case Dimensions:41.4mm
Power Reserve: 2 Months+

Quick Take: Fifty years after the first Astron took the world by storm (and marked the start of the quartz crisis), the modern Astron line has taken quartz timekeeping to a whole new level. The most notable watch in this year’s lineup features a beveled bezel with 50 facets that mark the years since the Astron was introduced. All five of the new pieces are big, solid, incredibly accurate and styled well enough to work in a variety of settings.

Who It’s For: World travelers who don’t want a mechanical GMT, or prefer the reliability and accuracy of a robust quartz watch, will appreciate the new Astrons. Thanks to their refined designs, they’re hard to relegate to casual or hard-wearing settings: their versatile looks are just as well suited for the office as they are for trekking through a jungle somewhere.

Key Features: At slightly over 41mm wide and 13.3mm thick, this is a burly sport watch that covers a lot of ground without being oversized. The busy but balanced dial includes a day indicator, a miniature dual-time dial at six o’clock, a power reserve indicator and a dial to display the watch’s current mode setting. There’s even a miniature dial — situated on the day subdial at 3 o’clock — to help you discern whether the main dial is showing the time for AM or PM. Despite the instrument-panel array, the dial is easy to read and there’s plenty of negative space that plays well with the various subdials and markings.

If there’s a real champion feature of this watch, though, it’s the technology within. Quartz horology doesn’t get enough love at an event like Baselworld. And while mechanical watchmaking is worth every bit of the adulation, the R&D (plus flat-out good design) that goes into making a watch like the Astron shouldn’t be ignored. We’re talking about a self-correcting and self-contained watch that, if maintained correctly, can stay accurate to a margin of mere seconds over a span of 100,000 years. The things even add leap seconds once every few years to account for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation. If that isn’t as impressive to you as a fly-back chronograph or a helium-escape valve, well, maybe you’re missing out on something.

More from Baselworld 2019

See more of our favorite new releases from Geneva. Read the Story