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Hi all, I hope that you find this mini review and photos OK to read. Apologies for anything I have written that you feel is too obvious to mention, it was originally posted on a general watch forum elsewhere. I'm also not 100% sure that the images will show up so let me know if there's an issue and I'll fiddle around with an edit.

Something a bit different from the norm arrived this week in this Seiko Quartz Astron 40th Anniversary Commemorative Edition. I'd been looking out for a GS with the 9F62 movement (the 9F being the most high end Seiko quartz movement so far and one which has no doubt been discussed here a few times) but the opportunity to bag an unworn example of one of these came up so I had to take it, despite only ever having seen them in photos




Only 200 of these were made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Astron, which as you probably know was the first quartz watch. They were introduced at 2010 Baselworld with a slightly eye-watering pricetag and are finished to GS standards with the GS movement but don't display the GS name.

I've only just started playing with the watch so my observations are limited to simple first impressions.

Case: It's very light and made from a one piece cushion design in titanium. It is 41mm wide and the lugs are 20mm. Seiko use this very very tough and very shiny titanium alloy (which my MM600 also seems to use, or something very similar) which can hold a mirror finish and doesn't seem to pick up marks easily. The entire top surface of the case and lugs is a piano black glossy finish, as is the bezel. I guess this must be bonded chemically somehow to the alloy surface. On the wrist looks more or less like a black cased watch but just has a hint of the alternately polished/brushed case sides which I really like.





The case back is very comfortable against the wrist, the one-piece design allowing it to have a gentle curve which I've tried to show in the photos below:





It has 4 tiny screws in the back of the case and I guess these would release the caseback from the top fascia of the watch to allow a battery change. The movement is sealed and is apparently good for 50 years before needing any attention. This is one of the very few (only?) Seikos not to have a dated serial number on the back - instead it has the limited edition number.

Crystal: Has a very, very slight curve to it and has AR applied to it too. It protrudes a fraction of a mm above the bezel.



Dial: Wow. The standard of finishing is phenomenal. The dial mostly looks black from almost every angle. At certain angles you get a hint of a carbon fibre type finish and if you catch the light just right and have sharp eyes you can see tiny original Seiko quartz logos etched into the dial surface. These show up very well under flash photography but are extremely hard to see otherwise:







If anyone regularly visits b3ta.com or reads Viz then you'll have your own ideas about what the little logo looks like
. Settle down Beavis.

The hour batons and the chapter ring are applied and are very highly reflective. EDIT: On very close examination it is possible that the minute markers are printed with an iridescent silver paint, but actually given the lack of texture showing through I think that they are most likely applied. See macro shots taken with my wife's Sony compact:





This combined with the high gloss black finish gives an extremely pleasing understated bling effect to the watch that I've tried and mostly failed to capture in this video:

Seiko Astron - YouTube

Hands: The hour and minute hands have a brushed but reflective finish to the top surface and there is a little bevel at the edges of these that is highly polished. The second hand is polished and catches the light very nicely.


Date: White on black to continue the mostly black theme. Seiko boast that it clicks over exactly at midnight and that it happens in 1/2000th of a second, which is far too fast to perceive.

Crown: Not screwed down although the watch is rated waterproof to 100m. Has the S embossed on it and functions exactly in the normal way (position b = date, position c = hacking seconds and time adjustment.) When adjusting the time the crown is geared such that you have to turn it more times than I'm used to in order to rotate the hands by an hour. The effect of this is that it is very easy to exactly position the hands on a particular baton or marker when setting the time but that it takes a while to wind through 12 hours to check the date is going to flick over at midnight.

Movement and Timekeeping: Hah. Perfect over 3 hours. I'll get back to you in a year on timekeeping


The movement has been engineered to provide that holy grail of ocd quartz afficionados - that the second hand exactly hits the second markers on the chapter ring - taken over 10 seconds:



It ticks obviously, but the second hand has a difficult to define solidity to its movement, as if the actual tick takes a tiny amount longer than other quartz watches I have owned.

Straps: It comes with the softest and most supple silicone strap that I've ever encountered. Very comfortable. This has a nice Seiko buckle on it.



It also comes with a glossy black croc strap with a signed PVD deployant clasp which I've completely failed to photograph and which I will never wear.

Boxes and papers: Again, not photographed but triple boxed with a nicely substantial flip up inner box which feels like it is made of wood. Has an instruction book and warranty card as per all Seiko watches.

Overall I'm really happy with it. Given its collectibility I guess I'm going to be wearing it infrequently and carefully though...I do have an SBGX061 on its way too about which I'm not going to be as precious. I'm looking forward to be able to compare the two.

On leather (not the oem one)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Viktor
There was one for sale in the UK on TURF actually, not sure if it has sold yet. Otherwise it's just a waiting game until one pops up on a forum or an auction site.
BW, Tom.

Vigges666 said:
WoW!
Very nice pictures of an interessting watch! Do you know where to get some? ;)

Kind regards
Viktor
 
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