Like the now discontinued 18k gold Apple Watch Edition or the hand-hammered G-Shock MR-G, the Seiko Astron 5th Anniversary limited edition (ref. SBXB134) is an extravagant and expensive electronic watch that’s hard to rationalise but weirdly cool.
Originally launched in 2012, the Astron automatically syncs with GPS satellites, meaning its timekeeping is spot on and even accounts for changing time zones while travelling.
A low key, practical and affordable wristwatch – the typical model retails for about US$2500 – the Astron has been a hit for Seiko. Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can be spotted with one.
Now Seiko commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Astron with a limited edition of 20 watches in 18k pink gold. The 46.1mm case totals 116.3g, or 4.1oz, of 18k gold, topped by a dark blue ceramic bezel and matching blue accents on the dials. It’s fitted on a blue crocodile strap with 18k pink gold folding clasp.
Function-wise the pink gold limited edition identical to the basic models, with the calibre 8X53 inside. It automatically syncs once a day with the nearest GPS satellite, changing time zones when necessary. In addition, it also features a second time zone, world time, and perpetual calendar. And if the movement cannot receive a GPS satellite signal, it keeps time to within 15 seconds a month on its own.
At the same time Seiko also caters to those who want a more affordable version with a similar look. With the same size and functions, the Astron Dual Time (ref. SBXB126) is titanium with hardened rose gold plating, fitted with a black ceramic bezel and black-coated titanium bracelet. This retails for ¥291,600, or about US$2630.
Price and availability
Limited to just 20 watches, the Seiko Astron 5th Anniversary Limited Edition (ref. SBXB134) is priced at ¥4.32m including taxes, equivalent to about US$39,100. It will be available starting August 2017, only at select Seiko retailers in Japan.
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