Seiko Drops a Pair of Retro Automatic Chronographs with the Speedtimer

Simmer and more compact, the SRQ047 and SRQ049

Having expanded its range of chronographs with a homage to stopwatches and, more recently, new models inspired by the Kinetic Chronograph, Seiko now introduces a pair of vintage-inspired chronographs.

The Prospex Speedtimer (SRQ047 and SRQ049) features a distinctively retro style reminiscent of the 1970s and sports a “panda” style dial but with a more compact case than its predecessor.  The “panda” SRQ047 is regular production while the “reverse panda” SRQ049 is a limited edition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Seiko wristwatch.

Initial thoughts 

Since its introduction in 2021, the Speedtimer had quite a significant design flaw – its bulky case, measuring over 15 mm high. Therefore, it’s highly gratifying to learn that the brand has opted to refresh the Speedtimer with a more traditional dial and a slimmer case size.

Concerning its design, the new models evoke a sense of familiarity by featuring a more rounded case in contrast to the previous Speedtimer models. Furthermore, the brand has introduced a dash of colour to the “panda” style dial by adding an orange tip to the chronograph hands.

The limited edition reverse panda model.

However, it’s worth noting that the watch has a date window located between four and five. This feature seems somewhat out of place and could have been omitted for a more streamlined look.

The standard production Speedtimer is priced at US$2,500, with an additional US$200 for the limited edition. The new models prove to be more economical than their predecessors, all the while upholding a high standard in terms of their build quality and construction.

A pair of retro-inspired chronographs 

The SRQ047 and SRQ049 stand as the most recent additions to Seiko’s sports chronograph, the Prospex Speedtimer, which made its debut in 2021. Diverging from the initial models, these new Speedtimers feature a vintage-inspired aesthetic, adopting a traditional chronograph design with three registers, a date window located at four and five, and classic pump pushers positioned at two and four.

The model is being offered in two variations: a standard edition featuring a “panda” style dial characterised by its white background and black registers (SRQ047), and a limited edition sporting a “reverse panda” design, where the dial is blue grey and accompanied by silver white registers (SRQ049), with 1,000 pieces being made. Both versions of the new Speedtimer feature an orange-coloured tip on all of the chronograph hands.

However, a focal point of the new Speedtimer is its rounded case profile, characterised by a more compact size, measuring 42 mm wide and 14.6 mm high. It is marginally slimmer than the current production models, with the case being smaller by 0.5 mm and thinner by 0.5 mm.

The new Speedtimer comes with a novel multi-linked bracelet reminiscent of those found on 1970s Seiko chronographs, albeit with a modern three-fold clasp featuring a push-button. In line with the majority of its current Prospex lineup, Seiko has employed a “super-hard coating” on the case, improving scratch resistance in keeping with the brand.

Powering the chronographs is the automatic cal. 8R48 which is placed underneath a closed case back. Found in Presage chronograph models, the movement features a vertical clutch and column wheel, provides a 45-hour power reserve while offering a higher frequency of 4 Hz.

Key facts and price

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Mechanical Chronograph
Ref. SRQ047 (white & black)
Ref. SRQ049 (blue-grey)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 14.6 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 8R48
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 45 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet with additional leather strap (only for the SRQ049)

Limited edition: Regular production, except for the SRQ049 (1,000 pieces)
Availability: At Seiko boutiques and select retailers starting December 2023
White & black: US$2,500
Blue-grey: US$2,000

For more information, visit


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If You Missed It: Panel Discussions at Dubai Watch Week 2023

The informative sessions during DWW.

There was plenty to see and do around Dubai Watch Week 2023, which just concluded last weekend. Wandering around the glittering hall with showcases full of new releases, and you might run into Rexhep Rexhepi, Maximilian Büsser, and Kari Voutilainen. Punctuating all of this, however, were the insightful panel discussions that happened over the course of Dubai Watch Week (DWW), which was organised by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the largest watch retailer in the Middle East.

Covering a wide array of topics and including speakers from an even wider background, it was possible to dip in and out of these discussions throughout the fair. Luckily, they were all recorded and are now available on the DWW YouTube channel. So if you weren’t able to attend the show, or you found yourself stuck between one booth and the next, you can catch up on them at any time.

Inside the exhibition hall of DWW

The best session of the fair was undoubtedly the in-depth talk given by talented watchmaker, Stephen McDonnell that we quickly recommended in real time. Mr McDonnell provided incredible detail about his work and philosophy in a talk that summarised his horological mind. But we wanted to give some more highlights from across the programme beyond Mr McDonnell, as there is plenty to dig in to.

Stephen McDonnell at DWW

The first talk of the show focused on a hot button topic, the role of retailers and the allocation of popular watches.

Moderated by British journalist Robin Swithinbank, it featured Mohammed Seddiqi, chief commercial officer of Seddiqi Holdings; Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard; and Patrick Chalhoub, Group President of Chalhoub Group, a luxury fashion distributor in Dubai.

Having the voice of a retail expert from another luxury sector that isn’t watchmaking brought an interesting dynamic to this discussion. It brought another perspective to what can often be an echo chamber of complaints when talking about waitlists and allocation.

When the familiar “For Exhibition Only” topic came up, Mr. Scheufele was quick to point out that maintaining staff levels of highly trained watchmakers is not easy, and without a rise in the number of people able to make complex watches, the supply can never reach demand. Overall, an interesting discussion for anyone who has found themselves on the wrong end of a waitlist, with perspectives from inside and outside the industry.

Another worthwhile discussion arising from a topic that often heightens emotions was Spare Me: Is Aftersales and After Thought? The sessions provided insight into how after-sales service currently works, and some ideas about how it may improve.

It included interesting mix of panellists that spanned the breadth of this issue. The session was moderated by Nicholas Towndrow, General Manager of independent workshop Swiss Watch Services, and he was joined by Rexhep Rexhepi of Akrivia; Jean-Claude Eggen the chief executive of La Joux-Perret; and Pascal Ravessoud, who leads the Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH).

During this hour-long discussion, Mr. Eggen revealed the process of developing a new movement often includes very little, if any, thought to servicing and ensuing spare parts. Some brands, however, do take the long-term view. He added an anecdote that a La Joux-Perret client recently placed 150 orders for spares for a particular movement for economies of scale.

Hearing perspectives from those who work on mass-manufactured movements contrasted with that of Mr. Rexhepi, who makes very few watches and sees only a handful of them come back for servicing each year. This juxtaposition of perspectives enriched this discussion, which is well worth a watch.

Another excellent panel examined the current state of independent watchmaking and how it might be at risk of falling victim to big money buyouts, or the “Walmart effect”.

Moderated by Gary Getz, an enthusiastic collector, it included Edouard Meylan of H. Moser & Cie.; Amr Al Otaishan, a board member of music-box maker Reuge; and Mishal Kanoo, a prominent Emirati businessman. They four covered an interesting topic, one that brings up a lot of questions about how the segment will grow.

There are plenty of other discussions which took place over the week and I encourage you to go through them all as there is plenty to discover. The entire programme displayed great ambition and promises even more in store for 2025, when the next DWW will take place.


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