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

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