Before the advent of the smartphones, along with the meteoric rise of mobile devices, may it be from Apple or from Google or from any silicon loving companies out there. The wristwatch was the pinnacle of gadgets and gizmos. Manufacturers inserted complications to extend the functionality of the watch, Pilots require either a GMT-hand or a world time clock, people in the motorsports business needed a chronograph, divers required a dedicated divers watch and so on. In the world today, all of these has already been replaced by a digital device, and mechanical watches has taken a back seat and serve more so as a luxury item rather than a tool. That is though until they met the new Seiko Astron.
The original Astron back in 1969 was the world’s first quartz watch. Now, the proverbial Japanese watch company is reinventing the iconic piece that revolutionizes the entire watch industry back in 70s. The new Astron however will become another first from the watch industry. It is perhaps the first watch to be equipped with a low power GPS. With the GPS inside this piece, it would enable the piece to communicate with up to 4 satellites, just like any other GPS devices out there, to be able to identify the exact date and time from every timezone on this planet. One hit of a button the watch synchronized with its location in just under a minute.
Perhaps fans from the other Japanese watchmaker, the one who introduced a so called G-Shock to its line, will argue that such a feat is already an existing technology with their timepieces, which is done with atomic clocks that emits radio frequencies to synchronize it’s time. But the problem here is that not all places on Earth has reception to their towers. While the Astron only requires clear skies and you’ll be sync in no time. The Astron also comes with Solar charging that gives it the ability to charge its battery from any light source. A watch that is self-reliant and can even give most automatic mechanical watches a run for its money. Plus the fact that it’s also equipped with a perpetual calendar, no date adjustments needed, even for leap years!
Casio just recently introduced a bluetooth 4.0 enabled watch, to be able to sync everything from your mobile devices. Seiko on the other hand took it a step further, by completely removing the piece’s dependency on digital devices. It doesn’t mean though the piece can replace your mobile phone, but with the technology infused into it, it beats most mobile devices out there when it comes to time telling. And the best thing about it is that it is an analog piece! The Astron will come it 6 different configurations, from stainless steel to titanium and is sized at 47mm diameter and water resistant of up to 100 meters. At 47mm is a little large for folks with smaller wrists, once this baby comes in 39-41mm, then we’re talking! The new Astron will retail around 2000-3000 Euros (2500-4000 USD). Hit the video after the jump to see the piece in action.
Don’t forget to check out Seiko Watches to find out what the brand has to offer for this year’s Baselworld. Perhaps something different from the Swiss dominated exhibit.