Astron is the historic name given to the world’s first quartz watch launched by Seiko in 1969. It heralded a new era of accuracy in timekeeping. The latest Astron delivers an accuracy of one second every 100,000 years plus automatic time zone adjustment and solar power. This watch never stops because it receives all the energy it needs from light absorbed through the dial.
The interesting breakthrough is the combination of solar energy and GPS technology. Seiko’s GPS chip uses only 20% of the energy needed to run other GPS Systems like the ones in our cars or cellphones. The watch receives GPS signals from satellites orbiting the Earth and automatically adjusts the date and time accordingly. Even if you are walking or inside a vehicle, your watch knows exactly where you are in all 39 time zones, even the weird ones.
The Astron GPS Solar comes in three models: high-intensity titanium, stainless steel and limited edition, all with a ceramic bezel. The case can be stainless steel or light weight high-intensity titanium, and there are a variety of band options. Limited edition serial numbers will be engraved in the case back. But this technological masterpiece is stylish as well. It was designed to reflect both the darkness and depth of space and the method of construction used to build satellites (durable and as light as possible).
The release of the watch has been so successful that serious horologists are putting aside their preference for mechanical timepieces to try the new marvel when traveling across time zones. The watch has a secondary display that shows the time at home. Prices start at $2,300 and can reach $3,850 depending on the case material and model. ■