Baselworld, the biggest watch event of the year, is happening now at the Messe Basel in Basel, Switzerland. We’ve got a team on the ground there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.
Price: $5,000 (Land); $5,500 (Air); $6,000 (Sea)
Availability: Select Seiko boutiques and outlets from July 2019
Case Dimensions: 44.8mm wide; 14.7mm thick
Movement & Winding: Spring Drive 5R65 & 5R66 (GMT); automatic
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Quick Take: It’s relatively rare to see Seiko’s fascinating Spring Drive movements in the generally mid-tier Prospex sub-brand. These watches are chunky but undeniably cool if you’re into the brand’s most serious sport watch-producing capabilities, and a lot of people understandably are. With high-end movements, GMT options, and a range of styles across six total models, the new Seiko Prospex LX line offers a lot of watch while remaining south of pricing for Grand Seiko watches with comparable features.
Who It’s For: Serious Seiko sport watch enthusiasts. With luxury pricing and finishing, casual watch consumers and those looking for a tool watch to abuse are probably not the primary target audience — there are other Seiko Prospex watches that are good for that. The new Prospex LX line represents some of the most robust, accurate, and nicely finished luxury sport watches that you can imagine actually using (but perhaps not abusing).
Key Features: A total of six models, two each are meant to represent the Prospex families of sea, land, and air. In lightweight titanium with Seiko’s “super-hard coating,” each family features one model in a metallic case finish and one in a dark black, all incorporating the Japanese sword-polishing technique zaratzu that Seiko fans know well. While the dive watches (Sea) offer basic three-hand time-telling via the 5R65 movement, the remaining four models (Land and Air) all feature the 5R66 movement with a GMT hand for a second time zone. Rotating bezels offer more functionality with features like compass points (Land) and 24-hour markings for tracking yet another time zone (Air).
If you’re not familiar with Seiko’s fascinating Spring Drive technology, here is about as brief an explanation as we can manage: Seiko Spring Drive offers the high accuracy of quartz, but integrated into a movement architecture otherwise very similar to that of typical mechanical watches. It does this by using an actual quartz regulator, but powered by a mainspring — not a battery. The result is an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month and a sweeping seconds hand that is more or less perfectly smooth. Each of the Prospex LX dials features a small indicator around 8 o’clock for the 72-hour power reserve.
Even in titanium these watches are chunky, at around 45mm wide by 15mm thick. They are topped with sapphire crystal and water-resistant to 300m for the divers and 200m for the other models. The Seiko Prospex LX watches will be available from July 2019.