Home General How ’bout A Satellite For Accuracy?

How ’bout A Satellite For Accuracy?

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Sure, sure, there are watches that have gone to space, and have a well-known following.  But what about a watch that actually communicates with space?

Lashing a GPS module into a wristwatch isn’t that horribly new.  Though, most prior implementations have been bulkier models aimed at the fitness/running crowd, allowing them to track the path of their workout.  This latest Seiko, on the other hand, uses the GPS to figure out where in the world you are, and sync the local time (on your watch) with the satellite.

So, what’s the big deal here?  I mean, we’ve had atomic-syncing watches for some time now, right?  Well, those rely on signals coming from two (or maybe three) observatories – if you’re not in range, you’re out of luck.  With this watch, however, it’s going to work wherever you are on the globe, whether it be land or sea.  I assume you’d have to be outside to get a signal, but still.  Additionally, it allows you to be on the move, whereas the radio-controlled models require the watch to be still.

Next would be the styling.  Unlike our previous GPS-equipped watches, this one will not look out of place in the office or out in the forest.  Finally, we’ve got the power supply.  Most GPS watches need to be charged fairly frequently.  With the Astron, Seiko has introduced a solar-charging ability, meaning this thing should keep the juice on so long as you’re getting outside now and again (and you’ll want to, to have it talk to the satellites, no?).

Now, we come to the least favorable part of this watch.  When the titanium models are introduced later this year, they’ll be running over $2000.  Yes, the later stainless steel models might drop that some, but I’d expect this watch line to remain firmly in the higher end.  That said, if you want one watch to keep with you on your next stint on the Amazing Race, you could certainly do worse.

(If you’d like to see a hands-on impression, you may want to check this article over at ABlogToRead)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Finally. I’ve been waiting for this. Very cool. Yes, too bad about the price right now but eventually these cheaper GPS chips should find their way into cheaper watches. Although, I imagine the solar charging function is something that has to be robust and this is something Seiko and Casio are good at. I wonder if the chip supports the Russian GLONASS sats? Many smartphones are starting to now.

  2. Agree with Neil, 47 mm is large for “discreet” wearing.

    I know it may well be hard to pack everything including the antenna into a watch case, but the price is hard to swallow considering that cell phones have GPS receivers in them and even when not subsidized by telcom carriers are no more than $600 (and that’s for a high end smart phone).

    So the GPS receiver can’t be that much. As there are already price points on solar powered watches. So while I applaud Seiko for bringing out this watch. I will wait for a more reasonably priced version.

    And living in Hawaii (outside the footprint of the normal time radio signals), this would be the sync watch to have.

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