Is it too soon to be nostalgic about the early 2000s? The turn of the millennium brought about the “digital revolution” with the onset of the iPod, broadband, and social media. The evolution of technology continues to shape our lives today, but the advanced acceleration makes devices from 20 years ago seem antiquated. Just hold an original iPhone in your hand and compare it to the latest model, and it’s hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago. The tech era also inspired many of the traditional products of the time, with futuristic shapes and forward-thinking designs appearing everywhere. An early example of the 2000s “Matrix-style” aesthetic is the Seiko Sportura Kinetic Chronograph, featuring a dial layout mimicking a motorcycle instrument cluster. This separation of functions inspires the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph with a familiar format while incorporating more traditional watchmaking cues. Read on for my thoughts.

I’m not one to subscribe to celebrity watch spotting — I cannot even stand the word “celeb.” But when someone I admire and follow via media wears an atypical watch, I can’t help but feel intrigued. Most of the time, that person may only explain that they need to track time and buy a watch to fit that purpose. But it’s occasionally fascinating to read into that watch choice and perhaps make assumptions based on their personality. Specifically, I think of Jay Leno, who wore a Seiko Sportura in his long-running Jay Leno’s Garage web show. I have never watched Leno’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno chat show, but I discovered his web series well over a decade ago. Far from the glitz and glamour of late-night television, Jay Leno’s Garage is refreshingly stripped back, with Leno presenting his extensive car collection intimately and in depth.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer 1/100 sec Solar Chronograph

Leno had the unmistakable Seiko Sportura Kinetic on his wrist for the longest time when describing a car, truck, bike, or anything with wheels in one of his weekly web videos. That was until Leno began sporting the Apple Watch shortly after its release. But I like to believe the motorcycle-instrument-cluster layout of the Sportura inspired his choice and suited his style better. Given his love for all things automotive, it’s not a wild assumption, and its unique look always stood out against his Canadian tuxedo (aka double-denim look). Although Seiko’s press release refers to the anniversary of the first analog quartz chronograph in 1983 – because everything has to be an anniversary with Seiko — the design is entirely different from the 1983 Seiko Sports 100.


While there are three pushers and a crown in a similar “X” pattern on the new Prospex Speedtimer, the dial takes inspiration from the Sportura’s design. The hours and minutes are in the central bottom half of the dial, with three separate sub-dials occupying the top half. The structure is unlike a typical chronograph, where the sub-dials sit within a larger dial. Instead, each dial tracks an unimpeded scale surrounded by blank space. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock performs the time measurements from the distinct indications to the nearest 1/100th of a second. Watching the small hand jumping in ultra-fast increments when the chronograph is activated is impressive. This capability is thanks to Seiko’s new in-house solar chronograph caliber 8A50, and you can see it in action here.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph


Details and pricing

The new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer continues the instrument-cluster dial layout in four editions. Each model has a 42mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 12.9mm to house the solar-powered quartz module. The lug-to-lug distance is 48.3mm, and the round case is a tad more traditional than the Sportura’s tonneau case. This round case, despite its 42mm diameter, will also adapt to more wrist sizes thanks to the short, drooping lugs and end link. The panda-dial SFJ001 and ton-sur-ton black SFJ003 have bare steel cases and bracelets for €890 / £760. In comparison, the limited-edition Prospex Speedtimer 1/100 sec Solar Chronograph SFJ005 commemorates the 40th anniversary of Seiko’s first analog quartz chronograph of 1983 with a black bezel, black center links, and a khaki-gray dial color for €930 / £800.

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Solar Chronograph


The final limited edition — ref. SFJ007 — commemorates the brand’s role as the official timekeeper at this year’s IAAF Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The black hard coating mixed with the dial’s texture mimics the surface of a running track. Alongside this are the hands symbolizing a gold medal with an official Budapest Championships engraving on the case back. Both special editions are limited to 4,000 pieces, with the 2023 World Athletics Championships Speedtimer at €970 / £830. What I appreciate about all of these models is the ability of the solar quartz module to be charged by both natural and electric light, providing optimal efficiency. All of the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer additions will be available in July in-store and via Seiko online (select your country here).

Watch specifications

Prospex Speedtimer 1/100 sec Solar Chronograph
Panda: SFJ001P1 | Black: SFJ003P1 | Khaki: SFJ005P1 | 2023 World Athletics Limited Edition: SFJ007P1
Panda, Black, or Khaki
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
42mm × 48.3mm × 12.9mm
Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-down
Seikor 8A50 — quartz solar operating for approx. 6 months (when fully charged)
Water Resistance
10 bar
Stainless steel
Time, chronograph up to 60 minutes in 1/100-second increments
SFJ001P1 and SFJ003P1: €890 / £760 | SFJ005P1: €930 / £800 | SFJ007P1: €970 / £830