Introducing: The Seiko Astron Morning Star GPS Solar SSH145 And SSJ021
Today, we’ll look at two new Seiko Astron Morning Star GPS Solar limited editions. The watches follow familiar forms but bring dark cases and striking dials reminiscent of the early morning sky. The Astron has a huge global following, so let’s see if these are to your liking.
It was back in 2015 that I first laid my hands on one of Seiko’s new Astron models. I was skeptical because I favor mechanical watches and was keen to see if the complicated titanium watch had any character. The result was surprising, and I walked away as an admirer of its high-quality finishing and relative ease of use. Plus, for travel, the Astron watches are great. Since then, the Seiko Astron series has expanded while offering smaller pieces. Today’s new Astron Morning Star models offer varying levels of complexity and are available worldwide.
The Seiko Astron Morning Star GPS Solar models
Today’s new releases take their inspiration from the early morning when sunlight just begins to pierce the night sky. A purple gradient dial and gold details combine to create a rich, slightly more elegant look than I am used to on an Astron. Both new Seiko Astron Morning Star models are available as 1,200-piece limited editions. They feature titanium cases and bracelets with a black super-hard coating. The crystals are sapphire, and each model is water resistant to 100 meters. Additionally, each watch offers solar battery-charging capability and uses GPS signal reception to aid time-zone adjustment. Even if no signal is received, the accuracy is still rather impressive at ±15 seconds per month. As far as power reserve, the watches operate for up to six months on a full charge and save all settings for up to two years when not in use.
The Astron Morning Star SSH145
The first Astron Morning Star model is reference SSH145. This watch uses Seiko’s in-house 5X53 caliber, which offers many functions. It is a perpetual calendar that will work correctly until the beginning of 2100. Thirty-nine world time zones are available, and two time zones are on display. Regarding this function, the watch allows the user to switch the displays between the main hands and those in the sub-dial at 6 o’clock. This is useful while traveling when it may be helpful to swap quickly between home and a typically followed time zone. The watch also has a chronograph complication, a power reserve indicator, and day and date displays.
The SSH145 uses the more angular case option within the Astron 5X line. It reminds me of ’70s Seiko chronographs and comes off well here. At 42.7mm wide, 48mm long, and 12.2mm thick, the size is quite reasonable in comparison to my bigger and bulkier nine-year-old model. Regarding pricing, this Astron Morning Star edition is currently available for €2,800 / £2,470 / US$2,700. More information on the SSH145 can be found on Seiko’s official website.
The Astron SSJ021
Reference SSJ021 is part of the 3X series of Seiko Astron watches. As such, it uses the 3X62 caliber, which is a simpler movement than the previous 5X53. There’s no chronograph and, therefore, fewer sub-dials. The display is much cleaner, so it should appeal to those who enjoy a less technical-looking watch. There’s still a fine level of functionality, though, as a perpetual calendar is included along with GPS signal reception. A power reserve indicator and date display are also visible.
The case design of the Astron Morning Star SSJ021 is highly faceted. Both watches today have integrated bracelets, but the SSJ021 gives off a slight Royal Oak vibe due to its general case shape and bezel. The size is similar to the chronograph at 41.2mm by 48.6mm, and the thickness comes down slightly to exactly 12mm. This watch is also less expensive at €2,300 / £2,000 / US$2,300. Further information is available on the official Seiko website.
Purple seems to be one of the hot new colors today. The pairing with a black case and gold hardware is striking. I’m sure some won’t love the darkened cases while others will. For me, they’re nice additions that provide more options in this popular space for Seiko. To all of the Astron fans out there, what are your thoughts on these latest Astron Morning Star limited edition models? Let me know in the comments.