If you are a fan of track and field, you have undoubtedly spotted the bright yellow timing instruments from Seiko scattered throughout tracks and stadiums. The presence of Seiko’s expertise in sports timing goes way back to the 1960s when the brand introduced a new standard of precision in the form of several timing devices, with stopwatches and chronographs among the most recognizable. Even since then, Seiko has been ever-present in the world of athletics. This year will mark the 17th time that Seiko provides its state-of-the-art timing equipment to the World Athletics Championship. To mark the occasion, Seiko has created a special limited edition of its Prospex Speedtimer model. It’s a watch that pays tribute to the original chronograph that started Seiko’s involvement in the world of track and field.

In 2022, the World Athletics Championship will take place in the American city of Eugene, Oregon. Aptly nicknamed “Track Town”, Eugene is a site of North American track-and-field heritage. It is also the birthplace of footwear manufacturer Nike. Matching the heritage of the venue, the Seiko name will shine throughout the stadium, promoting the limited-edition Prospex Speedtimer released to mark the occasion. Though Seiko’s sports timing equipment was a highlight of the ’60s, so too was the 1969 release of the Speedtimer. That watch was the first automatic chronograph with a vertical clutch and column wheel. As such, it was a landmark release not just in Seiko’s history, but also for the mechanical chronograph in general. It addressed some of the issues of traditional chronographs, helping Seiko provide more accurate timing than was possible with the technology available up to that point.

The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ041 Limited Edition

This limited-edition watch celebrates Seiko’s rich history in sports timing, as well as the 2022 World Athletics Championship. A signed sapphire case back features the championship’s logo and Seiko’s “official timer” designation. These touches will remind those who purchase the watch of the occasion, as will this Speedtimer’s special dial and colorway. It features hints of Seiko’s signature yellow shade, which is used on all of its professional sports timing equipment. Combined with black on the dial and gray on the sub-dials at 9 and 3 o’clock, this is one of my favorite versions of the Prospex Speedtimer that I have seen since its launch last year. The watch will be delivered on a stainless steel bracelet, as well as with a black calf leather strap. The strap is equipped with a deployant clasp and matching Seiko-yellow details on the stitching and lining.

Inside the 42.5mm case equipped with an internally AR-coated double-domed sapphire crystal, Seiko’s caliber 8R46 beats away at 28,800vph. It provides 45 hours of power reserve and accurate timing thanks to the classic column wheel and vertical clutch. It has quickly become Seiko’s workhorse automatic chronograph movement. The watch comes in at 15.1mm thick, but it wears extremely well on the wrist. This is thanks to the downward-angled lugs, its low center of gravity, and the specially designed bracelet. Another hint at this watch’s connection to the world of athletics is the unique texture on the dial. It mimics the track’s sandy texture, all too familiar to the athletes who compete on it. The watch’s hands are given a good coating of Seiko’s Lumibrite to ensure readability in the dark.

Final Thoughts

Cool, sporty, and with some unique details that hint at the brand’s heritage in sports timing, the Prospex Speedtimer really is a full-package deal. Just 400 lucky watch enthusiasts will be able to call one of these their own. Expect this one to hit Seiko boutiques and retailers starting in June of this year, with an estimated retail price of €3,200. For the price, this chronograph packs quite a punch. You not only get one of Seiko’s latest chronographs, but also a piece that reflects the brand’s rich heritage in both the world of athletics as well as in the development of the automatic chronograph. All things considered, I think this one will stand atop the podium with a gold (or yellow) medal around its neck.

Let me know what you think of this Prospex Speedtimer LE in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! For more information, please check out the Seiko website.

Watch specifications

Prospex Speedtimer LE
Black textured dial with grey subdials
Case Material
361L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
42.5mm x 15.1mm
AR-coated double domed sapphire
Case Back
Signed sapphire case back
Caliber 8R46, Automatic Chronograph
Water Resistance
100m / 10ATM
Steel bracelet/leather strap
Chronograph, date
Special Note(s)
Limited Edition: 400 units