The Sky’s The Limit For The New Seiko Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition

The Sky’s The Limit For The New Seiko Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition

Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive movement technology and a GMT complication arrive in a more accessible yet rugged form aboard this Moon-inspired special edition, exclusive to the United States.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

The popular Prospex timepieces from Seiko are most commonly known for being workhorse dive watches. However, that doesn’t mean a rare combination of cutting-edge technology, style, and durability can’t function just as well above the waves. Or way above the waves.

Beyond the Sea

Announced today, the Seiko Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition (SNR051), which combines a dive watch with a GMT complication, is available only to the US market. It also contains the watchmaker’s unique, hyper-accurate Spring Drive movement technology.

The Spring Drive equipped movement, if you are unaware, required over 28 years of research and created a “next step” in watch movement technology and is generally reserved for timepieces under the higher-echelon Grand Seiko brand.

That is because this movement brings time-keeping accuracy into the quartz realm (+/- 1 second per day) by harnessing a combination of mechanical, electrical, and electromagnetic energy in what is otherwise a purely mechanical movement in every respect – no additional power source or battery is required.

Regulation components and hands are driven by a traditional rotor, which also delivers a base electrical charge to power an integrated circuit and quartz crystal to ensure accuracy. A free-spinning glide wheel floats within an electromagnetic and friction-less field, allowing for very precise braking regulation of the smooth-sweeping seconds hand.

This transformative mechanism and construction not only deliver the Spring Drive’s legendary accuracy but is also particularly resistant to pressure and temperature changes. So it should come as no surprise that Spring Drive timepieces have cleared rigorous testing for use in space travel, with test-bed timepieces maintaining perfect accuracy and functionality aboard the International Space Station.

Pretty impressive for what most people look at as a dive watch.

Expect the Unexpected

The Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition is part of the Seiko LX Collection, which strives to be at the pinnacle of Seiko watch design, but still carries a strong connection to other Prospex dive timepieces. It doesn’t stray too far from the overall look and feel of the 1968-era professional dive watch that started the Prospex line. You can expect a 3 o’clock date window, screw-down crown at 4 o’clock that won’t hamper wetsuit operation, handsome, bi-directional dive bezel, lumed hands and markers, and ten bar (330 feet) of water resistance.

But it’s what you don’t expect that defines this special edition: an intricate, shimmering gray patterned dial echoes the silvery lunar surface and is also reminiscent of the signature Grand Seiko Kira-Zuri Snowflake dials. A vibrant blue GMT hand spans the lunar dial surface as it tracks Greenwich Mean Time, or “Zulu Time,” in pilot’s parlance.

With a 44.8mm case and bracelet crafted in lightweight, Zaratsu-polished titanium, it wears like a dive watch with something extra to it. And, most telling in terms of this timepiece’s special nature, a vertical retrograde 72-hour power reserve indicator at 7 o’clock serves as an omnipresent hallmark that the Seiko Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition is an uncannily accurate Spring Drive timepiece.

Pricing & Availability

The Seiko Prospex LX Sky US Special Edition will be available at select Seiko Luxe retailers starting in 2022 for $5,500. You can find out more at the Seiko website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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