Quick Facts:

  • 44 mm case diameter, 13 mm case thickness
  • Solar charging and it works well
  • Crocodile leather strap with buckle
  • GPS locks in quickly and reliably
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Amazing quality for the price
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The Seiko Astron Titanium doesn't make the sub-$1,000 price bracket, but it does need a notable mention. It is one of the best semi-automatic watches, delivering astounding value which far exceeds its cost. This is a watch that matches higher-priced options in every way, outperforming most of the competition in terms of performance and affordability. Anyone considering a feature-packed automatic watch needs to take a look at this excellent offering from Seiko. We'll be taking you through a look at exactly what makes this such an outstanding timepiece.

Features

  • Anti-reflective sapphire glass protection
  • Brushed titanium casing
  • 44 mm case diameter, 13 mm case thickness
  • Solar charging
  • Crocodile leather strap with buckle
  • High readability brown dial
  • Japanese automatic movement
  • Chronograph
  • Date and world time
  • Water resistance to 100 m
  • 1 lb. weight

Pros

  • Solar charging works well
  • GPS locks in quickly and reliably
  • 6-month power reserve
  • 2-year standby operation
  • Sapphire glass comes with anti-glare coating
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Practical controls and easy to use buttons
  • High accuracy movement

Cons

  • Water resistance isn’t good enough for diving
  • Chronograph buttons could be more tactile
  • Fairly large watch

Summary

The Seiko Astron features an 8X82 movement which is capable of being charged using solar power but runs off a standard battery by default. When fully charged, you’ve got a power reserve of about 6 months without being in sunlight. Astron’s chronograph measures up to 5 hours and 59 minutes, while a perpetual calendar, GPS, and world time for 40 different time zones are also featured. The movement is accurate to within 15 seconds per month if you don’t use the GPS to regulate the watch instead; this will keep your time dead-accurate all the time. This is one of the most practical watches reviewed featuring easy controls which are well manufactured and sure to last.

Astron’s Easy Controls

The upper right button starts and stops the chronograph while the lower right button resets it. Hold in the lower left button for three seconds to put your watch’s antenna off. This feature is ideal for travelers, functioning similarly to airplane mode on a phone. Hold in the upper left button for six seconds to search for a new GPS signal. Locking onto a satellite typically takes under 2 minutes.

The crown pulls and in one easy click, allowing you to move the central chrono. You turn the crown forward or backward slightly to adjust time zones if you can’t find a GPS signal to adjust automatically. There are tons of other features provided by the Seiko Astron, and they are all just as easy to work. From a useful power reserve to daylight savings time, everything is practical and intuitive.

Feature-packed Value

It’s a great looking watch with a great depth of detail in its dial. The sub-register areas appear to float atop the face while the luminescence works far better than most other watches at night. The rose gold matches the main hands and hour indices which rounds off the look of this stylish watch really well. Despite the large size and wealth of features, this is a watch which remains sleek and compact.

Even though this watch doesn’t have an actual mechanical heart, it is still one of the best semi-automatic watches around. You’ll never need to fuss with setting the time and winding the watch is replaced by simply wearing it in sunlight. Unless you’re a die-hard mechanical self-winding fan, this is your ultimate option for a practical watch for day to day use and even outdoor sports and events.

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