Seiko's New GPS Watch Obtains Time Information Around Globe

Mar 7, 2012
Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Electronics
The "Seiko Astron" GPS-enabled wrist watch
The "Seiko Astron" GPS-enabled wrist watch
[Click to enlarge image]

Seiko Holdings Corp, Seiko Watch Corp and Seiko Epson Corp will release the "Seiko Astron," a GPS-enabled wrist watch that supports 39 time zones in the world, in late September 2012.

Using a GPS, the watch can obtain time information worldwide. Its price ranges from ¥152,250 (approx US$1,886) to 210,000.

The Seiko Astron can determine the location of the user by using electric waves from more than three GPS satellites to obtain latitude, longitude and altitude information. Based on the information, it specifies a block among about one million blocks constituting the earth surface and displays the time of the time zone that the block belongs to.

After the location of the user is determined, it periodically receives information from the GPS satellites to automatically adjust its time.

The Seiko Astron is equipped with a photovoltaic (PV) battery, eliminating the need to replace batteries. To power the watch with the PV battery, Seiko Epson reduced the power consumption of the GPS module by about 80%. Also, the company employed an antenna with a new structure so that it can receive weak electric waves from the satellites.

Furthermore, a newly-developed transparent film that reduces light reflection by about 99% was attached to the front and back sides of the glass plate. Even under a strong sunlight or room light, the user hardly recognizes the glass, Seiko Epson said.