The Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk watch was initially unveiled at Baselworld 2008. In October 2008, the private space traveler Richard Garriott used the Seiko watch in outer space on his mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Seiko created the wristwatch specifically for Mr. Garriott’s space flight. The watch was developed to boast the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, pressures and radiation implied by an Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA), or spacewalk.
It is remarkable that the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk watch proved to be a reliable timekeeping instrument throughout the space-traveler’s flight in space that lasted 12 days. Then, in December 2008, two Spring Drive Spacewalk watches accompanied a Russian astronaut during his spacewalk that lasted 5 hours and 38 minutes. Even when the watch was secured to the astronaut’s wrist over the space-suit during the spacewalk, it provided precise timekeeping and chronograph functions.
Back on Earth, the Seiko watches were meticulously studied and tested at Seiko Epson’s facility to independently check their performance during the spacewalk.
With help of the Seiko watch, Richard Garriott wanted to raise public awareness and interest in great potential of space exploration. Seiko supported the space-traveler and organized a widely publicized auction in New York in September 2009 and sold one of the two timepieces for 45,600 US dollars. The brand donated the proceeds for the two charities supported by Richard Garriott - the Nature Conservancy and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
The Commemorative Edition of the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk watch will be limited to only 100 pieces. The first timepieces were launched in February 2010.
The Commemorative Edition of the Spacewalk watch boasts the same characteristics as the timepiece that traveled into space but with one peculiarity - a screw-in crown. For easier hand-winding, the crown on the original Spacewalk watch was not a screw-in. Now, the brand provided the watch with the screw-in crown to improve the case security.
The Seiko watch embraces the wrist with a ballistic nylon strap fitted with a titanium buckle and velcro fastening. It is available in a special presentation box that contains an additional elastic nylon strap, just the same as the one used in space. The case back features the serial number of the piece.
The case of the timepiece is crafted from high-intensity titanium. The face is protected by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The Seiko watch is 100-meter water-resistant.
The heart of the watch is the Spring Drive Chronograph Caliber 5R86. The 416-part, 50-jewel movement provides the following functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT, 12-hour chronograph and 72-hour power reserve.
The Seiko watch is expected to be available for 28,000 US dollars.
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