Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seiko Ignition SBHS001

SBHS001? Looks like this is an older model than I thought it would be.

For the past few days since I returned from Hokkaido, I've been making my mother's money worth (she bought this with a storm on her face) by showing it off to everyone I know. With cousins and friends we coo over its sleek elegance. With Pingsters and geeks we geek out on its relatively l33t features.

The Seiko Ignition Solar Radio Wave Control Watch. SBHS001.

Here are the features I pulled off an eBay page with its Engrish cleaned up.

  • Seiko Ignition Solar Radio Wave Control Watch SBHS001 (Japan Domestic Market Version)
  • Solar Power Movement Caliber : 7B22
  • Pure Titanium Case
  • Shockproof Structure
  • Curved Sapphire-coated Scratchproof Glass
  • 10 Bar Water Resistance
  • Fully Automatic Calendar
  • Radio Wave Correction Function
  • 2 Wave Reception Modes (Auto/Manual)
  • Wave Reception Display
  • Time Difference Correction Function
  • Power Save Function
  • Screw-Lock Crown
  • Noctilucence/Lumibright
  • Solar Power Life : 6 months (Power Save Mode : 18 months)
  • Case Diameter/total weight : 40mm/89g
  • Case Thickness : 11.2mm
  • Accuracy : ±15 seconds per year
  • MSRP in Japan : 63,000 Yen (apprx. $ 555 USD)

63k Yen is worth about 850SGD. And I paid 30k Yen, or 400SGD for it. Very cheap. But still relatively expensive.

So yes, the fully solar-charged battery can dish out power for 6 months at full steam. This watch however, has unoptional power saving, so it'll last up to 18 months. But that's all theoretical. Even if WW3 comes and we all have to go underground, if you have enough light to read the time, you have enough light to charge the battery.

Now this Radio Wave Control. Something we aren't too familiar about here. Japan utilizes two time signal radio stations to broadcast the JJY signal. Radio Wave Control watches work like RSS feeds, where they receive information from the signal, and adjust themselves accordingly, automatically. For this watch, one can manually get the watch to check and set itself (good for initial use). If not, or after the initial setup, from 2am to 4am everyday, the watch will communicate with the radio wave signal and automatically adjust itself while we're drooling in the other room.

Not that new a technology, but to the suaku geeks here in Singapore, it's totally h4ck0rz.

Why did I buy this watch? I've wasted a good portion of money on a technology I'll not use for the next 10 years, if not for my entire life. But I've always liked gun/black metal strap watches, and this piece totally caught my eye. It's simple on the surface, but beneath the imperturbable ticking is a powerful cumulation of technologies brought together to uphold Seiko's brand image of producing hardy and long-lasting products. Certainly one of the material treasures in my life.

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