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Seiko Astron: Know it before you buy

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The re-release of Seiko Astron in 2012 (first time, it was in 1969, Christmas day) was quite (actually, great) a fanfare. Why? For Seiko Astron watches outperformed every then-existent high-end technology, setting connections between a

wearer and the Space. The Seiko Astron GPS watch threw radio-signals out of fashion and embraced GPS signals from the orbiting satellites. What’s the difference? Nothing much, just that you don’t have to be at the mercy of any specific location on Earth; the signals reach anywhere and everywhere. However, if you are expecting the same geek-looking digital stuff to live up to the high-tech image, you can’t be more wrong. The new Astrons have been given an analog face, run on solar power and can tell time in any of the 39 time zones, to which it resets itself, without any human intervention. It works like this: Determines the user’s position with aid from GPS signals. Tallies the info with its onboard database (the earth’s surface divided into one million squares, which are individually assigned to particular time zones). All that makes the Seiko astron watch the most accurate watch on the planet and by accurate, Seiko means it may lag or run ahead the exact time by 1 second every million years. Even on the move. But then again, instead of going on praising the Seiko Astron watch, let’s summarize the most common questions people ask on it. Here we go. GPS signal availability: Practically everywhere; better where there’s an open, clear sky. More obstructions (tall buildings, tall trees, stations and airports), less signal. Don’t expect any signal when underground or inside tunnels; neither when there’s a thermal emission shield or noise-generating or wireless communication equipment. This doesn’t include your cell phone. But it has a memory; the Seiko Astron watch remembers the last successful manual time/time-zone adjustment and attempts syncing at the recorded time. Time-adjustment: The automatic time adjustment function is the prime feature of the Seiko Astron watches. It sets itself to the current time (or time zone) once every day. If you want to set it on demand/manually, you can do that too. Just make sure the watch is charged sufficiently and doesn’t run out of power during the process. To adjust time manually, the 2 o’clock button should be pressed for 3 seconds till the seconds-hand moves to 0. Once it moves to Y, you are done. If it can’t update, it will point N. Time zone adjustment: Press the 2 o’clock button for 6 seconds till the seconds hand shifts to the 30-second position. The rest is just like above. Calendar adjustment: Automatic till February 28, 2100. The most spectacular among all is perhaps the Seiko Astron Stratosphere with a bold, domed sapphire glass with a curvature resembling the Stratosphere, the layer above the troposphere or the lowest atmospheric layer. If power-saving is your obsession, then this watch is for you. Go for the Seiko astron titanium (high-intensity) with ceramic bezel if you want something really exotic.




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