Seiko Astron – Solar Powered, GPS Enabled Watch

Travelling through the world’s 39 different time zones soon? Worried about all the time you’ll waste adjusting your watch? Concerned about getting time zones wrong? Seiko’s GPS-enabled solar powered Astron to the rescue. 
   
While adjusting your watch after skipping from Adelaide to Melbourne is a very minor inconvenience that probably doesn’t justify the purchase of a high end watch; for high-flying execs jumping from destination to destination on a regular basis, keeping track of the time can be a little more challenging*.
   
Seiko has developed a low-energy-consumption GPS receiver and incorporated it into the solar powered Seiko Astron, a watch that can identify time zone, time and date data all over our planet. 
   
The programming in the watch divides the world into one million ‘squares’ and allocates a time zone to each. Once a day (or on demand), Seiko Astron automatically receives the time signal by connecting  to four or more of the GPS satellites that orbit Earth, allowing the watch to pinpoint its position and identify the time zone it’s in. The process for manual updating involves pressing a single button.
    
Packing all this technology into such a small device (47mm diameter, 135 grams weight) was no mean feat – Seiko says the research and development that went into the Seiko Astron resulted in no less than 100 patent applications. 
    
Energy efficiency came to the fore in the development of the Seiko Astron, allowing it to run entirely off solar power or any form of ambient light.
   
Another feature of the Astron is Seiko’s new proprietary anti-reflective coating applied on both the front and back of the glass, which prevents 99% of light reflection and allows the dial to be easily legible, even in bright light. It’s not clear from the company literature, but this anti-reflective coating may also assist in the light harvesting attributes of the watch’s solar cells; which are embedded in the dial.
   
The perpetual calendar in the watch is correct to February 2100 – past that date will probably not be a concern for people buying the watch soon.
   
Price: $1900 to $2600 – but at least you’ll  never have to change batteries again.
 
*Many of today’s smart phones, such as the iPhone, also update the time and date automatically, based on the signal the unit receives from the cell network of the area in which they are operating.