Seiko A Prospex Marinemaster watch in the Vendée Globe
Seiko’s adviser, Kojiro Shiraishi, sets sail in the world’s harshest yacht race, a GPS Solar watch on his wrist.
On November 6, 29 sailors will cross the line at Les Sables d’Olonne in Western France at the start of the Vendée Globe, the solo, non-stop, round-the-world race. Among them will be Kojiro Shiraishi, the first ever sailor from Asia to try his hand in this ocean race. On his wrist will be the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster, a GPS Solar watch that Kojiro himself helped to design.
This GPS Solar watch adjusts to the exact local time anywhere on earth, on land or at sea, using only the power of light. This function is especially useful when a sailor is in the waters near the poles, where time zones change with far more frequently than at the Equator. Furthermore, the Dual-Time function allows an ocean sailor to know at a glance the time in his or her home port, as well as local time.
The case and bracelet are made of corrosion-resistant titanium, protected by a super-hard coating and a ceramic bezel. On Kojiro’s advice, they are shaped to avoid any edge catching a rope or line. The watch is 20 bar water resistant, with a screw-down case back and crown. Excellent legibility in any weather, day or night, is ensured by the sapphire crystal, the wide, prow-shaped markers and Seiko’s latest Lumibrite coating.
During his preparation for the race, Shiraishi said, “I think of this Prospex Marinemaster watch as my buddy and I was very happy to participate in its creation so that I would have my perfect watch for this very harsh race, the Vendée Globe. Throughout the race, we need to be in regular contact with race headquarters using UTC time. For this, the GPS Solar Dual Time function is perfect. I wanted UTC time only on the bezel so that it is easy to read. Also, the legibility of the time is of paramount importance so I wanted the 12 markers and hour and minute hands to be made as legible as possible. I made a particular request for the hour hand to be designed so that it is easy to read. I am very happy with the results and I especially like the trim in “emergency” fluorescent red. I am very grateful to Seiko for working with me on this watch and I hope that it will be worn not only by people who sail yachts but also by those who dream of other such challenges and who bring an adventurous spirit to whatever they do.”
The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that Seiko should be “Always one step ahead of the rest.”Find out more
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