Seiko has been steadily focusing on expanding the Prospex Speedtimer series with affordable models in 2023. This has led to the introduction of solar-powered chronographs that combine modern-day technology with retro-inspired good looks from the Speedtimer models of the 1960s and ’70s. The latest addition to that series is the blue-dial Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC937. This European Union-exclusive limited edition is another attractive watch that will undoubtedly find its way to fans. Let’s take a closer look.
Late last year, I had the pleasure of writing about a trio of solar-powered Speedtimer chronographs. In particular, I found the panda-dial SSC911 a very handsome watch. When I first saw this new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC937, I immediately thought it was a new version of the same model series but with a stainless steel bezel. But that assumption was wrong. Seiko introduced more solar chronographs in the meantime that, from images, might be hard to distinguish. A closer look, however, will reveal the differences.
Recognizing the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC937
The main difference between the two series is the case diameter. The series I wrote about last year used a 41.4mm case, whereas the later series that this new SSC933 is part of features a 39mm case. While that might be hard to see in photos, the immediate visual differences can be found in the hands and the dial. The 39mm models feature sword-style hands and a slightly different dial with the minute track printed on it. The larger 41.4mm models have more straightforward hands and the minute track on a separate ring surrounding the dial.
The first four models of the 39mm series were the white-dial SSC813, blue-dial SSC815, cream-dial SSC817, and black-dial SSC819. Sometime later, Seiko added the fully black SSC917 “Night Speedtimer,” part of the brand’s Prospex Black Series. Lastly, we also saw the handsome green-dial SSC933 added to the lineup. So this new model is the seventh in the series, presenting a slightly different aesthetic. It comes with a beautiful light blue dial with a stainless steel bezel, which makes for a really attractive sports chronograph.
The solid set of specs of the Speedtimer SSC937
So, let’s look at some specs. The 39mm case measures 13.3mm thick and 45.5mm from lug to lug, and it has a standard and strap-friendly 20mm lug spacing. These case dimensions make it a great timepiece for various wrist sizes. In terms of finishing, it has circular-brushed top surfaces and a high-polished case band.
The watch wraps itself nicely around the wrist thanks to the slightly downward-sloping lugs. On the right side of the case, you’ll find the crown at 3 o’clock and two large pushers to operate the chronograph. The case is fitted with an Oyster-style bracelet with a push-button folding clasp. Under the sapphire crystal, the light blue dial features black Seiko and Prospex logos and black registers. But if you look closer, you can discover the “secret” of the sub-dials. The registers hold the solar cells to charge the watch, and transparent discs with white printing are placed on top of them.
The three registers consist of running seconds at 9 o’clock, a 60-minute chronograph register at 6 o’clock, and a 24-hour (AM/PM) indicator at 3 o’clock. If the chronograph is inactive, the 60-minute counter also serves as a power reserve indicator, with an “E” for empty and an “F” for fully charged. In addition, just past the 4 o’clock index, you will find a date window with a white date disc and black printing placed rather deep into the aperture. I assume this is because it sits below the solar cells.
More dial details and the first natural stainless steel bezel in the series
The silver-colored applied indices are placed inside the black minute/seconds track. It features subdivisions for the seconds as well as numerals behind most of the hour markers for quick reference. This pattern is only interrupted by the hour markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, which are treated with beige Lumibrite for visibility in the dark. The hour and minute hands are black and filled with Lumibrite as well. Giving nice hints of extra color and tying the chronograph elements together are the orange central chronograph hand and smaller orange hand in the minute counter at 6 o’clock.
This watch also features a stainless steel bezel with a tachymeter scale in black. It’s the first in the series to have a steel-colored bezel. Previous releases also featured a stainless steel bezel, but it had a black IP coating that almost looked like ceramic thanks to its finish. All in all, the new SSC937 is a very handsome sports chronograph that ticks many boxes in size and looks.
The solar-powered caliber V192
Inside the case, Seiko equips the watch with its solar-powered V192 movement. Compared to its mechanical counterparts, then, this is a worry-free timepiece when it comes to wear and tear and corresponding necessary services. It has a power reserve of six months, and if the watch is almost at the end of its charge, the seconds hand will start jumping in two-second intervals. But perhaps the term “solar-powered” doesn’t do this movement justice as it can also use any other light source to transfer energy and power the watch. This movement is accurate up to ±15 seconds per month.
Wearing the Seiko Speedtimer SSC937
Once on the wrist, the SSC937 wears like a charm. Its modest case size and relatively slim profile make it a great watch to wear. The bracelet is relatively straightforward but feels adequate at this watch’s sub-€700 price point. It has a standard taper from 20mm at the case to 18mm at the clasp. The clasp consists of stamped and milled components and has two micro-adjustment positions. It’s nothing special, but I like that it’s not chunky so it doesn’t negatively affect the wearing experience.
The new aesthetic of the SSC937 is attractive and a nice step away from the previous models with a black IP bezel. I like that Seiko has thought of this option, and I would like to see more dial variations with natural stainless steel bezels. I will say that I had to get used to the sub-dials under certain light. While they look black most of the time, in certain lighting, the color changes, reminding me of their double function. But overall, I was impressed by how easy this new Speedtimer wears and how great it looks.
Final thoughts about the new Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC937
This new Speedtimer SSC937 is an attractive watch that will be available for €780 starting January 2024. In addition to the bracelet, it also comes with an extra leather strap. Finding a sports chronograph — either mechanical or quartz — that looks this good at that price point is hard. My first alternative would be the larger Speedtimer 41.4mm model that I mentioned earlier, which comes in at €700. While some nice meca-quartz options are out there, none have impressed me like this Seiko SSC937. That’s why I would have no problems picking a solar-powered chronograph over any available meca-quartz models.
That brings me to whether this is my favorite among the available solar Prospex Speedtimers. And I must say that it is a tie with the green-dial SSC933 that came out recently. Both have a completely different look and show the attractiveness of this 39mm chronograph series. The SSC933 is a bit classier, while this new SSC937 is more retro and sporty. Seiko will produce 3,000 pieces of this EU-exclusive limited edition. All of them will be individually numbered on the case back. With its retro-inspired looks, great proportions, and light-powered movement, this could be a great, low-maintenance option for many watch fans. And that makes the new SSC937 a winner.
For more information, visit the Seiko European online boutique. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the new Prospex Speedtimer SSC937 in the comments section.