In the watch collecting community, there is a lot of attention paid to the Prospex and Grand Seiko collections relative to those lineups that saturate dealers’ cases in the US. Unfortunately, for the most part I agree that Seiko’s JDM wares are leaps and bounds superior to most of what sells domestically (that’s going to change with Grand Seiko and now Prospex in the US), but I’ve always found the Sportura chronographs to be one of the few exceptions. At Baselworld this year, Seiko quietly released a new Big Calendar model to its Sportura Chronograph lineup.
I’ve written about the SNAE67 before. It’s a top choice for a sub-$500 chronograph, especially if you’re looking for that sporty watch that does that black-and-yellow thing very well. For 2014, Seiko adds a big calendar option to this mix while at the same time really flooring the gas on the racing aesthetic. Although they reuse some of the same components from prior models, Seiko added some new design elements that I really enjoy. The Big Calendar features a lot of new texture on its dial, from the geometric pattern on the surface to the tall applied hour markers. The chronograph registers, arranged in a tri-compax layout, are recessed while the minute totalizer features a raised steel border that completes the speedometer effect.
The Seiko Sportura Big Calendar Chronograph has a 44.5mm case and comes in a few variations. The steel versions come with blue and black colorways. The black dial also comes on a leather rally racing strap. Finally, there is PVD-coated option with red accents that comes on the same rally strap. Each houses a 7T04 quartz chronograph movement that measures up to 60 minutes in 1/5-second increments. We don’t have official pricing on this piece, but expect it to retail in the $350-500 range. seikowatches.com