One of Seiko's new "nicer" mainstream watches for 2011 is this really attractive Sportura Alarm Chronograph watches. The Sportura range has always captured my attention pleasantly - for offering attractive designs, logical functions, easy to read dials, as well as competitive pricing. This model is really a treat, coming in a few versions that borrow design cues from the higher-end Ananta collection.
The Ananta design features that are modified for the Sportura theme are the case, pushers, and hour indicators. Look for examples in these Ananta Spring Drive watches to see how these design elements have been modified for this the Sportura theme. Also, it is unfair to totally attribute the parent design to Ananta as these looks have been in the Seiko family in various watches for a while. For the Sportura Alarm Chronograph the case is more slim but the sharp looking lugs remain. While the case is relatively thin, it does have an impressive stance on the wrist. Seiko actually doesn't publish the width (not sure why), but I would guess in the 42-44mm in size. Depending on the version, the case is done in polished and brushed steel, or IP black coated steel. The finishes are quite nice for a watch in this price range.
Seiko designed the dial to be a handsome mixture of style and legibility - and with red or yellow accents it certainly looks it. The dial includes applied Arabic hour markers as well as indicators. I am not sure whether the markers are diamond polished, but they do have that nice high-polish sharply cut look as other Seiko diamond cut hands and markers. Lowered chronograph subdials really add to a nice deep, 3D look for the dial.
The three versions of the Sportura Alarm Chronograph include the SNAE69 (red accents on metal bracelet), SNAE65 (red accents on leather strap), and SNAE67 (black case will yellow accents on leather strap). All have a really nice look and will be signature sport models Seiko this year. For under $500 you get a lot with these watches. In addition to the complex and crisp design - you get 100 meters water resistant case and AR coated sapphire crystal.
Yellow or red accents are found in the chronograph hands as well as the stitching in the leather straps. The straps are porthole style, but don't got all the way through to protect the strap. It comes across as being a welcome style addition to the overall look of the design.
Inside the watches is Seiko's existing quartz 7T62 movement with the time, date, chronograph, and alarm. I am amazed at the long lifespan Seiko has been able to give this movement. The combo of the 60 minute chronograph and alarm make it really useful. As integrated into the Sportura Alarm Chronograph, it feels natural as the sporty theme is built around its complications. Prices for this Sportura Alarm Chronograph collection range from $475 - $495 retail. A solid price for a well-made and good looking timepieces. Look for these in stores starting September 2011.