Thursday, July 8, 2010

From Space to Earth. The SEIKO Spring Drive Spacewalk is now available worldwide

The SEIKO Spring Drive Spacewalk is the first watch ever designed specifically for use in outer space. Now a commemorative edition is available through selected SEIKO retail outlets across the world.
The SEIKO Spring Drive Spacewalk
The Commemorative limited Edition SEIKO Spring Drive Spacewalk

First presented at Baselworld 2008, this remarkable watch was first used in October 2008 when the private space adventurer, Richard Garriott, took it into space on his mission to the International Space Station (ISS). It had been built expressly for his space flight and was designed to withstand the extreme temperatures, pressures and radiation conditions involved in an Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA), or spacewalk. It performed flawlessly throughout Richard’s 12-day flight in space. Subsequently, in December 2008, two Spring Drive Spacewalk watches were worn by a Russian cosmonaut throughout a 5-hour-38-minute EVA. During the EVA, both the time of day and chronograph functions worked perfectly, even when worn on the outside of the space suit. On their return to Earth, the watches were studied, assessed and tested at Seiko Epson’s facility, and their perfect performance during the EVA was independently verified.
It had always been Richard Garriott’s aim that the watch would help generate awareness of, and interest in, the future potential of space exploration. For this reason, one of the two watches Richard had taken into space was sold at a much-publicized auction in New York in September 2009 for US$45,600, a remarkable premium over the reserve price. SEIKO ‘s proceeds were donated to the two charities that Richard supports: the Nature Conservancy and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
Now a commemorative limited edition of this remarkable watch is available to the public. Just 100 pieces are being produced. The first ones were released in February 2010. This new watch has the exact same specifications as the watch which went into space with one adaptation: a screw-in crown is used. To ensure ease of manual winding, the crown on the original was not a screw-in; however, the perfect functioning of the watch, both inside and outside the ISS, revealed that the self-winding mechanism worked flawlessly in space, so a screw-in crown is now used in the commemorative edition to enhance the overall security of the case. The watch has a ballistic nylon strap. An additional elastic nylon strap, which is exactly the same as the one used in space, is included in the special presentation box. The serial number is engraved on the case back.
The SEIKO Spring Drive Spacewalk box
The watch is presented on a ballistic nylon strap.
Also provided is an elastic strap, which is the same as the one used in space.
Seiko Press