SEIKO again revolutionises watch making with the release of the 2014 Astron GPS Solar series


For over a century, Seiko has consistently been at the pinnacle of time keeping technology. Since developing the world’s first quartz wrist watch in 1969, called the ‘Astron’, the Japanese watch maker has continued their pioneering legacy. In 2012, Seiko released the ground-breaking Astron GSP Solar Series. In a world first, the watch requires only the power of light to connect to the GPS network and with just the touch of a button, seamlessly adjusts to the relevant time zone. In 2014, Seiko has further revolutionised the Astron GPS Solar series with a host of innovative new features that truly puts the watch in a class of its own.


GPS Solar System

The Astron GPS Solar gains all the energy it needs by simply being exposed to a light source, meaning there is no need to ever change a battery. By pressing just one button, the watch receives precise location updates from a minimum of 4 GPS satellites orbiting the earth and automatically adjusts to the corresponding date and time zone. Daily signal checks also give atomic-clock-like time keeping accuracy.

Smaller Simplicity

The new 2014 Astron GPS Solar is an incredible 30% smaller than its 2012 predecessor, due to new energy-saving technology that has considerably reduced the size of the GPS antenna. Despite the reduction in size, the watch features a new 6 hour chronograph in 1/5 second increments. All other features, including the perpetual calendar accurate to February 2100, Daylight Saving Time selection and in flight mode, remain.



Novak Djokovic LE Series

Available from November 2014, the Novak Djokovic Limited Edition features a stainless steel case with rose gold coating and a black ceramic bezel. Only 2,500 will be produced and each time piece will be individually numbered and fitted with an extra strength silicon strap. The case back is laser engraved with Novak’s name and signature to nicely complement the extensive Astron GPS Solar family.

Limited Edition

The 2014 flagship edition, limited to just 7,000 watches, adds further unique elements to the already impressive Astron range. On top of the black ceramic bezel with 12 specially cut facets, a crown with special “lighter cut” and a distinctive white dial, all watches feature a laser marked GPS SOLAR logo and an individual serial number engraved on the back. The special gift box with an additional crocodile leather strap completes the stylish limited edition.



Unique, bright, and colourful Okinawa’s traditional culture


While Okinawa’s theme parks offer an easily accessible introduction to the region’s traditional culture in the one location, a more authentic experience awaits in the local townships, buildings and venues where Okinawa’s traditions thrive today.

Breweries of awamori, Japan’s oldest distilled alcoholic beverage, can be found all across Okinawa. A visit to a brewery for a tour or a tasting can be a wonderful experience.

Numerous workshops also promise the opportunity to see and experience Okinawa’s traditional arts and crafts firsthand.

See bingata, a dyeing technique used to create bright and colourful patterns and designs, Okinawan lacquer ware with its brilliant red that can only be produced in Okinawa’s warm climate, joyachi ceramics with their bright and decorative glaze, and bashofu, a type of cloth made using banana tree fiber.

However, no trip to Okinawa could ever be complete without seeing its traditional performing arts. Traditional Okinawan dance, performed in time to the soft sounds of the sanshin, can be broadly broken into three different categories: an older style that was performed to welcome visitors to the court of the Ryukyu Kingdom; the zoodori, a more energetic recent style for the common people; and a modern form that has been arranged to suit modern tastes. Each of these styles can be enjoyed as a professional production on municipal and prefectural stages or in Ryukyuan restaurants while enjoying the local cuisine.

Another of Okinawa’s dances is eisa, the region’s own local variant of Japan’s famous bon odori, a dance inseparable from images of summer and enjoyed by men and women alike. Eisa events can be seen from July to September each year all across Okinawa. The largest of these are the All-Okinawa Eisa Festival in Okinawa City held in early August, and the 10,000 People Eisa Dance Parade held in Naha City in late August. Be sure to mark them on your calendar!

Local, more intimate venues known as minyo sakaba, allow visitors to experience traditional local song at close quarters. There are many different types of minyo sakaba, from those with a more up-tempo beat to places where you can simply sit back and relax. All provide a place to enjoy awamori and Okinawan cuisine while listening to the traditional songs of Okinawa.

The people of Okinawa are cheerful by nature and love to sing and dance. Joining them for a drink while listening to a song and, as the night grows long, taking part yourself is a must.

Heading off to remote islands or the countryside is a great way to come into contact with locals, such as fishermen and farmers.