A Space-Inspired Watch That's Strengthened by a Sapphire Dome

As a follow-up to its original Astron watch that used a low-power GPS chip to automatically set the time based on wherever in the world it was, Seiko's new Stratosphere version features mostly aesthetic upgrades. But that doesn't mean anyone with the original model won't want to upgrade.

The most remarkable feature of the new Stratosphere is a domed sapphire crystal that covers the watch's face all the way to the edge of its silicon band. Because sapphire's hardness is second only to diamonds, each dome requires more than ten hours of polishing to achieve its crystal-clear finish.

And when viewed at the right angle, the soft glow of the watch face's luminous paint makes it seem as if you're actually at the edge of space staring through the Earth's atmosphere—hence the name Stratosphere. As far as premium watches go the Astron Stratosphere's $2,600 price tag is cheap. And compared to what it would cost you to actually go into space for this view, it's a downright bargain. [Seiko via Acquire]

A Space-Inspired Watch That's Strengthened by a Sapphire Dome