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Seiko Prospex Solar SSC509 World Time Review

By Cameron Martel


Updated on

Looking for a No-Nonsense World Time? This Seiko is Worth Your Consideration!

If your New Year’s resolution involves travel plans, you’re going to want a watch to come along for the ride. Frequent fliers will especially appreciate this Seiko Prospex World Time, both for its functionality (more on that below) and its build quality. Like many Citizen watches we’ve reviewedthis particular Prospex is solar powered.

Currently listed for just under $300 on Certified Watch Store ($278 actually), the Prospex Solar World Time is price competitive with most Citizens (in fact, it’s priced much better than most Citizen world time’s) and offers its wearer an assortment of functions/complications (including an alarm and chronograph function).

I’ve reviewed a few Seiko’s over the past few years and have generally been a fan, especially of their tool watch/niche-focused offerings like the Flightmaster and their entry-level automatics (like the SNK809/SNK807 and Recraft series). In my experience, Seiko consistently nails the build quality/QA side of the equation while offering good value.

Is this Prospex World Time a similar combination? I suppose you’ll just have to continue reading to find out.

Where to Buy

CertifiedWatchStore.com graciously provided WYCA with this Prospex World Time for review. If you’re going to pick one up, we’d love it if you considered them!

  • Free Shipping
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Seiko Prospex Solar SSC509 Case

Seiko Prospex SSC509 Technical Specifications

  • Model Number: SSC509
  • MSRP: $450 (found discounted)
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Alternate Models: Lots of options for band, dial color, and features.
  • Movement: Solar/quartz, caliber V195
  • Complications: Chronograph, alarm, date display, power reserve, world time
  • Battery Life: 6 months (at full charge)
  • Water Resistance: 100m / 330ft
  • Crystal Material: Sapphire

Seiko Prospex Solar World Time SSC509 Wrist Shot

About Seiko Watches

Brand Information

Few watch brands are as prevalent as Seiko. The brand’s origins date back to 1881, with the first watch bearing the Seiko name being released in 1924. Notable for many horological “firsts”, Seiko revolutionized the watchmaking industry with their 1964 release of the “Astron”, the world’s first production quartz watch.

Also under the Seiko umbrella are notable watch brands Orient and Pulsar, though there are several others as well.

Seiko Prospex Solar World Time SSC509


Other options you might consider with similar complications and grey-market affordability:

Other Seiko Watches

We’ve been fortunate to have several Seiko watches to review hands-on, including:


Other watches with similar functionality you may be interested in:

Seiko Prospex Solar SSC509 Case

Aesthetically, This Prospex World Time Does Your Wrist Justice

Looking great in its conservative style, the SSC509 is an easy watch to wear. The cream-beige dial, mated to an alligator-grain leather strap (sans deployant clasp), is inoffensively styled and sufficiently versatile. There is no aesthetic element that serves to act as a barrier to wearability.

The large Arabic numeral hour markers are easy to read in normal lighting conditions (be warned: the 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock markers are cut off due to the Prospex’s subdials), though they lack any lume to aid in low-light visibility.

Seiko Prospex Solar World Time SSC509 (Macro)

However, the hour and minute hands are provided with an ample treatment of Seiko’s LumeBrite coating that is extremely visible in low-light settings. So visible, in fact, that it also lights up part of the face as the lume reflects off of the sapphire crystal.

At 3 o’clock you’ll find Seiko’s branding, complete with the Prospex logo, sitting just above the date window at 4 o’clock. Seiko’s branding is an applied marker, while the Prospex and World Time markings are printed directly on to the dial.

Three subdials, grooved for visual emphasis, sitting at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock (the power reserve/complication indicator, alarm/world time display, and small-seconds display, respectively) dominate the face, ringed by the minute markers and 25 city codes along the outermost chapter ring.

Seiko SSC509 LumeBrite

It’s busy, but not overly complicated, and all-around attractive.

The case is a mixture of textures and finishes; an excellent combination of brushed and polished surfaces, holistically giving a sense of ruggedness to the Prospex thanks to the knurled bezel and tough-looking crown. This Prospex looks and feels tough, and with 100m of water resistance and a sapphire crystal, it’s got the technical and material chops to back that image.

All-told, it’s an attractive watch that is utilitarian in design and elegant in its execution. Seiko did a great job here.

Seiko Prospex Solar World Time SSC509

A Seiko That Will Take You Around the World, Courtesy of the V195 Movement

Reminding me of the versatility of the Citizen Skyhawk Blue Angels, the Prospex SSC509 is a functional watch indeed. The Caliber V195 movement, powered by light and featuring a six-month power reserve once charged, affords the Prospex World Time a myriad of genuinely useful functions.

Albeit, this capability does come with a learning curve. Since you’re going to need it, here’s a link to the user manual.

The V195 has an integrated alarm, 24 hour chronograph (that measures in 1/5 second increments), a power reserve indicator, and of course, the world-time functionality. All of it works as intended, with the most complex bits being the alarm/world time functions.


Setting the alarm is a tedious process, although once you get the hang of it, it’s simple enough. To manipulate/set the alarm time, pull the crown to its second position (the middle position/first click), use the bottom pusher (identified as pusher “B” in the manual) to set the time you want the alarm to engage. Use the top pusher (pusher “A”) while the crown is still in the middle position to activate/disengage the alarm.

The alarm can be set in one-minute increments. To make life easier, hold the bottom pusher while setting to sweep the hand and expedite the process.

World Time

To manipulate the world time hand, press the bottom pusher (pusher “B”) for 3 seconds or longer. The 12 o’clock subdial will then move to the world time indicator. Once the world time setting is activated, use either pusher to move the city hand forward/backward towards your intended setting.

Note that the main hour/minute hands and world time subdial at 6 o’clock can be set independently of each other, meaning that you can have dual time displays on the dial if you feel so inclined.

Seiko Prospex Solar World Time SSC509 Wrist Shot

Overall, A Great World Time & No-Nonsense Watch From Seiko

The SSC509 is the first Prospex I’ve reviewed and it’s easy to see why the Prospex line is so popular. As is typical of Seiko, the build quality is quite good- even under magnification from my zoom lens, there are no imperfections to be found. The dial, in particular, is well finished and a great example of the type of quality Seiko can deliver at a low price point.

At the sub-$300 mark, it competes directly with the Casio Edifice I reviewed (and gave away) last month. Compared to the Edifice – which I thought was quite good – the Prospex World Time is a more casually styled and capable watch. The solar-powered movement gives the Prospex the additional benefit of never needing a battery replacement.

It’s sized right – even if does wear a bit big for a 42mm – and looks great. Factor in the right engine to reinforce its rugged good looks, and you’ve got a capable watch that delivers excellent value.

Seiko Prospex SSC509 Photo Gallery

Affiliate Disclosure

Our friends at Certified Watch Store sent us this Prospex World Time for my review. I wore the watch for a period of 2.5 weeks before writing this review.

We have an affiliate relationship with CWT. If you purchase the watch after clicking on a link to their site from ours, we will receive a small commission from that transaction. This is the primary method that we use to monetize the website and fund our costs (which, to date, has included nearly $5,000 in camera/lighting equipment, $50/mo software/hosting fees, etc.).

We understand that this may skew your perception of our review. We do not slant our reviews based on this relationship. If this makes you uncomfortable but you still want to buy the watch, simply do so from a non-affiliated store. However, we would sure appreciate if you supported WYCA – one of the only real hands-on review sites on the web – by shopping at our affiliate partners.

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About Cameron Martel

If it ticks or tocks, I want it on my wrist. I'm a fan of all things that keep good time, and I can't resist a great looking watch. WYCA is my way of appreciating the engineering and artistry that goes into affordable watches. My favorite watch is my Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, and the watch I wear the most is my Weekender Chronograph. I currently have 33 watches in my collection. Learn more about WYCA's Editorial Process.

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