Introducing The New King Seiko Collection
Despite the fact that Seiko was established in 1881, it wasn’t until 1913 that the company officially made its first wristwatch. This pioneering model, known as the Laurel, was not only Seiko’s first wristwatch but also the first timepiece created in Japan. Seiko has been creating watches for 110 years this year, and as part of its ongoing celebrations, the beloved Japanese watchmaker is introducing a number of limited-edition models that honor various aspects of its illustrious past. The most recent model is a member of the more expensive King Seiko series, which was relaunched last year and provides a contented middle ground between the usual affordable Seiko models and the opulent Grand Seiko lineup. Along with the new limited edition King Seiko SPB365 commemorating Seiko Watchmaking’s 110th anniversary, the company is also introducing three new Kind Seiko models in standard production that have the same basic case shape but a larger 39mm diameter and a date-display format.
The stainless steel case used in the new limited edition Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary King Seiko SPB365 measures 37mm in diameter by 12.1mm in thickness with broad and angular lugs that embody Seiko’s distinctive “Grammar of Design” styling. This case is the same as that used in the rest of the current King Seiko lineup. Similar to its siblings, this watch has a box-shaped sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating protecting the dial and a solid screw-down stainless steel caseback protecting the back of the case. The caseback is engraved with the unique limited edition number for each watch and helps to create 100 meters of water resistance. Access to the movement, in this case the Seiko 6R31, which beats at a rate of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and has a power reserve of roughly 70 hours, is provided by a signed crown at 3 o’clock. Although the dial on this limited edition model is the main attraction, the watch itself is realistically pretty similar to the rest of the current collection.
The deep brown time-only dial has a faint gradient effect that fades to black around the outside edge. A traditional Japanese geometric design called “Kikkoumon,” which is based on the hexagonal shape of a tortoise shell, is embossed into the surface to decorate it. In addition to being quite attractive, this particular design was chosen as a tribute to King Seiko’s beginnings, which took place in a facility in the Kameido neighborhood of Tokyo that was formerly known as “Tortoise Island” and where the company was founded in the 1960s. The double marker at 12 o’clock receives a distinctive textured finish for increased contrast and a distinctive visual flourish, in contrast to the applied baton-style hour markers, which have polished bevels and linear finished top surfaces. The three hands in the middle of the dial are finished in gold to match the applied Seiko emblem at the top of the dial. The hour and minute hands have Seiko’s distinctive wide dauphine shape.
The restored King Seiko series’ solid-link bracelet, which has a flattened seven-link design and a machined folding clasp, is attached to the lugs in the same vintage-inspired stainless steel as the rest of the collection. The new Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary King Seiko SPB365 model includes a black leather strap in addition to the normal stainless steel bracelet. This strap was produced by a tannery that has received certification from the Leather Working Group (a non-profit dedicated to building a sustainable future with responsible leather production practices). A similar stainless steel deployant clasp with a double push-button release and the King Seiko name on it is added to the supplementary leather strap for the SPB365 in place of the normal pin-buckle.
Along with the limited edition SPB365, Seiko is also releasing three King Seiko watches in standard production that share a lot of the same basic style as the current-production versions but come in a bigger 39mm format. The new 39mm King Seiko watches also use a date-displaying format with small rectangular apertures at the 3 o’clock spot on their dials, rather than simply being slightly larger copies of the present 37mm models. These new 39mm models are larger than their 37mm brothers and have sturdy screw-down casebacks and box-shaped sapphire crystals, but they are actually a little thinner and measure 11.9mm thicker than their smaller siblings while still having the same 100 meters of water resistance.
The movements utilized in the new 39mm King Seiko watches are slightly different from those found in the rest of the time-only collection because they are all date-displaying models. The Seiko 6R55, which has a slightly longer power reserve of about 72 hours, and a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz), is housed inside the new trio of 39mm watches. Despite their bigger size, these new 39mm King Seiko models have a similar design to the rest of the lineup. They have the same case shape, a thin fixed bezel, and angular faceted lugs. Similarly, although having a larger case size, the new 39mm King Seiko watches are all equipped with the exact same seven-link stainless steel band as the rest of the contemporary 37mm King Seiko portfolio.
The dials on the three new 39mm King Seiko watches vary only slightly from one another, and all three versions have polished dauphine-style hands. While the SPB371 is equipped with a blue sunburst dial and the SPB373 has a green variant of its blue sibling’s sunburst design, the SPB369 has a silver dial with a faint linen texture finish. The hour markers for the dials fitted to these new 39mm versions all have an extra bevel along their interior edges, which was done to help reflect light and increase legibility. Their date windows also have a metallic frame. The “King Seiko” moniker is printed on the lower half of the dial, and just like the dials on the smaller 37mm models, the dials on the bigger 39mm King Seiko watches also have attached Seiko emblems below the 12 o’clock marker.
While the new trio of 39mm watches will be joining the collection as standard-production models and will remain in the brand’s catalog for the foreseeable future, the new Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary King Seiko SPB365 will be made in a limited edition of 1,200 pieces. All four of these new King Seiko watches will have an official retail price of $1,800 USD, despite their variations and the extra leather band that comes with the new limited edition model. The new 39mm editions are the ideal substitute for the more mainstream buyer who wants something a bit larger and with the added utility of a date display, while the traditional time-only 37mm models will probably continue to be most popular among ardent devotees.
Introducing The New King Seiko Collection Introducing The New King Seiko Collection Introducing The New King Seiko Collection Introducing The New King Seiko Collection Introducing The New King Seiko Collection