King Seiko salutes its birthplace and celebrates 110 years since Japan’s first wristwatch
published : 9 Feb 2023 at 15:49
Kintaro Hattori opened a shop to sell timepieces in Ginza in 1881, thus beginning the history of Seiko. His company produced Japan’s first wristwatch in 1913, and has since advanced the art of watchmaking through both technology and craft.
This year, Seiko will celebrate the 110th anniversary of its, and Japan’s, first wristwatch, the Laurel, with the release of a series of commemorative timepieces including a new King Seiko watch that draws inspiration from Seiko’s rich technological and design heritage. It comes a year after the return of the vintage-influenced King Seiko collection, which quickly captivated watch enthusiasts around the world thanks to its sharp lines, elegant wrist presence, and winning heritage design.
A dial inspired by the Kameido area of Tokyo
At first glance, the gradient dial enchantingly plays with light, but closer examination reveals a design inspired by a traditional Japanese geometric pattern known as Kikkoumon, which is based on the hexagonal shape of the tortoise shell. In Japanese culture, the tortoise symbolises longevity and prosperity, and the six-sided chelonian shape is further associated with samurai armour, as an auspicious pattern signifying strength and victory.
Moreover, the Kikkoumon is a nod to the 1960s origins of King Seiko, which was born at a facility in the Kameido section of Tokyo, once known as Kameshima, an area bounded by rivers and streams and known as “Tortoise Island.” The dial pattern has tremendous depth and texture – each hexagon is in fact a series of three inset hexagons, each deeper than the last – and this depth is further expressed on the entire dial through a gradual darkening from the centre to the edges.
It features the same elegant 37mm case and a seven-link bracelet seen in other King Seiko watches over the past year. The sharpness and angularity are inspired by the classic 1965 King Seiko KSK – the second King Seiko series and the one that defined the collection’s character.
The patterned dial, in combination with the faceted indexes and razor-edged hands, endows the anniversary King Seiko with a refined and striking presence, and the bold, angular lugs feature both mirror polished and hairline finishing, providing ample visual contrast as well as a sense of precision in manufacturing. It’s a fitting tribute to the place and time that gave rise to a horological classic, but with all the expected attributes of a premium watch made in the modern era. These include a box-shaped sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating and a state-of-the-art automatic movement with 70 hours of power reserve.
KING SEIKO Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Code: SPB365J is available now at Seiko boutique RamaIX, Seiko Boutique Online, Seiko Counter at Department store and authorised distributors or Seiko boutique Online www.seikoboutiquethailand.com/product/king-seiko-spb365j/ with Price: 71,000 THB.
Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary King Seiko Collection: SPB365
Frequency: 21,600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second)
Power reserve: 70 hours
Number of jewels: 24
Stainless steel case and bracelet
Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Screw case back
Diameter: 37.0mm, Thickness: 12.1mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Additional leather strap included*
Recommended retail price 71,000 THB.
*leather material sourced from LWG certified tanneries.
Limited edition of 1,200