If the Seiko Watch Company had been a royal household, the undisputed monarch can be Grand Seiko, which is why the current revival of the King Seiko line may create some confusion within the line of succession. Pitted in opposition to each other within the Nineteen Sixties, Grand Seiko and King Seiko had been decided to outdo each other and obtain ever-higher ranges of high quality and precision to grow to be the corporate’s flagship model. Though we’re all conversant in the stellar trajectory of Grand Seiko, King Seiko wasn’t revived till late 2020 with a restricted re-edition based mostly on the 1965 King Seiko KSK. Now a standalone assortment, the strong classic credentials of King Seiko function the backdrop for the newest mannequin (ref. SPB365) celebrating the 110th anniversary of Seiko and Japan’s first wristwatch (Laurel, 1913) with a hypnotic dial impressed by the birthplace of King Seiko.
As defined in nice element on this hands-on evaluation of the King Seiko KSK SJE083, the interior rivalry between Grand Seiko and King Seiko within the early Nineteen Sixties produced fruitful outcomes. King Seiko’s inaugural watch appeared in 1961, adopted by the 1965 KSK, the mannequin that spearheaded the revival of King Seiko. Though Grand Seiko’s path was uninterrupted and have become an unbiased entity in 2017, you might say that Seiko shot itself within the mechanical foot with its growth of quartz know-how, leaving the King Seiko to slumber till its revival in 2020.
To commemorate its return, Seiko re-edited its traditional 1965 King Seiko KSK. With its sharp, angular case, flat dial, faceted indices, broad razor-edged arms and dynamic seven-link metallic bracelet, the King Seiko exudes a strong classic vibe. Following the primary (and higher-end) silver dial re-edition of 2020, the King Seiko has appeared in a extra accessible model with a number of vibrant dials, together with the enticing King Seiko SPB291 with its gradient lilac-coloured dial impressed by the wisteria blossoms of the Kamiedo Tenjin Shrine.
The newest arrival is that this compact 37mm stainless-steel King Seiko SPB365 with a peak of 12.1mm and 100m water-resistance. In deference to its 1965 ancestor, the lugs are faceted with mirror-polished and hairline finishings, the bezel is bevelled, a box-shaped sapphire crystal covers the dial, and the striated crown and caseback bear the unique King Seiko emblem. The tapering multi-link stainless-steel bracelet, with its seven rows of faceted brushed and polished hyperlinks, can be very near the unique. A further leather-based strap is included with materials sourced from LWG sustainably licensed tanneries and a King Seiko clasp.
Nonetheless, what separates this reference SPB365 from these at present within the King Seiko assortment is its fascinating textured dial. Utilizing a gradient coppery brown color, the hexagonal shapes on the dial are impressed by a conventional Japanese sample often called Kikkoumon. The Kikkoumon, in flip, takes its design cues from the geometrical shapes, or scutes, discovered on tortoise shells. An emblem of longevity and prosperity, the six-sided chelonian form can be related to samurai armour. Taking the turtle analogy one step additional, it seems that King Seiko was born within the Kameido part of Tokyo. Surrounded by rivers and streams, Kameido is often known as Tortoise Island.
Including a formidable sensation of depth to the dial, every hexagon consists of three inset hexagons set at progressively deeper ranges. Mixed with the gradient impact, the patterns are flooded with mild within the centre and darken as they attain the periphery.
And not using a hint of lume, the utilized rectangular indices catch the sunshine with their vivid polished aspects, whereas the double index at midday reveals its patterned pyramid-like texture. The flat faceted hour and minute arms are Zaratzu polished to create a distortion-free shine and are accompanied by a needle-sharp seconds hand.
Automated calibre 6R31
This King Seiko Kikkoumon is fitted with the fashionable automated in-house calibre 6R31. Utilizing an identical mechanical structure to the 6R35 with out the date, the 6R31 has 24 jewels and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph. Delivering a sturdy energy reserve of 72 hours, the motion’s accuracy is rated at +15/-25 seconds per day.
Availability & Value
The King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon is a restricted version of 1,200 items and might be out there from February 2023 at choose Seiko Boutiques and retail companions worldwide. The advisable retail worth in Europe is EUR 2,000. For extra info, please go to seikowatches.com.
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