In late 2020, Seiko introduced one thing very particular, not less than to folks with a bit of information of the model’s historical past and evolution by the a long time. Whereas Seiko was based in 1881 and thru the years noticed immense prosperity, it has many very attention-grabbing chapters in that lengthy historical past. At this time it is without doubt one of the largest watch producers on the planet, with an enormous assortment below varied sub-labels or perhaps a separate model fully. The introduction of the King Seiko KSK SJE083 in the direction of the top of 2020 revived the fabled inner rivalry with Grand Seiko. That very watch left us questioning although, would Seiko do extra with the King Seiko legacy than simply this one-time restricted version? Certainly not! So with a convincing “Lengthy stay the King,” we formally welcome again the King Seiko assortment, with the introduction of 5 new references. And they’re non-limited, extra compact, extra accessible…
Like varied different manufacturers, Seiko has typically tried to determine a sub-branded vary of watches in an try to focus on new audiences or current a considerably completely different fashion. By now, we’re all very aware of Seiko, Grand Seiko and doubtless to a lesser extent; King Seiko. The actual fact this identify returns within the everlasting assortment is a testomony to the significance of King Seiko to the Seiko Company. With out it, the model merely wouldn’t be the place it’s right this moment.
A fruitful inner rivalry
As we’ve extensively defined in the hands-on evaluation of the King Seiko KSK SJE083, each the Grand Seiko and King Seiko sub-brands are the results of the inner rivalry between the Daini Seikosha and Suwa Seikosha factories. We’ve mentioned it then, and we’ll say it once more; competitors results in a must develop, evolve, rethink one’s function, and in the end; change.
The primary product to emerge from Seiko’s choice to place the Suwa Seikosha manufacturing facility answerable for creating an opulent, extra exact kind of wristwatch, was labelled Grand Seiko. A 12 months later, and to not be deterred by Seiko’s aforementioned choice, the Daini Seikosha manufacturing facility would current their very own below the King Seiko identify.
Quickly after, each would observe swimsuit with the rules in design as decided by Taro Tanaka. Mr Tanaka set aside Seiko from the normal (learn; Swiss) fashion by defining a easy but efficient algorithm, the so-called “Grammar of Design”. In essence, this meant instances needed to be formed and completed freed from distortion, bezels needed to be easy, and fingers needed to be sharp and primarily flat. That is nonetheless very a lot a part of Grand Seiko’s watchmaking ideology right this moment and can go for King Seiko as properly.
The Return of The King
The King Seiko KSK SJE083 Restricted Version from late 2020 was modelled immediately after the 1965 King Seiko 44-9990 albeit in a barely extra fashionable execution. Whereas the form of the case and the general feel and appear very a lot has that distinct Sixties fashion, Seiko has taken a couple of liberties with the SJE083. Liberties that at the moment are roughly corrected with this King Seiko assortment.
The brand new vary is available in 5 references, all that includes a 37mm sized case very near the unique King Seiko 44-9990. The sharp and angular case, with a peak of 12.1mm, appears virtually precisely alike, with brushed and polished finishes. The faceted lugs, as an illustration, are immediately taken from the 1965 mannequin. The boxed sapphire crystal provides it that quintessential fashion of the Sixties. Each the crown and the caseback are completed with the King Seiko emblem that was launched with the unique one.
The King Seiko is launched in 5 completely different dial colors, every bringing its personal contact of aptitude. Probably the most correct one in relation to the 44-9990 is the silver dial with sunray brushing, which is reference SPB279. Subsequent, there’s additionally a silver, or really light-grey dial with straight brushing; the SBP281. After which there are three darker dials; charcoal gray (SPB283), brown (SPB285) or burgundy purple (SPB287). All dials are completed with utilized, polished indices. Simply because the 44-9990, the marker at 12 is double the width of the remaining, and given a nice pyramid-like sample on the highest floor. Simply as its direct inspiration, it lacks a date indication and as such retains the dial clear and balanced. Consistent with the “Grammar of Design”, the hour and minute fingers are flat with a Zaratsu polished, faceted end (with out the high-end bevels discovered on the restricted SJE083, nevertheless), and mixed with a needle-like seconds hand.
The King Seiko is outfitted with the in-house calibre 6R31, which is intently linked to the 6R35. Utilizing the identical mechanical structure, the 6R31 makes use of 24 jewels and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph. The one distinction between this and the 6R35 variant is the absence of the date indication, and consequently, the variety of jewels is diminished by 2. The motion is correct to run inside +15/-25 seconds per day, identical to its dated cousin, the 6R35.
Bracelet, availability & worth
To finish the very retro-like attraction of the brand new King Seiko assortment, it comes on a chrome steel multi-link bracelet very very similar to the one on the unique 1965 mannequin. The faceted hyperlinks, tapering from case to folding buckle have a brushed end with polished bevels. Instead choice, every reference can be provided with vintage-styled leather-based straps with a pin buckle bearing the King Seiko identify.
The place the King Seiko SJE083 was priced maybe a bit steep, the brand new King Seiko assortment retails for a extra cheap EUR 1,700. This places it immediately between the typical top-end of Seiko, and beneath Grand Seiko’s entry-level fashions.
Merely put, we love the very fact Seiko has introduced the King Seiko philosophy again from the previous. And to do it in such a trustworthy and respectful method is all of the extra motive to be excited. Even on a wrist as huge as our editor, Robin has (19cm in circumference) the 37mm sized case appears properly proportioned. The dials are enjoyable and supply a pleasant number of colors. Go for the normal silver one of many authentic, or a extra daring burgundy purple, and you’ll not be dissatisfied.
The one slight criticism we’ve regards the accuracy of the automated motion… As King Seiko, very similar to Grand Seiko, stems from the concept to construct one of the best and most exact watch potential, the precision of the Calibre 6R31 is a little bit of a let-down. Working inside +25/-15 seconds per day merely means there’s lots of room for enchancment there. Aside from that; very properly executed Seiko! Lengthy stay the King!
For extra info, please go to SeikoWatches.com