The meteoric rise of Seiko from regional participant to international watchmaking powerhouse over the course of the ‘60s is nicely documented in fanatic circles, from its position creating one of many first automated chronograph actions to its fast development via the ranks of Swiss observatory chronometer trials. Some of the well-known ‘60s Seiko tales of all, nevertheless, is the model’s inside manufacturing unit rivalry to develop a very high-end luxurious watch sequence. Whereas Seiko’s Suwa division rose to this problem by creating the enduring and revered Grand Seiko model, on the different finish of the model’s company construction the Daini division developed its personal world-class luxurious subdivision – King Seiko. Whereas Grand Seiko stays a cornerstone of Seiko’s bigger company roster, the King Seiko nameplate steadily pale via the second half of the ‘70s earlier than being discontinued fully within the early ‘80s. Though restricted version revivals have briefly resurrected the King Seiko identify, till now Seiko has by no means completely revived this beloved a part of its historical past. For its first main launch of 2022, Seiko lastly returns the King Seiko line as a everlasting a part of its steady. The brand new Seiko King Seiko Assortment, together with the Seiko SPB279, Seiko SPB281, Seiko SPB283, Seiko SPB285, and Seiko SPB287, faithfully revives the look of the traditional 1965 King Seiko KSK with completely fashionable actions and construct high quality for a very refined and compelling new sequence of gown watches.
Every mannequin within the Seiko King Seiko Assortment makes use of a clear and compact 37mm case in chrome steel. Each the scale and type of this case are faithfully preserved from the 1965 authentic, with the sharply faceted “Grammar of Design” case geometry that got here to outline King Seiko’s design philosophy. The vast lugs with their broad tapering polished chamfers are the clearest instance of the philosophy at work right here, slicing via the vertical brushing of nearly all of the case to showcase the standard of the model’s ending. The unique intent of this case philosophy was to permit King Seiko circumstances to glitter like reduce gem stones on show cabinets, and in preliminary photographs the polish of each these chamfers and the separate clean bezel appears to be like to supply a clear and even sheen. The King Seiko Assortment continues its old-school look with a tall field sapphire crystal rising nicely above the encompassing bezel. The strong caseback likewise follows the sample of the traditional King Seiko KSK, with an correct engraving of the unique King Seiko defend emblem. Though the unique ‘60s mannequin positioned this engraving on a gold caseback medallion, right here the caseback is one strong chrome steel half with an implied engraved border round its “medallion.” Though the general look of this case could also be straight out of the mid-’60s, its efficiency is decidedly fashionable, with a shocking 100 meters of water resistance and a strong magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m.
Seiko provides every of the 5 King Seiko Assortment watches with a particular dial end to offer every tackle the shared design its personal character. The fundamental dial format is refined and handsomely minimal in photographs, with a set of brushed and polished chamfered rectangular indices alongside a pair of mirror polished faceted dauphine fingers. With no date window and solely a faithfully classic printed “King Seiko” emblem at 6 o’clock to offset the normal utilized Seiko emblem, the model is free to concentrate on the advantageous particulars of this pared-back design. The double-wide 12 o’clock index is a first-rate instance of this consideration to element in preliminary photographs, with a miniature knurled texture that recollects the 1965 authentic and may present a dynamic sequence of highlights from altering viewing angles. All 5 fashions within the sequence take this fundamental format in a singular path. The SPB279 is probably the most conventional of the group, with a silver sunburst end that mimics the look of the King Seiko KSK in photographs and provides the design a classically dressy look. For the SPB281, Seiko pairs this conventional colorway with a extra modern end, that includes a silver dial floor with deep, closely grained vertical brushing that calls to thoughts the model’s extra adventurous fashionable dial finishes. The black sunburst end of the SPB283 provides the essential design a barely extra sporting character than its silver dial counterparts, with only a trace of heat in photographs to create a delightful distinction. The SPB285 takes a extra adventurous strategy to the identical idea, rendering the sunburst dial end in a deep cocoa brown that introduces a way of delicate getting old and refinement in preliminary pictures. By far the boldest of the group is the SPB287, nevertheless. The deep blood purple sunburst end provides this acquainted design a extra dramatic, bolder character, with out fully sacrificing the restrained look of the entire.
Seiko powers all 5 fashions within the King Seiko Assortment with its in-house 6R31 automated motion. As a mainstay of Seiko’s extra upscale mainline choices, the 6R31 provides extra refined building than its 4R sequence counterparts with improved efficiency. The 6R31’s hefty 70-hour energy reserve is a first-rate instance of its dependable fashionable efficiency, however in a single essential space this contemporary powerplant is outstripped by its ‘60s forebears. One of many authentic King Seiko line’s most distinguished promoting factors was its use of clean high-beat actions, with a number of in-house motion designs of the interval working at frequencies of 28,800 bph and even 36,000 bph. This allowed for a smoother, extra elegant sweep for King Seiko seconds fingers, serving to to strengthen the concept of King Seiko as a extra luxurious counterpart to the principle model. In contrast, the 6R31’s beat charge of 21,600 bph ought to result in a notably extra uneven seconds hand sweep on the wrist.
To finish these devoted ‘60s designs, Seiko initially provides every mannequin within the King Seiko Assortment with a contemporary revival of the sharply angular ‘60s King Seiko chrome steel multi-link bracelet. With polished outer hyperlink chamfers complementing a strongly brushed total design, this bracelet provides every mannequin within the King Seiko Assortment a flexible and faithfully classic look. Seiko completes this bracelet design with a two-button butterfly clasp. Seiko can even add 5 handsomely distressed strap choices to the sequence after the watch turns into accessible on the market, together with calf leather-based choices in concrete grey, traditional black, caramel brown, and darkish mahogany, in addition to a man-made suede strap in pale grey.
With a charismatic clean-cut ‘60s look, strong fashionable construct high quality, and a way of refinement that stays true to the King Seiko ethos, the brand new Seiko King Seiko Assortment might nicely herald a brand new manner ahead for the model’s dressier vintage-inspired designs. It’s additionally price noting that this new sequence seemingly exists at a crossroads with the model’s personal Presage line, as Presage will seemingly transfer in the direction of strictly modern gown designs within the wake of this distinctly vintage-inspired new nameplate. All 5 fashions within the Seiko King Seiko Assortment can be accessible via choose approved sellers in February 2022. MSRP for every mannequin within the sequence stands at $1,700 as of press time. For extra particulars, please go to the Seiko Luxe web site.