In 1881, Seiko’s founder Kintaro Hattori set up his company in central Tokyo. In celebration of the 140th anniversary this year we can expect a series of Grand Seiko and Seiko special editions inspired by Hattori and the landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes of Japan.
1. Grand Seiko Heritage Collection
Among these are the 40mm Grand Seiko Heritage Collection with an overall look known as the Series 9 Design, inspired by an original Grand Seiko from the 60s and first seen in 2020 with the 18K yellow gold 60th Anniversary Limited Edition. This edition also featured the new Calibre 9SA5 high-beat movement, which now appears in a stainless steel (Ref SLGH005) model with a textured dial inspired by white birch tree forests and a limited-edition model in Platinum 950 (SLGH007) with a dark tree rings textured dial that brings to life Grand Seiko’s conception of the Nature of Time. With its highly efficient Dual Impulse Escapement, Grand Seiko free-sprung balance and twin barrel construction, the exquisite movement delivers a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day and a power reserve of 80 hours.
• The steel SLGH005 will retail for around R176,000, and platinum SLGH007 is expected to retail for around R1m (limited to 140 pieces).
2. Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation
While charting the mountainous roads ahead this year you might also want to give some serious consideration to a Seiko Alpanist as your sturdy companion in the field. Inspired by the Laurel Alpinist field watch from 1959, the new 36.6mm limited edition Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation brings the manufacture’s first sports watch back to life in every detail including its characteristic Alpine peak-shaped markers at the cardinal points, and is presented on a calf strap with cuff band.
While I love the no-frills design of this piece, a personal dislike is the oddly off-positioned date window — also not on the original — and “Automatic” could’ve been replaced with “Alpanist” for a truer re-creation. The movement inside is the Seiko calibre 6L35, which beats at 28800 vph and offers a 45-hour power reserve.
• Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Re-creation, will retail at around R59,000.
3. Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation
Joining the Prospex collection in August are three lovely 38mm Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation stainless steel models, two on steel bracelets (SPB241 and SPB243) and a green dial version on leather strap (SPB245). These are robust field watches that can be worn with a suit, and feature water resistance to 200m as well as magnetic resistance of 4800 A/m. Inside these watches is the Seiko 6R35 movement visible through the exhibition caseback and featuring hacking seconds, date and 70-hour power reserve.
• Seiko Prospex The 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation SPB241, SPB243 and SPB245 will retail at around R15,000.
In related news, the Seiko Museum has relocated to Tokyo’s premier luxury shopping district and reopened as the Seiko Museum Ginza. Until we get the all-clear and are able to travel abroad again, there is a “Seiko Museum Ginza 360° Virtual Experience” that allows visitors to see a panoramic view of the facility.
Explore the exhibition spaces virtually: