Seiko made their first watch in 1895 and, since then, they have been at the forefront of horology, building and refining ever more technical and beautiful timepieces.
The brand’s newest collections pay homage to some of these landmark advancements and, from the introduction of their trademarked shock resistant system, Diashock, to the celebration of the country in which the watches are made, they can be used to chart Seiko’s influence on the industry over the last 120 years.
Firstly, the Presage. This collection, which includes a multi-hand automatic, a 60th anniversary limited edition and automatic with centre power reserve indicator, comprises over 60 distinct models, and uses the full range of Seiko’s mechanical calibers.
Built to last for generations, the Presage collection draws its inspiration from the iconic 1913 Laurel – whose design it echoes. With beautiful, deep and subtly textured enamel dials, this collection is crafted in the traditions of the finest Japanese artistry, and contains vertical clutch and column wheel systems and Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer within its case to ensure the perfect synchronisation of the hands’ fly-back.
Grand Seiko, a subsidiary of the watchmakers created in 1960, also allude to the brand’s Japanese heritage in their new ceramic collection. The fir tree motif on the Black Ceramic Limited Edition’s green dial was inspired by the Onbashira festival, an event held every six years in Suwa, near the studio where the watch is made. The centerpiece of this festival is the carrying of huge fir trees down the mountainside to the shrine, where they are raised as symbols of the shrine’s renewal and its 1200 year old tradition.
The sapphire case back of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive boasts a one-piece bridge – that traces the outline of Mount Fuji. The highly polished rubies and tempered blue screws that punctuate the case also evoke the lights of the city of Suwa below the Studio’s home.
But whilst the Grand Seiko collection celebrates the land from which these watches sprung, the brand’s partnership with Professional Association of Diving Instructors honours the seas – in the depths of which their watches have become synonymous with safety and reliability.
After creating the world’s first titanium diver’s watch in 1975, Seiko went on to create the first ceramic diver’s watch in 1986 and the first Nitrox Dive Computer watch in 2000. The latest innovation in this series takes the form of two Prosper PADI Special Editions set to be released this autumn.
One uses Seiko’s unique Kinetic caliber, which, powered solely by the movement of the wearer’s body, offers both precision and security to the diver. The second has a case and dial design that takes inspiration from the classic 1970s Seiko 150m mechanical diver’s watch. Famous for its uniquely-shaped case and wide, clear hands and indexes, this 40-year old timepiece is now widely collected and still has many admirers throughout the world.
But the most renowned sea watch created by Seiko is surely the Marinemaster – and the brand have been careful not to leave out this piece of horological history in their new collection.
Two new models of the Marinemaster, a professional 1000 metre diver’s watch, will grace the wrists of some of the best divers in the world this year. One is ceramic, with hands coated in Seiko’s Lumibrite and an extra-strength silicone strap. The other, a design truly worthy of celebration, echoes the brand’s first hi-beat diver’s watch, and features a one-piece titanium case, optimised 8L55 movement and rotating bezel.
The brand, spanning over one hundred years, and creating watches for land, sea and sky, have been heading for timepiece perfection for over a century. And, with their latest launches, they are closer than ever.