This year has seen a ton of new releases from Seiko. Celebrating the brand’s 140th birthday, each has been dedicated to a different aspect of Seiko’s long legacy of watchmaking. For anyone who appreciates the story behind a watch (which is most people who like watches), these watches are an opportunity to not just own a new and unusual piece from a historic brand, but own a bit of its history too. Seiko’s latest releases, which will be available in early October, are a new Presage and Prospex, whose dials pay homage to one of Tokyo’s most famous neighbourhoods: Ginza.
As anyone who’s visited Tokyo knows, Ginza is the city’s central business district, home to lavish department stores, the world’s best cocktail bars, and some of the city’s finest hotels. It was here that Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing clocks and watches in 1881, and it’s where the company’s headquarters are still located 140 years later. Even more, it’s home to the 120-year-old Seiko clock that towers over the Wako department store, a Seiko flagship store, a Seiko Museum, a Seiko Prospex boutique, and the Seiko Dream Square concept shop.
In honour of Seiko’s longstanding connection to Ginza, the two new watches are inspired by the energy and history of this district, past and present. Both models feature a highly unusual dial design inspired by Ginza’s cobblestone streets, in a blue-grey hue that calls to mind the glass of Ginza’s modern skyscrapers. The second hands of these watches, meanwhile, are executed in another unique shade of blue dubbed Komparu, which is named after Komparu street, the former epicentre of Ginza’s nightlife. This blue colour, Seiko tells us, was first used in the Meiji era of the late 19th century, and popularized by Ginza’s many geishas.
The Prospex limited edition (SPB259) is based on the modern re-interpretation of the 1959 Alpinist watch introduced earlier this year and powered by Caliber 6R35 with a power reserve of 70 hours. It features a curved sapphire crystal and is limited to 3,500 pieces.
The Presage (SSA445), which is limited to 4000 pieces, takes its styling cues from Seiko’s Style60’s series and the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph. As such, it features a box-shaped glass, sharp hands, and faceted indexes found in 1960s designs with the movement exposed through an opening at 9 o’clock and a 24-hour dial at 11 o’clock.
Either one would make a colourful statement on the wrist, and provide plenty of fodder for conversation with fellow watch enthusiasts. After all, who doesn’t love a watch with a good story?
Seiko Prospex SPB259, $950, and Seiko Presage SSA445, $750. Available at Seiko boutiques and select retailers worldwide in October 2021.