Category Archives: Japanese Watches

Seiko: The King Has Not Left The Building

Latest news release from Seiko, the revived King Seiko will retail at around 1700 euros;

The 1960s was a decade of unprecedented advances for Seiko, both in terms of technical development and design creativity.

Alongside Grand Seiko, one other series demonstrated the company’s ability to create beautifully designed and finished mechanical watches with high accuracy. It was called King Seiko. In addition to its precision, it offered a powerful yet graceful design that symbolized the high quality of its construction.

Today, after more than half a century, the King Seiko collection is back with timepieces that showcase the lasting quality of Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking. The first collection comprises five new timepieces, all of which will be available from February 2022 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.

The lasting design values of 1965. The technology and engineering of today.

The 1965 KSK, the design that defined King Seiko.

The five new watches share a distinctively sharp and angular design that is inspired by the 1965 King Seiko KSK, which was the second series to be created and the one that defined the character of King Seiko. The combination of a flat dial with faceted indexes and broad, razor-edged hands gives the watch a refined and striking presence. The bold, faceted lugs have sharp angles and wide flat surfaces that feature both mirror and hairline finishing, creating a sense of precision. The twelve o’clock index is more than twice the width of the others and has a patterned texture specially crafted to ensure high legibility and to give the dial a bright sparkle that invites the eye.

The new creations present a classic yet modern profile inspired by the 1965 KSK.

The case is constructed so that, combined with the boxed-shaped sapphire crystal, it gives each watch a slim and elegant feel. An anti-reflective coating on the inner surface of the crystal delivers high legibility from any angle.

The bracelet pays homage to the design of the original King Seiko series and its many bevelled surfaces reflect the light in a way that is dynamic and ever-changing. Powered by Caliber 6R31, the watch delivers a power reserve of 70 hours and is water resistant to 100 meters.

The crown and case back bear the new King Seiko emblem whose design was inspired by that of the 1965 KSK.

Five watches, five dial colors and a range of straps.

The new collection contains five watches, each with the same case but a different dial color. One is in the original silver tone of the 1965 KSK, and versions in lightgray, charcoal gray, brown and red complete the range. The lightgray dial has a delicate hairline pattern, while the other four have a beautiful sunray finish that gives the watches a special warmth and depth.

 

Five alternative leather straps specially designed for the new collection will be introduced. To see what each combination of strap and watch looks like, please click here:
www.seikowatches.com/global-en/products/kingseiko/special/simulator/

Namoki MODS: Gold Cases, Handy Discount Code

Namoki Mods has sent us info on their gold coloured cases for Seiko projects. If you’re building a MOD watch then there’s a handy 22% off in the January Sale too. Here’s the word on the Tuna model case;

Gold Finish is our take on one of the most original and iconic (some would say extreme) dive watch designs released by Seiko. Now you can cook up your own Tuna in any style you like.

Not just a pretty face, the Tuna was (and still is!) an engineering marvel designed to solve issues professional divers faced at extreme depths, producing many industry firsts – it’s iconic shroud, vented straps and L-gaskets just being a few. If you want to learn more about about the history, design and legacy of the Tuna, we did an excellent Dive Deep article that you can find here.

Case Specifications:
Diameter: 44mm
Lug to Lug: 46.5mm
Thickness: 11.3mm (without caseback)
Lug Width: 22mm

Features:
– Case Bundle includes Bezel and Crown
– 316L Surgical Grade Stainless Steel Construction
– Fits all original and aftermarket SKX007/SRPD mod parts (except bracelet)
– Water Resistance as OEM

Each case comes in a set inclusive of:
– 2 x 22mm Spring Bars
– 1 x Bezel Click Spring
– 1 x Crystal Gasket
– 1 x Caseback Gasket

Casio G-Shock Just Went Full On Tiger King

Casio just launched a Year of The Tiger G-Shock watch and it’s, well…Tiger King Next Level.

There’s no other way top describe the over-the-top styling really, except to say specialised Casio Ninjas have taken over the Forbidden Palace and transferred some of that old school China imperial dynasty vibe onto this watch. I mean just look at it. No don’t, please use eye protection first.

Here’s the blurb from Casio;

Celebrate Chinese New Year in 2022 with this exciting limited Edition MTG timepiece. For the first time, the MTG-B1000 is used as the base model, which honours the Year of the Tiger.

The gold coloured bezel and back cover are complemented with a striking red strap. A laser peeling process is used on the bezel to give it a golden tiger pattern effect. The engraved pattern on the back of the watch is by the young Chinese graffiti artist Hou Shanzhao, and at the same time he created a painting of the golden tiger as the main image of the product.

Features include Bluetooth and MutliBand 6 connectivity, Tough Solar power and scratch resistant sapphire glass.

It retails at £999. Yep a grand.

Verdict; If you want crazy ass Chinese styling just buy a couple of smartwatches on Ali Express for £100 mate, job done.

Grand Seiko GMT Anniversary is a Winner

There are some watches that just look right; case size, colours and perfectly designed details.

The GS GMT 20th Anniversary edition is one of those watches that will always look great, with that blue/white bezel combo, spring drive indicator, 44mm case and that crisp, snowflake dial finish. Limited to just 1500 pieces worldwide, priced at £6300 in the UK.

You know what, that’s probably not a bad investment compared to a Rolex Sub hunt.

There’s also a new GS Chrono model just launched today as well, so here’s the word on both watches, from Grand Seiko;

2002 saw the creation of Grand Seiko’s first GMT watch and, five years later, the first Spring Drive Chronograph was released. Both these technical developments received immediate acclaim and, ever since, have featured in a range of Grand Seiko creations of very different styles.

Today, two Spring Drive limited edition timepieces are introduced that commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Grand Seiko GMT watch and the 15th anniversary of the first chronograph watch. Both join the Grand Seiko Sport Collection and their dials take their design inspiration from the wintery snowscapes of the mountains that surrounds the studio where they are made, in Shinshu in central Japan.

The watches are as rugged as the Hotaka mountains that the Grand Seiko watchmakers can see from the Shinshu Watch Studio. The case and bracelet of the GMT version are in stainless steel while the GMT Chronograph version is made from high-intensity titanium. The dials capture the rough texture of the snow that can be seen high in the mountains in late winter and early spring, when strong winds carve unique patterns as they whip across the snow surface. The blue accents on both dials echo the bright blue color of the winter sky in Shinshu.

Both are powered by specially adjusted Spring Drive movements which offer an enhanced accuracy rate of ±10 seconds per month. Both feature a secure see-through case back through which can be seen the 18K gold Grand Seiko lion emblem which graces the oscillating weights as an indication of the enhanced accuracy.

The Spring Drive Chronograph. Unquestionably one of the most accurate spring-powered movements in the world.

This Spring Drive Chronograph measures elapsed time up to 12 hours with an accuracy of ±0.5 seconds per day. Thanks to the regulation system that is unique to Spring Drive, its accuracy remains at this high level even when the power reserve is low. Equally importantly, it measures elapsed time not to the nearest fraction of a second but exactly, thanks to the fact that the glide motion hands stop at the very instant that the button is pressed and not just at the nearest “tick”.

The Spring Drive GMT. The perfect traveler’s watch.

Thanks to Grand Seiko’s unique Spring Drive technology, the seconds hand glides silently and smoothly, with no “tick”, across the dial, perfectly reflecting the natural and continuous flow of time. The power reserve is 72 hours when fully wound and is shown on the discreet indicator next to the eight o’clock marker. The GMT hand allows a second time zone to be shown and a third can also be displayed using the 24-hour bezel. The hour can be adjusted without compromising the accuracy.

Even in complete darkness, the time is clearly visible, thanks to the Lumibrite on the bezel, indexes and hour, minute and GMT hands.
The hour hand is adjustable without the precision of the time being compromised.

The GMT version will be available as a limited edition of 1,500 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retailers worldwide in March 2022, while the Chronograph GMT version is a limited edition of 700 and will also be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retailers worldwide in February 2022.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive: Revolution No. 9

A new Grand Seiko Spring Drive for the new year? Sounds like a plan for many watch collectors. The Birch dial and contrasting blue second hand really does add that handmade, minimalist touch. This watch incorporates the Evolution 9 philosophy by the way, which is built on symmetry, precision and the balance between light and shade. Here’s the word from GS;

In 2021, Grand Seiko introduced a high-beat watch inspired by the slender and beautiful white birch trees of the Hiraniwa Plateau in northern Japan. This timepiece was warmly praised by watch fans worldwide for its intricately textured dial and for the revolutionary Caliber 9SA5 that powered it.

Its wide acclaim culminated in its selection as the winner of the Men’s Watch prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

Today, a new creation powered by the latest and finest Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2 captures the atmosphere of a white birch forest but in a subtly new way that echoes the feeling of the forests of Shinshu, home to the studio where all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are made.

The watch will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail stores worldwide in February 2022.

The craftsmanship is evident in every detail. The delicately textured dial and the tempered blue seconds hand reveal an artistry that is matched by the ‘frost’ finishing of the movement, whose beauty is clearly visible through the sapphire case back. To watch the completely smooth glide motion of the seconds hand as it moves serenely across the subtly patterned dial is to be brought closer than ever to the tranquil, seamless and natural flow of time.

The delicate texture of the movement’s finish reflects the frost that winter brings to the trees in Shinshu. The bridge lines and hole edges are diamond-cut to reflect light from all angles and the jewels and the tempered blue power reserve indicator add a quiet sparkle that is a delight to behold. Caliber 9RA2 delivers a power reserve of up to 120 hours and is accurate to ±10 seconds per month.

TECH SPECS;

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Collection

Spring Drive 5 Days Caliber 9RA2
Driving system: Automatic
Accuracy: ±0.5 seconds per day (±10 seconds per month)
Power reserve: 5 days (120 hours)
Number of jewels: 38

Specifications
Stainless steel case and bracelet
Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
See-through screw case back
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 40.0mm, Thickness: 11.8mm
Three-fold clasp with push button release

This Could Be The Best Value MOD Watch in The UK

We all love Seiko MOD watches here at NWC magazine. Seiko NH35 power unit, classic divers watch styles, plenty of lume, steel cases and a fraction of the Prospex price. Great.

So it’s nice to discover a UK based brand, located in Manchester, selling Akio dive watches online for a mere £125. That is great value in the UK, where Indie brands will ask around £600 for a Sellita powered dive watch, or perhaps about £200 for a sterile dial MOD watch.

The Akio 01 model has 200m depth, steel case, saphhire crystal, 120 click bezel and steel bracelet too. Plus you get a free silicone FKM strap as well. That is a sweet deal we think.

More here. 

Citizen Promaster Bullhead is Just Great Value

When you look at the prices being asked on eBay and at watch shops for vintage Citizen Bullheads, you realise that there is a lot to be said for a new model. Yes, solar powered cell rather than automatic, but you have a brand new watch, looks fanatastic and will easily last a decade before the solar cell gives up the ghost.

The latest model on the Citizen UK website is available in this racing green colour for £695. We think that’s pretty decent. One detail that stands out is the solar power reserve gauge, which is really motorsport themed. Loving that touch.

Here’s the blurb from Citizen.

Paying homage to a retro 1973 Citizen Bullhead model, the Citizen Limited Edition Promaster Bullhead Racing Chronograph showcases a unique case styling and is sure to stand out on your wrist.

A hand-assembled movement, the Bullhead Racing Chronograph features a 1/5 second flyback chronograph, alarm, instantaneous fly back, power reserve indicator, anti-reflective spherical sapphire crystal, date and water resistance to 200 metres. Featuring Eco-Drive technology, this timepiece is powered by any light and never need a battery.

Limited edition with just TWO left on the UK website by the way.

More here. 

Seiko’s Supercool Prospex Channels The Spirit of `68

A new Seiko Prospex you say? Heck that is news. Here’s the word from Seiko on what likes like another classic iteration for collectors around the world.

Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first diver’s watch was born in 1965. With water resistance to 150m and an automatic movement, it proved its high quality and reliability when worn by members of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in 1966.

Thanks to the positive reaction of the members of the expedition on their return, Seiko’s diver’s watches were chosen by the same research team between the years 1966 and 1969, during which time the landmark Seiko diver’s watch with 300m water resistance and a 10-beat automatic movement was created, in 1968.

Today, Seiko introduces into the Prospex collection a new interpretation of the 1968 diver’s watch that is even better equipped to meet the challenge of the most extreme conditions on earth. This watch, with its advanced specifications, will be worn by members of the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s mission to Antarctica.

The original 1968 diver’s watch.

A heritage design, with the most advanced technologies

The case is in Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel for maximum corrosion resistance.

While the design reflects its heritage, every aspect of this new creation exemplifies the high levels of diver’s watch technology for which the Prospex collection is renowned. The case, bezel and crown are all made of Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel, a grade of stainless steel* which is more corrosion resistant than that which is commonly used in watches today. To further ensure the watch’s durability, the crown is not screwed directly into the case but locked into a separate component that is built into the case and so can be more easily replaced.

*This material is used extensively in the surfaces of marine structures and vessels because of its extreme corrosion resistance in sea water. It has a PREN (Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number) value 1.7 times higher than that of the grade of steel used in most high-end watches. PREN is a widely accepted standard used to measure corrosion resistance.

Caliber 8L35, created especially for Seiko’s leading diver’s watches.

The watch is powered by Caliber 8L35 which was developed especially for diver’s watches and is hand-assembled by the craftsmen and women at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. The movement’s rigidity and accuracy ensure the highest possible levels of performance in the most demanding environments, both on land and under water.

A dial inspired by the majestic ice sheets of the Antarctic

Inspired by the Antarctic landscape, the dial is supremely legible.

The patterned dial captures the feeling of the Antarctic landscape while the subtle gradation of the blue from light to dark echoes the hauntingly beautiful colours of the polar ice. The bezel also evokes the uniqueness of this frozen landscape with its ice-blue numerals and markers. All twelve-hour markers have a generous coating of Lumibrite, as do the hands, and the crystal is a dual-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface to ensure high legibility from every angle.

The strap’s design reflects that of the 1968
watch but it is made of silicone.

The additional Seichu fabric strap offers a
uniquely Japanese aesthetic and texture.

The design and texture of the watch strap pay homage to the 1968 original but it is now produced in silicone for greater strength and comfort. The watch is also offered with a fabric strap which incorporates a traditional braiding technique from Japan called Seichu. Of course, this Seichu strap’s strength and resistance to the degradation caused by exposure to sunlight meet the most demanding standards of Seiko Prospex diver’s watches.

The Prospex Save the Ocean series.
This new watch joins the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean series in support of several different marine conservation initiatives, one of which involves contributions to the National Institute of Polar Research, which is based in Tokyo. As part of this program, Seiko recently donated watches to the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) team.

Akio Naito, President of Seiko Watch Corporation, presents
the new Prospex to Takanobu Sawagaki, one of the leaders of the 63rd JARE.

This new Prospex diver’s watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,300 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in January 2022.

SLA055

Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation
Save the Ocean Limited Edition

Caliber 8L35
Driving system: Automatic
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Number of jewels: 26

Specifications
Ever-Brilliant Steel case and bezel
Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the
inner surface
Screw case back. Screw-down crown
LumiBrite on hands and indexes
Water resistance: 200m diver’s
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 42.6mm, Thickness: 13.1mm
Silicone strap with additional fabric strap included
Approximate recommended retail price in Europe: €4,600
Limited edition of 1,300

New Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT. Just Brilliant

The latest from Grand Seiko is a winner; typically, clean, understated yet brilliant design. An impressive 55 hours of power reserve too.

Here’s the word;

The 1967 44GS was the watch that first embodied the design code known as the “Grand Seiko Style”, the set of nine principles which gave Grand Seiko its distinctive look and which still inspires every new creation. Now, 55 years on from its first appearance, the 44GS is commemorated in a new Hi-Beat 36000 GMT watch with a titanium case.

A hi-beat GMT caliber and a high-intensity titanium case

Precision and clarity are evident in every detail of the dial.

The case and bracelet are in high-intensity titanium, a material that is about 30% lighter than stainless steel and highly resistant to both scratches and corrosion. The titanium has a bright aspect and the case is Zaratsu polished to give the distortion-free surfaces that are a defining characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style.

The caliber is the hi-beat 9S86. It offers 55 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rate of + 5 to –3 seconds a day. The GMT hand and the 24-hour inner bezel ring allow the time in a second time zone to be read with ease and the hour hand can be adjusted independently without compromising the precision of the watch. The white dial has a soft sheen against which the GS and GMT letters stand out in blue as clearly as the tempered blue GMT hand. The hour, minute and GMT hands carry Lumibrite and the dual-curved sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating on its inner surface.

In 2014, a watch with this same caliber won the “Petite Aiguille” prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, bringing it and the Grand Seiko Style to a wider than ever audience.

The oscillating weight features the Grand Seiko lion emblem and is in a gold tone that is achieved through an anodic oxidation process in which the titanium is subjected to electrolysis so as to generate an oxide film. The color is determined according to the light refraction index by adjusting the thickness of the oxide film.

The titanium oscillating weight carries the Grand Seiko lion emblem.

The watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,200 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in January 2022.

The Grand Seiko Style. An expression of the traditional Japanese sense of beauty.

The Grand Seiko Style reflects a subtle and restrained sense of beauty that is essentially Japanese. It is, however, also highly distinctive and instantly recognizable, just as the creator of the 1967 44GS intended when he established the principles that define every Grand Seiko watch.

The Grand Seiko Style is a design language of simplicity, purity and practicality and reflects exactly the essential characteristics of Grand Seiko: precision, legibility, beauty and ease of use so that form follows function with a special harmony.

Another central characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style is the subtle use of light, reflection and shadow, which is such a cherished feature of many traditional Japanese art forms. The case facets are Zaratsu-polished by hand to create distortion-free surfaces, enabling the case ridges to be crisp and sharp.

The hands and indexes are diamond-cut so that they offer high legibility even in low ambient light. The dials are clear and easy to read. Because of these characteristics, each and every Grand Seiko has a special “sparkle of quality” and, together, these design principles create a clear, unique and visually attractive aesthetic that says: “This is Grand Seiko.”

Retail price is about $8500, which is roughly £6,425, depending on the exchange rate when it arrives in GS stores.

For more information about the Grand Seiko Style, please visit https://www.grand-seiko.com/global-en/about/design

Ltd Editions: Citizen Calibre 2100 White Dial

The Citizen Calibre 2100 in white is one of those perfect watches. It’s a bit different from the pack, look at the case shape. The dial design has a symmetry and is packed with features. Then there’s the limited production run of 2100 watches worldwide, so yeah, collectable too.

Here’s the word from Citizen and the RRP is £795 on this one.

Citizen’s most iconic watch is recreated in a stunning limited edition timepiece, discover the Calibre 2100. Packed with features to accompany you from day-to-day, including 1/5 second chronograph, perpetual calendar, 12/24 hour time, alarm, screw-back case & crown, flyback chrono and water resistance to 200 metres.

Styled in a stainless steel case and bracelet with a white dial with high grade luminous hands and markers. Anti-reflective sapphire crystal and date display complete the look of this bold timepiece, presented in a limited edition box. Featuring Eco-Drive technology, powered by light, any light. Never needs a battery.

STOP PRESS; We just saw this one at £636 retail at Hilliers Jewellers online shop. That’s a sweet deal for Black Friday.