Ahead of the Japanese brand’s 100 year anniversary, Seiko has unveiled a elegant new timepiece that references the first watch to officially bear the Seiko name and logo.
Seiko has a rich history of creating beautiful and creative timepieces which is loved by people around the world. The most iconic watch brand in Japan is now set to celebrate its 100 year anniversary in 2024, and honestly we can’t wait to see the timepieces that get unveiled as a part of this huge milestone.
In anticipation of the milestone year, Seiko has unveiled a timepiece that celebrates the first every wristwatch to bear the Seiko name. Seiko was founded in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori, and since then has continued to innovate and create timepieces in line with his philosophy of “Always one step ahead of the rest”.
If you want to get down to fine details, however, the official beginning for the watch brand didn’t start till 1924, which is when the Japanese company first introduced a timepiece with “Seiko” on the dial. This is why 2024 officially marks the 100 year anniversary of the brand.
The 1924 Seiko isn’t simply just a timepiece. It carries so much history within it. Before this timepiece came along, Kintaro registered the brand symbol as simply “S” in 1900, a reference to the Seikosha factory. At this point in time, Seikosha was the name of the main brand. However, Up until 1924, Kintaro Hattori also used a variety of different brand names underneath Seikosha to market different products.
Then in 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred, which derailed the livelihood of a lot of citizens in Japan, including businesses such as Seikosha. But, Kintaro Hattori didn’t let this setback effect him. He persevered to create a wrist watch that was to be launched in 1924. This wristwatch would unite all the mini-brands that Kintaro Hattori had created under Seikosha. As this timepiece was released, he also changed the name of the brand to the global name we all know today as Seiko.
This newest creation falls into the brand’s Presage line and is a faithful recreation of the 1924 classic. While modern updates are evident especially with the moveable lugs and pull-through leather strap, the watch captures the vintage character of the original timepiece in every detail possible.
Firstly, the watch is presented on a 35mm stainless steel case, with a box-shaped sapphire crystal. The crown features the signature “S” symbol from the 1924 model. The dial retains all the elements bar one from the 1924 model. The Arabic numerals with its unique styling is designed the same way on this new model, along with the “Seiko” letters underneath the 12 o’clock sub-counter. All these typefaces are distinctive to the 1920s era. The retro-styled blue hands take the same shape on both models, and contrast beautifully against the white enamel dial.
There are two main changes on the dial on this new Seiko Presage Kintaro Hattori Limited Edition compared to the 1924 original. It first starts with the sub-counter at 6 o’clock. The 1924 model has a constant 60-second sub-counter at 6 o’clock, and while the sub-counter is retained on this new rendition, the counter now reads 24-hour time. This leads to the second change, which is the new model having a seconds hand to negate the loss of the constant seconds sub-counter.
“Just as with the 1924 original, the new watch features an enamel dial whose depth and beauty are made possible thanks to master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his colleagues, who specialize in enamel production. Thanks to the time-honored enamel dial- making, a striking white appearance will endure for years to come. Set against the pristine white enamel dial, the retro-styled blue hands capture the vintage feel of the original.”Seiko
The Seiko Presage Kintaro Hattori Limited Edition is powered by the brand’s new calibre 6R5H movement. This movement operates at a frequency of 3hz (21, 600 VpH) and gives out an impressive 72 hour power reserve. The case back of the watch is closed, however, it comes inscribed with Kintaro Hattori’s famous one line quote, along with the Seiko symbol he registered in 1900 and the limited edition number/1000.
Seiko is presenting this watch with a special pin badge that has the trademark “S” as part of the presentation box that accompanies the timepiece. A faithful recreation of the timepiece that started the brand we love today, the new Seiko Presage Kintaro Hattori Limited Edition combines the vintage styling with modern refinements, and a reliable workhorse movement.
The timepiece will not be available until January 2024. As we have already mentioned, we can’t wait to see what new creations Seiko has up its sleeve for it’s 100 year celebration.
Reference: Seiko Presage Kintaro Hattori Limited Edition (SPB441)
- Case: 35 mm and thickness 12.3 mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Dial: White enamel dial with contrasting retro-styled blue hands
- Crystal: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
- Water resistance: 50 meters / 5 ATM
- Movement: Caliber 6R5H
- Movement Frequency: 3 Hz / 21, 600 VpH
- Movement Power reserve: 72 hours
- Bracelet/Strap: Pull through leather strap. Leather is certified by the Leather Working Group.