king seiko 2024

Life In Tokyo: Seiko’s Latest King Seiko Collection Brings the Color and Light of Japan’s First City to Life

With three new colorful styles joining the main collection and a commemorative limited edition celebrating 100 years of the brand, Seiko fans and collectors will have plenty of opportunities to feel fancy.

By Rhonda Riche

We’ve written in-depth about the history of the King Seiko when the brand dropped the “Kikkoumon” in 2023. But today, we’re excited to peer into the future of the collection with four new dress watches with bold dials and a reintroduced case shape.

Add in the fact that it feels like the watch community has been transformed by enthusiasts’ growing interest in 1970s-influenced dress watches with modern slim profiles, and this new class of King Seikos, with their richly hued colors, delicate textures, and svelte proportions, suddenly feels more of the moment.

Let’s examine the evidence.

New Romance

While we can admire the look of the 1970s from a distance, let’s face it: nobody wants to live entirely in the past.

Yes, the silhouette of this new series was inspired by a vintage design (specifically, the King Seiko 45KCM) from 1969. However, technology – both in terms of movement architecture and decoration techniques – has improved so much since the “Me Decade” that, of course, Seiko had to reimagine the King Seiko line for modern times.

The watches now feature a multi-row bracelet with mirror-polishing and brush finishing to create a sun-dappled sparkle when the light hits it. This new bracelet also has shorter links, which, when combined with the case’s low center of gravity, ensures an ergonomic fit.

Moreover, thanks to the streamlined manufacturing techniques used in assembling the slim Calibre 6L35, these new King Seikos have a very comfortable thickness of 9.9mm.

Time & Place

Our community has also changed in its acceptance of stainless steel as a suitable case material for a dress watch, but it’s the dial details that elevate this new crop of King Seikos. Available in silver, purple, or green, these dials instantly evokes emotion rather than nostalgia, with each hue possessing its own specific personality.

The silver iteration (SJE109) is textured to evoke the cityscape of modern-day Tokyo, where the King Seiko collection was born in 1961.

The purple model (SJE111) is a traditional Japanese hue known as “Edo purple,” which was cherished during the Edo period.

Lastly, the green version (SJE113) has a subtle gradation that captures the pockets of natural greenery found in Tokyo’s urban spaces.

The texture of the purple and green dials also evokes traditional washi paper, which has been an essential part of Japanese art and culture for centuries but is still in everyday use today.

The three watches will join the main King Seiko collection and are available now at the Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide for $3,100 per watch.

Happy Anniversary

Since the start of Seiko in 1881, the company has continued to innovate in line with the founder’s philosophy to be “always one step ahead of the rest.” Thus, in 1924, the company introduced the first wristwatch with “Seiko” on the dial, signifying the beginning of the Seiko brand.

So, since 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of this landmark event, the brand wanted to add a limited-edition creation to the mix in celebration. That is why, in addition to the models discussed above, Seiko has also released a commemorative 100th Anniversary King Seiko KS1969: the SJE115.

This watch has the same specs as the three creations joining the main King Seiko collection; however, the SJE115 features a beautiful light blue-green dial with a textured pattern inspired by the scales of a rising dragon, which serves as a metaphor for the Seiko brand’s progression toward the next 100 years. (Plus, the dragon is also the animal sign for 2024 in the Japanese zodiac, which remains part of the country’s culture and befits the commemorative edition.)

Available now at select Seiko Boutiques and retail stores worldwide, the SJE115 is limited to 700 pieces and costs $3,100. For more information, visit the special King Seiko webpage.

(Images © Seiko)

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