“Looks like 5 is the magic number for the Seiko… Err… 5.”
I mean, c’mon… We all know what the Seiko 5 Sports is all about by now. To continue its onslaught, the juggernaut range has just received a new, limited edition lineup in the form of the ‘Street Fighter V’ collection. Yes, that ‘Street Fighter’ franchise.
In total, there are 6 variants. Each design is priced at RM2,055 and is limited to 9,999 units worldwide so if you’re keen, best move fast. According to Seiko, “all the six watches stay true to the individual characteristics of the game characters, with cues taken from their costumes, special powers and stories.” Six characters, you say? Do the names Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Blanka and Zangief ring a bell? Yeah, thought so.
Call it a coincidence, call it a lightbulb moment within Seiko, call it what you want. There’s no denying that it’s a pretty smart marketing move to create a “tribute” line for its Seiko 5 Sports range with ‘Street Fighter V’. The game itself was released in 2016 and has since gone on to become the 3rd best-selling title in the franchise on home consoles. Not bad for a franchise that has its roots dating back to 1987, if you ask me.
“So, what’s so Street Fighter, then?”
Most definitely, the aesthetics. Before we jump into that, a quick recap on the tech specs first. The SRPF17K1, SRPF19K1, SRPF20K1, SRPF21K1, SRPF23K1 and SRPF24K1 are all powered by the 4R36 automatic calibre. The 24-jeweled movement has a power reserve of approximately 41 hours and features a day-date display, hand-winding and hacking capabilities. Water resistance is quoted at 100 m.
The case measures 42.5 mm, stands at 13.4 mm and has a lug-to-lug length of 46 mm. The brand’s proprietary Hardlex crystal is found on top and on the back of the case. The production number and a ‘limited edition’ branding text can also be found on the caseback.
With that out of the way, let’s see what sets each variant apart. The SRPF17K1 ‘Chun-Li’ variant features a blue and gold combination in tune with the character’s colour scheme. At the 12 o’clock marker, we see the same insignia on her dress collar and the spikes on her bracelet are replicated at 9 and 6 o’clock. Elsewhere, the unidirectional bracelet features Roman numerals. Moving on, the display caseback features the game’s title logo and controller commands for her signature move.
As for the strap, it’s a blue calfskin leather band with Chun-Li’s waist belt dragon motif featured on the underside.
Now, we arrive at what is probably the least visually striking variant (and that’s not a bad thing), the SRPF19K1 ‘Ryu’. This one features a theme that’s inspired by Ryu’s Judo gi (uniform). We’ve also got a bezel with “battle scars” that supposedly reflects the arduous training that Ryu undergoes. At the 9 o’clock mark lies the ‘Furinkazan’ title in Kanji. The what, you ask? The Furinkazan is a popularized version of the battle standard used by the Sengoku period daimyō Takeda Shingen which quotes phrases from Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’. It reads “as swift as wind, as gentle as forest, as fierce as fire, as unshakable as mountain.”
As is the case with Chun-Li’s variant, the display caseback features the controls to trigger Ryu’s signature ‘Hadouken’ move, the title logo for Street Fighter V and the production number. The strap is a hybrid fabric-leather unit with the Kanji lettering for wind, forest, fire and mountain printed at the tail end of the strap.
“Next up, it’s Ryu’s counterpart!”
We now arrive at the Seiko SRPF20K1 ‘Ken’ variant. With this model, I reckon it’d be great for those who subscribe to the mentality of red and yellow being lucky colours because it’s, well… Just look at it. Ken’s trademark yellow-red colour scheme is replicated across the case and dial with the former getting a black and yellow coating. Meanwhile, the latter gets rather subtle red stripes running vertically across that’s said to be inspired by his outfit.
By this point, you’d know what to expect if we turned the watch around. We’ll be able to see the controls for his ‘Shoryuken’ trademark move along with the serial number and title logo. Aside from that, the motif found at the tail end of the hybrid canvas-leather red strap is that of Ken’s family’s Masters Foundation company.
“And now… the variant that’s inspired by a character with, arguably, the best hairstyle in the franchise.”
Yes, we’re talking about the Seiko SRPF21K1 ‘Guile’. With this model, we get a military-themed colour scheme, a blacked-out case and a countdown timer on the bezel instead of the usual dive timer. Moving on, the dial features Arabic numerals save for the 9 and 6 o’clock mark. In their place sits a dog tag and military patch, respectively. As for the dial? I’m not a big fan of the camouflage dial but I can totally understand the relevance here.
If we move to the back of the watch, we can see the controls that trigger his ‘Sonic Boom’ move and the serial number on the display caseback. Now, I know this is one of the more “out there” designs but when it comes to the strap, it’s my favourite. We get a dark brown calfskin leather strap with contrasting white stitching. In my eyes, it’s a rather classic combination. That alone should help to balance out the extroverted looks of the watch.
“The last two variants are not for the faint of heart, I’d say…”
On one hand, we have the SRPF23K1 ‘Blanka’ and SRPF24K1 ‘Zangief’. Both cases feature coloured plating (black on the former and yellow on the latter) and bezel designs reminiscent of their character traits. With the Blanka variant, we get sharp, triangular hour markers inspired by his teeth and a spiral design that echoes his fighting style. He rolls. A lot.
Moving on, the Zangief variant features bold Arabic numerals at the 12, 6 and 9 o’clock mark. With that said, there’s one special feature on the Zangief that no other variants have. I’ll admit that I had to take a second glance because this one has a cyclops to magnify the day-date display. Both models come on a NATO strap with their respective character colour schemes.
Also, that small Blanka-chan doll on the tail end of the strap? Very cute touch, Seiko.
“So, what else is happening besides the launch?”
Well, Seiko is showing off several of its 2020 novelties alongside highlights from the Grand Seiko brand too. After all, it has been 55 years since the debut of its first dive watch. Additionally, Grand Seiko is also celebrating its 60th anniversary so there’s plenty of reason to go big this year.
Interested to get a closer look? Seiko and Grand Seiko are currently having a roadshow located at the Centre Court of Mid Valley Megamall from now till October 4, 10AM to 10PM.