“Again?! More limited editions from Seiko?!”
I know, I know. Most of us here would be asking the same thing but you can’t blame Seiko for really milking it with the limited editions this time, can you? In any case, let’s see what we have here. A pair of new releases that, according to Seiko, “capture(s) both the classic and modern faces of Ginza. Both creations have dial patterns that echo the district’s traditional cobblestone streets but are in a blue-gray tone that also evokes the contemporary feel of the many modern and architecturally interesting buildings which define Ginza today.”
Here’s a bit of a history lesson for everyone. In 1881 (140 years ago), Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, started his watch and clock repair business in, yeah you guessed it. The Ginza district. Fast forward to almost a century and a half later, the brand’s presence is still firmly rooted in Ginza.
For starters, we’ve got the Wako building which houses one of the largest Seiko flagship outlets. Just a stone’s throw away, we’ve got the Seiko Museum, a Prospex boutique and the Seiko Dream Square. Far from a mere marketing shtick then, these new releases. Now, on to the watches!
The Seiko (deep breath) Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation SPB259
It’s a mouthful but the watch is actually charmingly simple in execution, methinks. The SPB259 is based on Seiko’s earlier released line of Alpinist re-interpretation models and the similarities are obvious enough. The triangular markers at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock coupled to the broad hour and minute hands help with legibility (this is an “adventure/field” watch, after all). It’s further aided with LumiBrite application on all the markers and hands.
The blue-green shade on the seconds hand is worth a mention here. Seiko says this shade is called ‘Komparu’, a traditional colour named after Komparu Street in Ginza. To be more specific, it’s a shade of blue-green that was once favoured by the geishas who lived there and over the years, became more and more popular with the general public. Elsewhere, the dial borrows its aesthetics from the cobblestone patterns that line the streets of Ginza.
Flip it around and you’ll be able to see the ‘Limited Edition’ branding across the see-through caseback which, in turn, contains the Seiko 6R35 calibre. The 24-jeweled movement beats at 3 Hz and has a power reserve of 70 hours. Other tech specs include a water resistant rating of 200 m, a case size of 38 mm and a thickness of 12.9 mm. The SPB259 is limited to 3,500 units and comes with a sticker price of RM3,500.
The Seiko Presage SSA445
Much like the SPB259, the highlight of the SSA445 lies in the dial design which, once again, draws its inspiration from the cobblestone patterns of Ginza and the ‘Komparu’ shade. Where it differs though is the “Style60’s” aesthetics which itself is based on design cues of the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph.
At 9 o’clock, we have a cutout that affords a view of the escapement. Just slightly within the periphery of said cutout, lies the 24-hour sub-dial. Curiously, turning the watch around reveals a regular, unmarked exhibition caseback unlike the one seen on the SPB259. Beneath it lies the Seiko 4R39 calibre which beats at a rate of 3 Hz and has a power reserve of 41 hours.
Other tech specs include a case size of 40.8 mm, a thickness of 12.8 mm and a water resistance rating of just 50 m. The SSA445 is slightly less limited with 4,000 units being issued. The list price stands at RM2,700. Both the SPB259 and SSA445 are already on sale at selected retail outlets and Seiko boutiques.