Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Re-creation of King Seiko KSK
The Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Re-creation of King Seiko KSK is inspired by the 1965 King Seiko KSK. It captures the period-inspired aesthetics of the original while incorporating a modern-day self-winding movement.
Just 17 years of age, Kintaro Hattori put up a sign outside his house, ‘Hattori Clock Repairer’. Four years later, he established his eponymous company, K. Hattori & Co (1881). A year after the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed the Seikosha watch factory (1923), the company released the first timepiece to bear the name ‘Seiko‘ on its dial. ‘The rest, as they say, is history.’
As we turn our backs on 2020 and look forward to 2021, Seiko has already begun celebrating 140 years since K. Hattori & Co was founded. Clearly eager to celebrate this landmark, the Japanese marque has already released the remarkable Credor Eichi II GBLT997. Now, there is a further creation which has been produced as part of the firm’s 140-year commemorations.
The Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Re-creation of King Seiko KSK invites horophiles to return to the 1960s, a period of much innovation in the watch industry. This was an era when a Honda S500 would cruise Tokyo’s streets and serious photographers viewed the world through the lens of a Nikon F camera. Japanese industry was booming at the time as many people began to recognise the merits of products made in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Seiko released Japan’s first divers’ watch (1965), the first automatic chronograph (1969) and the first quartz watch, the Astron, again in 1969. These innovative and reliable products appealed to a global audience
In 1965, Seiko released the King Seiko KSK featuring a hand-wound movement. The model eschewed the ubiquitous round case contours that were typical of the era, in favour of sharp, angular lines. At the time the watch’s appearance was radical.
Seiko has repeatedly tapped into its fan’s desire for period-inspired products. The Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Re-creation of King Seiko KSK shares the flat dial, faceted indexes and the razor-sharp angles of the original. The 38.1mm steel case has been polished to a distortion-free conclusion and the caseback is adorned with the same emblem as the 1965 reference. However, Seiko has strayed from the original by equipping this model with a modern-day automatic movement. This is a shrewd decision by the brand as it mitigates wearer input, making it ideal for daily wear.
Price: £3,050 (RRP as at 8.12.2020)
The brand’s press release (December 2020)
Never before in the company’s history had there been a period of such creativity and achievement. From the first Grand Seiko in 1960 to the automatic chronograph in 1969, the sixties was a decade of important advances in both technical and design development that laid the foundation for the company’s future success in the prestige watch arena. Alongside Grand Seiko, one other series in particular demonstrated the company’s ability to create mechanical watches with high accuracy. It was called King Seiko and, in addition to its precision, it offered a powerful yet graceful design that symbolized the high quality of its construction. 2021 marks the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s foundation and a re-creation of the second series of King Seiko, known as the King Seiko KSK, will be released in celebration of this landmark.
The distinctive profile of the King Seiko KSK
Four years after the introduction of King Seiko, a second series known as the King Seiko KSK was created. Powered by a manual-winding 25 jewel calibre, the King Seiko KSK introduced in 1965 was a new departure in design. In contrast to the gentle rounded contours of the first King Seiko creation, the KSK case was strikingly sharp and angular and had a contemporary feel. Its flat surfaces and multi-faceted corners caught the light from any angle and gave the watch a new and striking brilliance. With its water resistance and hacking seconds hand, it offered a high level of practicality which, together with its distinctive design, soon made the KSK a much-demanded watch for Japan’s fast growing number of watch fans.
The new re-creation brings the 1965 KSK back to life in every detail. The combination of the flat dial with the faceted indexes and broad, sharp hands re-creates the refined elegance of the original. The sharp, bold faceted lugs feature large flat planes and razor sharp angles and are Zaratsu polished to a distortion-free mirror finish.
Just as on the first KSK, the index at twelve o’clock has a bright sparkle thanks to the way it is intricately faceted. The case back carries the King Seiko name and the same shield design as the original and the buckle, too, is an accurate reproduction. The Seiko name and a “W” mark that signifies the KSK’s water-resistance appear on the crown.
Powered by Seiko’s slimline automatic calibre, 6L35
While the re-creation is faithful in every aspect to the original design, it is completely up-to-date in technology, function and form. Even with an automatic movement and the addition of a date window, the new watch retains its slim profile and is just 0.5mm thicker than the original, thanks to the thinness of Caliber 6L35. The eight beats per second movement has 26 jewels and offers a power reserve of 45 hours. The case is slightly wider than the original at 38.1mm and the crystal is a boxed-shaped sapphire with an anti-reflective coating in the inner surface that delivers high legibility from any angle. The case’s durability is also enhanced by the super-hard coating which protects the watch from scratches.
The King Seiko KSK recreation will be available from January 2021 as a limited edition of 3,000 at Seiko boutiques and at selected retail partners worldwide.