After more than half a century, one of Seiko’s greatest icons is revived as a standalone collection: the King Seiko. First released during the 1960’s, the series matched the beauty and innovation of their premium Grand Seiko series also unveiled during the same period. For the last half-decade, the latter has led the Japanese watch manufacturer into the realm of luxury watchmaking, originating from Seiko’s Suwa Seikosha factory and promising top-tier precision and aesthetics. Now offering the same level of refinement at even better price, Seiko’s Daini Seikosha factory returns with a permanent collection of King Seiko watches.
The History of the King Seiko
During the 1960’s, Seiko set themselves a mission to create timepieces that were as accurate and as beautifully finished as those coming out of Switzerland. To make it happen, the Japanese watch brand founded two luxury sub-collections produced by two separate factories. The first to be launched was the Grand Seiko in 1960 by the Suwa Seikosha factory in Nagano which was shortly following by the King Seiko in 1961 by the Daini Seikosha factory in Tokyo.
For several decades, the pair worked in competition with the other encouraging and motivating their counterpart to improve and innovative. Yet despite what many say was a turbulent rivalry, the factories also assisted their equivalent’s progress, for example, the low-beat caliber 44A, which was originally developed by Daini Seikosha was used by King Seiko before they engineered their own hi-beat calibres later down the line. Despite the success of both names, in 1988 Seiko chose to have Grand Seiko as their sole flag bearer for their luxury watch manufacture. Over the years, Grand Seiko has succeeded in becoming one of the greatest premium watch collections of all time, impressing the industry with technological feats and outstanding aesthetics.
Then at the end of 2021, Seiko launched the very unexpected King Seiko KSK SJE083 watch as part of its 140th anniversary celebrations. The design also marked 60 years since the first King Seiko watch was launched and as such, revived an important reference from 1965 offering recognisable faceted lugs, a flat dial, sharp hands and the iconic textured hour marker at 12 o’clock. After its release, it left us hoping more reissues of King Seiko watches would appear and lo and behold, we’re spoiled to an entire collection…
The 2022 King Seiko Watch Collection
The new line of King Seiko watches features five references in total, all featuring a 37mm diameter stainless steel case with the same sharp angles, brushed and polished finishings and faceted lugs as the original 1965 reference revived last year. They also sit on the wrist at 12.1mm in height and feature box-shaped sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective treatment and a screw in crown and case back both adorned with the King Seiko emblem. The watches also ensure a 100 metre water resistant rating.
Each King Seiko watch differs for its dial colour. The first is reference SPB279 which opts for a classic silver dial with sunray brushing mimicking the 1965 piece the most accurately. Then there’s a light-grey almost silver-looking piece with straight brushing under SBP28, a charcoal grey face under SPB283 and a brown dial under reference SPB283. Our favourite out of the five is reference SPB287 which opts for a stunning burgundy red centre. Each dial reveals the famous textured hour marker at 12 o’clock alongside Zaratsu-polished and faceted hands for the hours and minutes and a needle thin seconds hand. We’re also pleased to say the date complication is still forgotten allowing for a cleaner and more refined dial.
Powering the hours, minutes and seconds hands of the King Seiko watches is the in-house Calibre 6R31 automatic winding movement with 24 jewels, a frequency of 21,600vph and a power reserve of 70 hours. While these stats are great, the accuracy of the King Seiko watches has let us down slightly running within +15/-25 seconds per day. We’d hoped for something closer in standard to some of the calibres housed within Grand Seiko watches but then again, the King Seiko has to reflect its lower price point somewhere.
Completing each King Seiko watch is a choice of two straps. The first is a retro-esque fine-link stainless steel bracelet with faceted links, tapering from case to folding buckle. The links are also brushed with polished bevels. Alternatively, you can order the King Seiko watches on a vintage-inspired leather strap in a range of colours. The leather straps close by stainless steel pin buckles engraved with the King Seiko emblem.
If you’d like to learn more about the new King Seiko watch collection and shop the models for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at email@example.com.
- Case Size: 37mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Bezel: Fixed
- Glass: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Crown: Screw in
- Case Back: Solid with King Seiko logo
- Water Resistance: 100 metres
- Movement: Calibre 6R31 automatic winding, in-house
- Accuracy: +15/-25 seconds per day
- Power Reserve: 70 hours
- Jewels: 24
- Frequency: 21,600vph
- Dial: Silver, light grey, charcoal grey, brown or burgundy red
- Strap: Fine-link steel bracelet with folding clasp or leather strap with pin buckle
- RRP: £1,470