We’re still in the first month of 2020 and Seiko have already released an extraordinary amount of stunning special edition models. One of their newest launches is the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May Limited Edition watch, a series of 9,000 pieces inspired by rock legend Brian May and his iconic “RedSpecial” guitar.
The Seiko Brian May Limited Edition SRPE83K1 is part of the brand’s Seiko 5 Sports collection, another recent release commemorating a historic collection first debuted in 1963. The Seiko Sportmatic 5 was not only Seiko’s first ever automatic day date watch, but it was the first of its kind created in Japan making it legendary for its innovation and high levels of reliability, durability and performance. Alongside trusty functionality, the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May Limited Edition watch boasts a striking design inspired by Brian May’s “RedSpecial” guitar, an instrument which helped make Queen one of the most adored rock bands in the world.
Built by hand by Brian and his father in the early 1960’s, the guitar holds a special place in his heart. It was carved from the wood of an old fireplace, its body of a blockboard with an ancient oak insert and covered with a mahogany veneer that Brian stained and polished himself. The innovative tremolo system was also designed by Brian and featured a hand-carved mild steel rocker plate pivoting on a knife edge, with the pull of the strings balanced by motorcycle valve springs. To complete the job, the tremolo arm was improvised from part of a bicycle saddlebag holder, capped with a piece of a sturdy knitting needle. Clearly a labour of love, the “RedSpecial” has served Brian on stage for over half a century.
Just like his guitar, Brian May has admitted to relying on Seiko for much of his life. For more than 40 years he has worn a Seiko diver’s watch on his wrist, the very same that inspired the Seiko 5 Sports collection that you see today. His watch was first bought in Japan while he was touring with Queen in the 1970’s and since then, both his guitar and watch have travelled the globe with him. The Seiko 5 Sports Brian May Limited Edition SRPE83K1 boasts a breathtaking dial that has been beautifully remodelled to echo the same red and black theme of the guitar. It features a gorgeous guitar silhouette on the left and a unique wood grain pattern throughout the red. A distinct “Red Special” script has also been added to the dial at 6 o’ clock.
“I am delighted to see this watch come alive, and proud that the creation of me and my dad all those years ago has inspired this collaboration. I love my Seiko and it has served me well for many years. I will wear this new one with pride.” – Brian May
To power the reliable hour, minutes and seconds hands and day and date window on the dial, the Caliber 4R36 automatic winding movement is equipped. The 24 jewelled movement promises 21,600 vibrations per hour and a power reserve of 41 hours. The hands and indices are decorated in glow in the dark Lumbrite and housed beneath Hardlex crystal glass. The stainless steel case measures to a neat 42.5mm in size, boasts a water resistant rating of 100 metres and comes fitted with a black nylon strap and a unidirectional diving bezel adorned with a 60 minute scale.
The Japanese automatic winding movement can be seen through a stunning exhibition case back where the Seiko decorated oscillating rotor is complimented by a special limited edition decoration of Brian’s signature. The watch is also presented in a one-of-a-kind box inspired by the design of the Red Special’s custom flight case. The box also features a commemorative coin based on the sixpenny piece that Brian has used throughout his career as a plectrum.
The Seiko 5 Sports Brian May SRPE83K1 watch is expected to be released in May at a retail price of £500. To be one of the first to own this limited edition, pre-order on the Jura Watches website here.
Specifications: Seiko 5 Sports Brian May Limited Edition Watch (SRPE83K1)
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Case Size: 42.5mm
- Glass: Hardlex crystal
- Bezel: Undirectional
- Water Resistance: 100 metres
- Case Back: Screw down, exhibition with limited edition decoration
- Movement: 4R36 automatic winding
- Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, day, date
- Power Reserve: 41 ours
- Frequency: 21,600vph
- Jewels: 24
- Dial: Red and black, Lumbrite on hands and indexes
- Strap: Black nylon
- RRP: £500
- Limited Edition: 9,000 pieces
- Release Date: May 2020