Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition Review

Back in 2020, Seiko offered up a surprise limited edition designed in collaboration with famous Queen guitarist Brian May. It’s sporty red and black design took inspiration from Brian’s “Red Special” guitar which he and his father built from hand together. Now, for 2022, a second release comes from the Japanese watch manufacturer and the musician, this time the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition, boasting a new gold-plated case in honour of the latest remastered solo albums within his ‘Gold Series’.

To appreciate the full story behind the new Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition watch, in particular the guitar that inspires it, we highly recommend you read our review of the 2020 edition here. Like the original, the new reference uses the brand’s famous 5 Sports model as reference, a design which revives a historic 1963 watch known as the Seiko Sportmatic 5. It is named as such for its five key attributes: an automatic movement, a day and date display, a decent water resistance, a recessed crown at 4 o’ clock and a case built especially for durability. The Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” ticks all these boxes while cleverly bringing to life May’s “Red Special” guitar.

The instrument is placed centre stage to the dial of the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition with its curved red-coloured silhouette coming in from the right hand side. A subtle wood grain pattern is incorporated into the colour to mimic the real finish of the material while a glossy black finish completes the full circle. Unlike the first edition, the new 2022 model opts for yellow gold plating on the indexes and hour, minutes and seconds hands as well as the inscription and Seiko logo. For even better contrast and legibility, the hands and markers are finished in glow in the dark Lumibrite and a day and date window is added at 3 o’clock.

Continuing with the new gold theme is the case. Measuring to 42.5mm in diameter and 13.4mm in thickness, the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition watch is crafted from stainless steel with a yellow gold plating. There’s also Hardlex crystal glass, a screw down crown, water resistant rating of 100 metres and a black unidirectional rotating bezel. The latter is finished in aluminium and treated to a gold-coloured 60 minute scale.

Powering the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” watch is the 4R36 automatic winding movement, a calibre spotted in much of the 5 Sports collection. It boasts 24 jewels, a frequency of 21,600vph and a power reserve of 41 hours. The movement can be spotted through the red glass translucent case back which indicates its limited edition status beside an inscription of Brian May’s signature.

As a limited edition release, the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” watch is presented in an exclusive box shaped like a guitar case. It is also fitted with a one-of-a-kind nylon strap designed to emulate the guitar strings expertly played by Brian May. Inside the presentation box, you’ll also get a commemorative Sixpence which Brian famously uses to play his guitar instead of a plectrum.

If you’d like to learn more about this watch and order one for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here or get in touch with us at help@jurawatches.co.uk. Proceeds of the Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” will be donated The Mercury Phoenix Trust founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor and their manager Jim Beach in memory of rock band Queen’s iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury.

Specifications: Seiko 5 Sports Brian May “Red Special II” (SRPH80K1)

  • Case Material: Yellow gold-plated stainless steel
  • Case Size: 42.5mm
  • Glass: Hardlex crystal
  • Bezel: Undirectional
  • Crown: Screw in
  • Case Back: Screw down, exhibition with limited edition decoration
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: 4R36 automatic winding
  • Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, day, date
  • Power Reserve: 41 hours
  • Frequency: 21,600vph
  • Jewels: 24
  • Dial: Red and black, Lumbrite on yellow gold hands and indexes
  • Strap: Black striped nylon
  • RRP: £530
  • Limited Edition: 12,500 pieces
  • Release Date: Feb 2022