A reissue of one of Seiko’s most historically important references, the new Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition watch revives the original 1965 KSK model in celebration of two key anniversaries: 140 years since the beginning of Seiko and 60 years since the first King Seiko watch. Its remarkable design brings the KSK back to life in almost every detail with sharp, faceted lugs, a flat dial with sharp hands and the iconic textured index at 12 o’clock.
We’re only into the second month of 2021 and Seiko have already inundated us with some remarkable new releases to commemorate their 140th anniversary. From a stunning trio of Seiko Prospex Island Green watches to a limited edition Seiko Astron GPS Solar, their birthday celebrations have been enjoyed by luxury watch collectors everywhere. Yet one limited edition that had been rumoured, a recreation of the Seiko KSK, had everyone talking. The new King Seiko 140th Anniversary watch was expected to be a true landmark piece that reinforces the importance of the 1960’s for the brand.
A Brief History of King Seiko
The 1960’s was a fantastic decade for watchmaking in general, but for Seiko it was hugely significant for their advances in both technical and design development including the release of the first Grand Seiko watch. The Grand Seiko name remains a separate brand to Seiko responsible for producing of some of the most advanced, precise and aesthetically luxurious watches in the world, and yet interestingly on its birth, it was in competition with another sub-brand named King Seiko.
During the late 1950’s, Seiko had two production sites known as Suwa Seikosha and Daini Seikosha. The first was home to Grand Seiko watches and the second was where the first King Seiko was brought to life in 1961 and between them, there was an internal rivalry on which name would become the company’s new flagship model. However, despite both brands winning several awards for their incredible designs, the quartz crisis meant that production of both Grand Seiko and King Seiko watches were closed down and while the Grand Seiko name was revived again in 1998, the King Seiko had been left behind in the archives… until now.
The new Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition under reference SJE083J1 is exact in almost every way to the original 1965 KSK with only a few minor visual updates. The distinctive shape of the watch remains very much the same boasting flat surfaces, an angled bezel, serrated crown and sharp, multi-faceted lugs. Measuring to 38.1mm in diameter, it is slightly larger than its historic counterpart but only by a small margin yet retains its slim profile of only 11.4mm.
The case is engineered from stainless steel with a super-hard coating for additional durability and polished using the brand’s famous Zaratsu technique. This polishing, which has always provided a mirror-finish shine, looks even more exceptional on the faceted lugs. The Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary is also protected by box-shaped scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass treated with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface and a screw down case back which bears the very same emblem as the original.
Just like the original 1965 King Seiko KSK, the dial of the Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition is dressed in silver with a sunray-brushed polished finish and adorned with broad sharp hands and applied hour markers. As expected, these elements are Zaratsu polished allowing them to gleam gracefully in the light. Meanwhile, the hour marker at 12 o’clock is detailed differently just like its predecessor, with a unique, pyramid-shaped texture. The only real difference between the SJE083J1 reference and the original is the addition of a date complication. This may seem entirely unnecessarily for many, but we can appreciate Seiko’s efforts in making the design more everyday-friendly and its understated aesthetic doesn’t look out of place either. The dial is also detailed with “King Seiko” name at 6 o’clock above the words “Diashock” and its jewel count of 26 jewels.
The original 1965 KSK was powered by the hand-wound, 25 jewelled 44A calibre, a movement that was considered incredibly accurate for its day. Nevertheless, in the 60 years since the original was released, Seiko have advanced their movement technology ten-fold. This is highlighted by the Caliber 6L35 automatic winding movement housed inside the Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition. The calibre is a more advanced version of the brand’s well-known 6R15 and delivers a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, 26 jewels and a 45 hour power reserve.
The Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition is completed by a classic black crocodile leather strap, just like that of its predecessor and secured by a stainless steel pin buckle. On the edge of the buckle, the Seiko logo is engraved in the original font of the KSK.
Price & Availability
It’s of no surprise that the Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition has already proven itself incredibly popular with collectors with many of the 3,000 limited edition pieces having already been pre-ordered for its release date at the end of February. The timepiece will retail at £3,050 and can be pre-ordered on the Jura Watches website here.
Specifications: Seiko King Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Watch SJE083J1
- Case Size: 38.1mm x 11.4mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel with super hard coating
- Bezel: Fixed
- Glass: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Case Back: Screwed with golden emblem
- Water Resistance: 50 metres
- Movement: Calibre 6L35 automatic winding
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Power Reserve: 45 hours
- Jewels: 26
- Frequency: 28,800vph
- Dial: Silver sunray
- Strap: Black crocodile leather
- Buckle: Pin, stainless steel
- RRP: £3,050
- Limited Edition: 3,000 pieces
- Release Date: 28 February 2021