Originally released only for the domestic Japanese market, the Seiko Spirit is a beautiful watch informed by classical design concepts. At 40 mm, the case is many people’s idea of perfection when it comes to an everyday watch with athletic looks. This is a masculine yet austere piece, with a chunky bezel and a crystal case back that allows wearers to observe the rotor.
With an unguarded, coin edge crown, this Seiko Spirit is a watch that is famed for its comfort, something that has earned it a loyal fan base across Japan. What’s more, this watch looks absolutely gorgeous on the wrist, too. The dial on this model is a two-layer sandwich, with light brushed silver on the top and red underneath – visible only in the circular 24-hour indicator and as a border around the date window. The top layer is textured with vertical brushing, which will look familiar to those who have seen an old Seiko 6138-8020 in person.
What is perhaps most striking about this watch is its similarity to the Japanese flag in its minimalist yet highly effective aesthetic. The off-centre red circle is reminiscent of the nation’s nickname of ‘land of the rising sun’. On this watch, it functions as a 24 hour indicator that sits shows the time of day through a single hand that sweeps around once a day. Indeed, the 24 hour indicator is shown around the outside in portions of three hours each.
The simple and classic style of this watch means it will look great for many years into the future. Seiko always make their watches to the highest standards so, if the wearer is prepared to look after this watch, they can expect it to last for a lifetime.
The tale of Seiko starts all the way back in the 19th century. Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, began by repairing and creating clocks for the good people of Yokohama city. The company soon gained a reputation for the high quality of their work, with Seiko becoming one of the top horology names in Asia over the coming decades.
By the 1960’s Seiko had started to offer it’s watches in the United States as well as other countries in the western world. The timepieces were growing so famous in a variety of countries just at the right time, as brand new conveyor belt technology gave them the opportunity of manufacturing over 3 million units per year.
This made for a massive boost in Seiko’s stock but the brand was not finished yet. After first experiencing a hit with the Quartz clock, Seiko saw an opportunity to evolve the first ever quartz wristwatch aimed at the wider world. In 1969 it came, with the launch of the Seiko Astron 35SQ, the brand said that, one day, all wristwatches would be made using the same pioneering quartz technology. Surely Seiko, however, could not have predicted quite how correct this statement would go on to be.
Seiko’s huge popularity continued to evolve across the world after the release of the Seiko Astron. Once again, they were chosen as official timekeeper for the Olympic Games – in this instance the Winter Olympics of 1972 in Sapporo. Seiko were by this point almost totally making quartz timepieces, launching the first ever ladies quartz watch in that year too.