Time and time again, Seiko has come out with some of the best watches that the industry has to offer. Now, in 2022, one of its many endeavors include the revival of an incredibly popular Seiko watch series from the 1960s: the King Seiko. The Japanese brand has released a variety of King Seiko 2022 models that serve as modern-day interpretations of the 1960s King Seiko.
Without further ado, let us explore the King Seiko 2022 and see if it is worth the hype.
King Seiko: A Look Into The Past
Dating back to the 1960s, the original King Seiko was a Seiko sub-brand under the Daini Seikosha name. It was originally made to go head-to-head with Suwa Seikosha’s Grand Seiko catalog, which focused more on luxury Japanese timepieces.
While King Seiko certainly tried to give Grand Seiko a good run for its money, many Seiko patrons believed that it existed largely in the shadows of its Suwa counterpart. As a result, although both sub-brands were eventually discontinued, it was the Grand Seiko that Seiko first chose to revive, in the 1980s.
Fortunately, that was not the end of King Seiko. Decades later, the Japanese brand has finally decided to re-release the regal King Seiko series. This has resulted in the most recent King Seiko 2022 models. Seiko has released a total of six different versions of the King Seiko 2022: the SPB729, SPB281, SPB283, SPB285, SPB287, and SPB291. We will be discussing all six in this article.
An In-Depth Look at the 2022 King Seiko SPB279
Before we delve into the other King Seiko 2022 watches, let us first focus on the SPB279, which serves as the base model of the collection.
Case and Bezel
The King Seiko SPB279 is housed in a high-grade stainless steel case that exudes classy sophistication in each slim, well-beveled angle. It has a 37mm diameter, a thickness of around 12mm, and a lug-to-lug width of 43.6mm. These are all standard measurements of a typical men’s watch, allowing the King Seiko SPB279 to fit quite nicely on all wrist sizes.
As for the bezel, the King Seiko SPB279 shows off a smooth fixed ring which sits atop the watch case. While the rest of the watch case has a sleek brushed finish, the bezel has been thoroughly polished, giving it a lustrous glamor. The bezel is enclosed around a box-shaped sapphire crystal, which gives wearers a clear view of the watch face.
Crown and Caseback
On the right side of the King Seiko SPB279 lies a medium-sized screw-down crown. This crown bears a delicately embossed image of King Seiko’s new shield logo, which is inspired by the 1965 King Seiko watch. It also has sharp edged sides, which gives wearers a better grip, so they can hold or turn the crown more easily.
Flipping the King Seiko SPB279 over, you will find a solid screw-down caseback that is also made from stainless steel. It is also engraved with an image of the King Seiko shield emblem. Aside from that, you can also find inscriptions on the watch’s specifications on this caseback. These include details about the watch’s depth rating, materials used, and country of manufacture.
The King Seiko SPB279 is paired with a five-piece link bracelet. This bracelet is treated with a lovely brushed finish, so that it goes wonderfully with the watch’s case.
As a tribute to the 1965 King Seiko’s original design, Seiko also made sure to incorporate angular, beveled surfaces into this bracelet. When light hits the beveled sides of the bracelet, it creates dynamic illusions through its reflection, giving this watch a radiant sheen. This bracelet offers a very elegant and refined design, further cementing the King Seiko SPB279’s reputation as a handsome dress watch.
One of the coolest things about the King Seiko 2022 catalogue is that it also comes with a variety of exclusive straps that you can choose from. Aside from the default stainless steel bracelet, you can also opt for a textured calf leather strap in either gray, brown, black, dark gray, or dark brown.
The King Seiko SPB279 features showcases a very classy dial with a clean and straightforward layout. This dial boasts a brushed silver sunray finish that perfectly complements both the case and bracelet. It is also well-organized, with all of its components neatly spaced out, allowing for better legibility.
This dial is adorned with rectangular applique hour indices and sharp dauphine hands, all of which are made from stainless steel. Like the case and bracelet, the indices and hands of the watch are all beveled. On the whole, this gives the King Seiko SPB279 a very slender, sharp look that is like no other in the industry.
The King Seiko 2022 is powered by a Caliber 6R31. This is a self-winding caliber developed by Seiko. Typically found in the brand’s Seiko Presage watches, the Caliber 6R31 is known for its simple reliability. Made up of 24 jewels, this movement comes with manual-winding capabilities. It also offers a precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day and an impressive power supply of 70 hours.
Since the King Seiko was originally made to counter Grand Seiko, you can infer that its price falls in a similar range as the luxury Grand Seiko watches. Indeed, this is also true of the King Seiko 2022 catalog.
The King Seiko SPB279, for example, retails at around $1,800 USD. This is quite a decent price for such a well-known watch model.
Other Iterations of the King Seiko 2022
Now, let us take a brief look at the other models in the King Seiko 2022 series.
1. King Seiko SPB281
To start things off, we have the King Seiko SPB281 which looks almost identical to the SPB279. Although it has the same air of sophistication around it, this version of the King Seiko 2022 is a little more laidback. It has a very versatile appeal, so you can use it as a dress watch or as the perfect everyday beater watch.
The King Seiko SPB281 comes in a 37mm stainless steel case, along with an aged-looking calf leather strap in dark grey. The dial of this watch is also protected by a domed sapphire crystal.
Compared to the King Seiko SPB279, the silver sunray finish of this dial is darker and slightly rougher in texture. This gives the King Seiko SPB281 a more rugged and cool look. This dial is also ornamented with well-bevelled applique hour indices and razor-sharp dauphine hands.
Ticking inside this watch is the Seiko Caliber 6R31. While this is an automatic movement, it comes with manual-winding capabilities as well. It offers an outstanding 70-hour power reserve and a depth rating of 100 meters.
The King Seiko SPB281 has a price tag of around $1,800 USD.
2. King Seiko SPB283
Next, we have the King Seiko SPB283, which has a completely different vibe compared to the aforementioned watches. This watch exudes a simple and quintessential style, which makes it a great partner for your everyday routines. It is probably the safest option amongst all the King Seiko 2022 pieces, and can be paired well with just about any ensemble.
The King Seiko SPB283 is presented in a 37mm stainless steel case and an artificial suede strap in grey. The dial of this watch has an alluring and classic black sunray finish. It is decorated with applied hour indices and beveled dauphine hands made of steel, which stand out clearly against the dark watch face.
On the underside of the King Seiko SPB283, you can find a sturdy screw-down caseback made of stainless steel. Sealed behind this caseback is the watch’s self-winding Seiko Caliber 6R31. It boasts reliable precision and can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound.
The King Seiko SPB283 costs about $1,800 USD.
3. King Seiko SPB287
The King Seiko SPB287 is probably the most distinct and striking piece out of all the models in the King Seiko 2022 series. The highlight of this watch is its rich and charming watch face, which effortlessly turns heads even in a crowd.
This King Seiko 2022 watch utilizes a 37mm stainless steel case, which shows off angular beveled lugs that emphasize the slim profile of this watch. This is coupled with a simple, traditional calf leather strap in black, which helps direct the focus towards the watch’s rich red dial.
The dial of this watch comes in a royal burgundy, with a lovely, shimmering sunray finish. It is adorned with rectangular applique hour indices and dauphine hands. Crafted from stainless steel, these hands and indices set up a vivid contrast against the deep red of the watch face.
Underneath this extraordinary watch face lies a Seiko Caliber 6R31. This well-crafted automatic movement possesses a 100-meter depth rating and a power supply of 70 hours.
The King Seiko SPB287 sells at around $1,800 USD.
4. King Seiko SPB291
Next, we have the King Seiko SPB291. This is actually a special-edition model with a rather unique, nature-inspired dial that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the market. This serves as a breath of fresh air for King Seiko 2022 collectors who are looking for something different than the usual.
The King Seiko SPB291 sports a 37mm stainless steel case and an artificial suede strap in light gray. Its dial boasts a beautiful purple gradient finish, which takes inspiration from a flower called wisteria that is very popular in Japan. This dial follows the same spacious layout as the other King Seiko 2022 models. It consists of rectangular applique hour indices and dauphine hands made of beveled stainless steel.
This watch also runs on an automatic Seiko 6R31 Caliber. It delivers a decent precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day and a 70-hour power supply.
As a special edition piece, the King Seiko SPB291 has a slightly higher price tag of about $2,000 USD.
5. King Seiko SJE087
Finally, we have the King Seiko SJE087, which is actually the latest addition to the King Seiko 2022 range. It is a present-day recreation of the 1965 King Seiko KSK, which explains why it has both modern and vintage-inspired style elements.
The King Seiko SJE087 uses a 38mm stainless steel that is reinforced with a layer of hard-coating, boosting its resistance to scratches and impacts. This is paired with an elegant crocodile leather strap in dark brown.
The dial of this watch showcases a lovely champagne sunray finish. Unlike the previous King Seiko 2022 watches, this model is filled with gold-plated applique hour indices and dauphine hands. It also has an additional date window at 3 o’clock, which is lined with gold-plated stainless steel.
The back of this watch is sealed shut by a solid caseback. It is made up of stainless steel and a gold plate, which bears an engraved image of the King Seiko shield emblem. Behind this case back lies a Seiko 6L35 Caliber. This is another automatic movement with manual-winding capabilities. Held together by 26 jewels, it offers a precision rate of +15/-10 seconds and a standard 45-hour power supply. Lastly, this watch comes with a 50-meter depth rating, allowing it to survive any splashes or showers.
The King Seiko SJE087 is a limited-edition watch, with only 1,700 pieces available for sale. It is priced at $3,000 USD.
Why should you get the King Seiko 2022?
If you are still unsure whether you should get a King Seiko 2022 watch, below are some reasons why you should at least consider it!
- Rich Heritage. One of the best things about the King Seiko 2022 is that it has a colorful history to back it up. While this may not be appealing to some, a watch with a rich heritage is typically viewed as more valuable than others. For the King Seiko, it was once known as a competitor of Suwa’s Grand Seiko, which is regarded as one of the best Japanese luxury manufacturers today.
- Sophisticated Exterior. Another reason why the King Seiko 2022 is worth considering is its elegant and refined exterior. Each model in the catalog boasts a deceptively sophisticated design, making them great additions to any watch collection. With these timeless designs, you can rest assured that the King Seiko 2022 watches will still look stylish and relevant even decades from today.
- Excellent Japanese Craftsmanship. Lastly, the King Seiko 2022 serves as the perfect representation of excellent Japanese craftsmanship. Each element it has, from its design to its movement, is either based on Japanese elements or made with Japanese watchmaking technique. Seiko’s unwavering commitment to its craft ensures that you can definitely trust the King Seiko 2022 to deliver utmost quality.
The King Seiko 2022 offers a beautiful selection of dress watches that show off regal elegance and excellent Japanese craftsmanship. While these watches do not have the most elaborate movements ever, the beauty of the King Seiko 2022 lies in its simplicity, both inside and out. The King Seiko 2022 showcases the ideal fusion of vintage elements and modern-day watchmaking techniques, making them great additions to any collection.
Photo Credits: Seiko and WatchShopping Sites
Featured image courtesy of Atelierdegriff.com.
Want to read more about Seiko? Check out this piece on the Seiko Black Series!
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