In 1913, Seiko produced Japan’s first wristwatch, the Laurel, the first of many innovations that have advanced the art of making wristwatches. Today, Seiko celebrates the 110th anniversary of the Laurel with the release of seven commemorative timepieces from the Presage, Prospex, Astron, and 5 Sports collections. Each watch demonstrates the high quality of modern Seiko watchmaking while looking back to Japan’s first wristwatch for inspiration.
By using design features such as a white dial, a prominent red marker at 12 o’clock, or blue hands, this limited edition series pays homage to the original Laurel of 1913.
Following the design of the Laurel in nearly every detail, the first new creation joins the Presage Craftsmanship Series. Its pristine white enamel dial is the work of master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his team. Featuring a dial with a red “12” and classically styled blued hands, much like the Laurel, this creation is powered by Seiko’s high-performance Calibre 6R27. Crafted to stand the test of time, the lustrous white enamel dial displays the date at 6 o’clock and the power reserve at 9, while the case uses a recently updated design to emphasise the finely crafted dial and offer a slimmer look on the wrist.
A new creation in the Sharp Edged Series features an angular, modern case and a subtle red mark at the 12 o’clock position on the inner ring, or flange, in honour of the Laurel. The faceted hour and minute hands combine with the dial’s asanoha or “hemp leaf” pattern and the case’s sharp angles for a refined and modern look that exudes precision and quality.
The last of the Presage creations is a Style60’s GMT powered by Calibre 4R34. Here, the blue hands, including the one for the GMT function, stand out against the dial while harmonising with the classically styled case and bezel to provide excellent legibility and unimpeachable mid-century appearance. Thanks to an application of Lumibrite on the hour and minute hands, the time is always easy to read, day or night.
In the Prospex collection, there is a Seiko Alpinist that features the latest GMT movement from the tried and trusted 6R family of movements in which the power reserve has been extended to 72 hours or three full days. As with the 1913 classic, blue-colored hands are set against a light-coloured dial. A red mark on the compass ring reinforces the connection to the Laurel while indicating the cardinal position north.
This Speedtimer solar chronograph, is an analogue chronograph capable of measuring elapsed time to 1/100th of a second. The sub-dial hands at the two, 10, and 12 o’clock positions are a vivid shade of red in honour of the Laurel. And like the early Seiko inspiration, the dial is a bright white. Black sub-dials enhance legibility while making a subtle nod to vintage Seiko chronographs.
Born with the world’s first commercially available quartz watch, the Astron name is, much like the Laurel, synonymous with innovation. Powered by the latest Astron GPS Solar movement, Calibre 3X62, the new creation features an updated design with a faceted titanium bezel that debuted earlier this year. The simple white dial is a tribute to the Laurel, and the inner dial ring is punctuated by numerals every five minutes, with a single red “60” at the 12 o’clock position in honour of the Laurel.
The 5 Sports watch features a dial with accents chosen in honour of the Laurel. The hands, for example, are blue, while red numerals are used for the 24-hour scale. Stylish, functional, durable, and fun, this self-winding creation features indications for the day and the date in addition to the time. It comes on a handsome five-link bracelet crafted in stainless steel.