How Seiko's Latest Collection Honors 1960s Legacy with Four New Models, 55 Years Later
July 26, 20235 min read
When Seiko refreshed its Seiko 5 Sports line in 2019, it was Impressive, to say the least. From divers to GMTs, they made a classy statement by introducing a stellar range of variety. Four years later, they are back with yet another impressive feat. Seiko is taking it up a notch with their latest announcement - a limited 1968 re-edition and a striking set of three "tributes" to the 1969 collection.
In total, these are four watches that pay tribute to the original 1960s collection; The SRPK17 (limited edition), SRPK09, SRPK11, and the SRPK13. A fun fact is that all four models are powered by Seiko's workhorse caliber 4R36. Out of all four models, the one with the most fan love so far is the SRPK17, and it's only fitting we start from there.
The Seiko 5 Sports line is that one watch line that gives you a fine blend of contemporary design and unbeatable durability, all at an incredibly competitive price. Its roots go way back to decades ago when the Sportsmatic 5 was first released. This 1963 trailblazing creation marked Japan's first automatic day-date display, encompassing five key specifications: an automatic movement, a convenient day-date display at 3 o'clock, water resistance, a recessed crown at 4 o'clock, and a sturdy steel case and strap.
Seiko released the “Seiko Sportsmatic 5 (the “Five”)” in 1963
Five years down the line, its heir was released. The Seiko 5 Sports of 1968 was also fitted with innovative solutions used inside the Sportsmatic, namely a new mainspring and a shock-resistance system. The watch also featured the ingenious Magic Lever (1959), a mechanism that enhanced winding efficiency and extended the power reserve.
In a dazzling blast from the past, Seiko 5 Sports returns to the limelight, honoring its 55th anniversary with a limited-edition marvel. The iconic timepiece, born in 1968, captivated hearts with its rugged charm and adventurous spirit. Like a vintage legend resurrected, the Seiko 5 Sports 55th Anniversary Limited Edition SRPK17 stands tall, boasting an exquisite blend of timeless allure and modern enhancements.
The Seiko 6106-8120, manufactured by Seiko in 1968, is shown on the left, while on the right is the 2023 re-edition Seiko 5 Sports SRPK17.
The Case Design
By coming in a robust brushed 39.5mm tonneau-shaped case with a thickness of 12.5mm, the SRPK17 keeps in touch with its roots, i.e., the original model. The signature half-moon scalloped areas at noon and 6 o'clock, along with the case flanks, are polished, and the crown is tucked into the case at 4 o'clock. A major improvement on the original watch is the more solid Bandoleer bracelet construction that gives it a sturdy and comfortable fit around the wrist.
The new Limited Edition SRPK17 features a 39.5mm tonneau-shaped case, taking you back to 1968 with its retro-inspired design.
Seiko didn't necessarily want to be out of touch with the old by discarding all of the original model's features, so they respected the design of the dial. The enchanting black dial showcases the enduring Seiko 5 logo, shimmering proudly at noon, just as it did five decades ago. The Lumibrite-treated bar indices and hands come in handy when it's dark, guiding you through the night with a hint of nostalgia in the charming red lollipop central seconds hand. The dial is protected by a curved Hardlex crystal, ensuring its vintage appeal. The Seiko fans are highly interested in the 'SRPK17' out of all four models. This particular model looks different, as it uses the vintage Seiko 5 Sport badge - the shield motif '5' - instead of the latest 'Superman' logo to represent '5'. The case shape of the SRPK17' is also very close to the 60s design, as you can see in the pictures.
Turn the watch over, and you'll find the limited-edition marking (00001/15555), a testament to its exclusivity. Powered by Seiko's automatic 4R36 caliber, this reliable in-house movement beats at 3 Hertz, delivering a 41-hour power reserve. The Seiko 5 Sports 55th Anniversary Limited Edition SRPK17 has only 15,555 pieces manufactured. It will be available in September 2023 at Seiko Boutiques and select partners worldwide and retails for the affordable 410 Euros.
The Trio Honoring 1969 Seiko 5 Sports collection
As the original 1960s collection is a highly sought-after product, it's wise to mention all four models for the background/models they are paying Tribute to. Having mentioned the SRPK17, it's time to mention the other three in the latest release.
The non-limited edition start from left : SRPK09 (silver dial), SRPK13 (black dial) and SRPK11 (orange dial) uses the latest 'Superman' logo to represent the Seiko Sport '5', while only the SRPK17 utilizes the classic shield motif '5' badge, setting it apart from the trio.
Like the SRPK17, this trio of watches also draws on vintage models for inspiration. While all three models utilize the contemporary Seiko 5 Sports case, some enthusiasts might have appreciated a revisit to the original case for an even more authentic vintage feel.
Seiko 5 sports Rally Diver Ref. 5126-8130
The new Seiko 5 Sports SRPK09 Rally in silver dial
Let's start with the SRPK09, which comes in a silver dial and a bezel inspired by Seiko's beloved vintage "rally divers." Interestingly, its design resembles the 2021 Seiko x Rowing Blazers collaboration, creating a beautiful blend of classic and contemporary elements.
Seiko 5 Sports Ref. 5126-6030, the Double Hurricanes Summer, 1969
The new Seiko 5 Sports SRPK11 'Double Hurricane'
Moving on to the SRPK11, it stands out with a vibrant orange dial and contrasting black blocks, paying homage to the vintage "Double Hurricane." There's something undeniably captivating about Seiko's orange divers, and this model is no exception. It has become a favorite among Seiko enthusiasts, just like the modern orange Seiko 5 Rowing Blazers collaboration that references yet another classic orange vintage Seiko model.
Seiko 5 Sport 'Regatta' Ref.6119-6050
The new Seiko 5 Sports SRPK13 'Regatta'
Lastly, the SRPK13 takes inspiration from the vintage Seiko 5 "Regatta." With its nod to the original bezel and dial design, this timepiece captures the essence of the past while residing in the modern SKX-style case. However, it's worth noting that part of the vintage Regatta's charm was its funky, which truly set it apart.
Power Reserve: 41 hours
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour
Functions: Day and date
Case Size: SRPK17
Case Size: SRPK09, SRPK11 and SRPK13
Seiko's celebration of the Seiko 5 Sports' 55th anniversary brings pleasant surprises. A limited edition faithful to the original case and a trio of captivating reinterpretations from 1969 enrich the modern collection. Since its inception in 2019, the modern Seiko Sports 5 line has created a name for itself with all types of Colors and collaborations.
While it may not yet match the sheer Variety cherished by vintage Seiko and SKX enthusiasts, the latest quartet of new releases undoubtedly strengthens the contemporary Seiko 5 Sports collection.