Recent years have witnessed the return of many legendary watches. Some come back because of sheer nostalgia, and some come back because of the lack of original ideas among the producers. Surprisingly, the fake rolex watch new King Seiko seems to belong to yet another category of returns – motivated by someone’s disappearance.
The return of the King
The history of Seiko knows at least two intentional divisions that, in retrospect, have led to the further development of the company. The first of such divisions took place in 1959 and concerned the Suwa and Daini Seikosha factories, which from now on were to operate independently of each other. It was the healthy competition between these production centers that resulted in the creation of two top lines: Grand Seiko (in 1960) and King Seiko (in 1961).
At the top of the form, the GSs competed with the best proposals from the Swiss,
When Seiko unveiled the quartz Astron to the world in 1969, the future of mechanical movements was put into question. The names King Seiko and Grand Seiko ceased to appear on watch faces after 1975, giving way to the King Quartz and Grand Quartz models. While the KSs are gone for good, the Grand Seiko reappeared in 1988 with the introduction of the high-precision 95GS quartz calibers, and it did not really return to its roots until 1998,
when Seiko decided to restore mechanical calibers, this time in the form of the 9S series.
We are currently witnessing a second major division in Seiko’s history. In 2017, Grand Seiko became a separate entity – a prestigious brand that, just like in the past, is designed to compete with high-end proposals from abroad. Although from a marketing point of view this move is certainly right, for some time in the “regular” Seiko catalog we had to deal with the lack of a recognizable top line – this is about to change.
With this interregnum, King Seiko’s return to the top of the range seems to be something completely natural. Admittedly, two years ago, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the Seiko brand,
it used this pattern to create the reference SJE083 (which we wrote about HERE), and this year additionally presented the SJE087 model (which you can read HERE) – however, in both cases it was Limited offers, up to 3,000 and 1,700 pieces, respectively. The latest premiere, which includes the reviewed SPB281 model, is now unlimited and also more affordable – which of course has its pros and cons – but more on that in a moment.
The question of loyalty to the king
The exact dimensions of the King Seiko SPB281 are 37mm (diameter) by 12.1mm (thickness with glass) by 43.6mm (height lug is lug). For comparison, the original 44KS (ref. 44-9990) measures 36.6 mm by 11 mm by 43.5 mm, and the limited models SJE083 and SJE087: 38.1 mm by 11.4 mm by 44.7 mm. This gives us a glimpse of where the newest interpretations have dropped and where they have come – both in relation to each other and compared to the historical prototype.
Interestingly, the limited models, although noticeably larger than the original 44KS in diameter and height, retained an almost equally slim line – despite the use of automatic winding. In their cases it is due to a thin mechanism (3.69 mm) marked 6L35. In the reviewed SPB281, the 6R31 movement used is higher by over a millimeter (5.25 mm) and that is why it was not possible to maintain the same thickness of the watch. Another difference is in the glass itself. While in both limited and unlimited King Seiko we find a strongly convex sapphire glass (resembling old plexiglass),
As for the comfort on the wrist, the King Seiko’s current proportions bring it closer to another timepiece with royal connotations, namely the Rolex Datejust.On the wrist, this compact size has the right lightness, but also looks very elegant.
A feast worthy of a king
A real feast for the eye is the so-called a detail that we have mainly associated with Grand Seiko. The best example of this is the shield. In the SPB281 it is decorated with a delicate vertical cut, which makes the surface glossy, sometimes matt – it even takes on the characteristics of a precious metal,
real silver or platinum. This effect is complemented by wide, bevelled indices – including the prominent twelve o’clock double index with a micro-grid pattern – as well as carefully polished hands, reminiscent of double-edged swords. Although the offer also includes classic sun-cut discs in the following colors: silver (SPB279), black (SPB283), brown (SPB285), maroon (SPB287) and lilac (SPB291); Personally, I think that it is the reviewed SPB281 that stands out above the average, while not being overly noticeable.
The case finish in the new King Seiko, precise transitions between polished surfaces and satin (or rather brushing, looking at the expressiveness of the finish on the lugs and sides of the case) – all this makes a very good impression even on closer inspection. This level of metal processing is certainly not on par with the GS, but it is still something rare at this price point. An additional flavor is also the old King Seiko coat of arms, visible both on the full steel caseback and on the lace – no big deal, but in recent years the Japanese have not always paid attention to such details.
even in top models. The new bracelet harmonizes perfectly with the characteristic dial in the SPB281 and the case, while its construction resembles a combination of classic “rice grains” and the bracelet associated with AP Royal Oak – which is probably a sufficient compliment.
extending it not only visually – due to their design, they extend the actual lug to lug of the watch, increasing the potential for wearing it on larger wrists.
Nor would I be myself if I had not pointed out some inconveniences.
so shortening at home is not a pleasant experience).
which is useful in case of sudden changes in temperature.
A kingdom for a horse
These terms mean a werk that fulfills its role well on a daily basis, but does not have special craftsmanship. As you can easily guess, I am writing about it because in the new King Seiko we deal with this “horse”. Evidently, there was not enough gold for a genuine steed, and it is difficult to ascertain whether it is more for the good of the royal treasury or for the pockets of the subjects themselves. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
for which the Japanese have to pay dearly (the difference in price is almost twice). For the same reason,
This movement is thicker than the 6L35,
visually a bit less beautiful, beats less frequently (21,600 swings per hour), but has a longer power reserve (70 hours). If we were to look for other advantages, unlike the 6L35, the 6R31 does not have a date display, and as the wise proverb says: “when something is missing, it will not break”.
King is dead long live the king?
The use of an average movement in a model from such a legendary line as King Seiko may be a wasted potential for many people. The catalog price of the SPB281 on the bracelet is about PLN 8,000 and if you think about what we are really paying for,
this time it will not be a rich interior, but a noble pedigree, supported by remarkable beauty.