Introducing Seiko’s ‘Ginza’ 140th Anniversary Collection
Seiko’s latest pair of limited edition watches are the first of Seiko’s timepieces that pays homage to the brand’s humble beginnings as a watch and clock repair shop in Ginza, Tokyo in Japan. The two models, SPB259J1 and SSA445J1, are based on two existing models from the Presage and Prospex families, the Open-Heart 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation and the 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation, respectively. Both watches share idiosyncratic dials that encapsulate the landscape and feel of Ginza’s traditional cobblestoned streets.
Seiko was founded 140 years ago in Ginza, however the brand still maintains a discernible presence in the area today. Seiko continues to operate from the Wako department store in Ginza, which was the location chosen by Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, to expand on the brand’s operations. The original building was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, however it was redesigned by Jin Watanabe and it features the iconic Seiko clocktower which has become a central landmark of the Ginza district. Seiko’s presence is also felt in the area through their flagship store and a Seiko museum.
The dial design featured in the Seiko’s ‘Ginza’ Collection continues to pay homage to the brand’s birthplace through the colour of the seconds hand. It is finished in a colour called ‘Komparu’ which is a traditional Japanese colour named after Komparu Street, where Ginza’s nightlife was once centred. This blue colour with a soft green tone was first used in the middle Meiji era (1868 – 1912). It instantly found favour among the many geishas who lived there and then gradually became a popular colour among the public.
The Prospex Limited Edition SPB259J1 is limited to 3,500 models and it is based on the 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation, which is based on Seiko’s first sports watch. The Presage Limited Edition SSA445J1 is limited to 4000 models and it is based on the Open-Heart Style 60s model that is inspired by the 1964 Crown Chronograph.
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