10 of the best and most random 2022 Seiko limited editionsBorna Bošnjak
Well-known for releasing copious numbers of limited and special editions, Seiko have a seemingly non-depletable source of inspiration to plumb. So we thought we’d look back at the weird and wonderful 2022 Seiko limited editions – five absolute winners, and five quirky odd-jobs.
Prospex Black Series
What a strong start – we got to check out this murdered-out trio at the start of the year and were impressed by the execution. The Black Series consists of Seiko’s most popular Prospex models – the SPB253 descendant from the 62MAS, the SPB255 which is a baby Marinemaster, and the SPB257 embodied by the iconic Willard shape – all with specially woven Japanese straps.
Alpinist Rock Face SPB355J1
As a staunch proponent of the Alpinist cause, I couldn’t not include the European market special Rock Face. While most Alpinists settle with a rich sunburst finish, the Rock Face is equipped with a heavily textured and reflective backdrop to blued applied numerals and cathedral hands. It may not be the best comparison, but – in the best way possible – it reminds me of those windscreen sunshades occupying parking lots on a hot day. The rest is a familiar story. A 6R35 movement, rotating inner bezel and 200 metres of water resistance means the Alpinist cements its place as an amazing all-rounder.
Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports 2022
I could certainly get used to the yearly collaboration between Seiko and Rowing Blazers. After knocking it out of the park last year with racing-inspired 5KX models, this year they’ve applied their touch to its bezel-less sibling. Taking inspiration from the ’70s-era Sport Diver and its bright orange dial and blocky indices, the collection is once again brilliant. After some confusion about the number of watches in their first run, Rowing Blazers and Seiko capped this release at 888 pieces per colourway. Let’s see what they come up with next year.
Laurel 110th Anniversary Re-Edition SPB359
Ain’t she pretty. Celebrating the 110th anniversary of Seiko’s (and Japan’s) first-ever wristwatch, the brand is introducing a 2,500-piece run of the Presage Laurel Re-Edition, taking its name after the original. The 37.5mm case is fully polished, with distinct lugs connecting to a deerskin leather strap, encasing the gorgeous fired enamel dial by master Mitsuru Yokusawa. The delicate hands and red-painted 12 o’clock index are straight from the original, though the re-edition gains two extra hands in the form of the power reserve at 9 o’clock and date at 6 o’clock.
Launched alongside an expansion to Seiko’s “Save the Ocean” initiative, now including all Prospex models, the Eucalyptus is one of two Australian-inspired limited editions that launched this year. The dial gets its colour from the golden-green shimmer emanated by eucalyptus trees during the peak of Australian summer, boosted by the rich sunburst effect. Dimension-wise, it’s a turtle, so expect it to wear large but compact thanks to its short lug-to-lug. You can check out the full review here.
Seiko x Nano Universe SZQV020
We’ve covered off the five phenomenal, so let’s get into the five unexpected, to say the least. We start of with this – no, it’s not a mod from some Seiko forum enthusiast, rather a 300-piece limited edition from Nano Universe. Spelling out the obvious – from the orange hand, fauxtina-coloured arrow indices and matte black dial, this could only be an homage to the McQueen Explorer, ref. 1655. Quartz-powered and sized at 35mm, the SZQV020 is so cute.
Seiko x Rukkit “The Tiger” SRPJ92 and PUA041K
Seiko special editions and Thailand – name a better love story. While there are numerous to choose from each year, this tiger-inspired design from local street artist Rukkit Sathapruana, caught my eye for two reasons. The first is the unusual combination of black PVD bracelet and gold PVD case. The other, and the even more intriguing, is that a wall clock was also a part of this collab.
With reference PUA041K, it continues the tiger theme, though without the tiger stripe-derived design found on the bezel of the wristwatch.
Seiko x Demon Slayer
Seiko has been leaning into their inner weeb hard, with many anime collaborations – JoJo, Pokemon and One Piece all got their time in the spotlight, just to name a few. However, released specially for the Chinese market was this collaboration with Demon Slayer, one of the most popular anime series in recent times. The watches carry designs based on the three main characters, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke, and one of the main protagonists of the latest feature-length film, the Hashira Rengoku.
Seiko 5 x Chaos Fishing Club SBSA171 and SBSA169
Taking the victory for weirdest collaboration name is the Chaos Fishing Club pair of limited editions. While I like to think of myself as fairly well-acquainted with the world of fashion, Chaos Fishing Club must’ve slipped through the cracks while I browsed niche Japanese brands. The streetwear brand used inspiration from fishing lures for the dials of the 5KX duo, while the casebacks feature the brand motto: “Will you do it at last?”
Seiko x Hatsune Miku 15th Anniversary
You may not believe it, but this isn’t the first instance of a Hatsune Miku-branded Seiko. While the first celebrated the 2020 winter festival, this latest piece commemorates 15 years since the digital waifu software launched. Painted with her recognisable colourway, the watch is also accompanied by a warranty card featuring special Miku artwork. The only thing missing is a body pillow.