Founded in 1881, Seiko is Japan’s leading watch company and one of the world’s largest in-house watch manufactures. In addition to Seiko branded watches, they also produce high-end timepieces under the Grand Seiko and Credor labels.

VIDEO: Seiko’s latest Astron is big, blue and very cool

We’ve spent a bit of time this week going back and forth over the finer points of Seiko’s latest Executive Sports Astrons, from the blingy SSE170J to the tennis-y SSE174J. Today, we’re having a look at another member of the family, which is, I have to say, my pick of the bunch: the blue-detailed SSE167J. Not only am I a sucker for a blue dial, but, for me, that glossy, three-dimensional ceramic bezel is a winner. Having said that, the surprise hit for me was that small mother-of-pearl second time zone display. Mother-of-pearl (or MOP to its friends) is a material typically found on more female-focused watches, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t work a treat on this space-age Seiko. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean. Seiko Astron Executive Sports SSE167J Australian pricing Seiko Astron SSE167J, $4200

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INTRODUCING: The Seiko Astron Novak Djokovic Limited Edition SSE174J

Tennis great Novak Djokovic and Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko began their (doubles) partnership at the beginning of 2014. Just a few months later, Djokovic regained his position as world number one – a ranking he then held for 28 months straight. Coincidence? Perhaps, but whether it’s causation or correlation, the fact remains that the partnership has been an exceptional one for all involved. Especially us, with Seiko releasing a slew of stellar limited editions that celebrate the tennis legend’s achievements over the years since. The latest ace to be rocketed over the net is Seiko’s brand-new Astron SSE174J, and keen-eyed tennis and watch fans may have already spotted it on the champion’s wrist this year, as the comeback kid lifted his trophies and achieved the impossible by clawing his way back from a ranking low of world No. 22 in May to ending the season as world No. 1. Like all other Astrons, whenever the dial of the Novak Djokovic Limited Edition SSE174J is exposed to direct sunlight, it’s simply adjusted to the precise local time at the touch of a button– via GPS signals that it receives through an under-the-dial ring antenna. Not only does this exposure to bright… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Ready for anything – the Seiko Astron SSE170J1

Seiko’s Astron (the new GPS one, not the groundbreaking quartz one) is a pretty incredible piece of kit. Ostensibly, it tells the time, day, date and a second time zone. But the trick is in the method. The Astron, thanks to GPS technology, keeps track of time by talking to satellites — a quite cool party trick. Given its go-anywhere accuracy and automatic time zone adjustment, it makes sense that the Astron is billed as an adventure watch for the travelling set. And never has that been more apparent than with this watch. Don’t mind the ‘Solar Executive Sports Series’ name, this watch is, in fact, the most rough and tumble Astron yet. The incredible versatility of the solar 8X53 is matched by the super-hard titanium case (with rose gold tone in this case) and ceramic bezel. The rich, golden brown ceramic bezel, by the way, is inlaid with UTC times on the top and IATA codes on the side, all of which, in a neat trick, have some impressive luminous powers. The shape of the case is more streamlined, too, a more rugged sporty look that downplays the still hefty 46.7mm diameter and 14.5mm height. Best of all, though,… Read More

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VIDEO: Seiko’s latest Astron is big, blue and very cool

We’ve spent a bit of time this week going back and forth over the finer points of Seiko’s latest Executive Sports Astrons, from the blingy SSE170J to the tennis-y SSE174J. Today, we’re having a look at another member of the family, which is, I have to say, my pick of the bunch: the blue-detailed SSE167J. Not only am I a sucker for a blue dial, but, for me, that glossy, three-dimensional ceramic bezel is a winner. Having said that, the surprise hit for me was that small mother-of-pearl second time zone display. Mother-of-pearl (or MOP to its friends) is a material typically found on more female-focused watches, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t work a treat on this space-age Seiko. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean. Seiko Astron Executive Sports SSE167J Australian pricing Seiko Astron SSE167J, $4200

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HANDS-ON: The Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri Limited Edition SPB085 

Over the last few years, Seiko has made a habit of releasing limited editions with exceptional enamel dials at very reasonable prices. First, there was the Moonlit Night, then the Shippo enamel, and now, the Urushi Byakudan-nuri. The vehicle for these delicate, incredible dials is the Presage collection. A classic round steel watch that marries dependability with dressability. But really, this 40.5mm case, and the 6R21 movement behind it are known quantities, and not what we’re here for. Honestly, we’re here for the dial. As is common with Seiko’s watches, especially the special, limited ones, there’s a story to this dial. It has been designed to evoke the look of the night sky just before dawn. This narrative goes a long way to explaining the unusual colour palette of the Byakudan-nuri. The base of the dial is made using the traditional Urushi technique we’ve seen on other limited edition Presage models. Here though, it’s jet black. The calendar subdials, crafted through the Byakudan-nuri technique, are in a deep, rich red, achieved with a careful sprinkling of fine metallic powder. Though the red is quite dark, it’s anything but dull, thanks to the way it plays in the light. This red… Read More

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LIST: 7 cool things I discovered at the Seiko Museum

If you’re ever in Tokyo, I strongly recommend making time for a detour to Sumida. Where? A residential area north of Tokyo Skytree – a bit of a backwater, to be honest. Why? For the Seiko Museum. Even if you’re not particularly a Seiko fan, it’s full of horological discoveries. And if you weren’t a Seiko fan before, you probably will be afterwards. Here are just a few of the many reasons why: The name Seiko’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, started his business in 1881; about a decade later, he opened his own factory – naming it Seikosha. The museum guide told me that Seiko is the Japanese word for “precise”. Wadokei – seasonal clocks Until 1872, timekeeping was based on seasonal variations, rather than the “fixed hours system” we are familiar with – where the length of a day is divided into equal portions, or hours. The “seasonal time system” used in Japan until the late 19th century, divided one day into daylight and night, then partitioned each into six parts. As the length of light relative to night changes from season to season, a daytime hour in summer would be longer than a daytime hour in winter. Consequently, clocks had… Read More

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NEWS: Step into Seiko’s Melbourne boutique Presage Bar for a Cocktail Time

Seiko’s Presage Cocktail Time is a family of watches that’s been having something of an extended moment. These dressy watches are inspired by iconic cocktails and famous mixologists. While they’ve existed since 2010, things really kicked off when the model became part of the global Presage family in 2017. At the core of these watches are the vivid and varied dials, something that is a Seiko strong point. And, of course, with dial options come strap options. Which brings us to the Presage Cocktail bar kit — which is serving up delicious Cocktail Time straps (not drinks, sadly) in Seiko’s Melbourne boutique until November 25. Basically, if you purchase a Cocktail Time you can choose an additional, customised strap/buckle combo from the Presage Bar, which can add a zesty twist to your Cocktail Time. Chin Chin!

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