HANDS-ON: The King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087 HANDS-ON: The King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087

HANDS-ON: The King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087

Fergus Nash

The King Seiko era is an often overlooked piece of Seiko’s long and bountiful history, as this brand with so many achievements is never short of watches to be celebrated. But, as last year marked the 60th anniversary of the King Seiko range’s appearance, there’s been a push to honour it in the best way Seiko know how — with a selection of gorgeous reissues. The latest off the block is the King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087.


King Seiko is often referred to as a competitor to Grand Seiko, with two factories in the 1960s trying to outdo each other as Seiko’s high-end arm. The truth is a lot murkier, but Grand Seiko won the luxury spot, and King Seiko releases now represent a stepping stone between the classy luxury of Grand Seiko, and the pragmatism of regular Seiko. The 1965 King Seiko KSK was already reissued in 2020 as part of Seiko’s 140th Anniversary celebrations, but this new SJE087 reference more strongly echoes the luxury aspects of the KSK with a champagne dial and gilt features.

The case


Modern watchmaking puts a lot of focus into the dial, which differs from the rather conservative trends of the 1950s and early ‘60s. When watches were both legitimate tools as well as status symbols, sophistication and legibility was much more important than a bright colour or rare material. Because King Seiko were attempting to distinguish themselves as a high-end product, the design of the case was the main way they were able to instantly show off their manufacturing and finishing prowess, while keeping everything else simple.

The King Seiko KSK from 1965 presents as a deliberate and regal affair, with the lugs distinctly placed quite wide across the head of the watch to give it that stocky, planted quality on the wrist. The SJE087 is a faithful modern re-creation of that same attitude, looking like it truly belongs on whomever is wearing it. The harsh chamfer on the edges of the lugs creates a sharp-looking angle, which was been Zaratsu polished to a distortion-free mirror for the ultimate light play. It’s 38mm in diameter, settling nicely into the vintage/modern pocket and the 11.4mm thickness is only 0.5mm thicker than the original.

The dial


The art of the champagne dial has seemingly been omnipresent in dressy wristwatches, without any information available on who could have produced them first. While the original King Seiko KSK had a shining sunburst silver dial, the move to a golden-hued champagne for the SJE087 imbues the watch with a wholesome warmth that evokes more vintage charm for a modern collector. The use of yellow gold for the hands and applied details also leans into the side of King Seiko that aimed to be more than a steel everyday watch, and mirrors the gold medallion fused onto the caseback.

Those applied hour markers also denote that this watch isn’t any regular Seiko, especially with the knurled pattern at 12 o’clock. The original acrylic crystal has been substituted with a box-domed sapphire crystal, providing some of that outer edge distortion we love from vintage watches while keeping itself protected from scratches. The case is scratch-resistant too, with Seiko’s super-hard coating having been applied.

The movement


Seiko’s 6L35 is one of their upper-end movements without reaching Grand Seiko territory, with a slender height of 3.69mm that allows this automatic watch to be only slightly thicker than its manual winding predecessors. It has a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, smoother than the 21,600 of the ubiquitous 4R35, and 45 hours of power reserve. It was first used for certain Presage models, proving its heightened status. Although Seiko watches usually pride themselves on their display casebacks, the SJE087 has a solid one with an engraved golden medallion of the King Seiko shield.

The King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087 pricing and availability:

The King Seiko KSK Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE087 is limited to just 1,700 pieces, and will be available for a price of €3,300.

Case Material Stainless Steel
Case Dimensions 38.1mm x 11.4mm
Water-Resistance 50m
Dial Champagne
Straps Crocodile leather
Movement 6L35
Power Reserve 45 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Price €3,300