Seiko is known for reliable, robust and value-driven offerings – undercutting the prices of their competitors without compromising quality. They are also known for their creative collaborations, incorporating popular culture like Naruto anime into their designs. Today, their latest partnership is with the popular Japanese skate brand Evisen in the new Seiko 5 Sports X Evisen Skateboards watches. Evisen Skateboards was founded in 2011, the name derived from the word ‘‘everything’’ pronounced with Japanese intonation. The name was chosen to express their belief that ‘‘skateboarding is everything’’. The brand has released a variety of products that incorporate ancient Japanese traditions and culture, as well as works by artists associated with the brand – a production culture very in line with what Seiko offers. The result of the partnership is three limited-edition Seiko 5 Sports watches that incorporate elements of Seiko and Evisen design.
The three cases share the same dimensions with each watch 42.5mm in diameter and 13.4mm thick. Each of the cases are satin-brushed on their front with a tapered polished bevel to the brushed lug hoods. The casebands of each are executed in full mirror polish, blending sporty and elegant finishes. As a Seiko 5 Sports watch, it is fitting that all three have a water resistance of 100 metres. The crown at 4′ may be push/pull, but its gaskets ensure it is up to the task for water activity. While the SRPF93 and SRPF95 are both cased in stainless-steel, the SRPF94 stands apart with a stainless-steel case that has a yellow gold plating. In terms of dial and bezel schemes, there are three distinct and different configurations to choose from.
Seiko 5 Sports x Evisen SRPF93 (1,500 pieces)
The SRPF93 leverages the most neutral design, with a colour scheme that suits a wide spectrum of tastes. According to Seiko, “the off-white dial resembles the urethane material of a skateboard wheel, and the calf belt resembles the wood-grained skateboard deck”.
While the leather strap is a nice pairing in terms of aesthetic, be sure to have a NATO or rubber strap on standby if you want to take the watch into water. To further drive home the skateboard/skater aesthetic, at the centre of the dial you’ll find the image of a skateboard’s bearing.
The hexagonal hour indexes are designed to resemble the axle nuts that connect the wheel to the truck, with the 12′ index with an Evisen ‘E’. The day date windows display black on white discs that blend well into the off-white dial.
The large hours and minutes hands are made of stainless-steel, with an off-white LumiBrite coating that also matches the dial tone.
Seiko 5 Sports x Evisen SRPF94 (1,500 pieces.)
For more precious metal flash and flair, the SRPF94 is your best bet. The model incorporates the Evisen logo Samurai helmet into its design. The inner bezel of the dial has a wave-like pattern throughout the inner ring.
The silicon strap has an original paisley pattern that adds a subtle accent to its look. The matte brushed black bezel is specially designed with kanji characters, incorporating Japanese taste in every detail.
The hands are yellow gold in tone, with black LumiBrite coatings for added visibility in darkness. Here Seiko has leveraged white on black discs for the day-date complication in an effort to better blend into the dial.
Seiko 5 Sports x Evisen SRPF95 (700 pieces.)
The SRPF95 has the most bold aesthetic by far, but its design is by no means random for the sake of it. According to Seiko, “the sashimi-red dial and the textured rice band are inspired by one of Evisen’s icons, tuna sushi. The tip of the crown is colored in the image of soy sauce. The hour, minute, and second hands with LumiBrite, which glow in the dark, are uniquely colored, reminiscent of tuna and wasabi.”
The dial does not have metal indices to display the hours and minutes, instead its design leverages a stepped inner bezel with a printed hashmark track to convey the information. This allows the dial pattern to be unobstructed, a design choice I think most buyers will agree with. That being said, it would have been really cool if Seiko had a white on red date disc configuration as the black on white discs to not match the tone of the dial.
The only concern, from a functionality standpoint, is the timing bezel is not very practical – instead it’s more abstract to extend the pattern from the dial onto the bezel. Of the three references, it will be the most rare having a production less than half of the other two.
Each of the watches are powered by the Seiko in-house caliber 4R36, visible beneath the Hardlex crystal exhibition casebacks. The robust and reliable movement has 41 hours of power reserve and a more classic beat rate of 21,600 vph. While by no means a chronometer regulated movement, it’s robust build will ensure the movement does not stop running over the course of daily wear and shock.
Especially at the price point, it’s a quality movement that is built in-house by Seiko – something most manufacturers could not boast at this price tier. A true benefit of being one of the world’s few truly vertically integrated manufacturers.
As a nice added touch for the limited edition watches, each of the models are offered in a special presentation box with a unique Japanese feel. The back of the lid is printed with the logo of the “路滑板製造会社”.
Seiko 5 Sports x Evisen Skateboards Limited Edition specifications, pricing, and availability:
Vibrations: 21,600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second)
Power reserve: 41 hours
Number of jewels: 24
Diameter: 42.5mm, Thickness: 13.4mm Water resistance: 10 bar
Stainless steel case (SRPF93, 95) Stainless steel case with yellow gold color plating (SRPF94) all with Hardlex crystal See-through screw case back.
Silicone strap (SRPF94, 95) Calf strap (SRPF93)
Limited editions of 1,500 (SRPF93, 94) / 700 (SRPF95)