INTRODUCING: The Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited EditionsZach Blass
Seiko is on a roll with collaborations this year, recently teaming up with Naruto and Evisen Skateboards among others. Now Seiko has announced a new collaboration limited edition with the Japanese manufacturer teaming up with artist AUTO MOAI. According to Seiko, “AUTO MOAI is an artist working in Japan with the theme ‘anonymity’. AUTO MOAI depicts the relationships between people who are tacitly connected to each other on the streets, which are hard to visualise, with faceless people.” Ironically, however, AUTO MOAI has worked with Seiko to introduce a new face and design to the Seiko 5 Sports lineup – resulting in two Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Editions that will be anything but anonymous on the wrist with their eye-grabbing designs.
Both of the Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Editions use the same case design, fashioned in stainless steel with a black hard coating for an extra layer of resistance to scratching. They are each 42.5mm in diameter, 13.4mm thick, and 46mm across the wrist lug-to-lug. The cases are rated to depths up to 100 metres, and considering their black scratch-resistant finishes and designs they are both highly artistic and robust watches perfect for daily wear.
Both watches share the same black dial plate, featuring AUTO MOAI’s iconic motif “faceless figures”, but there are subtle differences between the two. The SRPG43K1 utilises white metal hours and minutes hands filled with sage-toned LumiBrite coatings. The applied hour markers, however, have crisp white LumiBrite coatings. The central second hand is blackened and red-tipped, with its lollipop-esque counterweight also filled with crisp white LumiBrite. There is a stepped inner bezel with white printed hash marks to assist in signalling the minutes and cause minimal disruption to the dial motif.
The SBSA125J is largely the same, but its subtle differences make a big impact. Here the LumiBrite coatings are black across the dial, and the calendar complication blends into the black of the dial with white on black day-date discs instead of the black on white discs found in the SRPG43K1. The bezel motif that serves as an extension of the dial motif really takes into account the parallax effect, the lines from the dial seamlessly continuing onto the bezel. Everywhere the bezel is black on the SRPG43K1 is white on the SBSA125J and vice versa. While the bezel may not seem very practical, my recommendation would be to use the gap of colour as your timing indicator pip. If you look just after the second hour marker where the pattern resumes, that is personally what I would repurpose as a bezel pip if needed.
Each of the leather straps are printed with artwork exclusively designed for the collaboration watches. Like the bezel design they share the same pattern but are inverses of each other. The more black coloured leather strap is appropriately paired with the SBSA125J and the more white coloured strap is paired with the SRPG43K1.
The Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Editions both have exhibition casebacks with a “faceless figures” motif illustrated on the hardflex crystal. Considering the rather industrial finish of the in-house caliber 4R36, I don’t think anyone will be opposed to the added layer of dimension to the view. The caliber 4R36 is a robust shock-resistant movement that maintains a classic beat rate of 21,600 vph. It has a power reserve of 41 hours, which at the price point is respectable. An added bonus of the caliber is that it resists against magnetism with a rating of 4,800 A/m.
One important note regarding the illustrated caseback. Seiko has disclosed that the caseback orientation may be different from the images above, and that they will also include the serial number of the watch.
Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Editions pricing and availability:
The Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI SRPG43K1 is a limited edition of 1,500 pcs. and will be available at Seiko Boutiques & Authorized Dealers. Price: $725
The Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI SBSA125J is a limited edition of 300 pcs. and will be exclusively available at Seiko Boutiques Price: $725
The watches are offered in a special box with the same design as the strap. Included is a special booklet featuring the artwork created specially by AUTO MOAI for the watches.
Both will be available beginning in May.