Stealth-help: Seiko creates kick-ass new collection inspired by Naruto’s anime ninjasZach Blass
Naruto is one of the biggest-selling manga series in history, selling 250 million copies worldwide. The Japanese anime series followed the adventures of a young ninja, Naruto Uzumaki, while a spin-off series, Boruto, subsequently focused on Naruto’s son. The shows’ all-action exploits have now inspired Seiko to create a new collection of seven watches based on some of the central characters from the show.
Before we dig into the distinct characteristics of each reference, let’s dig into the elements they all have in common. The watches are essentially variations on the Seiko 5 Sports watch that’s widely regarded as a great first watch for budding collectors. More importantly in this instance, it’s a top option for any self-respecting ninja due to the watch’s high degree of resistance to shock and daily wear.
Each of the seven cases are made of stainless steel, have dimensions of 42.5mm in diameter and 13.4mm in thickness, and have a protected crown at the 4 position. You will find a day-date complication at the 3 position on every model as well. They are all powered by the robust Seiko manufacture automatic Caliber 4R36, with 24 jewels, 41-hour power reserve, and a hacking second hand (take that, Patek Philippe). All are water resistant to 10o metres and have exhibition casebacks to provide a window into the Seiko engine. Each of the seven watches in the series will be available in a run of 6500 pieces.
NARUTO UZUMAKI – SBSA092
The SBSA092 pays tribute to the most iconic character of the series with its design evoking Naruto’s trademark orange outfit. The strap directly matches the character’s wardrobe, with orange nylon and a blue stripe at its centre. The bezel has a ghosted and frosted effect in its execution, symbolising the battle-worn nature of the animation’s title character. At the 12 position of the bezel you will find the symbol found on Naruto’s forehead protector, which is a symbol of the village that he hails from.
Distinct to Naruto, his “Rasengan” fighting style inspires the spiral pattern of the dial and as you reach the outer extremities of each burst, the orange begins to fade to black. This creates a really nice fume effect and elevates the overall aesthetic of the watch. According to Seiko, the nine orange indexes hint at the spirit of Nine-Tails, the powerful fox spirit that is sealed within Naruto (it’s a long story…). Meanwhile the shape of the index marker at 12 represents the pendant he inherited from Tsunade, a senior leader of his village. The Uzumaki Clan’s Kamon, or Japanese emblem used to decorate and identify an individual, family, or institution, is printed on the caseback.
Important to note, this is the only watch of the seven to receive a yellow gold colour plating.
SASUKE UCHIHA – SBSA091
The look and attire of Sasuke, Naruto’s friend and combat rival, is reflected in every aspect of the watch. Known for his blue and grey outfit, the dial is a sunburst metallic blue. The pattern found on the dial reflects his trademark Jutsu “Chidori”. As an added detail, the Jutsu’s hand sign is discreetly highlighted on the one, three and eight o’ clock positions. The horizontal line on the Hidden Leaf Village symbol on the bezel represents the scar marked on his forehead protector by Naruto, and the watch crown is engraved with the Clan’s unique “Sharingan” sign. On the caseback is printed the Uchiha Clan’s Kamon.
SHIKAMARU NARA – SBSA097
The theme of the Shikamaru-inspired watch really embodies the character’s “Shadow Possession Jutsu”. This watch is the only one in the collection to feature a blackened stainless steel case, which pairs really well with the metallic grey sunburst dial and its black luminous hands. To capture the green accents of Shikamaru’s clothing, both the luminous material and outer dial ring are rendered in green. If you direct your eyes to the inner bezel of the watch, you will see a replication of the mesh-like nature of Shikamaru’s shirt. The indexes are designed in the shape of his favorite Shogi game pieces, and the caseback carries the Nara Clan’s Kamon.
ROCK LEE – SBSA095
The color combination found on the SBSA095 is reminiscent of Lee’s trademark jumpsuit and leg warmers. The dial is fashioned in a metallic sunburst green and its hands and markers are filled with beige tone luminous material. The nylon strap is green to match the jumpsuit, with an orange stripe to match the leg warmers. The bezel, from the eight to 12 position, conveys the bandages found on his arms and thigh. The remaining surface area of the bezel is green and represents “The Eight Inner Gates”, of which Lee had managed to open up the fifth gate to obtain the extraordinary “Hidden Lotus” (again, it’s a long story). On the caseback are the kanji characters meaning “guts”, as found on his heavy ankle weights.
GAARA – SBSA093
This dial is inspired by sand, an element associated with Gaara’s character, and the kanji character for “love” at the one o’clock position brings Gaara and the One-Tailed sealed inside him to life. The bezel is rendered in a sand-matching colour tone from zero to 15 on the bezel’s timing scale, with its remainder in a striking dark grey. The markers throughout the dial are executed as sharp grey triangles, with only the 12-hour triangle marker rendered in luminous beige to match the hour and minute hands (as well as the lollipop-like pip on the seconds hand). The pattern inspired by the mark on his gourd is seen on both the inner bezel and caseback. And if you hadn’t already noticed, this is the only watch within the collection to have a sand-brown colour-treated case.
BORUTO UZUMAKI – SBSA087
The first of the Baruto duo of watches, the dial of the SBSA087 also has the Naruto’s Jutsu “Rasengan” spiral pattern he inherited from his father, but in black. The colour of his costume is reflected in the vivid pink accents on the centre of the nylon strap and tip of the seconds hand. The 12 o’clock index is inspired by the bolt, as seen in the animation’s logo, and the Uzumaki Clan’s Kamon is printed on the caseback.
SARADA UCHIHA – SBSA089
The red gradation dial of the SBSA089 has a lot of depth to its aesthetic. It is meant to portray the “Fire Style: Fire Ball Jutsu” Sarada inherited from her father, Sasuke. The single Tomoe mark that replaces a baton marker at 4 o’clock indicates she is still a young ninja in training in pursuit of improving her “Sharingan”. The two-tone bezel is symbolic of how she has inherited both her father’s and her mother’s characteristics as a ninja but, to us watch enthusiasts, takes the form of a “Coke” bezel. Like all of the watches above, the inner bezel is stepped and serves to display the minute hash marks without interrupting the aesthetic of the dial. The Uchiha Clan’s Kamon is printed on both the bezel and the caseback.
Seiko 5 Sports NARUTO & BORUTO Limited Edition pricing and availability:
The Seiko 5 Sports NARUTO & BORUTO series will be available worldwide at Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners in December. Each are limited editions of 6500 pieces, priced at $460 USD.
Each watch will come with a box inspired by the Earth and Heaven Scrolls from the Chunin Exams, a widescale examination used to test the skill of junior Ninja.