Seiko brings their “Birth & Rebirth” exhibition Down Under, featuring rare vintage watches & Power Design Project pieces Seiko brings their “Birth & Rebirth” exhibition Down Under, featuring rare vintage watches & Power Design Project pieces

Seiko brings their “Birth & Rebirth” exhibition Down Under, featuring rare vintage watches & Power Design Project pieces

Jamie Weiss

Technically, the company we know as Seiko can trace its origins back to 1881, when its visionary founder Kintaro Hattori founded a watch and jewellery shop in Tokyo that sold imported timepieces. In 1892, Hattori began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha – it was not until 1924 that the first Seiko-branded watch hit the market. In 2024, Seiko is commemorating that centenary with its first pop-up exhibition in Australia, located on George Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

Titled “Birth and Rebirth”, it’s effectively a mini version of the Seiko Museum Ginza, which both Zach and I were fortunate enough to visit last year. I was in Sydney earlier this week and had a chance to view the exhibition before its public opening, and I reckon it compares well to the Ginza museum experience – it’s a must-visit for any Aussie watch fans.

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition history

It’s split into two sections – Birth and Rebirth. The Birth section details Seiko’s history, from its founding in 1881 to the present day. Seiko has brought some rare archival watches out to Australia for the exhibition, including a Laurel from 1913, the first Japanese wristwatch; a Crown Chronograph from 1964, the first Japanese chronograph watch; and a Quartz Astron, the world’s first quartz watch. Fun fact: the Quartz Astron retailed in Japan for the same price as a new Toyota Corolla at the time. FP Journe, eat your heart out.

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition quartz astron

The Rebirth section of the exhibit focuses on the creations of Seiko’s Power Design Project – an experimental initiative whereby Seiko’s talented young designers reinterpret vintage Seiko designs in sometimes weird and wacky ways. Two of Seiko’s designers were there on the day, too: Yuya Suganuma, who’s best known for designing the exceedingly popular Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee; and Natsuhiko Takahashi, responsible for many modern Prospex designs. It was great to chat directly with the designers about the design processes behind their inventive remixes on Seiko classics.

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition power design project

Takahashi-san’s entry into the Power Design Project is called the Shikakuro, the name of which combines the words for “square” and “chronograph” and, unsurprisingly, is modelled after a Seiko square chronograph launched in 1971. He pointed out that currently, Seiko doesn’t have any square chronographs in their current range – indeed, Seiko don’t have many shaped watches in their current range. The Shikakuro’s big party trick is that it features customisable bezels: unscrew four screws at the back and you can swap in different coloured steel, aluminium or recycled plastic bezels to change the look of the watch.

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition shikakuro

Suganuma-san’s design is a reinterpretation of the Tisse ladies’ watch, launched in 1984. He explains that his design is inspired by the loose-fitting fashion found in Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya district, as well as a desire to break conventional stereotypes about men’s or ladies’ watches. He redesigned the Tisse to look more like a bracelet, with an asymmetrical design whereby half the links are roughly the same size as the watch head, making the watch seem less small on the wrist. I know Buffy would absolutely love this watch.

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition tisse

Not all of the watches in the Power Design Project are likely to make their way to production: indeed, Seiko is giving attendees to the pop-up exhibition the chance to vote on their favourite design, in order to gauge which of the designs are commercially viable. I think that’s particularly exciting – a change to vote on the future of Seiko!

seiko birth and rebirth exhibition kids tuna
This one’s cute: a kid’s watch inspired by the beefy Prospex SBBN047 “Tuna”.

The Seiko Birth & Rebirth pop-up exhibition runs from Friday the 15th to Sunday the 24th of March 2024 at Shop 54, Mid City Centre, 420 George Street, Sydney (just down from the Seiko boutique). Additionally, between Friday 15th and Sunday 17th, Suganuma-san and Takahashi-san will be at the exhibition to chat with attendees about the Power Design Project and their creations. Entry is completely free. If you’re in Sydney, definitely don’t miss it.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Watch meme of the week: mental gymnastics


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Personally, I think the new white lacquer dial Speedy is stunning, but I also think that some Omega fans are doing to it what we all collectively do to Rolex. 2023’s wacky releases notwithstanding, it certainly has been the case for years that Rolex introduces a new dial or bezel colour and we all lose our minds, while other brands do crazy shit and we don’t bat an eye. Whatever. I wish I owned either of these white-dialled chronos.

Wrist shot of the week: Western Australian gold


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Indulge me for a moment, but this Barbagallo x H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Tourbillon 8+ is easily one of the most sumptuous watches I’ve ever had the chance to wrist model. It’s H.R. Giger meets Goldfinger: weighs a ton, has an amazing biomechanical look and screams devilish luxury. A solitary emerald can be found at the 8 o’clock position, referencing Barbagallo’s hometown of Perth’s GMT +8 timezone (hence the name). Green and gold – Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Baltic Hermétique Glacier

baltic hermetique glacier feature

The Baltic Hermétique truly is an incredible GADA proposition, but one thing that’s been sorely missing for many fans, however, has been a black dial. I mean, how can you make an everyday watch without one? Not to toot our own horn, but we kind of remedied that with the super-stealthy Time+Tide x Baltic Hermétique Night Mode, but the brand itself has now introduced a brand-new dial duo. The Baltic Hermétique Glacier takes inspiration from icy expanses, rendered in a frosty white or textured black. Dials with similar amounts of depth are difficult to find, especially at this price point, making these Baltics a unique value proposition. They’re available either on a Tropic-style rubber strap as well as on a flat-link or beads of rice steel bracelet.

Pre-order now from the Time+Tide Shop or at our Melbourne Discovery Studio. Price: A$1,150 (rubber ), A$1,250 (steel).

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week

The Time+Tide team pick their favourite watch size

favourite watch size desktop

Size very much matters, though we’re limiting ourselves to the realm of watchmaking. When it comes to a wristwatch, aside from whether or not someone can afford a watch the most important factor is whether or not the watch fits you (yes philosophically, but more importantly physically). The thing is, the perspective of what is a perfect size and fit is a completely subjective thing. So, we put the question to the Time+Tide editorial team – what is your favourite watch size? We all had very different answers – read ’em here.

Jeremy Allen White’s go-to Vacheron Constantin Patrimony is as clean as his white tees

Jeremy Allen White, known for his tenure as Lip on the American version of Shameless, and latest hit show The Bear, playing the role of Jeff Berzatto – sorry, chef Berzatto – made headlines in fashion circles for his white tee. Viewers took notice, tracking down the maker, to discover it was no simple Hanes shirt – rather a US$105 Merz B. Schwanen loopwheel cotton shirt. What’s the point of all this? Well, White is a bit of a style influencer, and as such, when appearing on the red carpet he and his team have to ensure he is maintaining that status quo. To go with his sartorial stylings, his wrist is often adorned by this Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-Winding that Zach went hands-on with here.

Tacos and timepieces with Mitch Greenblatt, and the most leftfield vintage watch collection you’ve ever seen


Instagram is filled with watch collectors sharing their drool-worthy collections, but according to D.C., there’s one collector’s compendium that towers above, at least in its sheer scope: the online museum of curiosities known as @horolovox, a.k.a. Mitch Greenblatt. D.C. had the chance to grab dinner with the man and talk about his collection as well as the finer points of vintage watch design, which he’s written up here.