Sometimes, as watch writers, we get news of a watch in a completely innocuous manner that seems to belie the impact it’ll have once its existence is well known. Purely a result of simple mathematical odds, this is often the case with a Seiko release. Because there are a lot of them, and whether it’s ambivalence or a quiet confidence, there’s rarely what I would call a real fanfare surrounding certain watch releases that could potentially go viral. Such is the case with this new Seiko 5 Sports release, a watch made to celebrate a much loved Japanese television series.
Introducing the Sci-Fi Influenced Seiko 5 Sports 55th Anniversary Ultraseven Limited Edition
The Seiko 5 Sports 55th Anniversary Ultraseven Limited Edition is inspired by a Japanese sci-fi show that comes from the same production company as Ultraman, which of course brought us the famed “Ultraman” Speedmaster, a watch that has proven to be highly collectible in both vintage and modern reissue versions. The Ultraseven show came later, and I’m not an expert on Japanese television, so I won’t try to parse all the details of its production for you here, but what you really need to know is that the design of the watch is cribbed from the “Ultra Guard” task force from the series. The overall aesthetic is in a 60s rooted sci-fi design language that is easy to understand if you have even a passing familiarity with the genre.
The larger idea behind the watch was to create a timepiece that looks like it might have been a tool used by the Ultra Guard in the show. The silver dial color and black highlights reference Ultra Guard uniforms, and the “TDF” acronym found on the strap and dial is a reference to the “terrestrial defense force,” which again is lifted right from the show. Flipping the watch over reveals a caseback featuring an engraving of the Ultraseven character along with a limited edition number.
Like other watches in the Seiko 5 Sports lineup, this one is 42.5mm in diameter and 13.4mm thick. It runs on the 4R36 movement, which has a power reserve of 41 hours. It has 100 meters of water resistance and does not use a screw down crown. I’m not sure if that is still an issue with Seiko purists, but it’s hard to be mad at a watch inspired by a niche Japanese TV show for not being ISO certified. Just my opinion.
The SRPJ79 is a limited edition of 3,400 pieces. It seems like for a particular audience, this watch hits a lot of nostalgic notes, and it could be a great companion watch if you’re lucky enough to own an Ultraman Speedmaster. Seiko expects these watches to be available in January 2023, and the retail price is $410. Seiko