The Japan Collection: A Series of Limited Edition Seikos Made for the Japanese Domestic Market

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If you’re a watch enthusiast, particularly a Seiko enthusiast, it’s worth it to seek out resources on new releases from outside your home country. The world of watches is enormous, and there’s a huge variety of regional releases in various markets that don’t get coverage from mainstream, English language watch media. From time to time we like to make our readers aware of watches that we’ve found in the far corners of the internet (and, more likely as of late, Instagram) that won’t see the light of day here in the United States, but might be of interest to those willing to import something unique. Today, we’ll take a look at the Japan Collection, a series of blue dialed Seikos that have been released to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society.

There are at least six references that make up this small collection, and we’ll focus on three that are versions of enthusiast favorites. First, the SBDC113, a blue “Sumo.” This diver is in the Prospex range, and carries a 200 meter water resistance rating, along with a 45mm case that borrows from classic Seiko dive watches of the past. It’s powered by a 6R35 movement and is equipped with a screw down crown and sapphire crystal, and has antimagnetic qualities. 

Image courtesy Japan-OnlineStore.com
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Next is the SBSA061, from the Seiko 5 Sports line. Like the other watches in this collection, the SBSA061 features a contrasting electric green seconds hand, which looks great against the sunburst blue dial. Like the latest watches in the bezel-less Seiko 5 Sports collection, this one is an easy to wear 40mm, and has a really nice polished blue bezel that reminds me of the considerably more expensive Grand Seiko SBGP015, a 9F powered quartz watch introduced earlier this year as part of the brand’s 60th anniversary celebration. 

Finally, the SARX081, with the same iridescent blue dial tone as the other watches in the series. This reference is my personal favorite of the three, and is a new spin on the Crown Chronograph tribute watches that were introduced back in February (and, somewhat controversially, were not at all chronographs). This watch is matched with the latest 6R movement with a 70 hour power reserve. Zach Weiss reviewed the green dialed variant right here.

Image courtesy Japan-OnlineStore.com
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We also found Japan Collection watches from the Seiko Brightz line, the Astron collection, and this blacked out, open heart SCVE055. All of the watches in the Japan Collection appear to be limited to 1,000 examples each, and are a great example of the diversity in JDM releases that can be found when you dive deep into the watch forums, follow far flung Instagram accounts, and generally keep your eyes peeled for releases that are marketed to other parts of the world.

Image courtesy Japan-OnlineStore.com

All of these watches appear to be sold through Japanese retailers exclusively. We found these blue Seikos through the @ippojapanwatch Instagram account, but have also seen them turn up elsewhere in the last week or so. Because of their limited production, if you find these watches interesting, it might be worth it to pounce on an opportunity to purchase them if found through a reliable outlet, and you can also expect them to start turning up on the second hand market as well.  

Do you have a favorite from the Japan Collection or know of a great non-domestic source for watches released to markets outside of the US? Be sure to leave a comment below. 

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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