From a humble clock repair shop in Tokyo to one of the world’s leading watch brands, Seiko has grown exponentially over the years. Throughout its lifetime, the brand has built itself a cult following as well as being responsible for many milestone models. However, one of its most monumental was the ‘Laurel’, which was Japan’s first-ever wristwatch. Today, Seiko celebrates the 110th anniversary of the ‘Laurel’ with seven exciting launches.
Seiko Celebrates 110th ‘Laurel’ Anniversary with Seven Launches: The Complete 110th Anniversary ‘Laurel’ Collection
The Seiko Astron is known as the world’s first solar GPS watch, and the new ‘Laurel’ model extends this legacy. Powered by light, the watch’s 3X62 calibre movement never needs a battery change. Moreover, thanks to its cutting-edge GPS function, the time on your Astron automatically adjusts to your local time zone. As a result, this watch makes for perfect hassle-free travelling.
Similarly to the original ‘Laurel’, the dial of the Astron is white with red accents, such as the index above the 12 o’clock position. For a modernised edge, the watch’s vintage roots are rejuvenated with an updated geometric bezel. However, the design also leans into its classic charm with a brown leather strap, the material of which is from tanneries with an LWG certification. Additionally, with its super hard-coated titanium casing and sapphire crystal, the new Astron also excels from a practical standpoint.
Seiko 110th Anniversary ‘Laurel’ Limited Edition Prospex Alpinist Mechanical GMT (1 of 3,000) SPB409J1
Combining the words ‘professional’ and ‘specifications’, you can depend on the Seiko Prospex range for reliable and durable timepieces.
Like the other models in the range, the new Prospex Alpinist mimics the original design of the Laurel through its white dial with a red keymarker above 12 o’clock. It’s coupled with three stylish blue central hands in addition to a contrasting rhodium GMT hand for the second timezone. Within its 39.5mm stainless steel case, Seiko’s in-house 6R54 calibre powers the watch. As a result, the new Alpinist is the first mechanical GMT Prospex watch to have a three-day power reserve. Finally, completing the design is a choice of either an elegant stainless steel bracelet or a sustainably-sourced brown leather strap.
Seiko 110th Anniversary ‘Laurel’ Limited Edition Prospex 1/100th of a Second Speedtimer (1 of 3,500) SFJ009P1
Following the success of the recently released 1/100th of a Second Speedtimers, the next ‘Laurel’ is an all-new limited edition version.
With its unique four-subdial arrangement, the watch divides up all its functions for improved ease of reading. Optimising this further, the black colour of the subdials contrasts the Laurel-style white base dial for enhanced visibility. Moreover, the red hands on each of the chronographic subdials both stand out and echo the red trimmings of the Laurel’s original design. Attentively designed features like the hammer-shaped pushers also make the 1/100th of a Second Speedtimer easy to use in practice, so you can get the most reliable stopwatch reading. Lastly, sustainable finishes like its additional brown leather strap sourced from an LWG-certified tannery and its solar-powered 8A50 calibre also make the new Laurel Speedtimer a very environmentally-conscious choice, too.
With its timeless looks and precise mechanical timekeeping, the Seiko Presage range aesthetically embodies the brand’s traditional Japanese heritage.
Reimagining the original Laurel’s core characteristics, the Presage Craftsmanship anniversary model features an enamelled white dial with a red accented 12 o’clock marker. Impressively, this enamelling is all done by hand by highly skilled Japanese Takumi craftspeople, exclusively using traditional techniques. As a result, every piece inherits its own unique soul.
On the dial itself, blue hands and Breguet numeral indices reinforce its classic feel whilst prioritising legibility. Enclosed within the super hard-coated stainless steel casing is Seiko’s 6R27 mechanical movement with 45 hours of power reserve. Finally, topping off the design is a black leather strap, which uses material from a sustainable LWG-certified tannery.
This new Laurel Sharp Edged piece also fuses the original Laurel’s features with the brand’s extensive Japanese watchmaking heritage.
At its centre, a white Laurel-inspired ‘Asanoha’ textured dial takes centre stage. Also known as the hemp leaf pattern, the use of Asanoha in Japanese design dates back thousands of years. Today, the pattern still holds a special significance in Japanese culture and is symbolic of growth and success. To foreground its beauty, the dial features subtle silver-tone hands and indices, as well as a blue second hand. These trimmings match the watch’s stainless steel case, which houses Seiko’s new 6R55 calibre with its generous three-day power reserve. Lastly, topping off the traditionally charming design is a beautiful and sustainably sourced brown leather strap.
Inspired by retro 60s-style aesthetics, the new Laurel Style 60s anniversary piece is another perfect match for those who love classical watch design.
Like the dial on the original ‘Laurel’, this model features a white dial with a red 12’clock key marker. Four central blue hands emphasise this traditional style, the fourth of which indicates the time in a second timezone. Adding some 1960s flair to the design, the baton indices sit on a stylish brushed inner ring. Moreover, luminescent markers accent each of the indices for improved nighttime legibility. To top off the design, a classic LWG-certified brown leather strap secures the watch to the wrist.
With a reputation of over fifty years of reliability, durability, performance and value, the Seiko 5 Sports series is a valued part of the brand’s portfolio. It’s characterised by five key features: an automatic movement, a day-date display, water resistance, a recessed crown and a durable build.
The last piece in the 110th-anniversary collection, the ‘Laurel’ 5 Sports fuses a vintage design with a sporty silhouette. Like both the old and new Laurels, an off-white dial with red accents forms the centrepiece of the design. Upon it, blue hands and rhodium Arabic numeral indices give the watch its clean and easily readable look. These are driven by 4R36 calibre automatic movement, which beats from within its 39.4mm stainless steel case. Pairable either with a stainless steel bracelet or a brown leather strap, the Laurel 5 Sports is also very versatile.
So, as Seiko celebrates the 110th anniversary of the ‘Laurel’, we are eager to hear your thoughts on its seven new launches. Do you have a favourite you’re keeping your eye on? If so, which one? Let us know down below!