Royal treatment: King Seiko KSK

Seiko celebrates its birthday in style by reviving a classic watch from the 1960s

Watches & Jewellery 13 Jan 2021

King Seiko KSK

This year marks the 140th anniversary of Seiko, and the watchmaker is kicking off its celebrations by looking back to one of its most fruitful eras: the 1960s. During this time, the brand was split into different branches. In 1960, Suwa Seikosha introduced the first Grand Seiko, which was closely followed a year later by the King Seiko. While both of these classic timepieces featured a 14ct gold-filled case, the King Seiko was priced at just 15,000 yen, compared to the Grand Seiko at 25,000 yen, which came complete with a hacking seconds functionality.

It would be followed in 1965 by the King Seiko KSK, reinforcing the watchmaker’s prowess in creating high-precision timekeeping at a marketable price point. The result would be a distinctive design that retained the clean look of the original King Seiko while lending it a sharper edge, featuring a slightly more angular, faceted case. Combined with its water resistance and hacking seconds hand, it soon found popularity within Japan’s growing watch fans.

Seiko has now revived this model with incredible attention to detail, from the silhouette to the dial, with – just as on the original features – an index at 12 o’clock that has been intricately faceted to lend it a unique sparkle. Flip the watch over and you will see the King Seiko name and original shield design featured on the back, while the buckle of the strap is a recreation of those found on the first designs.

Where it has been modernised is with the timekeeping, equipped with the Calibre 6L35. Despite now being powered by an automatic movement, the watch is just 0.5mm thicker than the original, and offers a power reserve of 45 hours. Limited to 3,000 pieces, the King Seiko KSK is a fitting tribute to this collectors favourite.