< left> Japan’s first wristwatch “Laurel” and < right> limited edition model “Presage” = both provided by Seiko Watch
From October 7, Seiko Watch will sell a limited edition watch to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the launch of the first wristwatch made in Japan, the Laurel. Incorporating Laurel’s design elements, the company will sell 11 models from six major brands made with the latest technology and style in limited quantities. The suggested retail price is 36,300~220,000 yen.
Seiko was founded in 1881 (Meiji 14) by Kintaro Hattori as “Hattori Watch Store” in Ginza, Tokyo. Started repairing and selling imported watches. After that, with the aim of domestic production of watches, he established a manufacturing factory “Seikosha”. It produced wall clocks and pocket watches that were mainstream at the time. Wristwatches were technically difficult, and manufacturing them was said to be an “adventure” and was extremely difficult, but after repeated prototypes and research, Laurel was completed in 1913 (Taisho 2). The first domestic wristwatch was introduced to the world. In 2014, it was recognized as a “Mechanical Heritage Site” by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan as a cultural heritage that has contributed to people’s lives and the development of watch technology.
The design of the rounded body is somewhat reminiscent of a pocket watch of the first Laurel. It features a white enamel dial with a vitreous powder burned on the metal surface with Arabic numerals, and only the “12” is red.
The closest thing to the first-generation Laurel in this limited edition is the mechanical watch “Présage” craftsmanship series (165,000 yen, limited to 1,500 pieces worldwide). Faithfully reproduce the enamel white dial, Arabic numerals and accent red. It is baked by hand under the supervision of enamel craftsman Mitsuru Yokozawa.
In addition, the “Astron GPS Solar Model” (220,000 yen, limited to 800 pieces worldwide) equipped with the latest technology and inheriting the name of the quartz watch released by the company ahead of the world, “Rukia” (79,200 yen, limited to 300 pieces in Japan) that meets the practicality and needs of women, and the “Selection” (36,300 yen, limited to 500 pieces in Japan) with a simple design and basic performance are available. 【Yuko Shimada】