Top Watch Collaborations Part 1: Seiko Collabs
Collaborations have become extremely popular with brands from different sectors.
They open new doors and appeal to a new type of customer who would have been difficult to reach with a single brand’s traditional strategy.
Some of these crossovers are super hot – and we are going to jump into Seiko collabs that are worth knowing more about.
Why do collaborations work?
A collaboration allows both brands to reach complementary markets by using the brand loyalty they both have for mutual benefit, vastly increasing their traditional reach.
Even direct competitors can set aside their differences to do a collab. Source: Quality Logo Products
A collaborative campaign by two brands has two main positive aspects; it hits two sets of customers and leverages both brands' existing customers – which is great for everyone involved.
Usually, collaborative campaigns are run for a limited time frame or via capsule collections (limited editions) as a strategy to boost awareness and gain the attention of different customer groups.
It is a strategy that has proven to be very effective in reaching a faithful fan base.
The success of brand collaborations is more likely to be related to the momentum or buzz around a new release announcement rather than the shared ideas from a brand – and they can also benefit from the scarcity of limited-edition products.
Sneakers are being customized with markers anyway, so Nike and Sharpie made it official. Source: NeoReach
The last twenty years has seen more brand collaborations as a response to the ever-growing pressure on competition in the markets. It is all about reaching new customers and reinvigorating a brand’s image. Because collaborations have proven so successful, they are likely to grow from here.
Seiko has shown an incredible ability to use this strategy, and has launched numerous collaboration campaigns with a variety of other brands and organizations.
Many of these are related to clothing brands, sports, and open water diving, but there are also some that feature cartoons and video games.
Here are five good examples of how Seiko does a great collab – and creates stunning watches in the process.
Seiko x Rowing Blazers
The current collaboration with the Rowing Blazers clothing brand is a genius move. Seiko is already an established brand but Rowing Blazers is in the middle of its debut in a collaboration campaign with a watchmaker.
The presence of iconic timepieces as an aesthetic accessory has always been clearly visible in Rowing Blazer’s visual campaigns. The Rowing Blazers photoshoots usually show their models wearing fantastic outfits with visible watches from famous brands.
Even in its online catalogue, the cult clothing brand offers colorful watch straps and mostly affordable classic and vintage timepieces, acting as a retail online reseller for Foundwell and Wind Vintage watches.
Vintage watches are a good match to an RB wardrobe Source: Mr Porter
It's no surprise that Rowing Blazers and Seiko partnered for a collaboration campaign launched this year.
The current collab became a reality due to a close relationship between RBs and Seiko which was born in 2017, when Jack Carlson (who was founding Rowing Blazers) with his longtime friend Eric Wind was introduced to Seiko America’s top executives due to Wind’s involvement in the watch industry.
The current Rowing Blazers Summer 2021 campaign includes a capsule collection based on the classic Seiko 5 watches in three sets of limited-edition timepieces. The collab features three watch models, two limited editions and one special edition.
Too bad these are limited edition. They look like great everyday casual watches! Source: Rescapement
It's not just about adding logos on a watch dial, the involvement of both brands goes a lot deeper. The watches’ designs reflects Rowing Blazers feel and spirit.
The three models are almost identical except for differences in their unidirectional bezels. Anyone familiar with the Seiko 5 series will recognize its iconic features like the day/date display at 3 o'clock, the crown at 4, the ‘pc mouse’ like marker at 6 and 9 o'clock and the unique 12 o’clock marker.
Also, the classic Seiko 5 syringe hour hand and the arrow minute hand are there, but the novelty in this collaboration with Rowing Blazers is the seconds hand which resembles the red-and-white striped pole typically seen on finish-lines in rowing regattas.
Moreover, the day/date wheel shows the weekdays in black text, but Saturday is shown in turquoise and Sunday in red, to signal those lovely leisure hours are coming soon.
Some good words to live by. Source: Revolution Watch
Another highlight-worthy detail in the three models is the phrase from Latin poet Virgil “TEMPVS FVGIT'' and the figure of the reclining skeleton in the transparent case back, not only significant for a timepiece, but the concept also speaks to Rowing Blazers' leitmotiv philosophy: time flies, live now.
These hidden details are designed to support a strong bond with the brand and consumer’s personal connection.
The look and feel of these special edition timepieces are enticingly big and sporty, and despite this big size feature, these are unisex watches.
Here is a little more information on the three Seiko Rowing Blazers watch models:
Reference SRPG49 (500-piece limited edition)
All three special edition watches come with the Seiko classic stainless steel bracelet but this specific model also brings a mint-green nylon NATO strap that looks and feels simply beautiful.
Another distinctive feature is the checkerboard-style bezel as a homage to the classic ‘rally diver’ Seiko piece that nods to both racing motorsports and scuba diving aficionados.
Appealing to multiple audiences at once. Source: Hodinkee
So the actual Seiko Rowing Blazers edition for the ‘rally diver’ adds the rowing discipline to the concept converting the timepiece into an unofficial ‘triathlon’ themed timepiece.
This ‘rally diver’ timepiece is known to appeal more to those affectionate vintage collectors than the regular watch community, and this collaboration version among Seiko and Rowing Blazers hits these emotional strings homaging the past in an authentic manner.
The Ref SRPG49 will be produced in a limited number
According to Wind’s point of view, the current edition of the ‘rally diver’ is not just a remake, the subtle vintage combination of its classic markers’ and hands’ lume contrasts impeccably with the black and white checkerboard-type rally bezel.
Also, the dark matte black dial color matches tastefully with the grey logos of Seiko and Rowing Blazers.
Reference SRPG51 (500-piece limited edition)
The second watch in this series features a zig-zag line effect from Rowing Blazers' line over the bezel insert. This design is used in Rowing Blazers’ accessories like wallets, laptop cases, ties, socks and more.
A multi-colored nylon strap resembles the crochet-stripe pattern so deeply associated with Rowing Blazers’ style. The zig-zag pattern is even stamped on the floors and walls of the Rowing Blazers’ store in SoHo in New York.
A well known pattern to Rowing Blazers fans. Source: A Blog to Watch
From the three special edition timepieces, this is the one most likely to be chosen by Rowing Blazers fanatics, since it nailed the visual cues of Rowing Blazers in a big way.
The zig-zag bezel of the Ref. SRPG51 watches either with its silver steel bracelet or attached to the multicolored NATO strap make this piece the most versatile when it comes to dress combinations.
Reference SRPG53 (unlimited production)
The last piece from this collab with Seiko and Rowing Blazers is a more colorful remake of the classic ‘pepsi’ bezel watch with a four color variation, resulting in a beautiful and appealing watch with a 90s look.
Even if it never existed before, it looks like a classic!
Beautiful bezel insert! Source: Reddit
This model matches the Rowing Blazers ‘21 Colorblock Windbreaker, with a very 90s' style. Unlike its two other siblings, Seiko announced that the ref. SRPG53 became part of the Seiko 5 lineup and will stay in production indefinitely.
This model is a beautifully designed piece and no matter if it's worn with the steel bracelet or its black NATO strap, the watch makes it easy to combine with your clothes despite its four-colored bezel.
Its harlequin look is entertaining and playful – and would work in any casual setting.
Seiko x Evisen Skateboards
This collaboration between Seiko and Japanese-made Evisen Skateboards is a delight and has resulted in some great looking watches.
A design collab that makes sense. Source: Seiko
We all know Seiko for its incredibly creative collaborations with our favorite brands to launch capsule watch productions in an incredibly stylish and entertaining way.
In April of 2021, Seiko’s new collaboration campaign with Tokyo-based Evisen skateboards saw the launch of three limited edition wrist watches based on the popular Seiko 5 series.
Seiko 5 Sports Reference SRPF94K1
The first timepiece of the three is a homage to the folk samurai helmet, or kabuto, which is Evisen’s emblem portrayed in the opening E of their Evisen brand name.
Very sharp design language. Source: Chrono24
This kabuto-themed timepiece comes with a paisley patterned black silicone strap attached to a golden case contrasting the black of the strap and dial.
Another detail worth mentioning is the presence of kanji symbols engraved in the outer surface of the bezel insert as numerical markers. Kanji has existed since ancient times and are an authentic Japanese design motif. The watch is limited to 1500 pieces, and looks smashing.
Seiko 5 Sports Reference SRPF93K1
The second limited edition timepiece in this collection is skateboard-culture on your wrist.
This time piece comes with a leather mahogany-brown strap that goes beautifully with the creamy white dial. The mahogany color resembles the typically wooden skatepark ramps and pipes.
A little subtler than its collection siblings, but still looking quite sharp. Source: diligence1internationalph
The watch’s face resembles a skateboard wheel from a profile point of view. When observed in detail, several more intricate aspects can be seen.
A skate wheel’s hexagonal axle nuts in the dial’s hour markers was used to reinforce the overall theme, and the Evisen’s E – which resembles a samurai helmet design -- is the 12 o’clock marker. In addition, the center pin looks like a skateboard bearing.
The caseback allows us to see the movement and an engraved iconic Evisen’s E as well as the limited-edition number for each piece.
Seiko 5 Sports Reference SRPF95K1
The third model within Seiko and Evisan Skateboards collab was produced in a smaller number than its kabuto and skateboard siblings, with only 700 units of the sushi-themed watch produced while the other two had a 1500-piece run.
Another worth mentioning marketing move is that a special gift from Seiko will be given to those sushi-themed wrist watch buyers.
Almost makes the mouth water. Source: Seiko
This model reflects the glossy surface of sliced raw tuna over its dial and bezel and its white silicone strap resembles the bumpy texture of sticky white rice.
Other subtle details like a soy-sauce colored tip of the crown, or the uniquely colored lume on the hour, minute, and seconds hands, resembling the colors of raw tuna and wasabi.
The case back of this third model is also presented in a wasabi green opaque back-cover lid, again featuring the Evisen logo’s iconic kabuto helmet and the 700-limited edition serial number.
Seiko x Sonic the Hedgehog
Similar to previous successful collaborations from Seiko, such as Street Fighter or Naruto, Seiko also announced a special capsule edition in collaboration with Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog to commemorate the game's 30th anniversary.
These types of collaborations with iconic tv series, computer games or cartoons characters are very successful due to their ‘limited number’ of customized timepieces available in the marketplace. The Seiko X Sonic the Hedgehog collaboration is limited to 3000 units.
Go fast! Source: The Sonic Stadium
A Seiko chronograph pays homage to Sonic running in the Green Hill Zone, which is the landscape Sega designed to stage their first edition of Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991.
The watch’s caseback features a special Sonic the Hedgehog 30th anniversary logo, together with the serial number for this limited edition series of 3000 units.
This Seiko Sonic collaboration unique timepiece comes in a unique golden printed blue box for Sonic’s fans. The watch also comes with a warranty card that resembles the box that came along with the video game three decades ago.
Overall, it is an extremely fun piece – and sure to please Sonic lovers all over the world!
Seiko x One Piece
Another outstanding Seiko collaboration is the Limited Edition ONE PIECE 1000 LOGS anniversary edition. This limited edition Seiko watch production is being manufactured to celebrate the 1000th episode of the One Piece animated series.
The timepiece takes its look and feel from the big ocean themes of the One Piece adventure stories and its pirate ship.
The dial color graduates from blue to green emerald evoking sea water, the three smaller chronograph dials feature a tiller wheel, a navigation compass and a Thousand Sunny logo, in clear reference to the 1000th episode’s title.
Can this substitute a grand compass - an important navigation tool in the show? Source: Otaquest
The second hand resembles the ship’s anchor and is shaped after Luffy.
Again the ‘limited number’ of Seiko timepieces in collaboration with One Piece is a must in this type of marketing strategy, and for this collaboration the total number of 5000 pieces will be issued.
The back of the case features the number of the watch within the 5000 units and also features an engraved phrase that the series' main character uses: “I’m gonna be king of the pirates!”.
Seiko x Studio Ghibli
Our last collaboration is the Seiko x Studio Ghibli collaboration featuring an emotionally touching masterpiece film from Hayao Miyazaki. The Castle in the Sky special Seiko timepiece was made available worldwide in a limited edition, with only 1200 units produced.
This specially crafted Seiko watch pays homage to the classic 1986 animated film called Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Seiko adapted a special edition wrist watch based on Seiko’s classic high-end Presage series, adding allegorical Castle in the Sky details in the face and back of the timepiece.
One of the best animation studios + one of the best watch brands in the world = a match made in heaven. Source: Hypebeast
One of the main details is the visible inclusion at the 6 o'clock marker of the Levistone pendant worn by Sheeta, the film’s main character. This same Livestone pendant is reiterated in the top of the watch's crown.
A beautifully crafted engraved castle in the sky image appears on the back of the case, and the movement is visible as well.
Another enchanting inclusion in the case back is the ‘laputian’ magic incantation taught to Sheeta’s by her grandmother: “Leetay Latuparita Ulus Aria Los Balu Netoreel“, which translates to something like “Help me, resurrection of the light” in English.
A castle in the sky drawing also appears in the packaging’s box lid, and is an amazing touch in this highly limited edition Seiko. Another detail is a direct message from the film’s director Hayao Miyasaki included in a card within the timepiece’s packaging, it reads: “Let’s live without being bound by time.”
This message brings further significance coming from an animated film director who is known to take his time to create the deeply touching animated art productions we’ve seen. The phrase also relates to the 35 years gone by since the original release.
Collaborations in the Seiko Modding Industry
At namokiMODS we love the rewarding hobby of watch modding. You may have felt something similar when you had a great idea for a watch – and wanted to make it real.
Until now many of these great ideas were very difficult to make happen because of the limitations that exist in terms of custom parts. We do our best to create great parts – but no one can afford to create a pile of parts that no one wants!
At namokiMODs we identified this problem and came up with a plan to make modding better for everyone. We are really thrilled to announce a new initiative for creators and modders we have titled Namoki X!
What is Namoki X?
Namoki X is our company’s latest program designed to benefit creative designers who want to develop watch mod parts. Namoki X benefits designers who have a bold vision – and want to offer the modding community new ideas without taking on massive risks.
Scale Production Support
Because of market scaling issues, creating a mod part and marketing can become very expensive. The Namoki X program addresses this by absorbing a prototype’s initial costs including the product logistics and communication with the factory.
Namoki’s Marketing Support
Maybe you already solved your production capabilities of the physical mod parts – then the Namoki X program can help sell your catalogue by advertising the parts on our website.
The NamokiMODS online retail site pulls tens of thousands of monthly site visitors, with active sales and marketing programs that get results.
Namoki’s Logistical Support
Another key benefit to anyone who works with Namoki X is that our logistics team handles your shipping, payment collection, and customer support so you don't have to deal with costly international shipping fees, logistics, and unsatisfied customers.
We make it easy!
Profit Sharing with Namoki X
In return for Namoki X’s service, we will get a percentage of every sale on your items. This is an outstanding opportunity to earn passive income for anyone in love with designing watch parts – but not really interested in dealing with a go-to-market business.
How to Submit Designs and Get Accepted
The easiest way to get into our program is to email your design to email@example.com
The following are the main points we will be utilizing when evaluating mod parts design submissions.
Is there cross-compatibility with our proprietary available parts, as well as OEM Seiko parts?
Is the design more unique and appealing when compared to already available aftermarket parts?
If the answer to the two above questions is affirmative, we are eager to see your creativity!
More Benefits for Modders
The more designs for watch mod parts in the marketplace – the better.
Expanding the Seiko mod parts on offer in the marketplace can only improve a modders' chance to create incredible pieces. Finding a cool new set of mod parts is always exciting for any modder – and we want to be a part of the process.
Furthermore, if you feel a collaboration between a third party creator and our design team would be beneficial, write to us and we’ll evaluate pre-orders and orders for exclusive and limited edition mod parts.
First Namoki X Release
We are happy to announce our first third party-designed mod parts initiative. This is our opera prima collaboration project named AF-001 Snowflake Skeleton Dial, created by Awful Customs.
The AF-001 Snowflake Skeleton Dial got inspiration from the Zenith Defy and the AP Royal Oak (40th Anniversary).
This stunning unique dial is a must-have in your next skeleton build. It features two distinct metal layers designed to frame the NH35 date wheel to perfection. Also, the NH38 and NH70 date wheels are also compatible with the AF-001 Snowflake Skeleton Dial.
This innovative Namoki X program aims to create a collection of parts from talented designers and the modder community.
We look forward to seeing your unique ideas – please write to firstname.lastname@example.org now!
At NamokiMODS, we take Seiko mods and SKX007 mods seriously.
That is why we want to take independent watch design, and watch parts design to the next level with Namoki X. Watch modding is an extremely rewarding hobby - and we have already shown what we can do with skx007 mod parts.
Come with us on our quest to create the most diverse, creative collection of watch modding parts, and support the ideas of innovative designers all over the world.