The Laurel is a veritable legend in Japan’s watchmaking history. The iconic wristwatch from Seiko has been officially designated as one of Japan’s “Mechanical Engineering Heritages” in recognition of its contribution to the development of mechanical technology. And rightly so. Although Seiko’s history dates back to 1881 when Kintaro Hattori opened a shop in Ginza repairing and selling timepieces, it was in 1913 that the company produced the Laurel, Japan’s first wristwatch. At a time when pocket watches were the standard, the Laurel was a ground-breaking achievement, and it effectively laid the foundation of the wristwatch manufacturing industry in Japan. While Seikosha, as the company was known then, has come a long way in the ensuing century to become one of the largest and most innovative watchmakers in the world, the Laurel remains the blueprint for all these advances. As Seiko marks the 110th anniversary of its watchmaking legacy in 2023, the Japanese brand has revealed a limited-edition model that pays homage to the Laurel.
Dubbed the Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Presage Limited Edition, the new watch stays true to the original 1913 design, with distinctive elements such as the oversized onion crown, blued hands, Arabic numerals on the dial, and even the unique design of the number four having been faithfully re-created. The new watch also features an immaculately executed enamel dial created by master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his colleagues at Seiko’s workshop specialising in enamel production.
The round case retains the style and grace of the original while housing a modern 6R27 automatic movement, with a power-reserve indicator at the nine o’clock position and a date indicator at six o’clock. The simple case back is engraved with the words “Limited Edition” and the individual number of each watch.
Limited to just 2,500 pieces worldwide, the Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Presage Limited Edition SPB359 will be available in January 2023.