Prospex x Gundam
New Seiko Watches Fuse the Best of Japanese Pop Culture & Watchmaking
High-end Seiko watches regularly feature elements that reference Japanese culture, but more often of the traditional than the pop kind. For the 40th anniversary of the now classic sci-fi anime series Mobile Gundam Suit that debuted in 1979, the brand has announced three limited editions stylistically somewhat in line with recent Prospex watches like the Street series. Rightfully recognizing that many nostalgic fans will now be of an age to afford a luxury watch, however, Seiko has chosen some of its most exclusive watches just south of Grand Seiko prices for the limited editions. These are serious watches for serious fans, as opposed to something far more casual like, say, Citizen’s affordable Marvel superhero watches.
In the series, humans pilot giant robots, or “suits,” in an epic space war, and three Seiko Prospex watches each reference a different suit. The top of the range is a Spring Drive GMT model from the new Seiko Prospex LX line just announced at Baselworld 2019. The other two, with red and green color schemes, are based on the “tuna” variation of the Seiko Marinemaster Professional and water-resistant to 1,000m. With diameters of 44.8mm and 52.4mm, respectively, and chunky profiles, they would fit right in to the giant-robot future universe imagined in late 1970s Japan.
These are unexpected watches in a number of ways, but Seiko logic always seems to work and consistently blows international watch fans’ minds. The new Gundam Anniversary watches are intended for the Japanese market, where the series is well known by the mainstream. The Seiko Prospex LX Spring Drive GMT SBDB033 watch will be limited to 300 pieces with a USD price of about $5,600 (JPY630,000), and both Marinemaster SBDX027 and SBDX029 watches will be limited to 1,000 pieces each and have a price of around $3,600 (JPY400,000).