2018 Seiko and Grand Seiko Releases

During 2018 Seiko released quite a number of different models across all of their ranges and brands. The largest and most public announcement for new models was at Baselworld in March with twenty nine mens models announced. This show traditionally kicks off the model announcements and sets the tone for models that are released throughout the year, but it does not cover all of the models that are to come to market. After the Baselworld announcements I saw numerous comments online that Seiko had focused on only Limited Editions at the top end of the market, and they had forgotten their traditional customers with little to offer people looking at other market segments.

Now that 2018 has come to a close I thought it would be interesting to look back and see what models were released this year to get a better overview of Seiko’s full year.

Baselworld

Firstly I will recap the models that were introduced at Baselworld and released throughout the year. In the Prospex category the likely standout model for the year was the SLA025 / SBEX007 (JDM) (LE 1500 units) a reissue of the classic 6159-7000 celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The watch went on to win the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève Sports Watch category for 2018. This was accompanied by the SLA019 / SBDX021 (JDM) (LE 1968 units) Deep Forest green MM300 and two non-LE modern reinterpretation models with the more affordably priced SBP077 / SBDC061 (JDM) and SBP079 / SBDC063 (JDM).

There were two more Limited Editions with the reissue of the original 7549 golden tuna in the S23626 / SBBN040 (JDM) (LE 1978 units) and the S23627 / SBBN042 (JDM) (LE 800 units) with the rose gold cermet shroud. The dive models continued with the affordable and very popular SNE498P1 golden and SNE499P1 PADI solar tunas. Rounding out the Baselworld Prospex announcements were the Save the Ocean series with the SRPC91K1 turtle, SRPC93K1 samurai and SSC675P1 chronograph models.

In the Presage range Seiko announced the following models at Baselworld. The first two were the Shippo enamel dialed models the SPB073 / SARW039 (JDM) (LE 2500 units) and SPB075 / SARX059 (JDM) (LE 2500 units). There was also the announcement of the SJE073 / SARA015 (JDM) (LE 1881 units) featuring the new slim 6L35 movement. General non limited edition Presage models were announced with the Karesansui (Japanese Zen Garden) series including the SRPC83J1, SRPC81J1, SRPC79J1, SSA377J1 and SSA379J1. There were also a range of Cocktail Time models for ladies introduced but I will skip the ladies models here as I am not familiar with the other models introduced this year.

This year was the second for Grand Seiko as a standalone brand and it also marked the 20th Anniversary of the 9S caliber. This was celebrated at Baselword with the announcements of the stunning SBGH265 (LE 20 units) VFA model, SBGH266 (LE 150 units) Special model in 18K gold and SBGH267 (LE 1500 units) in stainless steel. There was also the SBGJ229 (LE 350 units) with Zirconia ceramic and high intensity titanium case construction.

In other Baselworld models from Seiko they announced the Astron Executive Sports series featuring the 8X53 movement and 200m water resistance in the SSE167 / SBXB167 (JDM), SSE169 / SBXB169 (JDM) and SSE170 / SBXB170 (JDM). In addition to the three standard models there was the Novak Djokovic SSE174 / SBXB174 (JDM) (LE 1500 units). Rounding out the Baselworld announcements were a pair of Premier Novak Djokovic models, the SSA374 (LE 3000 units) and SSA375 (LE 2000 units).

As you see these twenty nine mens models announced at Baselworld cover a wide range of price points and categories but there were quite a few other models that were released from the company in 2018.

Prospex

Announced just before Baselworld for JDM customers was the SBEJ003 (LE 500 units) and standard model SBEJ001 mechanical GMT Landmasters in the Prospex range. Additional JDM Prospex models include the SBEF045, SBEF047, SBEF050, SBEF051, SBEF053 and SBEF055 Super Runners based on the solar S690 movement.

Another popular series of JDM Prospex models released this year were the digi-tunas. These were originally released as a collaboration with LOWERCASE and there was five models in the range, SBEP001, SBEP003, SBEP005 and the SBEP007 (LE 600 units) available through Journal Standard stores and the SBEP009 (LE 300 units) available through Urban Research stores.

These have recently been joined by the SBEP013, that seems to be very similar to the SBEP001 but the bezel does not have a lume pip. There is also a white SBEP011 that features a positive LCD display which is a nice change from the negative displays on all other models. The blue and black SBEP015 (LE 500 units) is a Nano · Universe exclusive model, while the grey SBEP017 (LE 500 units) is a Beauty & Youth exclusive. There is also an all blacked out SBEP019 that is a limited edition of 500 units.

Continuing the LOWERCASE collaborations there was a series of slightly smaller tuna models released. These have a case width of 42.7mm and a shorter strap but were designed as unisex models. There are eight models in the line up. with the STBR007 (LE 200 units), STBR009 (LE 2000 units), STBR011 Special Edition UNITED ARROWS exclusive, STBR013 Special Edition Freemans Sporting Club exclusive, STBR015 Special Edition ED exclusive, STBR017 Special Edition JOURNAL STANDARD exclusive, STBR017 (LE 550 units) BAYCREW'S GROUP exclusive.

Completing the LOWERCASE collaboration model were the SBDN047, SBDN049, SBDN051 (LE 1200 units), SBDN053 (LE 1200 units) and SBDN055 (LE 300 units) SHIPS exclusive. In comparison to the STBR models these are 3mm larger at 45.9mm wide. These models add to the range of existing different colorways that were released in 2017.

For the international market there was a release of the Street Series solar tunas. These models came in three colorways with the SNE533, SNE535 and SNE537. They have a textured dial, shroud and strap that provide a camouflage / military feel to the series. In addition to these three models there was also an additional dive model in the solar tuna range that was not announced at Baselworld, in addition to the golden solar tund and the PADI solar tuna there was the addition of the SNE497P1 with a black dial and stainless bracelet.

In the more traditional Prospex diver series there was the return of a standard MM300 model in the SBDX023. The model has the traditional MM300 case design with upgrades to a sapphire crystal, ceramic lumed bezel insert and change to the dial design. There was also a Thailand Limited Edition release of the SLA027 Zimbe No. 7 with 428 pieces produced.

There were also a couple of other Zimbe Limited Editions released for the Thai market. These were the Samurai SRPD13K (LE 1300 units) Zimbe No. 9 and the baby tuna SRPC96K1 (LE 1234 units) Zimbe No. 8. Another variant was released in specific Asian countries (Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore) with the SRPD14K1 (LE 2200 units) “Yellowfin Tuna” with a brown dial and golden shroud.

For the North American market the SRPC95K1 “Nemo” turtle was released as a Special Edition model. For the European market the Dawn Grey series with the SRPD01K1 (LE 2018 units) turtle and SRPD03K1 (LE 2018 units) Samurai were released. For the Australian market the SNE520P1 (LE 800 units) solar diver was released.

Green model divers were also popular in 2018 with the release of the SPB081J1 (LE 1000 units), SZSC004 Sumo and SZSC005 Jade Monster.

Blue divers continued their popularity with Blue Coral divers the SBDC067 Monster, SBDC069 Sumo, the Great Blue Hole SPB083J1 / SBDC065 (JDM) and the SPB071J1 PADI. Continuing the Save the Ocean series the SBDJ045 solar tuna as well as the black SSC701P1 / SBDL057 (JDM) chrono, SRPD09K1 / SBDY025 (JDM) samurai and the SRPD11K1 / SBDY027 (JDM) turtle was released.

The increased use of black cases was also popular with the Black Series. There were three models in this range, reportedly inspired by night diving, with the SNE493, SRPC49 and SSC673. These seem to be a Special Edition with no specific limited production quantities.

This was a total of fifty five new Prospex models that were released in 2018 in addition to the eleven Baselworld Prospex models.

Presage

In addition to Prospex there were also a number of new Presage models that were released during 2018. These were headlined by the SRPC97J1 (LE 7000 units) and SSA385J1 (LE 5000 units) Cocktail ”Fuyugeshiki” models. Another limited edition model (1000 units) was the Urushi Byakudan-nuri SPB085J1 / SARW045 (JDM) with a stunning lacquer dial. The Presage model range also had the addition of a few standard models with the SRPC99, SSA387J1, SRPD05J1 / SARY111 (JDM) and SRPD07J1 / SARY113 (JDM). There were also a pair of 6R27 based models with the SARW041 (JDM) and SARW043 (JDM).

There were a couple of models released for the Thai market in the Cocktail Time range., these were the SRPC45J1 (LE 350 units) Blue Planet and SRPC46J1 (LE 350 units) Manhattan Sky.

For the Japanese market there was also the release of some “new” models in the Cocktail Time range. These were the SARY123, SARY125, SARY126, SARY128, SARY129, SARY131 and SARY132. These models were upgraded with higher quality straps and bracelets with additional removable links to make them more adjustable compared to the previous SARY073, SARY075, SARY076, SARY078, SARY079, SARY081 and SARY082 models. There was an increase of 2,000円 in the list price for these models. The equivalent international market models e.g. SRPB41 have not changed model numbers or changed in list price.

Grand Seiko

2018 represents the second year of Grand Seiko being a stand alone brand so as expected there were numerous releases from the company. Released at the start of the year before Baselworld were the SBGT241 (LE 1500 units) and SBGV238 (LE 600 units) models celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the 9F quartz movement. Released later in the year was another LE for the 9F anniversary, the SBGV247 with a modern sporty design. This watch was accompanied by the non-LE SBGV243 and SBGV245 with the same sporty feel.

There were a pair of 44GS inspired models in the GS Heritage Collection with the blue SBGV239 and a green SBGV241 (LE 60 units) Ikeda Plus store exclusive model each utilizing the 9F82 caliber. Also added to the Heritage Collection are the white dialed SBGX259G and the black dialed SBGX261G each with 9F62 movements.

There were also four new simple three handed models with 9F61 movements and a new curved case design announced. These were the SBGX329 and SBGX330, while the SBGX331 and SBGX333 (LE 500 units) will ship in January.

A new addition to the Grand Seiko 9F caliber series was the 9F86 with GMT complication. The series included the SBGN001 (LE 800 units) and SBGN007 (LE 1200 units) while the regular models SBGN003 and SBGN005 will be available from January 2019.

The 9S caliber 20th Anniversary models announced at Baselworld were joined by a couple of other models featuring the same dial design texture. These were the brown dialed SBGR311 (LE 1300 units) with 9S68 movement and the silver dialed SBGM235 (LE 1000 units) with a 9S66 GMT movement,. Additional GMT models were the SBGJ229 (LE 350 units) with 9S86 in the Sport Collection and the SBGJ231 Premium Boutique Special Edition that was released at the start of 2018 but it was announced in late December 2017.

Some other mechanical models this year were the handwind 9S64 based SBGW231G, the 9S65 based automatic SBGR251J and the 9S85 high beat automatic SBGH241 that was a WAKO exclusive model.

The Spring Drive based models also had a large number of additions this year. The GMT models had additions with the titanium SBGE215G and the SBGE245G (LE 600 units) both utilizing the 9R66 caliber. The green dialed SBGE247 (LE 81 units) was available exclusively through Takashimaya watch salons while the brown dialed SBGE227G was a regular model.

There was also a series of Spring Drive models released in 2018 with numerals on the dials. These included the SBGA369 (LE 31 units) available through Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi stores, SBGA371 (LE 500 units) produced by Yasushi Akimoto and available through AJHH affiliated stores, SBGA379 (LE 50 units) WAKO exclusive, SBGA389 (LE 30 units) Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi exclusive and the SBGA393 (LE 50 units) WAKO exclusive that was provided on a bracelet and strap.

The SBGA373 champagne dial and SBGA375 blue dialed models were added to the standard model line up. For the US market there were three exclusive models released with the platinum SBGA385G (LE 20 units), rose gold SBGA384G (LE 50 units) and the stainless steel SBGA387G (LE 558 units). Each of the US exclusive models have a dial that was inspired by the Kirazuri painting technique used in Ukiyo-e. In Japan the Premium Boutique exclusive the SBGA395 was released and there was also an Isetan exclusive model with the SBGA377. In a release for the Asian market the SBGA391 (LE 200 units) utilizing the 9R65 was released.

There also appears to have been a couple of very limited edition models for Japanese VIP members that were offered during an event celebrating the 9S 20th anniversary. These were the SBGE243 (LE 20 units) with a 9R66 movement and the SBGC227 (LE 20 units) with a 9R86 movement. I have not been able to find any official photos of either model, all I was able to find was a little info posted on the iwatch365.com Seiko forum and a couple of Instagram posts from horologymatters showing the SBGE243,

The most expensive and limited edition of the GS models released this year was the collaboration with Nissan commemorating their partnership with Italdesign on the GT-R50 prototype. This was an extremely limited production of up to three custom designed watches based around a Spring Drive chronograph with ceramic case elements and precious metals. Users could customize the case materials and coloring to match their personal tastes. The pricing was not fixed and was increased depending upon the materials chosen, but the entry price point was 20,000,000円. There was a dedicated website that allowed users to customize the watch and come up with their own material combinations, some of these combinations looked quite nice while others showed why too many options can be a bad thing. The watch was available exclusively through the Ginza WAKO store and the GT-R50 prototype could be viewed at the Nissan Crossing building opposite the WAKO store, I do not believe there was a specific model number provided for these collaboration units.

This brings the total of new Grand Seiko models announced outside of Baselworld to forty four.

Astron

2018 saw the introduction of the new series 5X Astron caliber with six models, SSH001J1 / SBXC001 (JDM), SSH003J1 / SBXC003 (JDM), SSH006J1 / SBXC006 (JDM), SSH007J1 / SBXC007 (JDM) (LE 2000 units), SSH009J1 / SBXC009 (JDM) and SSH011J1 / SBXC011 (JDM). The 5X53 caliber is the world’s smallest and thinnest solar GPS watch movement at 42.9mm in diameter and 12.2mm in depth.

Seiko Five

In the Seiko Five range a new case design that was nicknamed the bottlecap due to its distinctive side profile was released. There are five colorways in lineup with the SRPC61K1, SRPC63K1, SRPC65K1, SRPC67K1 and SRPC68K1 models. There was also another series of diver inspired Five Sports models in multiple colorways with the SRPC51K1, SRPC53K1, SRPC55K1 and SRPC57K1. Like the bottlecap models these are rated at 100m and do not have a lumed bezel marker.

For the Thai market the Seiko Mashu Lake SRPD08K (LE 1963 units) was released.

Other

For the JDM there is a new series of Giugiaro designed digital models, these are all limited editions and the majority of models are exclusive to specific retailers. There are eight variations with the SBJG001 (LE 3000 units), SBJG003 (LE 3000 units), SBJG005 (LE 500 units) nano · universe exclusive, SBJG006 (LE 500 units) BEAMS exclusive, SBJG007 (LE 500 units) UNITED ARROWS exclusive, SBJG009 (LE 500 units) SHIPS exclusive, SBJG011 (LE 500 units) ESTNATION exclusive and the SBJG013 (LE 500 units) BARNEYS NEW YORK exclusive.

In another collaboration with Nano · Universe a set of pairs watches were released, the mens models were the cream dialed SCXP107 (LE 1982 units) and black dialed SCXP109 (LE 1982 units). These are a very similar design to the 2017 releases of the 37mm Seiko Chariot “Steve Jobs” reissue models SCXP041 with a white dial and SCXP061 with a black dial. The obvious different with the new models is the silver case instead of the previously used black cases.

In the Dolce series new additions were the titanium SADZ201, titanium with rose gold accents SADZ202 and the SADZ204 (LE 500 units), all have the 7B27 radio sync solar movement and are pair watches, meaning that there are also matching ladies models available. Utilizing the same 7B27 movement are the SAGZ089 and SAGZ091 in the Brightz range.

Also in the Brightz lineup are the new SAGA265, SAGA267 and SAGA269 (LE 800 units). These models have the 8B63 radio solar sync movement.

Also released were a series of pair watches with the SBPX113, SBPX115 and SBPX116 (LE 800 units) based on the V157 movement.

Another series of watches released in 2018 were a range of models inspired by the 1960’s Gold Feather range. These models come in a range of colors and are simple three handed designs with a relatively slim case based around the 7N01 movement. The series includes the following models, SCXP072, SCXP074, SCXP076, SCXP078, SCXP125, SCXP126, SCXP128, SCXP130, SCXP132 (LE 1000 units) and SCXP144 (LE 300 units).

In one of the most under publicised anniversaries of the year was the release of the SNP155J1 (LE 1000 units) Premier that commemorates the 30th anniversary of the first commercially available kinetic model. For the Thai market there was a limited edition commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the watch store City Chain with the SNDH49P (LE 50 units) quartz chronograph. Also in the Asian market was the release of the SNDH45P1 and SNDH47P1 (LE 2800 units), each powered by a 7T92 quartz while the SPRC77K1 (LE 1500 units) is powered by the automatic 4R36.

In the Seiko Neo Sports range the three 4R35 based models were released with the SRPC85K1, SRPC87K1 and the SRPC89K1. There were also a pair of 4R37 models with carbon fiber inspired dials that were also added to the Neo Sports line up.

The Recraft series had a couple of new inclusions with the SSC667P9 and SSC669P9 chronograph models. These are powered by the V175 solar movement and are supplied on a NATO style strap adding to the sporty feel of the models. There were also a few additions to the Coutura range with the SSG021 Radio Sync Solar Chronograph, SSC697 Jimmie Johnson Special Edition Solar Chronograph and SNE506 Coutura Diamond. In the Essentials line up the SNE507 and SNE508 solar models were added.

For Japanese release only there were a range of models that were released as limited editions in conjunction with Sony that were provided with the WENA smart band device. The WENA device is part of a standard watch strap or bracelet with some smart functionality. It has a range of functions like step counter, NFC payments (using Edy), caller ID and message notifications. The band syncs via Bluetooth to an application on your Android or iOS device. The WENA bands have been available previously but they were made available with four different Seiko watch models released this year. The first pair are the WNW-SA02A/B (LE 500 units) black and WNW-SA02A/L (LE 500 units) blue models, each comes with a blue or black . These are digital watches with the watch head essentially a different colorway of the existing Seiko Alpinist digital models. The second pair of WENA models come with the metal version of the WENA bracelet and are provided on a traditional mechanical watch head. There is the WNW-SB13A/B (LE300 units) black and WNW-SB13A/S (LE 600 units) silver versions and both come with a black and blue countdown bezel. The interesting thing about these models are that this is a new dial design and one I think we may see again in 2019 on some Seiko diver models with traditional straps.

As you can see there were many different models released from Seiko this year outside of the 29 from Baselworld. I have just included the Seiko and Grand Seiko brands and not included any models from the other brands in the Seiko group such as Credor, Galante, Wired, or Alba. I have listed here an additional 188 models here and I am sure that there are others that I have missed.