The newest watch for tennis star and Seiko Watches Philippines brand ambassador Novak Djokovic is the Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition. While the prices of mechanical perpetual calendar watches are out of reach for many of us, their functions are undeniably useful. And Seiko’s Kinetic Perpetual watches are pragmatic more ways, combining a self-charging movement using a rotor, as found on automatic mechanical watches, with the accuracy of quartz. With some mixed formal and sporty elements, this new version offers some stylistic updates to the latest Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual generation (as opposed to the previous generation Premier Kinetic Perpetual) and was apparently designed with input from the athlete.
To begin with, there will be two variants available. Both cases will be made of stainless steel, but one will receive Seiko’s “black hard coating” and the other will get a rose gold coating. Case size is a substantial 42.9mm, which is pretty big for a watch with a stated formal purpose (“The perfect evening watch for Novak”). The case design itself is also quite bold, particularly the horned lugs and beefy crown guards. Fortunately, the thickness should not be overwhelming at 12.3mm. Up front, the crystal is sapphire, while around back, a solid screw-down case back helps provide up to 100m of water-resistance.
Call me childish if you will, but this sort of creation is what gets me most excited. It has been built by Master Craftsmen over at Seiko Watches 17 Jewels plus it rises in stark opposition to the minimalist design of this Grand Seiko Spring Drive. It’s a festival of detail, intricacies and an entirely new tourbillon motion, the calibre 6830. The design and a lot of the physical work is down to Nobuhiro Kosugi who’s the very first watch designer to have received the coveted title of Master Craftsman by the Japanese authorities. Before you reach for your wallet, then you should understand it sells for a shocking ￡375,000. Seiko and Grand Seiko may have a cult following and are undoubtedly giants of horology, but I find that while their price diversity is impressive, pieces at the lower end (￡300-1000) aren’t what makes me most excited. They do what they do very nicely, but the most common pieces — while horologically sound — do not do enough for me visually. Even the ￡50,000 Grand Seiko was a little too “cult” for me. However, the Credor Fugaku makes a trip to the boutique worthwhile by itself. Whether you are all about the motion and technical criteria or timepieces that draw on the attention – or, like me, if you would rather tread the line between the two – then this masterpiece is essential view, in my opinion.The charming grand opening of the Brompton Road boutique was steeped in Japanese heritage reflective of this new and garnished with the main individuals at Seiko and Grand Seiko worldwide. Seiko fans will certainly appreciate what the shop offers, but every watch enthusiast can enjoy the limited edition and rare bits; making the boutique worthy of a trip if you end up anywhere nearby.
The straps are pretty interesting as they are a mix of leather and silicon. Silicon forms the foundation of the strap, whereas the top portion is leather. This is ideal for sporty wearers, though I’m skeptical about how it will look when paired with formal attire, as the silicon portion wraps around to be visible from the top alongside the leather.
As for the dial, the rose gold model gets a black dial with rose gold accents, whereas the black-coated model gets a black dial but with yellow gold accents – these accents are the only differences between the dials. The even numbered hours are indicated using Roman numerals, whereas the odd numbered hours are marked with baton indices. At 12 o’clock, we have a big date display, and at 4 o’clock there’s a 24-hour indicator. Finally, at 6 o’clock, we have a large month and leap year indicator. This is, after all, a perpetual calendar watch.
Driving the watch is Seiko’s Caliber 7D56. It is a Kinetic movement, which combines the accuracy of a quartz watch with the convenience of automatic charging via the movement of the wearer, just like in an automatic mechanical watch. Excess charge is stored in a small rechargeable battery. According to Seiko, the Caliber 7D56 is accurate to a pretty decent +/- 15 seconds a month and its perpetual calendar function needs no adjustment until the year 2100.
The Caliber 7D56 also has a very nifty power-saving function where it can go into sleep mode when it hasn’t been worn for an extended period of time. In this mode, it will continue to keep track of the time and date for another four years. So, if you want to buy a watch like this and leave it in a drawer for a long period of time… no problem!
Novak Djokovic has been an ambassador for Seiko Watches Outlet for around four years, and Seiko has created a number of special and limited edition watches for him during this time. I guess one of the perks of being a brand ambassador is that not only do you get the latest and most desirable references to wear, you can get even get special edition pieces created for you. But as a whole, the Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition watch, while very practical, displays an odd mix of design themes that is common in Japanese watches. We’ll have to see it in person, but at least we can’t call it boring. The Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition watch in the black-coated case (SNP145) is priced at €870 and with the rose gold coating (SNP146) it is €960. seikowatches.com