Find the story of Seiko 5 that started in 60’s and the meaning of number 5.
1963. The year of the introduction of the first Sportsmatic 5. Sportsmatic 5 set a new standard in accessibly priced mechanical watches with its innovative combination of an automatic movement, 3 bar water resistance and a one-level day and date display in a single window. Its uniqueness was evident also in the case design, with the crown hidden behind the 4 o’clock position.
Rugged, dependable and unique, Seiko Sportsmatic 5 instantly made its mark, and began a tradition that is now half a century old, and is still growing.
In 1968, a second series ‘5 Sports’ was introduced to bring the advantages of Sportsmatic 5 to those who demanded the very best. The water resistance was upgraded to 7 Bar, a scratch rsistant glass, Hardlex, was chosen and a rotating bezel for elapsed time was added. A legend was in the making.
In 1969, ‘5 Sports’ Speedtimer was introduced.
It was the world’s first automatic chronograph.
From the very start, Seiko 5 was created to be a watch whose performance would serve the demanding needs of the new 1960’s generation, who cared less for tradition and more about life. The watch had five key attributes :
1. Automatic winding
2. Day/date displayed in a single window
3. Water resistance
4. Recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position
5. Durable case and bracelet
Because it grew out of the watch itself, the name Seiko 5 was deemed to express what made Seiko great and was chosen. A simple and memorable name for a simple but serious watch.
The technology behind the legend.
From the start, Seiko 5 was designed to break the mold of watch performance and to bring to the young 1960’s generation a watch that belonged to their age and that fitted into their lives. As perhaps never before, young people of the day saw no limits to their aspirations. Seiko 5 needed to be a watch that could go anywhere and everywhere. The first challenge was durability. To be durable, a watch needs to be impervious to two threats; water and shock.
Water resistance was built in as standard to every Seiko 5 watch, and metal bracelets were used so that, from buckle to buckle, the watch was resistant to water and sweat. Shock resistance was assured with two Seiko inventions. First, the mainspring was made from “Diaflex,”
an unbreakable alloy, and the “Diashock,” system was created to protect the movement from shock within the case.
Legibility was the next vital attribute. Today, we take for granted that day and date are presented in a single window but, in fact, this was an idea built in to Seiko 5 to enhance the legibility of the dial. The genius was to create a unique system that allowed both day and date to be shown in one plane.
The final challenge was to create a distinctive look that defined the brand. Thanks to the extraordinary Seiko invention of the ‘Magic Lever,’ the winding efficiency of Seiko 5 is very high, and the wearer rarely needs to use the crown. So the designers made it smaller and hid it under the lip of the case at 4 o’clock, giving Seiko 5 its signature look.