The Seiko company was founded in 1881, produced its first pocketwatches in 1895, its first alarm clocks in 1899, and its first wristwatches in 1913. That means that 2013 marked 100 years of Seiko wristwatches, and the Japanese company marked the milestone with a special version of its Seiko Ananta Chronograph.
In this article from my blog, Watch-Insider.com, I reveal the story behind the Seiko Ananta 100th Anniversary Chronograph and present to you the details of the centennial-celebrating watch and the historical Japanese artifacts that inspired its design.
From Seiko’s official press release: “Ananta brings together two rich traditions. Honed over 100 years, Seiko’s watchmaking skills are fused with the cultural history of Japan to create a collection that is both unmistakably Seiko and uniquely Japanese. For 2013, a new chronograph is added to Ananta with a design that evokes the age of the Samurai. Even among the many remarkable daimyos, or regional barons, of the early 17th century, Masamune Date’s is an outstanding story. He fought his first campaign at the age of 14, he succeeded his father as daimyo at 17, he founded Sendai, one of Japan’s great cities, and he was the driving force behind a sea-borne diplomatic mission that reached as far as the Philippines, Spain and even the Vatican City in Rome. As a warrior, he was as merciless as he was successful and he was renowned for the distinctiveness of his armor. His Samurai helmet was topped with a large crescent moon emblem and it is with this most distinctive look that history remembers him today. Masamune Date’s crescent moon helmet is the inspiration for the new Ananta chronograph.”
So what makes this Ananta Chronograph special? Here’s how Seiko describes the process of making the watch:
“The dial of this new chronograph is a perfect expression of Seiko’s dedication to ultimate refinement and innovation. Isshu Tamura, a noted artist and expert in the Kaga Makie style of lacquer, paints each dial by hand but it is the colors that make this watch unique. The dial itself is a deep blue, a color never before achieved with lacquer and it evokes the richness of the night sky, against which the crescent moon, also painted in lacquer, shines brightly. The effect is stunning; a combination of power and serenity that is the perfect visual metaphor for the richly varied life of Masamune Date.
Inside this new Ananta creation beats Seiko’s mechanical chronograph caliber 8R28. It, of course, has a column wheel and vertical clutch system for precise operation and also incorporates Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer, which ensures the perfect synchronization of the hands’ fly-back. The beauty of the color on the dial is perfectly visible, thanks to Seiko’s proprietary anti-reflective coating which eliminates 99% of light reflection, even in bright sunlight.
The Ananta chronograph is offered in a limited edition of 300, each with its own serial number engraved on the caseback. It is part of the Seiko 100th anniversary collection, which celebrates the centenary of Seiko’s very first wristwatch, the Laurel, created in 1913.”
Movement: Seiko Caliber 8R28, automatic; 12-hour chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch; frequency = 28,800 vph; 34 jewels; 45-hour power reserve
Case and bracelet: Stainless steel with hard blue coating; diameter = 42.8 mm; thickness = 14.2mm; sapphire crystal with Super-clear coating; water-resistant to 100 meters; magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m; on stainless steel bracelet; three-fold clasp with push-button release
Limited edition of 300 pieces
Price (in Europe): 4,300 Euros