Imagine it’s 1983. You are in charge of seiko and you have the watch industry in a firm grip technology is exploding and digital and quartz watches are on the crest of this cutting-edge wave. It’s been a decade after you started the quartz revolution, and you have just done it again.
By introducing the world’s, first quartz chronograph. What’s needed is a new icon. How do you do that? How do you make something sexy about something, a bit different, unconventional, something new cool? Well, you create something like this [ Music, ], [ Applause, ] call now, and you also get free with your paid subscription, the time machine, a distinctive desktop digital clock and perpetual calendar with liquid crystal readout and quartz movement accuracy before seiko became the horological world superpower And before it changed the world forever in 1969, with the introduction of quartz watchers, it was far from the brand.
It was today, despite its chronometer trial, beating accuracy as it competed with the then dominant swiss in the 1960s. Their designs were always seen even by themselves as a little safe, restrained, conservative and, dare i say, a little dry.
The result was a watchmaker that had little success internationally, but their 1969 quartz revolution started to change that, along with more vibrant, affordable, traditional mechanical watches like the seiko 5 line.
However, in the backs of minds of those in the upper echelons in the seiko corporation, the concern and fear of being seen as overly traditional in a culture that is obsessed with tradition would never cease.
No matter how many exciting new digital complications, quirky tv watches and early wearable technologies, they came up with in 1983, seiko unleashed another world first, the 7a28, which was the first quartz chronograph.
Not only was it far more accurate and reliable than anything the swiss had to offer, rather than a modular disposable plastic movement. Astonishingly, the 7a series had a proper quasi-decorated 15 jewel metal movement that could be regulated, disassembled, serviced and even repaired.
This explains why, despite often an impressive amount of abuse, so many have survived, but it wasn’t just tough and built to last. It was deadly precise in recording time. The center seconds ticks off the seconds one at a time, while the one tenth of a second dial zips around.
In fact it’s. Moving at 1, 20th second intervals. The minutes total up at the 9 o’clock sub-dial, and there’s a running seconds at the 6 o’clock this level of time keeping caught the eyes of the top brass at the british ministry of defence.
They were looking to issue more affordable and precise chronographs to their top elite air force, pilots, and so they chose seiko in 1984.. Seiko created a sandblasted super utilitarian version and, quite incredibly, it would be issued until the early 1990s best for lugan vodka rather shaken.
But despite james bond then played by roger moore now wearing the civilian version in the 1985, a view to a kill, seiko still needed something with a bit more pizzazz. What was required was something that would shake off those old fears of being too boring or conventional and really capture this new dynamic age and, after all, even james bond.
Sir roger was getting on a bit by this stage, so seiko asked giorgetto cujaro to imagine a collection of new watches for young motorcyclists and car drivers by the early 1980s jujaro had already established and proven himself as the greatest automobile designer of the 20th century.
There’s, hardly any italian car companies that he has not designed for, but not only supercars. His genius extended to nikon cameras, motorcycles guns for beretta office furniture, even a new type of pasta and naturally watches too born in piemonte italy, giugiaro’s.
Influence on the design world would come to define an entire age of automobiles. Just look at the delorean in back to the future, and you will immediately see what i mean. One major benefit of seiko’s.
New quartz movements was that they were thinner compared to their mechanical counterparts, thus allowing more freedom in the design. But jojanna was not a watch designer. He was an industrial designer.
This remarkably different approach meant he would start from the ergonomics outside and work his way in, rather than the opposite, like a traditional watchmaker industrial design, studies function and form primarily the direct connection between the product, its user and environment, giugiaro, initially designed four models, and then That soon expanded with different color variations of each now in motor racing, every split second counts.
So operation had to be intrinsically quick, efficient and easy to use. There was one with an adjustable strap to convert the watch into a professional instrument that could be fitted on a bicycle handlebar or even a car steering wheel, spokes another had a casing offset in relation to the strap to ensure it does not interfere with the cuffs Of the shirt or jacket, the digital model featured an angled display to ensure the watch can be read while driving without having to turn the wrist.
This was by no means the first time a watch had included this vacheron constantine had done something similar. The dawn of wristwatches, but this certainly was the first time a digital watch had featured this design.
Another had an asymmetrical pusher structure to make the watch easier to operate with gloves on and even when the hand wearing the watch was on the steering wheel. They were all infused with giugiaro’s, trademark, futuristic, retro style, angular, brutalist shapes in a matte subdued, finish, bold, clean lines and then vivid 80s bright colors to highlight hands or features needed to be extra.
Legible trijaro even went so far as to remove any luminescence from the analog versions, and while it is annoying for some, why did he do this? Well, most racing car drivers, with the exception of those racing at le mans didn’t race at night.
So, in an age before tinted loom was possible, it would be more readable with bright markers in daylight. Sometimes good design is also about what you take away from a watch as much as what you add almost instantly.
The speedmaster collection became a hit so much so it was the choice of a then relatively unknown, but rising star in motor racing, a brazilian named air and senna that was just making his debut in formula 1 racing in the early 80s before becoming one of the Greatest racing car drivers of all time and before he famously wore a tag hoya, he was wearing a seiko speedmaster.
This was real world proof of a watch doing precisely what it was intended to do, but not by sponsorship, but by the choice of the wearer [. Music ] get away from her. You, then, in 1986, the notoriously fastidious film director james cameron, chose several seikos for his next hollywood blockbuster in the alien franchise set in the far future.
This sci-fi epic stars sigourney weaver as lieutenant ellen ripley, along with co-star lance henriksen. As bishop and they both wore seiko speedmasters, this was brilliant watch casting as the signature, giugiaro style, complemented the super utilitarian spaceship sets.
This was not merely aesthetic. It was crucial and important as it needed to keep a consistent contrast with the bio-organic nightmarish aesthetic of hr, giggers xenomorph alien creature. This watch casting was by no means an accident cameron at the time wore the equally iconic seiko h558 arnie the world’s.
First, annie digi chronograph diver, with an alarm even in some deleted scenes. You can see some of the extras wearing this watch too in 2015, during giugiaro’s last year at the acclaimed and highly influential ital design, studio, seiko celebrated the 30th anniversary of this collaboration with the legendary designer and reissued several of the originals with Sleeker, more affordable, modern incarnations, based on the newer 7t12 movements.
Along with these reworked classics, there were also some stunning new creations. However, they did not quite have the same cinematic magic and racing history, as the lovable 80s based collection did today.
Seiko continues to release new color combinations rather unceremoniously, and you can find them for an absolute steal. It remains one of the greatest sweet spots and overlooked iconic watches from seiko, and i predict they will become even more desired as new or good examples of these limited editions start to become more scarce.
So now you can own one of these for not very much a very reasonable price on ebay. But what is important is – and i stress we do band about the word – iconic a lot when it comes to watches, but this watch is or watches.
I should say in so many ways: iconic. It was designed by one of the most greatest car designers, of all time, worn by motor racing legend immortalized in hollywood’s, history, so good that its ancestors were issued to raf pilots and, of course, it contained horologically, significant, japanese technology.
Not many watches can boast all of these claims. Now don’t forget to like this video click on the bell for notifications. So you don’t, miss out on new content and share your thoughts in the comments. I know this watch is intrinsically very 80s in its style and has something of a marmite effect.
But please do let me know what you think down in the comments which is your favorite of trujillo’s designs, and what do you think of the newer designs? Thank you so much for watching and as always guys, i will catch you in the next one: okay, ciao game over man.
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