Monochrome Watches
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The Intriguing Tortoise Shell Dial Of The King Seiko SPB365 (Live Pics & Price)

This commemorative King Seiko model flaunts a hypnotic gradient dial decorated with deeply etched hexagons inspired by tortoise shells.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 4 min read |
King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon Limited Edition

If the Seiko Watch Corporation were a royal family, the undisputed monarch would be Grand Seiko, which is why the recent revival of the King Seiko line might create some confusion in the line of succession. Pitted against one another in the 1960s, Grand Seiko and King Seiko were determined to outdo one another and achieve ever-higher levels of quality and precision to become the company’s flagship brand. Although we are all familiar with the stellar trajectory of Grand Seiko, King Seiko wasn’t revived until late 2020 with a limited re-edition based on the 1965 King Seiko KSK. Now a standalone collection, the solid vintage credentials of King Seiko serve as the backdrop for the latest model (ref. SPB365) celebrating the 110th anniversary of Seiko and Japan’s first wristwatch (Laurel, 1913) with a hypnotic dial inspired by the birthplace of King Seiko.

As explained in great detail in this hands-on review of the King Seiko KSK SJE083, the internal rivalry between Grand Seiko and King Seiko in the early 1960s produced fruitful results. King Seiko’s inaugural watch appeared in 1961, followed by the 1965 KSK, the model that spearheaded the revival of King Seiko. Although Grand Seiko’s path was uninterrupted and became an independent entity in 2017, you could say that Seiko shot itself in the mechanical foot with its development of quartz technology, leaving the King Seiko to slumber until its revival in 2020.

King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon Limited Edition

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To commemorate its return, Seiko re-edited its classic 1965 King Seiko KSK. With its sharp, angular case, flat dial, faceted indices, broad razor-edged hands and dynamic seven-link metal bracelet, the King Seiko exudes a powerful vintage vibe. Following the first (and higher-end) silver dial re-edition of 2020, the King Seiko has appeared in a more accessible version with a host of colourful dials, including the attractive King Seiko SPB291 with its gradient lilac-coloured dial inspired by the wisteria blossoms of the Kamiedo Tenjin Shrine.

King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon Limited Edition

The latest arrival is this compact 37mm stainless steel King Seiko SPB365 with a height of 12.1mm and 100m water-resistance. In deference to its 1965 ancestor, the lugs are faceted with mirror-polished and hairline finishings, the bezel is bevelled, a box-shaped sapphire crystal covers the dial, and the striated crown and caseback bear the original King Seiko emblem. The tapering multi-link stainless steel bracelet, with its seven rows of faceted brushed and polished links, is also very close to the original. An additional leather strap is included with material sourced from LWG sustainably certified tanneries and a King Seiko clasp.


However, what separates this reference SPB365 from those currently in the King Seiko collection is its fascinating textured dial. Using a gradient coppery brown colour, the hexagonal shapes on the dial are inspired by a traditional Japanese pattern known as Kikkoumon. The Kikkoumon, in turn, takes its design cues from the geometrical shapes, or scutes, found on tortoise shells. A symbol of longevity and prosperity, the six-sided chelonian shape is also associated with samurai armour. Taking the turtle analogy one step further, it turns out that King Seiko was born in the Kameido section of Tokyo. Surrounded by rivers and streams, Kameido is also known as Tortoise Island.

King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon Limited Edition

Adding an impressive sensation of depth to the dial, each hexagon is composed of three inset hexagons set at progressively deeper levels. Combined with the gradient effect, the patterns are flooded with light in the centre and darken as they reach the periphery.

Without a trace of lume, the applied rectangular indices catch the light with their vivid polished facets, while the double index at noon reveals its patterned pyramid-like texture. The flat faceted hour and minute hands are Zaratzu polished to create a distortion-free shine and are accompanied by a needle-sharp seconds hand.

Automatic calibre 6R31

This King Seiko Kikkoumon is fitted with the modern automatic in-house calibre 6R31. Using a similar mechanical architecture to the 6R35 without the date, the 6R31 has 24 jewels and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph. Delivering a robust power reserve of 72 hours, the movement’s accuracy is rated at +15/-25 seconds per day.

King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon Limited Edition

Availability & Price

The King Seiko SPB365 Kikkoumon is a limited edition of 1,200 pieces and will be available from February 2023 at select Seiko Boutiques and retail partners worldwide. The recommended retail price in Europe is EUR 2,000. For more information, please visit

6 responses

  1. Nice dial but over 2k for a Seiko …that’s just not going to happen. When it used , but still mint ,going for under 1k… maybe

  2. Oh and a note to Seiko, quit writing things over the good stuff is something we frown on , even with children . Think about it ?

  3. “The movement’s accuracy is rated at +15/-25 seconds per day”? That is not accurate at all. Seiko, go back and do your homework!

  4. Intriguing dial but Seiko please, keep KING SEIKO automatic lettering same color as top Seiko. This white lettering look like smeared on the back of glass with chalk.

  5. For 2k you can get a Swiss watch with cosc accuracy. That’s myota numbers in a 300 dollar watch.

  6. Low beat movement in a €2k watch is unforgivable, who is going to buy this? Seiko so frustrating, doing the difficult stuff really well and making obvious oversights with the movement selection in the King Seiko range

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