From October 2020 to January 2021, Seiko implemented an initiative that we can only applaud, and that has to do with relying on its huge fanbase to create a watch that reflects their expectations. Named “Custom Watch Beatmaker” this campaign offered the opportunity to create your own watch by selecting and combining five watch parts (case finishing, dial, bezel insert, hands and bracelet). And once this was done, the community had the choice between no fewer than 48,000 models… And one clearly gathered an impressive amount of “likes” – we’re talking about 8,500,000 votes out of the 16,000,000 total votes worldwide. Why such a plebiscite? Well, look at it closely and you’ll see that its colour codes are something rather iconic for Seiko… Think Pogue! Here’s the cool, super-accessible Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker Limited Edition SRPH19K1.
Something of a Pogue
Seiko owns numerous iconic watches. Many are in the diving category but Seiko has far more to offer than aquatic-oriented models. The brand has a pretty impressive background in the field of chronographs too. Remember that, with its ref. 6139, Seiko was part of the 3 brands to come with an automatic chronograph in 1969. One is particularly remarkable, and that is the 6139-6002, a watch that is also known as “the Pogue.”
What makes this watch historically important isn’t only its innovative movement and the fact that it’s part of the 1969 trilogy, but also its background as a space watch. Indeed, this very reference had been worn by Colonel William Pogue in space on the 1973 Skylab 4 mission – also making it possibly the first automatic chronograph in space. With this in mind, the watch found naturally a new nickname.
The Seiko 6139-6002 Chronograph “Pogue” also hold a special place in the heart of collectors because of its look. You can hardly do more late-1960s than this, with a tonneau-shaped case and, mostly, a combination of a gold-coloured dial with a red-and-blue tachymeter bezel. I know, when described like, the combo Pepsi bezel and sunray golden dial might sound weird, but the result, as colourful as it is, actually is pretty special. And this highly distinctive style finds its way back in the collection, and all thanks to Seiko fans (see, the clients are usually right…)
Update – Words from the designers
A few hours after publishing this article, we received a message from the good people at “Gruppo 1881 Forum” who actually are behind the design of this watch, as they submitted this colour combination that won the contest. Here’s what they explained to us regarding the inspiration; “the easiest association with the new SRPH19 is the famous “Pogue” 6139-6005, but we of the Gruppo1881 Italian forum, when we designed our entry for the Custom Watch Beatmaker competition, we had firmly in mind the strong Seiko tradition, which made great use of this colour scheme in many references throughout its history: 6309-836B, 7A28-7030, even a Pulsar Y563-6019, just to name a few.”
The Pogue-inspired Seiko 5 Sports SRPH19K1
Ok, let’s make it clear from the beginning. Seiko is not bringing back the Pogue. The new SRPH19K1 is basically an evocation of this emblematic watch, with a colour scheme that has been decided by the brand’s fan base. And I must say that, even though the watch is clearly on the demonstrative side with a combination of bright colours, it really does the job at being cool. Not even mentioning the fact that this is a Seiko 5, and thus a pretty accessible watch.
What’s impressive is that this design was chosen among 48,000 propositions, and despite the immense variety offered, it managed to gather more than half of the votes. Saying that Seiko’s fanbase was looking forward to a reissue of the original Pogue, or at least its colour scheme, would be an understatement. It also demonstrates that brands have to listen to their collectors and to watch enthusiasts in general – which Seiko has successfully done with the “Custom Watch Beatmaker” campaign – because they not only buy the watches, but they also know exactly what they want and have the knowledge to want the right things. Kudos to Seiko for the initiative.
What we’re looking at with this Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker Limited Edition SRPH19K1 is rather simple. It is just a new colour combination on an existing technical base… But we also all know that a colour can make the watch. Starting from the Seiko 5 Sports base, meaning the edition with an external bezel, the brand has done two things. First is an aluminium insert on the rotating bezel executed in red (for the first 20 minutes) and in blue (for the remaining part). A so-called Pepsi look that evokes what’s found in the tachymeter bezel of the Pogue.
The other evolution concerns the dial, which is done in a bright gold tone, with a sunray-brushed pattern that will surely enhance its colour. What needs to be confirmed is the actual colour of the dial, which looks less saturated than what was used in the Pogue. To be confirmed with the watch in the metal… For the rest, the dial of this SRPH19K1 retains the traditional applied markers and hands of all other Seiko 5 Sports watches.
As for the specifications, nothing changes. This Pogue-inspired watch is sharing the same case, bracelet and movement as other members of the 5 family. This means a 42.5mm stainless steel case, with an undeniable SKX007 look, a push-pull crown at 4 o’clock, a screwed caseback with see-through crystal, a Hardlex crystal on top and 100m of water-resistance. Despite not being a proper dive watch, it still features a unidirectional bezel.
Worn on a 3-link brushed bracelet, this limited edition SRPH19K1 is powered by the calibre 4R36, a well-known movement found in numerous Seiko collections. This automatic engine beats at 3Hz and stores up to 41 hours of power reserve.
Availability & Price
This Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker Limited Edition SRPH19K1, probably one of the coolest models in the ever-growing 5 collection, will be limited to 2,021 pieces and available from selected Seiko Boutique Online websites in August 2021. The price will be the same as other watches in the collection, at EUR 290.
For more details, please visit seikowatches.com.
14/07/2021 - update regarding the inspiration for the design