Seiko fans mark anniversary of the Seiko 5 Sports watch with four winning designs

The Seiko 5 Sports ‘Customise’ Limited Edition collection was designed and chosen by Seiko fans across the world

Seiko watches: competition design celebrating Seiko 5 Sports watch
The Customise campaign Europe winner
(Image credit: Seiko)

Seiko is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Seiko 5 Sports with a competition. Seiko fans across the world have created their own designs for the Seiko 5 Sports ‘Customise’ Limited Edition collection, before casting a vote for their favourite piece. The winning timepieces stay faithful to the distinctive features of the original model, with the bezel style of the 1968 watch remaining. Here, the brand gives us an insight into the new designs.

Celebrating the Seiko 5 Sports

Wallpaper*: How have the Seiko sports watch design codes been reinterpreted in these winning pieces?

Seiko: The campaign gave our fans the opportunity to ‘show their style’ whilst still creating watches that are recognisable as part of the Seiko 5 Sports range. Our fans have always shaped and continue to define our brand, even to the extent of naming many of their favourite watches: the Turtle, the Samurai, the Sumo, to name just a few.

The Seiko 5 Sports Customise Campaign ensured that no matter the chosen design, the five key attributes of a Seiko 5 Sports watch remain. These include the automatic movement, the day-date display, its water-resistance, the recessed crown at the four o’clock position, and its durable case and bracelet. Customers mixed and matched design elements from our 1968 vintage pieces to create their own watch blueprints.

Fan-designed Seiko watch inspired by Seiko 5 Sports

The Customise campaign Asia winner

(Image credit: Seiko)

W*: What is your favourite thing about these designs?

S: Watches are always subject to personal preference and sentimental value, so we loved giving our customers the freedom to design their own pieces – the engagement from our fans in the campaign was phenomenal, and their excitement for the final watch concepts to be created demonstrated the fondness that Seikoholics have for the Seiko 5 Sports brand, something we never take for granted. We received over 610,000 votes on the final designs! For us, it is also really interesting to see the differences in preferred watch styles between watch fans from regions around the world.

W*: What were the challenges in bringing these designs to life?

S: With so many design submissions from all over the globe, our biggest challenge was producing just one piece. It was impossible to choose just one overall global winning interpretation, so we selected one watch design from each region: Japan, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, creating four final watches in the collection.

Fan-designed Seiko watch inspired by Seiko 5 Sports

The Customise campaign America winner

(Image credit: Seiko)

W*: How do they stay faithful to the distinctive Seiko design?

S: The Customise Campaign commemorated the 55th year anniversary of Seiko 5 Sports, so central to the ‘customise’ concept was that each design would feature a bezel in the style of the original 1968 model. For example, the Americas design featured the same bezel as the 61-5D – the first ever Seiko 5, and the European design featured the ‘Regatta Timer’ – a main component of the 61-5 322 piece. By encouraging fans to create new looks from elements of popular vintage designs, we revived the distinctive style and took a completely fresh look through the eyes of our fans rather than our designers. In this way, the ‘customise’ process stayed faithful to the distinctive Seiko 5 style but gave free rein on the mix of the design concepts – so the elements remained whilst the unique blend of each changed.

Fan-designed Seiko watch inspired by Seiko 5 Sports

The Customise campaign Japan winner

(Image credit: Seiko)

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.