Reviving the Seiko 5 Sports “Kamen Rider”

A faithful re-issue.

Seiko just unveiled two new additions to its range of (very) affordable sports watches, the Seiko 5 Sports SRPL03 and SRPL05. Following on the Seiko 5 Sports SNXS, the pair of limited-edition timepieces are more than just remakes of yet another Seiko 5; they are faithful re-issues of the Seiko 5 Sports ref. 5126-8090 “Kamen Rider”.

The nickname comes from the fact that the watches were featured in the hit Japanese superhero television series also known as Masked Rider. The titular superhero wearing a beetle helmet sported the vintage original in the series that was first broadcast in 1971.

Initial thoughts

Vintage re-issues are commonplace to the point where the concept has become cliché. Seiko has been rolling out vintage-inspired timepieces across its sub-brands at every point of the price spectrum, but the outstanding price-quality ratio differentiates it from the competition.

Priced at US$450, the new Seiko 5 Sports models demonstrate the outstanding value proposition. Moreover, they also have an interesting backstory with the Kamen Rider association that will resonate with people of a certain age. A hit from the 1970s to mid 1990s, the television show will probably evoke a sense of nostalgia for people who grew up during that period, which adds to the appeal of the watch.

A superhero’s watch

Modelled on the vintage original, the new Seiko 5 Sports features a cushion-shaped case that is 38.5 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm thick. It has all the ingredients of typical of the Seiko 5 Sports, including a recessed crown at four, day-date display, and 100 m water resistance.

The case is matched with a single-link, retro-style steel bracelet that’s entirely brushed, though it’s delivered with an additional black leather strap.

The model is available with two dials, both inspired by the original — the SRPL03 has a radially-brushed silver dial, while the SRPL05 boasts a dial with a grained black finish. The dials have baton indices and hands along with a red “lollipop” seconds hand.

Like other Seiko 5 Sports models, it is equipped with the self-winding cal. 4R36 that has a hacking seconds and 41 hours of power reserve.

Key facts and price

Seiko 5 Sports Heritage Design Re-creation Limited Edition
Ref. SRPL03
Ref. SRPL05

Diameter: 38.5 mm 
Height: 12.4 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: Cal. 4R36
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day and date
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 41 hours

Strap: Matching stainless steel bracelet

Limited edition: 9,999 pieces per model
Availability: Available at Seiko boutiques and retailers starting July 2024
Price: US$450

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