When King Seiko watches returned to the scene a few years ago, they did so with the instantly recognizable KSK case shape. Of course, we always knew more shapes would follow at some point, and here they are! I am a big fan of the 2022 release, and the SPB281 was my daily watch for a full year. To say, then, that I am excited to see the second shape is an understatement.

Join me for a closer look at the brand-new King Seiko SJE109, SJE111, SJE113, and SJE115 models.

A familiar shape for the new King Seiko models

The new releases build on a case shape that we can trace back to 1969. The King Seiko 45KCM used this tonneau shape in typical Seiko execution. It has intricate angles and curves, resulting in a case that feels like a sharpened pebble. The sculpted profile seems like it could be inspired by futuristic racing boats or even spaceships.

The bezel, or core case, emerges from the tonneau shape like a shiny steel tube. Seiko polished its top edge, which surrounds a box-style sapphire crystal. The crown sits recessed in the rounded case flank. It is all very close to the 1969 original.

Like the 1969 original, the dial layout is simple and functional. You get applied and faceted indices, with the one at 12 o’clock displaying a feather-inspired pattern. A framed date and a set of simple baton hands finish an elegant aesthetic. There is an applied Seiko logo at 12 and a rather large “King Seiko” and “Automatic” print at 6 o’clock. You get a choice of silver (SJE109), purple (SJE111), or vignette green (SJE113). Alternatively, there is a 700-piece limited edition with a light blue dragon-scale-pattern dial (SJE115). This model marks the 100th anniversary of the Seiko brand name being printed on the Japanese manufacturer’s dials.

New King Seiko specs

The new King Seiko models measure 39.4mm across. That might sound large for vintage-inspired everyday watches, but these feel smaller on the wrist due to the bezel’s diameter. I found them quite well proportioned on my 18cm (7.1″) wrist. The 9.9mm thickness is great, especially as the blade-like case flanks make the watch optically even thinner.

Inside ticks the automatic caliber 6L35, which Seiko refers to as a Slimline movement. This 26-jewel caliber runs at a 28,800vph frequency and provides a 45-hour power reserve. Seiko specifies the accuracy as +15/-10 seconds per day, which isn’t very King Seiko-esque. Unfortunately, this has been a compromise throughout the King Seiko collection since bringing the name back in 2022.

King Seiko SJE115 pocket shot

The watches are water resistant to 50 meters, and the crown is of the push-in type. Seiko labels these as dress watches, so these specs make sense. Tucked in the 19mm gap between the lugs, we find a very well-executed bracelet. It features genuine discreet links in the end links, which is rare. The drape is supremely comfortable, and the finishing is excellent. Seiko fitted a push-button butterfly clasp to this bracelet. Therefore, as you might assume, there is no micro-adjustment option. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there is no quick-release mechanism either.

The King Seiko SJE109, SJE111, SJE113, and SJE115 dials

The first thing I noticed when I saw these new King Seiko models was the dial texture of the green model. As it turns out, it shares a texture inspired by washi (和紙, meaning “Japanese paper”) with the purple model. The surface is quite beautiful, adding visual interest in a very subtle and attractive way. The green model features a vignette effect, which you may know is a pet peeve of mine. Weirdly, this is one of the first vignette dials I like. The fade is subtle enough to feel like it is caused by light rather than a darkened black perimeter. It isn’t, of course, but it looks much more natural to me than most.

The purple model is free of any vignette effect, but it is no less impressive. The color is vibrant and subdued at the same time. The silver-dial version is most vintage in its aesthetic. This is your best bet if you are looking for a modern King Seiko with a vintage look. There isn’t much I can say about it other than that it just works.

King Seiko SJE115 dial close-up

Lastly, we have the limited edition. This is my least favorite of the bunch. I find the dragon-scale pattern distracts from the case, which is the star of the show here. You always need visual hierarchy in any design, and this texture breaks it in my humble opinion. To me, the watch is better served by a simpler dial with a finer texture, like the non-limited models.

King Seiko SJE111 on wrist

Initial impressions

I only spent a short amount of time with the pre-production samples, so this isn’t a full review by any means. Still, I was able to form some strong initial impressions. Notably, you don’t even have to pick these watches up to see the quality of the finish immediately. They look much more like Grand Seiko watches than “regular” Seiko offerings, and they feel that way too.

King Seiko SJE109 and SJE113

I can only predict these will trigger a mixed response, just as the previous King Seiko releases did. If you look at them from a features-for-money perspective, they come up lacking. You might expect greater accuracy and water resistance as well as things like micro-adjustment and quick-release mechanisms. However, that isn’t what the modern King Seiko line is about. It is about great designs executed to a high standard. If you are more sensitive to the look and feel of a watch than its specs, these might excel for you.

In that respect, I would have loved to see the execution pushed a bit further. Screwed links in the bracelet, for instance, would substantiate the beautiful execution a bit more. As is, the price of €3,200 feels a bit steep, especially since the similarly executed SPB281 I owned sits at €1,800. Granted, that one houses the older 6R movement, but still.

King Seiko SJE109 on wrist

Pricing and availability

As mentioned, the new King Seiko SJE109, SJE111, SJE113, and SJE115 are priced at €3,200. That includes the 700-unit anniversary limited edition. All four will be available in Seiko boutiques and select retailers starting in July 2024.

What do you think of these watches? Don’t be shy; let us know in the comments!

Watch specifications

King Seiko
SJE109 (silver) / SJE111 (purple) / SJE113 (green) / SJE115 (light blue)
Silver, washi-textured purple, washi-textured vignette green, and dragon-scale-textured light blue, all with applied indices
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
39.4mm (diameter) × 9.9mm (thickness)
Box-style sapphire with underside antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with etched King Seiko logo, screw-in
Seiko 6L35: Slimline automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 45-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50 meters)
13-row stainless steel bracelet with push-button butterfly clasp
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) and date
Special Note(s)
Reference SJE115 limited to 700 units