May 11, 2023
Following hot on the heels of its exclusive friends-and-family collaboration with Tudor, American clothing company Rowing Blazers has once again teamed up with Seiko to create a third capsule collection of Seiko 5 Sports watches that feature dial colors intended for summer. Rowing Blazers’ original foray into the world of watch collaborations started with Seiko in 2021, and last year, the two brands released a follow-up collection of limited-edition Seiko 5 models that draw their inspiration from a 1970 Seiko 6106-7107 70m Sport Diver that belongs to Rowing Blazers Founder Jack Carlson. Like previous collaboration watches, the new Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports capsule collection was designed by Jack Carlson in collaboration with vintage watch expert and longtime friend Eric Wind from Wind Vintage, and the new limited-edition models build upon the core platform of the previous series while embracing new dials and straps that showcase fun and lighthearted colors.
From a design and functionality standpoint, this new third series of Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches is largely identical to the models from the previous capsule collection, and they feature stainless steel cases that measure 40mm in diameter by 12mm thick with drilled 20mm lugs and and and overall lug-to-lug profile of 44.5mm. Hardlex crystals are fitted to both the dial side of the watch and its screw-down display caseback, while the clear caseback window features the Rowing Blazers’ “Tempus Fugit” (“Time Flies”) skeleton emblem printed on its inner surface. Sitting between the flowing crown guards at 4 o’clock is a push-pull style winding crown that is signed with the Rowing Blazers’ “RB” logo, while water resistance for the new collaboration models comes in at the same 100 meters that accompanies that standard-production Seiko 5 Sports watches that feature this same core case design.
While the overall case is more-or-less the same as what can be found on the standard-production models, it is the dial design of these collaboration watches that are inspired by Jack Carlson’s personal Seiko 6106-7107 Sport Diver. The black contrasting chapter ring and retro-styled hour markers are virtually identical to what can be found on the vintage 1970 model that serves as the inspiration for these watches. However, the hands fitted to these new Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches appear in the same style as what can be found in the previous generation, which offer an overall shape that is identical to the hands fitted to the regular Seiko 5 Sport models. That said, rather than featuring largely polished surfaces, the seconds hands fitted to these latest Rowing Blazers collaboration pieces feature the same red and white striped “candy cane” style finish that has appeared on all of the previous Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches.
Just like the previous limited-edition series that was launched last year in 2022, this new third capsule collection of Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches consists of four different models, and each one comes fitted with a different color dial and paired with a different secondary NATO-style strap. Dial colors include pink, purple, yellow, and white, with the white dial variant featuring hour markers in the colors of the brand’s signature “croquet stripe” design. Additionally, while all four of the models are fitted with the Seiko 5 collection’s standard three-link stainless steel bracelet, each watch also comes with an additional nylon NATO strap that compliments its specific dial color. The pink dial model is paired with a blue and white striped strap; the purple version receives a similar striped strap in green and yellow; the yellow dial variant comes with a three-stripe strap in red, yellow, and green; and the white dial watch receives a solid pink strap in order to keep the visual emphasis on its multicolored hour markers.
Powering the new Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches is a Caliber 4R36 automatic movement fitted with an English/Japanese day disc, and this is the same movement that can be found inside both of the previous capsule collections, along with all of the other modern standard-production Seiko 5 models. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 41 hours, the Seiko 4R36 is very much a known quantity, and due to the fact that Seiko makes this movement available to third parties as the Cal. NH36, this particular self-winding movement is easily one of the most commonly-used mechanical calibers in the entire watch industry. Reliable, affordable to maintain, and otherwise entirely unremarkable, the Seiko Cal. 4R36 is hardly anything noteworthy from a performance or finishing standpoint, although it does promise years of reliable timekeeping and the ability to easily be repaired or serviced by just about any watchmaker in the entire world.
Unlike the recent Tudor x Rowing Blazers Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which was exclusively produced for friends and family of the brand and not made available to members of the general public, this new third capsule collection of Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports watches can be purchased by anyone who wants one for an official retail price of $495 USD. That said, all four of these new models will be produced as limited editions of 888 numbered pieces, and based on how quickly previous Rowing Blazers collaborations have sold out in the past, these new summer-themed models are likely to be equally popular among collectors. Compared to many of Seiko’s other limited-edition watches that are produced in quantities that can reach well into the thousands, these new Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports models exist in fairly small numbers, and even outside of their connections to the world of fashion and streetwear, they offer a unique aesthetic that reimagines a thoroughly vintage design and places it within the context of the modern Seiko 5 lineup. For more information on the latest Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Sports capsule collection, please visit either the official Seiko website or Rowing Blazer’s website.