Since revamping the entry-level 5 Sports line in late 2019, Seiko has taken a “fast fashion” approach to the series. The Japanese giant has released scores of variants of this versatile sports watch over the past year with inspirations varying from Queen guitarist Brian May to smash hit anime series “Naruto.” With all this variety, however, the brand has rarely allowed its fans to design a Seiko 5 of their own. Seiko’s Custom Watch Beatmaker campaign gave enthusiasts the chance to do just that, with over 16 million votes spread out over more than 48,000 user-submitted designs between October 2020 and January 2021. The winning design from that campaign has finally been revealed, with a bold primary color design linking back to legendary Seiko models like the 6139 “Pogue” chronographs of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, as well as the original 7A28 quartz chronograph released in 1980. The Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition brings a fan favorite Seiko colorway to the current 5 Sports line while offering the line’s distinctive design and one of the series’ most approachable price points.
As with much of the series, the Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition uses an SKX diver-inspired case measuring in at 42.5mm. While the numbers would suggest this would put it on the larger side for a modern sports watch, this stainless steel design’s combination of short wide-set lugs and a clever curving polished case side undercut leads to a remarkably compact footprint on the wrist. The tall, heavily knurled unidirectional bezel ensures this design still keeps a sporty wrist presence, and it’s this element that sets the model apart from standard releases on the series. The bezel insert here uses a two-tone red and blue “Pepsi” color scheme to highlight the first 20 minutes of its dive scale, a common trait in Seiko divers and chronographs alike going back decades. It’s a bold and classic color combination, and one that feels like a natural extension of the 5 Sports’ traditional Seiko diver look in images. As with the rest of the line, the case of the 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition uses a Hardlex crystal display caseback and offers a decently sporting 100 meters of water resistance.
The dial of the Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition is undoubtedly its boldest and most distinctive element. The deep honey gold sunburst dial surface is another classic Seiko hallmark, most famously used on the Seiko 6139 “Pogue” which became the first automatic chronograph in space when used by a crew member on Skylab 4 in 1973. It’s an unapologetically bold and vibrant look in initial images, adding a truly eye-catching flair to a design that can fly well under the radar in some circumstances. Outside of the new sunburst dial surface and an applied gold-tone Seiko emblem at 12 o’clock, the rest of the design is shared with the rest of the Seiko 5 Sports series, with Seiko’s distinctive needle-tipped sword and arrow handset paired with rounded applied diver indices. With such a bright and vibrant dial surface, however, the white day/date display at 3 o’clock forms a sizeable visual hole in the design.
Seiko powers the 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition with its in-house 4R36 automatic movement. Cleanly finished vertical brushing and polished chamfered edges, this affordable mid-range powerplant offers solid performance with a 41-hour power reserve at a steady 21,600 bph beat rate. To complete the look, Seiko pairs the watch with its simple brushed stainless steel oyster style bracelet, featuring a locking push-button clasp.
With a vintage-inspired colorway that pays more reverence to Seiko’s past than much of the line, the Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition delivers a true fan favorite style to the entry-level series with eye-catching flair. Only 2,021 examples of the Seiko 5 Sports Custom Watch Beatmaker 2021 Limited Edition will be made and will be available through select authorized dealers in September 2021 at an MSRP of $295. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.