The achievements of Naomi Uemura are remembered in a classic 1970 Seiko design

Press Release

The achievements of Naomi Uemura are remembered in a classic 1970 Seiko design

Five years after making Japan’s first diver’s watch in 1965, Seiko introduced a new diver’s watch with a flowing case design and an asymmetrical extension that protected the crown at the four o’clock position. With its solid construction, 150-meter water resistance, and luminous hands and indexes, it was perfect for those who needed a timepiece with exceptional strength and legibility.

This 1970 diver’s watch proved its reliability in extreme conditions when it was worn by Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura in the Arctic region in the years 1974 to 1976. Born in 1941, Naomi Uemura was a university student when he took on the challenge of his first mountain climb. By the age of 29, he had climbed Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Mt. Aconcagua, and, in 1970, he became the first Japanese mountaineer to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Just three months later, he reached the top of Alaska’s Denali (then known as Mt. McKinley) and thus became the first mountaineer in the world to reach the summits of all these five peaks.

Today, Uemura’s ascents of these five mountains are commemorated with a modern re-inter- pretation of the 1970 diver’s watch whose dial depicts Mont Blanc, the first of these climbs.

This commemorative watch echoes the design of the 1970 original but is thoroughly modern in execution. The textured dial features an image of the distinctive silhouette and contours of Mont Blanc over a patterned backdrop that echoes the mountain’s rocky and snowy surface. Pressing and etching techniques are used to give the dial depth and bring the 4,807-meter peak to life. Mont Blanc is presented at the very same angle from which Uemura began his ascent.

The case sides are carefully polished, and the watch is presented on a five-row steel bracelet to create a sharp, modern profile. Thanks to the positioning of the date window between four and five o’clock, all 12 of the hour markers are visible and all have a generous coating of Lumibrite, as do the hands, to maximize legibility in the dark.

The timepiece is powered by Caliber 8L35, developed especially for diver’s watches and hand-assembled by Seiko’s most skilled craftsmen and women. The case has a super-hard coating to protect it from scratches, and the crystal is a curved sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface to ensure high legibility from every angle. The watch is presented in a special box featuring a saying of Naomi Uemura’s: “When one dream is realized, other dreams will follow.“ The watch is water resistant to 200 meters.

This new watch joins the Seiko Prospex collection and will be available as a limited edition of 500 from May 2023 at the Seiko Boutiques and select retailers worldwide.

(Images © Seiko)