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October Lookbook 2023: The Japanese Way Of Horology
Gnomon Lookbook

October Lookbook 2023: The Japanese Way Of Horology

For the first time in women’s version, this sixties-inspired diver’s watch – a sporty, ergonomic model in shades of blue – has been designed not only for intrepid explorers but for Mido lovers like us.
May 22, 2024

Each month, we present a selection of our favorite watches from Gnomon’s collection, capturing the images and stories by our beloved in-house team members. Through our lookbook you get a clearer view at what makes these watches and our company so special. This week we bring to you five different watches that encapsulate the spirit of Japanese watchmaking. From indie brand like Hitori with their mechanical offerings, to the big brothers in the East who fabricated some of the icons that enthusiasts covet till these days. Dig into our picks below, and be sure to be amazed by the vivid choices. 

Seiko “King Seiko KSK” Mechanical Automatic White Ref. SDKA005

Recently we welcome the King Seiko collection once again with the new Seiko King Seiko Mechanical Automatic Ref. SDKSXXX series. Today, the King gets a higher end movement upgrade that allows a better case profile and performance. The new 38mm Seiko King Seiko “KSK” Mechanical Automatic White Ref. SDKA005 clads the 6L35 caliber in a unisex sizing. That said, 38mm distills a balance between vintage and modern styling on the wrist, both tangibly and intangibly.

Furthermore, the case is meticulously done with brushed and polished Zaratsu-finishings, resembling the original King Seiko 44-9990. Its faceted lugs have been adapted straight from the 1965 model. The boxed sapphire crystal lends a nostalgic reminiscence of the 1960s. Both the crown and the caseback are completed with the same King Seiko emblem that came with the original one.

Citizen Series 8 Automatic White Ref. NB6010-81A

Citizen unveiled their latest Series 8 collection based on their Japan-only release seen back in 2008, a truly value-packed series of sporty automatic watches boasting an especially sleek case design and a respectable mechanical performance. Citizen described the Series 8 collection as ‘redefining the power of a sports watch with infinite possibilities’, a nod to the figure 8 on its side as a symbol of infinity. The Citizen Series 8 Automatic White Ref. NB6010-81A explores this expression with a beautifully sized 40mm stainless steel case crafted with sharp and defined lines, evoking a delightful sense of sophistication.

To us the Series 8 feels apt to join the market where lifestyle “integrated” sports watches are in vogue. Thanks to the Swiss Maisons paving the path, The Series 8 Automatic with its in-house Cal. 9051 automatic movement, is a fantastic value proposition from Citizen, showing off a clean but exceedingly refined design that’s so easy to fall in love with. Citizen has impressed us once again, delivering a well-specced modern timepiece that will easily fit right into any collection.

Hitori Habuka 39 Deluxe Special – Ltd Ed 100pcs

Before we began, a little TLDR about this brand: Hitori Watch Co. or, “ひとり”  sets out to be an independent brand that brings timepieces like few others – at a pre-eminently excellent price point for a painstakingly well-executed mechanical watch. Not only that, but through the influence of Japanese culture, and most importantly, their traditional modus operandi. 

Now, in celebrating the successful launch of the second Habuka 39 collection, we introduced the splendour looking Habuka 39 Deluxe Special. This new limited edition gets some significant upgrade with a ritzy deep ocean blue dial, paired with gilt second hand for the extra savour faire, and a brand new chapter ring for more “dial” presence. This imminent watch takes cue from the first Habuka 39 Snow White, grabbing the spotlight with its incredible nostalgic timepieces that redefine the classic style uniquely to the land of the rising sun. Made proudly in Asia with its NH35 caliber, completing the savoir fairé, a versatile watch that reflects one of the snowy alps in Japan.  

Seiko 5 Japan Seiko 5 Sports GMT Series Black Ref. SBSC001

Who said Japanese watchmaking is all about dressy formalities? The Seiko 5 Sports range is one example that showcases Japan’s prowess in watch-design culture. It is as iconic as it gets since its inception in 1968. The relaunched collection in 2019 added a youthful zest to this decades-old collection. 2022 saw the release of a new collection with a GMT caliber based on the tried and tested platform of Caliber 4R. With this trailblazing move, this SBSC001 provides the international convenience of a GMT function. 

We love what Seiko did to this series, whereby combining a traveller’s complication into its classic “SKX” diver silhouette.  Design-wise, the watch boasts of a rotating 24-hour bezel that rotates in both direction, as well as a 24-hour indicator in the inverted chapter-ring/rehaut. Hence the dial can remain comparatively clean and legible, with the addition of the GMT text underneath the script Automatic.

Orient Star Avant-Garde Skeleton Blackout Ref. RK-AV0A03B

Perfecting the craft since 1991, openwork watchmaking is no stranger to Orient which had released their first-ever semi-skeleton watch, the Orient Star Ref. WZ0011FH, in October 2003. And today, Orient presents its all-new Avant-Garde Skeleton line-up built to keep up with your active style as this renowned Japanese brand launches the star of this exquisite selection, the Orient Star Avant-Garde Skeleton Blackout Ref. RK-AV0A03B.

This selection would be the most quirky timepieces out of our oriental selections in this Lookbook. Just take a look at the blackout case and open-works, these elements not only proves watchmaking in Japan could be brazen and interesting, yet still distills an undeniable cultural artisanship. Marvel at the impeccable skeleton dial of the Orient Star, continuing the expert watchmaking legacy with its unique bolted case design that sets this timepiece apart from many of its contemporaries in Japan.

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