Living the “Samurai” spirit with my very first mechanical watch

A short sharing on a personal watch-collecting unlike any others

Date Published
Mar 22, 2024
Jun Kai
Gnomon Viewpoint
SponsoredAcme Inc.

Embarking on the journey of watch collecting is often fueled by extensive research on social media or websites, or influenced by remarkable individuals who intersect with our lives. My entry into this world, however, was uniquely intimate. While various watches had crossed my path, it wasn’t until a special day when someone close to me gifted me my inaugural “luxurious” timepiece, propelling me headfirst into the captivating realm of this geeky hobby.

Unsurprisingly, the gift served as an ideal starting point, aligning with the consensus that a Seiko watch is an excellent introduction to the horology rabbit hole. Specifically, my initiation was marked by the Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Sports Ref. SPB53J1 – a piece that now holds a cherished spot in my collection. To many, it may appear as an ordinary watch, but within its details lie stories and memories that are irreplaceable.

Before delving into my personal journey, understanding the origin of the “Samurai” nickname for this dive watch is crucial. The Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Sports pays homage to Seiko’s heritage, featuring Japanese sword/Katanas-like hands, a clear flat crystal, and a tsunami embossing on the back. Known as a tool watch for diving, the Samurai collection has evolved over the years, incorporating materials like ceramic and scratch-proof sapphire.

In 2021, the Seiko Prospex Samurai SPB53J1, equipped with a 4R35 engine, graced my collection. Its iconic angular design evokes the impression of being sliced by a Japanese Samurai sword. The blue and red highlights on the unidirectional stainless steel bezel harmonize with the satin-brushed finish along the lugs and the mirror-polished circular edges of the case. The back is adorned with a tsunami emblem, cementing its place in Seiko’s diver watch legacy.

On my birthday, December 12th, 2021 (yeap, the same year), my mother presented me with this exquisite timepiece. The blue textured dial, adorned with white markers, immediately captivated me. It became not just my first diver watch but a companion through the years, almost an extension of my identity, worn proudly during swimming and casual outings.

Enlisting in the army for National Service prompted a dilemma about bringing such an expensive watch into rigorous conditions. However, viewing it as a tool, I decided to put it to the test. Through Basic Military Training, it endured wear and tear, becoming a comforting reminder of home while consistently telling the time without falter.

Post-National Service, life transitioned to more leisure and professional occasions, necessitating a change in the strap from rubber to a sport steel one. Working at Gnomon, a distinguished watch distributor in Singapore, further deepened my appreciation. Colleagues, all watch enthusiasts, readily identified my watch, sharing insights that enriched my understanding of its intricate details.

As my Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Sports seamlessly adapted to my shifting lifestyle, symbolizing my journey, it evolved into a timeless piece housing all my memories and stories. This watch will forever hold a special place in my heart, signifying the inception of my watch-collecting odyssey.

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

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