Just Arrived: The Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition
Friday - 18 February 2022
Read the full story behind this collaborative Seiko x Brian May watch, inspired by the rock legend’s “Red Special” guitar, as Jura Watches becomes one of the first stockists to offer all the exclusive details on this limited-edition 5 Sports watch of just 12,500 pieces worldwide.
It has been well documented that affordable watches are just as capable of keeping accurate time as those that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you don’t believe me, you could ask rock legend, Brian May? He is one of many celebrities who has stood by the decision to don a reliable, accurate and durable watch to the wrist, regardless of its price tag. And credit to him for doing so. Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics too. Given that knowledge, you may have wondered why he hadn’t opted for a more cosmic watch? Or a timepiece with more scientific aspirations? But the truth is – whether you have sold millions of albums or not – every modern man wants the same thing - to rely on a trustworthy watch brand. This brings us to Seiko’s new 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition watch.
A loyal Seiko fan that wears a loyal watch
Seiko is a Japanese brand that has been synonymous with values of precision, high-performance and accuracy from the day dot. Ever since the manufacturer’s conception, you couldn’t argue that Seiko watches came second to a more high-end name because they didn’t and they still don’t. Seiko watches, whether from the 5 Sports watch collection or not, stand by their promise of reliability and value for money above all else, and that’s precisely what keeps a Seiko fan coming back for more.
If you follow Seiko, you’ll know that the brand rarely selects ambassadors to promote its watches. Tools from the 5 Sports watch collection speak for themselves and so the brand perhaps never saw a need? Until now, that is. Brian May has shown a commitment to wearing a Seiko watch since 1975. The chosen model was the Seiko 7548 diver – a quartz watch on the market at the height of the quartz craze. Back then, Seiko was king of the quartz, so with the 7548 strapped securely to his wrist, Brian May wore the diving watch both on stage and as a daily beater - and never once looked back. In fact, May has never been seen with any watch other than a Seiko. If that kind of commitment doesn’t get you an honorary opportunity to become a brand ambassador for one of the most widely-recognised watch manufacturers on the planet, I don’t know what will.
Anyway – that’s the story of Brian May and Seiko watches. Seiko builds reliable timekeeping tools and the famous musician and songwriter swears by them. To mark this special relationship, Seiko released the Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special” Limited Edition SRPE83K1 back in 2020. It was a tribute to the iconic “Red Special” guitar, which May, at the age of just 16, handcrafted himself with the help of his father. May used old boards taken from a fireplace to create the cord section of the guitar, buttons to make the frets, and used a sixpence as a plectrum. It propelled his love for guitar playing even further and played to a very unique tune.
The “Red Special” guitar
Honouring this legendary guitar, the Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May Limited Edition watch released two years ago measured a 42mm diameter and was crafted from stainless steel with a winding crown protected by two guards, and 100-meter water resistance. More memorable was its striking red-coloured dial, adorned with the black waist curve of the guitar travelling up the left-hand side of the display. True to the faithful style of the popular 5 Sports watch – the hands and hour markers on the dial were shaped into the 5 Sports style and treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite material. Now it’s time for another Seiko “Red Special” watch.
The new Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition watch ref. SRPH80K1
The new Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” is developed in collaboration with the star and is limited to 12,500 pieces worldwide. The design celebrates over 40 years of the Seiko and Brian May relationship and boasts luxurious gold-accented elements to elevate the rich red tones of May’s cherished Red Special guitar. The design is also inspired by May’s recent remastering of his solo album as part of the “Gold Series”.
There are some other very special characteristics to mention about the new 42mm yellow PVD-coated stainless steel Seiko 5 Sports “Red Special” watch. Echoing the wooden case of May’s Special Red guitar is an exclusively developed presentation box to keep the new limited edition 5 Sports watch in. Referencing the sixpence used by May as a teenager to pluck the cords of his handcrafted guitar, a commemorative gold-coloured “Lucky Sixpence” is also supplied with the limited edition Seiko watch.
What makes purchasing the new Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” watch even easier to succumb to (especially if you’re a Queen fan) is the fact that some proceeds from each sale will go towards supporting the Mercury Phoenix Trust, founded by May himself, Roger Taylor and their manager Jim Beach. The Mercury Phoenix Trust was set up by May and the organisation’s co-founders to honour the memory of Freddie Mercury who died from HIV/AIDS in 1991. The Trust is a core part of the rock band Queen and Freddie’s legacy, with the passion and power behind the music forming the bedrock of the MPT.
The back of the 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” watch features the rock star’s unique signature, whilst the nylon strap securing the watch to the wrist is designed to emulate the guitar strings of the iconic guitar. Its 42mm stainless steel case is topped with a black aluminium unidirectional 120-click bezel equipped with a 60-minute scale for measuring elapsed time. A strong Hardlex surface protects the vibrant “Red Special”-inspired dial from denting, scratching, light, heat and moisture damage – the same red materials used for its red-tinted exhibition caseback. This section reveals the performance of the automatic self-winding Calibre 4R36 – a tried and tested movement used throughout Seiko’s catalogue that is capable of providing a useful 41-hour power reserve.
True to the design of its predecessor, the black waist curve of the guitar is portrayed on the left-hand side of the dial. The Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special” II watch also features a legible day-date at 3 o’clock, dressed against a white background for optimum readability. The hands and hour markers on the dial are coated in LumiBrite, whilst the black nylon strap secures to the wrist with a durable stainless steel pin buckle. The watch is also 100-meter water resistance, assisted by a push-down crown at 3 o’clock.
If you’d like to place an order for one of these 12,500 limited edition “Red Special” Seiko watches, you can call and speak to a member of our sales team here at Jura Watches today on 01335 453453
Technical specifications of the new Seiko 5 Sports x Brian May “Red Special II” Limited Edition watch
- Case: 42mm – stainless steel – yellow gold PVD coating – 100-meter water-resistant – Hardlex front – red-tinted Hardlex caseback – push down crown – height 13mm – black aluminium unidirectional rotating bezel
- Dial – Red colour, inspired by Brian May’s “Red Special” guitar – LumiBrite hour markers and hands – black waist curve running up the left side of the dial – white day-date at 3 o’clock – gold-coloured “Red Special Automatic” lettering - gold-coloured “Seiko” lettering and logo
- Movement – Calibre 4R36 – automatic – self-winding – 28,800 vph – 41-hour power reserve
- Strap: Black – textile – NATO-style – stripes in a gold colour inspired by the cords of May’s guitar – yellow gold PVD-coated stainless steel pin buckle.
- Reference: SRPH80K1
- Availability: 12,500 pieces worldwide
- Price: £530