Rowing Blazers and Seiko Are Back and Things Are Looking Bright

Last summer, with the help of watch expert Eric Wind, Jack Carlson and the team at Rowing Blazers put a punctuation mark on an idea that had been brewing for ages: they released a collaborative trio of watches with Seiko. Based on the much-beloved Seiko 5, which first released in 1968 and got reworked considerably in 2019, the watches featured tweaked bezels emblazoned with motifs like checkerboards and zigzags; they sold out pretty much immediately.

That success story could have been the period at the end of the project. But luckily for watch fans, it turned out to be an ellipses instead, because now Rowing Blazers and Seiko are back with a new lineup of colorful watches and—dare we say it?—it might just top the first collection in terms of wearability and desirability.

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“I love what we do with Seiko and with the watch world in general. Some brands do sneakers; Rowing Blazers does watches,” says Jack Carlson, RB’s founder. “This new collaboration is inspired by a 1970 Seiko Diver with a bright orange dial and beautiful orange and black markers. I’m crazy about the other colors, too. They’re just very wearable, but the colors are so punchy.”

rowing blazers seiko

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Those other colors, by the way, are a screaming green (aka “Lime”) and a bright blue (“Azure”), in addition to a more toned-down black dial with multicolored indices that echo the hues in Rowing Blazers’ signature croquet stripe. All four dial iterations sit inside a 40mm steel case with a plain, polished bezel, giving them a different feel than the beefy, 42.5mm watches with the diver-y bezels that preceded them.

It’s a welcome shift, but not necessarily the path of least resistance. The 2021 release was a smash hit, and Carlson is well aware that this second outing with Seiko has a lot to live up to. “I was blown away by the response to the first collection we did with Seiko so I’m happy we’re doing another,” he says. As for the design approach this time around, he says it’s “the next logical step. Instead of playing with the bezels, it’s playing with the dial and the details.”

rowing blazers seiko

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“It’s classic, but it’s fun,” Carlson continues. “I don’t like doing things that are too out there or have too many bells and whistles, because then I feel like it gets away from this idea of being classic and wearable. The black dial with the multicolor markers is just right. If you look closely, you go ‘wow.’ But it’s subtle.'” Another subtle update is that each of the watches can display the day in either English or Japanese. “I think that’s such a cool feature and it’s something I insisted on,” says Carlson.

All told, it seems pretty unlikely that these four watches will sit around for any longer than their predecessors. In fact, there’s a decent chance they’ll sell out even faster, being limited to just 888 pieces in each color. They’re on sale for $495 each at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, October 28—that is, right now—so if you’re in the market, it’s time to stop reading and start shopping for your new watch.

Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.

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