At the time of its introduction in 1963, the Seikomatic Weekdater J13080 was the flagship of the Seiko Automatic line up. In effect, the Weekdater was Seiko’s equivalent to the Grand Seiko, before the appearance of the first automatic GS in 1967. A highpoint in Seiko’s illustrious history – Absolutely!
Seiko’s “Weekdater” line up offers some of the cleanest layouts and most appealing designs to come out of the 60’s. A style that captures modernity and minimalism perfectly; and that’s just as relevant today, as it were when they were introduced more than 56 years ago.
Our Seikomatic Weekdater J13080, was produced in July 1963, making it an early example. Early versions are easily identifiable by their “J” style reference numbers and three-digit movement numbers; in this watches case, a Cal. 400.
The virtually unmarked Silver “Sunburst” dial sports the applied “Seikomatic” spinning top logo, and just above the six o’clock marker the AD “Star” insignia which denotes an appliqué dial. In this case, a dial with applied mirror-finish Baton style 5-minute markers in polished and bevelled steel. These are set off perfectly by the date aperture at 3 o’clock and the day window at 6 o’clock; both being inset with polished surrounds.
The dauphine hands also boast a mirror finish and are a perfect pairing to the detailed applied markers. These too are in beautiful condition.
The polished Stainless-Steel case is classic understatement personified. The first thing you notice is, the case is perfectly round, there is no crown visible. This is inset flush with the cases edge at 4 o’clock, giving a purity to the overall design. The one extravagance? The bevelled lugs that sit at just the right angle to the 37mm case. It’s the little touches that make all the difference in design.
The push-on domed case back is almost worn smooth with age and sports millions of little scratches from where it has been set down over the years. So much so, that the engraving on the case back, has all but disappeared. However, using a 10X loop, the engraving reads “Seiko : Waterproof 30 : Stainless Steel : J13080. If I had an electron microscope, it would have been easier!
Finally, we have changed the metal strap (it is very small, but will come with the watch) for a black, Crocodile grain, Italian leather strap completing and complimenting this design classic of flawless understatement.
Without doubt it is just as relevant today as it was more than a half century ago.