When tennis star Novak Djokovic takes a break from practicing and playing tennis he may want to don a watch less obviously sporty than one of his specially designed Seiko Astron timepieces. Last month, Seiko debuted what you’ll likely see on Djokovic’s wrist between matches: one of two new Kinetic Perpetual Calendar watches.
As a Seiko a partner for the past four years, Djokovic has been wearing either the Seiko Astron GPS Solar World-Time or the companion Astron GPS Dual Time limited edition–two fairly sporty, easy-to-use timers with instant dual-time or world time functions. These two new watches trade that GPS connectivity for ongoing perpetual time accuracy and a classical big-date display that easily fits within the firm’s dressier Premier collection (which is available primarily in Japan and in Europe).
Seiko says Djokovic reviewed the prototypes and contributed to the design of the new watch. It was his suggestion that one of the two models retain the rose gold tone case and black dial combination that characterizes the earlier Astron models. The strap also combines tradition and sport with hybrid silicone and leather while the dial’s striped pattern is said to echo a ‘perfectly mown grass court.’ Djokovic’s ‘D’ emblem can be found on the crown; the caseback carries his signature. One version is made of steel with black hard coating (model SNP145) while the second is steel with rose gold color coating (model SNP146).
Inside the Seiko Kinetic caliber relies on the wearer’s movement to power it, but then retains that power with proprietary electro-mechanical components. If the watch is unworn, it enters sleep mode and remembers the exact time and date for up to four years. As soon as it is picked up again, it awakens and automatically resets itself to the correct time and date. It even adjusts to leap years, up to February 2100.
As noted, these watches are part of Seiko’s Premier collection, and as such aren’t found at the usual retail watch sales channels in the United States. Savvy enthusiasts of course don’t let the vagaries of global distribution hinder their pursuit of a desirable watch, and I suspect that will be the case here.
Premier Kinetic Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition
Movement: Seiko Kinetic Caliber 7D56, perpetual calendar correct to the year 2100, time relay system preserves accurate time up to 4 years. Accuracy: +/-15 seconds per month
Case: 42.9mm by 12.3mm stainless steel with black hard coating (SNP145) or stainless steel with rose gold color coating (SNP146), sapphire crystal, screwdown case back
Dial: Black with striped pattern, Roman numerals, 24-hour indicator, month indicator, leap year indicator, power save function.
Strap: Black or brown silicone and calf
Approximate recommended retail price in Europe: 870 Euro ($1,018) (steel and black SNP145), 960 Euro ($1,123) (rose gold color SNP146)