Despite being a fairly young brand, Rowing Blazers has racked up an impressive roster of collaborators, ranging from Sperry to the NBA to Babar (as in, the elephant). And the brand’s moniker isn’t just a catchy logo to slap on some t-shirts — Rowing Blazers is a supplier to the US National Rowing team and was founded by Jack Carlson, a former member of the team. The eclecticism of Rowing Blazer’s collaborators and cosigners is reflected in the brand’s wide range of influences. For their latest collaboration, Rowing Blazer’s linked up with iconic Japanese watchmaker Seiko on three Seiko 5 sport watches. You can check out the watches right now on their website. For early access, use code “TIME” in all caps.
Rowing Blazers and Seiko feel like a natural fit because they’re both brands that have redefined and reshaped the categories they occupy. Seiko famously introduced the world’s first quartz watch, leading the conventional world of Swiss horology to lose its collective shit. And on a smaller scale, Rowing Blazers is helping to redefine the notion of preppy clothing. “Preppy” is a term Carlson isn’t a fan of, as he told SPY in an interview, because he sees the brand as more than just one thing. But many of the clothes undoubtedly draw from a preppy tradition, while also stripping away some of the stiff, staid (and conservative) connotations in favor of something lively, inclusive and tongue-in-cheek.
For this particular collaboration, Rowing Blazers created several colorways for the Seiko 5 Sports watch. The Seiko 5 line of watches has a cult following — the durable field and sport watches offered under the 5 umbrella are automatic, boast handy day-date features and are eminently affordable. In short, for anyone looking for an inexpensive automatic watch, it’s hard to go wrong with a Seiko 5.
Of this collection of divers, Carlson says on the website “I wanted this capsule to be understated, subtle — but also fun.” These watches have a classic look, but with details that can be appreciated up close. Each watch has a stainless steel band and a unique bezel — there’s a vibrant four-color bezel, a black and silver checkerboard “Rally” option, and a red and blue zig-zag bezel. The Rowing Blazers logo is found on the watch face, above the six o’clock position. Even better, the watches come with additional accessories. You can swap out the bracelet for the distinctive nylon “NATO” strap included in each box (the color bezel comes with a black strap, the checkerboard a mint green strap, and the zig-zag watch comes with a rainbow strap). And, if that’s not enough, they even throw in a black Seiko logo cap. The watches cost $495, which, while certainly an investment, is a reasonable price for an excellent automatic watch.