Hadouken: Seiko releases Street Fighter-inspired watches
Background informationGaming

Hadouken: Seiko releases Street Fighter-inspired watches

Dominik Bärlocher
Zurich, on 23.10.2020
Translation: Veronica Bielawski
The watch manufacturer Seiko has launched a «Street Fighter» collection. It might be the first time someone has actually put in effort in a non-video game adaptation of Ryu, Chun Li and co.

In the history of the Street Fighter video game series, Interpol agent Chun Li's kicks had never been called «exquisite». Until now. In the history of the Street Fighter video game series, Chun Li had also never worn a watch. Until now. Because the Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko has rolled out a special edition of its watches, inspired by the video game.

The collection of six watches really is something; the designers at Seiko have worked hard with true fans in mind to design the watches – each of which is limited to 9,999 pieces – without them looking corny. Flashy yes, corny no.

Chun Li: blue top, subtle bottom

Chun Li's watch is an example of Seiko's attention to detail during the design of the Street Fighter special edition. The other watches in the series were conceived with similar ideas.

5 Sport Street Fighter V CHUN-LI Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
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Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V CHUN-LI Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)

Simply making a watch was too stupid an idea for Seiko. Other manufacturers would simply have taken a picture of Chun Li – main focus on her thighs, of course, as these have become the Internet’s fetish for some reason. But not Seiko: Seiko really examined the character of the Chinese woman and integrated her most important traits into the watch.

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Instead of the number 12, there’s a design element from the fighter’s collar in the game. The numbers 6 and 9 have been replaced by triangles, modelled after the spikes on Chun Li's bracelets.

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On the back of the watch, they’ve put the combo for Chun Li's iconic Spinning Bird Kick: Up, Down, Kick. In addition to this, there’s the number of the watch, given each model is limited to 9,999 pieces

The watch strap is made of blue calfskin on the top, while the inside features a dragon pattern – apparently the same one as on Chun Li’s decorative belt. But according to me, this very belt has been white since the 1990s. Does anybody know more about this? Does it have this print in Street Fighter V, which is what the watches are based on?

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Other watches in the series are made of sturdy cotton. Why? Because Ryu’s gi is made of a similar material.

The return of bad memories past

Street Fighter has historically had a hard time being adapted to other media. In 1995, cartoon studios attempted to adapt the series to allow children to enjoy some family-friendly violence. The premise: a bunch of fighters whose sole goal is to win a fighting tournament.

5 Sport Street Fighter V GUILE Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
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Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V GUILE Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
5 Sport Street Fighter V BLANKA Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
519.–
Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V BLANKA Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)

Ghastly.

Things became a little more violent in the 1994 «Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie». Captain Guile even bleeds at one point, and the animation is by far superior to the US series.

5 Sport Street Fighter V KEN Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
467.–
Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V KEN Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
5 Sport Street Fighter V RYU Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V RYU Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)

Then there were the two movies. The first one goes back to 1994 and proves that Captain Guile, the most American American to ever americanly american around, can, in fact, be played by a Belgian with an accent. Jean-Claude van Damme does have the skills, plus/minus «the look» and probably also the will to be Guile, but still...

5 Sport Street Fighter V GUILE Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
467.–
Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V GUILE Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
5 Sport Street Fighter V ZANGIEF Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)
467.–
Seiko 5 Sport Street Fighter V ZANGIEF Limited Edition (Analogue wristwatch, 43 mm)

After that flop of a movie, followed by the prompt disappearance of the cartoon adventures of Ken, Zangief, Blanka and co., Street Fighters disappeared off the non-video game map. But only until actress Kristin Kreuk’s new low blow to the franchise by virtue of her leading role in the 2009 movie «Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li».

Seriously. Could the fight choreography and wire work be any worse? And the Spinning Bird Kick is an insult to just about everything ever eternalised on film stock.

There you have it. At least we can say that in the case of the watches, someone’s actually made an effort.

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Dominik Bärlocher
Dominik Bärlocher

Senior Editor, Zurich

Journalist. Author. Hacker. A storyteller searching for boundaries, secrets and taboos – putting the world to paper. Not because I can but because I can’t not.

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