A Closer Look At Seiko’s Presage Sharp Edged Series
This autumn, Seiko is bringing a cornucopia of timepieces to celebrate the traditional crafts of Japan.
The dress watches of Seiko’s Presage collection are devoted to exploring the traditional arts and crafts of Japan. Since debuting in 2016, Presage has featured exquisite dials featuring Urushi lacquer, maki-e techniques, Arita porcelain, and shippo enamel (read HERE).
Now Seiko is introducing a new set of timepieces within the Presage collection called the Presage Sharp Edged series. These new watches focus not just on dial finishing, but also case design and movement engineering, while still celebrating Japanese ingenuity.
This elegant quartet definitely adds to the prestige of Presage. Here’s why.
When Grand Seiko spun off as an independent watchmaking house, Presage became Seiko’s most upmarket range of mechanical watches. The level of craftsmanship involved in executing its fine finishes has been recognized by collectors and enthusiasts as an excellent value proposition.
Now, the Sharp Edged series has upped its visual appeal with a distinctively designed case and dial.
As the name implies, the case of the Sharp Edged Series feels more angular and flatter than the rounded profile of existing Presage models. The surfaces of the Sharp Edged series also have a hairline brushed finish as opposed to its more polished predecessors. And while they are still formal three handers, the Sharp Edged models have a sportier spirit.
And then there is the dial.
All four pieces in the Sharp Edged series showcase an intricately patterned, three-dimensional dial based on the traditional asanoha or hemp leaf pattern of the Heian Period (794-1185 AD). This classical design is a symbol of growth and prosperity, but Seiko’s designers are also using it to convey a message of energy.
The dials come in four different traditional Japanese colors. On the three stainless steel models, there is the silky white Shironeri (SPB165J1), the indigo iron blue Aitetsu (SPB167J1), or evergreen Tokiwa (SPB169J1). And the rose gold model that comes on a calfskin leather strap (SPB170J1) features a smoky bamboo brown Susutake dial with a rose gold finish.
A gloss finish adds extra light-catching brilliance to the hexagonal pattern. The overall effect has the sensibility of a classic tapisserie or hobnail surfaces but with a Japanese aesthetic.
And to make the Sharp Edged series feel even more expensive, there are display details such as facetted indices and sword-shaped hands.
Mechanical precision is also important to Presage.
Through the screw-down, sapphire exhibition case back, one can view the 24-jewel automatic Caliber 6R35 movement with a mighty power reserve of about 70 hours.
The stainless steel bracelet versions also feature another technological innovation: a super-hard, scratch-resistant coating. And all are water-resistant to 100M (10 bar).
The Sharper Image
All four models in the Sharp Edged series measure a modest 39.30mm in width and a fairly flat 11.10mm thickness. Integrated bracelets with a three-fold clasp and push-button release lend the steel case editions a little more wrist presence. And the fourth model (SPB170J1) has a rose gold PVD case and is paired with a brown Cordovan calfskin leather strap for a dressier appearance.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)