Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series (SPB311)

New Releases from the Prospex and Presage Lines Prove That Seiko is a Master of Divine Dials

You may not have noticed, but the Japanese brand has been quietly elevating its offerings with tempting, textured dials over the past few years.

By Rhonda Riche
Editor-At-Large

When we discuss watches, the conversation often centers around crazy complications or the growing demand for certain brands that shall remain nameless, but who hasn’t fallen for a pretty face at one point or another?

Today, we’re thinking specifically of dials that use texture to defy convention. Naturally, the recent dial work by Seiko immediately came to mind.

Why? Because the Japanese brand is one of those watchmakers that constantly surprises us with its stunning dials that incorporate both traditional and innovative techniques or via the use of unconventional materials.

Here are some of the most delightful dials from only a few of Seiko’s 2022 releases.

Prospex Speedtimer World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Limited Edition

The new Prospex Speedtimer World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Limited Edition (SRQ041) reflects the high performance and reliability of Seiko’s sports timekeeping technology and the spirit of World Athletics. If a picture says a thousand words, what makes the story of this watch so compelling is the visuals provided by the way the sand patterned dial symbolizes the surface of a running track.
 

The texture of the dial is only enhanced by other finely observed touches, such as the contrasting yellow color of the chronograph second hand and the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. Fun Fact: The use of this sunny shade isn’t a coincidence. It is the hue used for all of Seiko’s sporting event devices.

While the pebbled surface is enchanting and evokes the texture of a running track, the display is still quite readable with a chronograph second hand that curves down towards the markers and almost touches the edge of the dial so the elapsed time can be accurately read at a glance. Moreover, the hour and minute hands are generously coated with LumiBrite to enhance readability in the dark.
 

Available in June 2022 for $3,200, the new Prospex Speedtimer World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (SRQ041) will be available as a limited edition of 400 at Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide.

Prospex Save the Ocean Special Editions

The frosty texture and color on the dials of this trio of Prospex Save the Ocean Special Editions evoke the surface of the polar ice caps and encapsulate Seiko’s history with geographic exploration.
 

Back in the 1960s and ’70s, Seiko watches were favored by Japanese adventurers and researchers on expeditions who used them to time adventures to the North and South Poles. Seiko recently introduced three new divers to the Prospex Save the Ocean series. These sporty timepieces are modern re-interpretations of three classics from 1965 (SPB297), 1968 (SPB299), and 1970 (SPB301).
 

We’ve seen similar Seiko models to these before – like the trio of Prospex “Ice Diver” U.S. Special Editions from October 2021 – but what makes these watches feel fresh is that each dial features a different shade of Arctic and Antarctic ice.

While this trio of Prospex models is already pretty luxe, the intricate pattern on their dials is as flawless and impressive as any haute horology house. Specifically, the dials suggest an iceberg calving from a glacier via their textured striations and colorways – a deep blue (SPB297), light blue (SPB299), and white (SPB301).
 

Available in July 2022, the new Prospex Save the Ocean Special Editions SPB297 and SPB299 will be priced at $1,250, while the SPB301, with Seiko’s signature “Turtle” case, will be priced at $1,350.

Presage Sharp Edged Series

Since its introduction two years ago, the Presage Sharp Edged Series has quickly established a place in the world of prestige watches by combining traditional mechanical watchmaking with the ultra-modern Japanese style.

For 2022, the collection has added five new watches to the family, including a limited-edition GMT. The focus of these novelties is to highlight different aspects of Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skills, with two featuring a new open-heart movement (although not available in the U.S.), two offering a multi-hand dial with power reserve, day, and date display, and the last, of course, being the GMT.
 

But it’s the dials that make these timepieces demand our attention. Of course, the overarching design of the Presage Sharp Edged series is that all its models feature the Asanoha (or hemp leaf) pattern, which has been used in Japanese fabrics ever since the Heian period over a thousand years ago. This motif signifies health and vitality.

And like the fast-growing hemp plant, the collection comes in an abundance of traditional Japanese colors. First, for the open-heart SPB309, “Shironeri” represents the white of unbleached silk. Next, for the second open-heart model (SPB311), there is “Aisumi,” which embodies the blue of indigo.
 

Then, for two multi-hand creations, there is the whitish-light blue of the full moon, called “Geppaku,” used for the dial of the SPB305, and the traditional black used on kites, called “Kuritobi,” for the dial of the SPB307.
 

Finally, the textured Asanoha pattern of the 900-piece GMT Limited Edition (SPB303) is complemented by its dial color, which features a shade of blue used by Ukiyoe artists to depict Mt. Fuji in summer.
 

For more information about availability and pricing, please visit Seiko’s website.

(Images © Seiko)

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