There’s no such thing as a free lunch, they say, but there is such a thing as spending a little and getting a lot in return. Order food in just about any American diner and you’ll soon learn what I mean. Sadly, this is not often a trend that carries over to our favourite industry. In fact, it often feels like the complete opposite, where we literally fork over an arm and a leg and seemingly get woefully little in return. There are exceptions, however, rare though they might be and MONOCHROME favourite, Seiko, is most certainly one of them.
The Seiko Way
Japanese watch manufacturer, Seiko, doesn’t waste words telling you how things should be done. They show you. The company’s latest demonstration comes in the form of this new, limited edition Seiko Presage SPB069 that features a stunning blue enamel dial. Combining the best of Japanese craftsmanship with fine watchmaking, this is truly an exceptional timepiece for a fraction of the price you might expect pay for its European equivalent.
Don’t think for a second, however, that the low price means corners have been cut. This is a prestige brand from a Japanese company after all, cutting corners is not an option. The goal is perfection and anything short of achieving that goal is considered complete failure. To illustrate my point, let’s start with that striking enamel dial.
Blue Dial Beauty
Those familiar with Seiko will know already that enamel dials are not a new phenomenon for the brand. White enamel dials were introduced last year with the debut of the Presage collection, at jaw-dropping prices we might add, and are widely admired by enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. Japanese enamel craftsman Mitsuru Yokozawa and his team are responsible for their creation and each individual dial must be inspected and approved by Yokozawa himself.
If you’ve ever had the chance to view a Presage dial under a loupe, you know that that even up close, they look just about perfect. To achieve this affect, the depth and evenness of the enamel has to be exact. Every stage of the process has to be controlled, to the point that even the composition of the enamel is adjusted to reflect the atmospheric conditions. With a blue dial, achieving this flawless finish is even more challenging, as the viscosity of blue enamel is much higher.
It doesn’t stop there, however. The shape of the hour markers is drawn from one of Seiko’s first pocket watch, the ‘Excellent’, made in 1899. The classic design of the Roman numerals exudes power and class, and those white lacquered hands are just superb. The hour markers are painted ten times to lift them in relief from the dial and the tips of the hands are curved so that they follow the contours of the curved crystals and so minimise the depth of the watch.
If you look closely, you’ll notice the crescent shaped tip of the second hand has been treated with a gold colour powder, giving it a special texture that resembles the surface of the moon. This is a subtle nod to Japan’s fascination with the moon, which forms part of the inspiration for the night blue dial.
The back side of the watch reveals the automatic Seiko 6R15 caliber, which operates at a lovely 21,600 v/ph and offers a 50-hour power reserve. A solid workhorse, it can be hand-wound as well, and features a stop-seconds for more accurate time-setting. Carrying through the moon theme, a golden crescent surrounds the movement, affixed by vapor deposition.
Presented in a steel case measuring 40.5mm x 12.4mm with lovely polished surfaces, the limited-edition Seiko Presage SPB069 with blue enamel dial looks and feels like it should be a much, much more expensive watch than it actually is. Offered as a limited edition of 1,500 pieces and available now at Seiko’s elite retail partners in selected markets and worldwide in early 2018, this stunning watch can be yours for just EUR 1,150 including VAT.
Check out www.seiko.com for more information.