Monochrome Watches
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The Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Arita Porcelain Dial SPB445

After Enamel or Urushi, it's time for the newly-styled Presage watches to get a hand-made porcelain dial.

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

Under its Presage Craftsmanship Series, Seiko has demonstrated its expertise in manufacturing handsome dials, using traditional techniques and paying tribute to its country of origin, Japan. Beautiful dials with significant added value using Shippo enamel, Urushi lacquer and Arita porcelain, are at the core of this collection. Last year, Seiko launched a trio of Presage watches with a newly designed case fitted with enamel and Urushi lacquer dials and now, it’s time for Arita Porcelain to join the collection, with a different display. Here’s the new Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series SPB445.

First introduced in 2016, the Presage collection has always been intended to be the more elegant, more traditional side of the brand. Over the years, it has grown to become quite an important part of the brand’s portfolio, being home to the Sharp Edged, Cocktail Time, the retro Style 60s and the Craftsmanship Series. The latter is where things become really classic, with a strong focus on Japan’s traditional artistic crafts. Made in collaboration with some of the best artisans in the country, these watches are all about handcrafted dials.

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The new member of the Arita Porcelain family, a technique that has been deployed over several models, in white or light blue, is using the base of last year’s releases, the SPB403, SPB405 and SPB407 (using enamel and Urushi lacquer). Even though it might feel identical to enamel, Arita Porcelain must not be confused with it. Arita is a small town located on the Japanese island of Kyushu, known for its overglaze “enamelled” decoration and products. When applied to a dial, the result is fairly different from what we’re used to seeing with enamel.

Made by Master craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi and his colleagues in Arita, the dials are produced by molding the base material (clay-based) to the exact shape of the dial’s surface, to ensure the consistency of size, depth and recesses. After drying, the dials are baked at 1300 °C, hand glazed, and baked again. The second firing bonds the glaze to the dial and brings out the subtle blue tint. Finally, holes for the hands and date window are made, and a third baking smoothes the surfaces.

The result is a dial with more depth a more “milky” surface than enamel, as well as a different lustre, with a very soft in appearance. On this new reference SPB445, the dial keeps things relatively simple to focus on the artistic craft first. Simple bar indexes have been used so as not to detract from the porcelain’s lustre, with a precision track in-between. The choice of having a 24-hour sub-dial is deliberate, in order to reveal the depth of the material – something a simple time-only watch would show. Blue-toned hands and printings complement this handsome base dial.

The rest of the watch remains in line with the Presage models of last year, with a new, slightly more modern case design than what the collection offered in the past. Measuring 40.6mm diameter and 12.5mm thickness, the Presage Arita Porcelain SPB445 comes in a stainless steel case with super-hard coating, topped by a sapphire crystal. It is secured to the wrist by a 5-link steel bracelet with folding clasp.

Inside the case is the calibre 6R5H, a variation of the classic 6Rxx base. This automatic movement runs at a 3Hz frequency and offers a weekend-proof power reserve.

Released as part of the permanent collection, the Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series Arita Porcelain Dial SPB445 is priced at EUR 2,000. For more details, please visit Seikowatches.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/seiko-presage-craftsmanship-series-arita-porcelain-dial-spb445j1-review-price/

4 responses

  1. “minimum claimed precision of +25/-15 seconds per day” for EUR 2,000! You are having a laugh, Seiko!

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  2. It has a dressy porcelain dial and blued hands, but also a sporty case, bracelet, seconds track, and 24 hour subdial. Strange combination.

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  3. Small seconds would have been a better choice than a 24 hour sub-dial

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