Seiko is a force to contend with in the watchmaking arena and rarely a fortnight goes by without a fresh release. The latest offering from the giant Japanese brand is a trilogy of Presage models from the Craftsmanship Series combining incontestable mechanics with traditional Japanese crafts. Decorated with handcrafted enamel and Urushi lacquer dials, the three new watches – SPB403, SPB405, SPB407 – also flaunt new indices and a more refined case profile.
The Presage collection lies at the dressier, more elegant end of Seiko’s line-up. It is home to the Sharp Edged, Cocktail Time, the retro Style 60s and the Craftsmanship Series. The Presage Craftsmanship Series pays tribute to Japan’s traditional métiers d’art. The operative word here is handcrafted, and masters of traditional Japanese crafts deploy their skills to create beautiful dials with significant added value using enamel, Shippo enamel, Urushi lacquer and Arita porcelain.
The three new watches come in 40.2mm stainless steel cases with a super-hard coating and a height that varies from 12.1mm for the white enamel dial and 11.6mm for the Urushi lacquer models. All have a 48mm lug-to-lug measurement. Using the updated case introduced with the quartet of Presage models released in March 2023, the 100m water-resistant case has slightly more refined angles with straight and bevelled lugs designed to produce “a slimmer look on the wrist”. Two of the models – the references SPB403 and SPB405 – are fitted with the newly developed five-row stainless steel bracelet with mirror-polished flanks and central links to match the sides of the lugs and bezel.
Master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his team crafted the pure white vitreous enamel dial of the Presage SPB403, just like the one used on Seiko’s first wristwatch from 1913, the Laurel. You can appreciate the characteristic dimpling of the enamel produced around the date aperture at 3 o’clock and the hole for the hands. Fitted with new grey metal bar indices applied to the dial, the hour, minute and seconds hands are picked out in bright blue.
The black SPB405 and green dial SPB407 are crafted by lacquer master Isshu Tamura using the ancient art of Urushi lacquer. Employing the sticky resin of a tree that grows in East Asia, Urushi lacquer creates a hard, waterproof and sumptuously silky surface when it dries. The rich, glossy surface of the green and black dials hosts the new bar indices, and the date window at 3 o’clock appears with a matching black background on the black Urushi dial and white on the green dial. Both the green and black dials rely on a golden-coloured central seconds hand. To appreciate the gorgeous craftsmanship, the dials are protected by a dual-curved sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating.
As mentioned, the SPB403 and SPB405 come on a stainless steel bracelet, while the green Urushi SPB407 dial is fitted with a casual brown leather strap with a triple-folding clasp. Visible through the sapphire caseback is an updated movement from the 6Rxx series, the new calibre 6R55. Still featuring 24 jewels and maintaining the same 3Hz frequency, it shares the same architecture but has an increased power reserve of 3 days or 72 hours.
Availability & Price
The Seiko Presage white enamel dial SPB403, with a stainless steel bracelet, retails for EUR 1,500; the black Urushi dial with bracelet SPB405 retails for EUR 1,750; the green Urushi dial SPB407 with a leather strap retails for EUR 1,800. The green SPB407 will be available exclusively at Seiko Boutiques, and the white enamel and black Urushi models will be available at Seiko Boutiques and retail stores worldwide from October 2023. All are part of the permanent collection and are not limited.
For more information, please visit Seikowatches.com.