Since its worldwide expansion in 2016, the Seiko Presage collection has never ceased to grow. Inside this range of usually elegant and refined watches, there are multiple lines to consider, from the accessible cocktail models to the far more complex “Craftsmanship Series” that pays tribute to Japan’s traditional metiers d’art, such as Arita porcelain, enamel and Urushi lacquer. Today, the Japanese manufacturer expands its collection with a new green lacquered dial and a movement with a double-retrograde display, by presenting the Seiko Presage Urushi Green Dial limited edition SPB295J1.
This new model, part of the most high-end watches of the Presage collection, is neither the first green watch (that has been done already in enamel) nor the first Urushi model (a technique used on multiple occasions). Still, this is the first time both styles are combined and in addition, this watch brings back a rather specific display that Seiko hasn’t used for a while.
The dial of this new Presage SPB295J1 is made with Urushi lacquer (an extract of the so-called Chinese lacquer tree, or urushi in Japanese) in the studio of master craftsman Isshu Tamura in Kanazawa, in the centre of Honshu, Japan’s main island, using the centuries-old art of Urushi that Tamura learned from his father. The dial is painted and polished by hand several times. The green colour is a tribute to “Kanazawa in summer and the gold accents echo the warm light of the sunshine that penetrates the lush, moss-covered forests of the region.” Urushi lacquer is a time-consuming and challenging work, but it is the traditional and best way to create deep colours. Urushi also has the advantage that it gets harder and stronger as the years pass, which is why it was used during the Sengoku era in the manufacture of armour for Samurai.
The result of this complex process is a rich, glossy surface with a deep green colour that will last for many years. Seiko combines this colour with classic baton indexes, logos and markers printed in white. The main hands, for the hours and minutes, are also white painted for more contrast and most elements combine this bright colour with golden accents. The result is surprising, deep and has an appealing “artisanal” feeling.
Another important element of this new Seiko Presage Urushi Green Dial SPB295J1 is the presence of a slightly overlooked but interesting display of Seiko, the double retrograde – which has not been seen much recently, the brand favouring the pointer date and power reserve display, used on most Arita models. Even the previous Urushi watch, the SPB085, used yet another display with the same functions but not retrograde indications. Here, in the new SPB295J1, we have the hours, minutes and seconds in the centre, the power reserve at 9:30 and importantly, the date at 6 o’clock and the day of the week at 2:30, both performing a retrograde motion.
Other than this new dial and this rare display, we have the classic elements of most Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series. This means the signature steel case with a 40.5mm diameter, twisted lugs, brushed and polished surfaces, a conical crown and a domed sapphire crystal on top. Water-resistance is rated to a comfortable 100-metre. The SPB295J1 is worn on a black buffalo leather strap, closed by a three-fold clasp with push-button release.
Under the transparent caseback is the calibre 6R24, using the usual specifications of the 6Rxx series of mid-range movements. This means an automatic calibre with 4Hz frequency, 45h power reserve and, in the present case, multiple indications of the dial including two retrograde functions. The movement is lightly decorated with brushed bridges and stripes on the oscillating weight.
Availability & Price
The Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series Urushi Green Dial Double-Retrograde SPB295J1 will be released as a limited edition of 2,000 pieces. It will be priced at EUR 1,950. For more details, please visit seikowatches.com.