“Wait, 110 years? Isn’t Seiko older?”
Yes, it is you smart bean, you. With that said, Seiko is celebrating 110 years since the launch of its first wristwatch, the Laurel. And what better way to commemorate that milestone than to release more new models – some limited, some not.
Let’s dive right in!
“The Seiko Presage Line.”
We’ve got four new iterations here – they’re not strictly new models so best not to refer to them as such. Two of which are from the Presage family with day-date retrograde displays while the other two are date- and power reserve-display only.
The highlight with all four lie in the choice of dial material and finishing. We’ve got enamel, Urushi lacquer, Arita porcelain and Shippo enamel. All variants are limited edition models so best be quick if you’re keen.
Since the mechanicals are familiar, we’ll run through them quickly. The Calibre 6R27 powers the models with the Arita porcelain (SPB397) and Shippo enamel (SPB399) dials. It beats at 4 Hz with a power reserve of 45 hours. Tech specs include a water resistance rating of 100 m and a case diameter of 40.6 mm with a height of 14.1 mm.
Sapphire crystals feature in front and out back with the former piece getting a layer of AR coating. The stock leather strap is paired to a tri-fold clasp with push-button release.
The SPB397 has an off-white dial courtesy of the aforementioned Arita porcelain dial. The Roman hour marker, second hand and base of the hands are gold-tipped, a cue said to be inspired by the stone fields of Arita. The SPB399, on the other hand, has a rich blue Shippo enamel dial that draws inspiration from the ocean. The blue is offset by white hands and gold accents similar to the SPB397.
The SPB397 is limited to 1,500 units worldwide while the SPB399 is limited to just 800 units. According to local distributor Thong Sia, these will be available come May/June 2023 with the prices set to be revealed then.
“And the other two Presage(s)?”
The next pair, SPB393 and SPB395, come powered by the Calibre 6R24. Beat rate is 4 Hz and power reserve is 45 hours as well. Where it differs from the Calibre 6R27 is the inclusion of day-date sub dials. Tech specs are the same as well with a stainless steel case measuring 40.2 mm across and 12.8 mm high. Water resistance is 100 m and both come supplied on a leather strap with a tri-fold clasp with push-button release.
The SPB393 features perhaps the most recognized colour scheme on a white enamel dial. The blued hands are offset by the aforementioned white (and nicely textured and “sunken”) enamel dial with a pop of red courtesy of the Roman 12 o’clock marker.
If you’re up for something more striking, the SPB395 could be up your alley. This one has a red Urushi lacquer dial with white hands and gold accents. According to Seiko, this colour scheme draws hints from the streets of Kanazawa, a town known for its lacquer craft.
As for production numbers, the SPB393 and SPB395 are limited to 1,500 units worldwide. They will hit shelves in May/June this year. Prices will be revealed in due time (or depending how close you are to your sales agents).
“And now, for the Seiko BIGBOIS!”
Seriously, it’s big news, this. With the release of the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation GMT (SPB381 with green dial, SPB381 with black dial) and Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition (SPB385 with ice-blue dial) (OMFG for real?!), we see the debut of the Calibre 6R54. This 24-jeweled, 3 Hz, automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve features a GMT display with an independently-adjustable hour hand function.
Tech specs are very much the same with the only differentiating factor being the dial colours and the SPB385, the ice-blue one, being a limited-to-4,000-pieces model. With that said, the stainless steel case measures 42 mm across and stands at 12.9 mm. There’s an AR-coated sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, screw-down case back and even a ceramic bezel insert. Water resistance is rated at 200 m.
The bracelet itself features a “super-hard” coating and comes with a tri-fold clasp with push-button release and extension adjustability. With the limited edition SPB385, there’s even an extra strap made from recycled polyester.
“Last but not least…”
The Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation ‘Naomi Uemura Limited Edition’, ref no. SLA069. This one’s a real doozy, folks. Sure, the ‘Captain Willard’ is nothing new by now but would you look at that dial? A white textured dial with Mont Blanc etched into it marks this out as something unique. Seiko has gone to great lengths to ensure that the silhouette of the famed peak is visible from as many angles as possible with the use of different etching and finishing techniques.
The crisp, cool colour scheme gets completed with the addition of a blue ring around the bezel edge and the screw-down crown. The reason for this? It’s meant to evoke the blue shadows that surround Mont Blanc.
A five-link bracelet with a tri-fold clasp and push-button release with diver’s extension is supplied with the SLA069. As for the movement? We get the 26-jeweled Calibre 8L35 that beats at 4 Hz with a power reserve of 50 hours and water resistance of 200 m.
Measurements include a case diameter of 44 mm and a thickness of 13 mm. Lastly, the SLA069 is limited to 500 units worldwide.