“Hang on, what’s a Kabuki? What does that have to do with Seiko?”
Not Kabuki pictured above.
Okay firstly, the question should be ‘What is Kabuki?’. Long story short, Kabuki is a form of Japanese traditional theatre that can trace its roots back to the Edo period. This form of theatre is still widely performed in Japan today.
Seiko has tapped into Japanese culture for inspiration on these limited edition Presage Sharp Edged models. As such, the design of these new models are a result of a collaboration between Seiko and Ebizo Ichikawa, one of Japan’s most influential Kabuki performers.
“Well then, how much Kabuki can we squeeze into the design?”
For starters, the hemp leaf pattern or ‘Asanoha’ pattern is strongly incorporated into the dial design of both models. This particular motif is seen on the fabric used in Kabuki costumers for centuries. As for the dial colour, it’s in ‘Kakiiro’ and appears to be a red-brown persimmon shade.
The history behind this colour is that it was first used in the Kabuki costumes belonging to the Ichikawa family generations ago. The dial features a gradient finish to allow for more light play across the textured dial. As a result, the outer rim is darker and fades to a lighter shade as it nears the middle.
Now, another aspect that I personally find intriguing about these new models is the fact that the leather strap is black on the outside-facing portion but has the same ‘Kakiiro’ shade on the underside. I know some of you might be asking ‘why?’. That’s because wayyyyy back in the day in the Edo period, it was forbidden to wear vivid, striking colours out in public. So, because of that societal restriction, bright colours were only used on the reverse side of garments.
Each leather strap comes with a tri-fold clasp and push-button release. For those intending to swap straps on a regular basis, the lug width is 20 mm.
“Okay, technical specifications?
For those of you familiar with the Presage Sharp Edged models, this should be a known quantity. In the SPB329, we have the 29-jeweled automatic 6R21 calibre that beats at 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 45 hours. Moving on to the SPB331, there’s the 24-jeweled automatic 6R35 calibre with 70 hours of power reserve. That one beats at 3 Hz.
Moving on to measurements. In the case of the SPB329, (the black coated) case diameter spans 40.2 mm while thickness is 12.2 mm. On the other hand, the SPB331 measures 39.3 mm across and stands at 11.1 mm. Water resistance for both models are rated at 100 m.
Now, for the most important part of any new limited edition announcement. How many pieces? We’re looking at 2,000 pieces for each reference. The approximate retail price of the SPB329 is RM5,600 while the SPB331 is RM4,900 and the watches should hit shelves by October ’22.