“What’s a… Senbei?”
It’s arguably the most popular snack in Japan! And on April 1, Seiko is aiming to marry one of the oldest savoury snacks to its Presage range. The result? Ladies and gents, I present to you the Seiko Presage ‘Senbei’ dial collection. As you’d know, Seiko tends to push the boundaries of dial craftsmanship with models within this range.
Ask anyone who owns one with a porcelain or “shippo” enamel dial or even one with the “urushi” lacquer applied and you’ll see what I mean. In the case (pun very much intended) of the Senbei collection, Seiko is really – and I mean really – pushing the envelope. How? By incorporating a dial fashioned out of an actual, single piece of ‘senbei’.
“Oh yeah, you read that right.”
Onward from April 1, you can get a Presage model with an edible piece of ‘senbei’ cased within. Though, I highly recommend against consuming it because that’d defeat the purpose of having said watch in the first place.
As is the case with its other specialty Presage models, the dial of the Senbei variants are no joke. Seiko claims that it was a struggle “to find the ideal combination of rice and soy sauce to give the dial its rich-taste and a grill temperature for perfect dial color.”
With that said, the true highlight of the watch for me would be the hour markers. The Roman numerals and badge are made out of finely cut pieces of ‘nori’. That’s seaweed to us English-speaking simpletons.
“So, you mentioned three variants?”
Yes, yes I did. The first could very well be the most popular, I reckon. Firstly, we have the ‘Soy Sauce’ dial variant. Said variant is comprised of a ‘senbei’ made out of mashed rice and “a rich soy sauce flavoring” combination. Next, is the ‘Sesame’ model. This one features a textured gourmet ‘senbei’ dial with black sesame and soy sauce. While it does look a tad more interesting in my eyes, I find this variant to be the hardest to read in terms of legibility.
Last but not least, is my personal favourite. The ‘Crystal Sugar’ variant features “ultra-pure crystal sugar” bits sprinkled across the dial for an even heavier textured appearance. Additionally, prospective customers can also purchase the Presage ‘Senbei’ as gifts for loved ones. I’d get this option just for the designated steel box that comes with it, frankly.
Unfortunately, I’m quite unclear in regards to technical specifications. However, I’m willing to bet that it’s the 6R15 underneath that edible morsel of a dial. Also, I’m not quite sure if this is a limited edition model or not as Seiko has yet to officially confirm production numbers. Finally, there’s no word on the list price as well. I’ve checked high and low and it would seem that Seiko isn’t keen on releasing prices just yet.