Seiko’s Presage Watches are the Epitome of Japanese Craftsmanship and Design

Beauty and simplicity collide on the Seiko Presage, which celebrates the timeless tradition of Japanese craftsmanship. Viewed as a dressy counterpart to the brand’s Prospex line, these mechanical watches eschew superfluous details in their pursuit of minimalist perfection. They also take their Japanese origins to heart, incorporating heritage materials and themes alike. In fact, it was the country’s historic cocktail culture that inspired the line’s creation.

To peruse the various Presage Collections is to travel through Japan’s very own history. Take, for instance, The Seiko Presage Urushi models, which feature dials of stunning Urushi lacquer. Made from the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree, Urushi was once used to coat samurai armour during the Sengoku era. For each watch in the collection, master lacquer artist Isshu Tamura applies the Urushi over the dial face as part of a meticulous, multi-layered process. As a result of his handcrafted approach, no two pieces are exactly the same.

Then we have something like The Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition and its use of ancient Shippo Enamel. Distinguished by its translucent qualities, this particular type of enamel dates all the way back to the 7th century and makes reference to Buddhism’s seven treasures. Glazing master Wataru Totani hand-paints numerous layers onto the dial, only stopping when the enamel is balanced, smooth, and clear enough to reveal the pattern beneath it.

Ever the perfectionist, Totani-san evaluates each surface under a microscope, removing the smallest bubble or defect upon its discovery.

Sharp Edged Series

Even as it cultivates a range of materials and styles, the Presage family always remains faithful to its heritage foundations. That theme continues with the Sharp Edged Series, four new timepieces that employ an Asanoha pattern and native colour on the dial face. Cranking power out of purity, each one is a masterwork of material and design. Under the skin is Seiko’s own calibre 6R35 with 24 jewels, a date function, and a stop-seconds hand function. Flip the watch over to discover a screw case back with an exhibition window, displaying the piece’s inner beauty. And so the Presage name lives on with absolute precision.

Seiko SPB167J

At first glance, the new SPB167J draws you in with the striking colour of its blue dial face. The exact colour is known as Aitetsu—or indigo iron—and it culls from native tradition, naturally. Peer closer to behold the intricate Asanoha (or hemp leaf) pattern and its dynamic allure. Used as a material for over a thousand years, the Asanoha leaf and its unique pattern hold a special place in Japanese culture. To this day, the leaf symbolises strong growth and is thought to bring good health.

With its tangible texture and laser-sharp edges, the geometric pattern creates subtle colour gradations on the dial face, playing with light at varying angles. It also provides a transfixing backdrop for the minimalist LumiBrite markers and stainless steel architecture. This is pure majesty in the form of classic wristwear.

SPB167J Specifications

Case: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
Diameter: 39.3mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Movement: Automatic with manual winding capacity
Strap material: Stainless steel

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Seiko SPB170J

The colour of brown-toned smoked bamboo sets the stage for this signature timepiece, better known as the SPB170J. That warm colour is called Susutake and it’s ripped straight out of Japanese heritage. While eye-catching in its own right, it looks all the more thrilling when combined with the dial’s Asanoha pattern. It also pairs perfectly with the stainless steel case, adorned in rose gold. Bring in the calfskin leather strap and you get a smoky stunner, which looks like it can raise room temperatures through the power of sheer design.

Case: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
Diameter: 39.3mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Movement: Automatic with manual winding capacity
Strap material: Calfskin leather

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Seiko SPB165J

If only the cleanest of watches will suffice, look no further than the SPB165J. The ivory-like appearance of its dial face is actually Shironeri, the Japanese colour of unbleached silk. It comes further to life with help from the intricate textures of the iconic Asanoha pattern. Between that and the minimalist layout, this watch conjures a truly pristine vibe. One thinks of snow falling on the Japanese countryside or maybe a hidden, pristine lake. A subtle date window delivers the perfect accent.

Case: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
Diameter: 39.3mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Movement: Automatic with manual winding capacity
Strap material: Stainless steel

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Seiko SPB169J

Green dial faces are still piping hot and the SPB169J does the trend right by way of Tokiwa, i.e. the Japanese colour of evergreen trees. Darker in tone, it oozes warmth and sophistication as it cleanly contrasts with the stainless steel case and bracelet. Speaking of contrast, the gold-like hue of the seconds hand makes for a nice visual touch.

Case: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
Diameter: 39.3mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Movement: Automatic with manual winding capacity
Strap material: Stainless steel

Buy it here

Consisting of four new models, Seiko’s latest Presage watches highlight the power of colour and pattern. Each one culls from the Japanese tradition and renders a massive impression, all without resorting to even the slightest touch of excess.

From the brilliant dial texture to choice details like the compact date window, the collection represents a masterpiece of minimalism. This is everything we associate with Japanese craftsmanship and it never fails to inspire. Choose your colour, cultivate your edge, and take to the night.