Seiko Presage watches, are by all accounts, one of the best value watches that you can get if you’re looking to get into fine Japanese watches without wanting to break the bank. Though they do also have watches with price tags starting from the thousands, they all share one thing in common, they’re properly executed, incredibly well-made watches that represent the best in traditional Japanese watchmaking that punches well above their price point. Whether you’re looking to start your collection with something dressier and more exquisite, or are looking to add on to your budding collection, here are five Presages that we think you’ll absolutely love.
Seiko Presage SRPE15J1 Men’s watch.
What would a list recommending the best watches for men be without including a simple, traditional dress watch? Though, as it is often the case with us, even our simple and understated watches come with a twist and with the Seiko Presage Cocktail time SRPE15J1, that case is certainly true here. On paper, everything seems in order, a simple 3 hander with nothing but the date window at 3 o’clock invading the otherwise symmetrical dial. The dial, of course is where our twist comes into play, the more observant of you might have noticed watch’s dial comes in a shimmering, sunburst British racing green, with spear shaped indexes along the edges inspired by the stems of cocktail glasses, polished dauphine hands and a golden second hand. The beautiful green dial is the star of the show, with its easily recognizable and well-defined sunburst effect playing differently under different lightings and angles, all of which can be enjoyed under a vintage style box shaped crystal. Powering the watch is Seiko’s proprietary caliber 4R35B movement, with brushed and bevelled edges here and there and a golden rotor weight to add a touch of flair to the otherwise spartan looking movement. Power reserve is a respectable 41 hours and frequency is at a reasonable 21,600VPH (3Hz). If you’re looking for a simple, traditional dress watch but want something with a touch of subtle flamboyance then the Presage Cocktail time SRPE15J1 might just be the watch for you.
Seiko Presage SSA395J1 Men’s watch
The Seiko Presage line has always been known fondly as the ‘Baby Grand Seiko’ and for good reason, similar to what its big brother has done for the luxury watch market; providing unparalleled quality and finishing for a relatively reasonable price. The Seiko Presage line is the closest thing we can ever get to ‘affordable luxury’ a term that I personally hate seeing and using but I will put my grievances aside and get on with the point. And this is the point, the Seiko Presage SSA395J1 Zen garden, the watch keeping to its name sake with its stark white textured dial set against satin brushed and polished indexes gives it a minimalist and well, Zen vibe to its overall design. The dial captures the magic of the bright light on a clear winter’s day, with its bright white and textured dial set against dark accents. Powered by Seiko’s in-house caliber 4R57a movement, featuring a centrally mounted power reserve indicator, meant to be read along the periphery of the dial, a date sub dial and of course the time, with a 42-hour power-reserve and a smooth 21,600VPH (3Hz) frequency. But it is unquestionably the dial that is the watch’s party piece, beautifully finished and applied hour markers shaped set on the stark white snow like dial with Grand Seiko-esque lance shaped hands gracing across, albeit not with the same execution (the difference in price obliges). For under a thousand dollars, this might easily be the best luxury watch you can get and might just be a great contender to be the ‘Baby snowflake’ that Grand Seiko enthusiasts have been waiting for.
Seiko Presage SRPD05J1 Men’s watch
We all know what makes a traditional dress watch, 3 hands and telling just the time and a simple clean uncluttered dial, preferably without a date window to maintain a perfect symmetry. Sounds easy, yet you can’t help by wonder why this is so difficult to pull off, without looking well, boring. If you’re looking for a dress watch, a classic dress watch that is something a bit more left-field, yet still retaining a sense of traditionalism, then the Seiko Presage SRPD05J1 might be the answer to your prayers. On paper, all seems to be in order, a basic 3 hander set against a white dial, telling just the time and a date window at 6 O’clock for good measure, and practicality. The case is where things start getting funky, it’s a Tonneau shaped case, and for the most part Tonneau shaped cases these days aren’t really anything to shout about with the likes of Franck Muller and Richard Mille popularizing and modernizing this particular case design. The design however, is actually still being used for dress watches by a few other watchmakers as well, Vacheron Constantin to say the least. But if we’re here, we’re obviously not looking to blow tens of thousands of dollars on a watch, or even hundreds of thousands in the case of Richard Mille, the Seiko with its uniquely textured dial that gives it a certain multi-dimensional effect when viewed at certain angles and its polished Tonneau shaped case certainly gives it that air of high watchmaking that we’re looking for, but only for several hundreds. The watch is powered by Seiko’s workhorse 4R35B calibre beating with a respectable 21,600 VPH (3hz) frequency and with a nice 41 hours of power reserve. It may not be Swiss, but it certainly stands tall on its own stage as well.
Seiko Presage SPB043J1 Stainless steel men’s silver watch
Now, if you’re looking to spend upwards of a thousand dollars on a watch, chances are you’ll be looking at the Swiss, or even the Germans. And they would seem to be the obvious choice to go for, right? Afterall the Swiss watch industry is home to many powerhouses when it comes to watch making, Tissot, Oris, Longines etc. Germany as well, with their stark, no nonsense manner of making and designing watches, with brands such as Nomos and Sinn taking up this price range. Well before we look too far off, lets look at somewhere closer to home, and after a while, might find something rather interesting. Well we’ve done the looking for you so you don’t have to and here’s what we found, the Seiko Presage SPB043J1, a watch with such vintage styling and flair, it doesn’t look that Japanese, in fact, it could almost be Swiss. First off, its design harks back to the 1913 Laurel, Seiko’s first ever watch and you can certainly see remnants of its design language here as well, with its vintage styled hands and of course, the Breguet Arabic numerals as well. The watch has a date sub-dial at 6 O’clock and a power-reserve indicator at 9. The dial is beautifully textured and being a Seiko of course, the same can be same for the level of finishing on the case and the movement as well, with the case being done in a lovely high polish and the movement, with some neat bevels and brushes here and there. The movement, is Seiko’s in house, higher end 6R27 featuring Seiko’s Dia-shock anti shock system, the efficient magic lever winding system and use of the Spron 510 alloy in the springs. If you’re looking for an entry into the world of luxury watches, and want something abit different, the Seiko Presage SPB043J1 might just be what you’re looking for.
Seiko Presage SRPD42J1
If you’re looking for a classic dress watch with an air of elegance and luxury, the Seiko Presage SRPD42J1 might just be for you. First of all, it’s a basic 3 hander with nothing but the date, on its stark white textured dial, its cased in a rose gold stainless steel case for an added flair of luxury. The silver-tone of the dial, in combination with golden hands and indices, looks pleasant and appealing. The minute markers in the outer rim adorn the design a bit more. There is a small date window also at the 6 o'clock position, which again shows a mix of traditional and modern sensibilities. Forty-one hours of power reserve and 4R35 automatic movement are the other sides. The watch comes with a sapphire crystal, meaning that you don’t have to worry about scratches. The round case of about 42mm diameter rests well on any wrist. The watch is only 12mm thick. So, you don't feel its weight. 30m of water resistance, buckle clasp, Japanese movement are some of the additional highlights that you may want to examine as a watch aficionado. It is also an ideal dress watch for the price it charges.