Posted on June 24 2020
Buying watches can be tricky because, beyond brand names, many people are not well-versed in the intricacies that only people obsessive with chronometers are aware of. Those obsessed with watches often find other people seeking their advice on a watch purchase, which seems to be the right approach because if you do not know the vernacular, you could quickly feel overwhelmed after a simple Google search. However, watch experts have no ready-made answers when asked about which watch would be the best to buy or which watches can give great value. The reason is that the best watch or the most valuable one would depend on what you are looking for in a watch and what is most important to you. Interestingly, even without knowing the buyer's preferences, one watch that finds obvious mention during the recommendations is the Seiko Presage line of watches.
Why Seiko Presage?
Watches in the Presage line can impress watch connoisseurs at many different levels. They offer incredible value and are a testament to Japanese craftsmanship, highlighting meticulous analog watchmaking with mechanical movement. Most importantly, the Presage line is far more interesting than the mass-produced watches. Although these are dress watches, the devices have reliable, durable movements that can last for many years, which is a hallmark of almost Seiko watches in a similar category. Presage watches derive its inspiration from cocktail bars and the newest watch belonging to this line, the SPB093J1 with an Arita porcelain dial is an excellent watch for aspiring watch hobbyists who are just making a beginning. Above all, it has a lot to offer to seasoned collectors as well.
Seiko Presage SPB093J1
The SPB093J1 features an Arita porcelain dial, designed with inspiration from the Japanese tradition of Suigetsu, which revels in the beauty of the moon reflected in the water. That Seiko watch designs derive inspiration from nature is nothing new as it was seen in many Seiko and Grand Seiko watches, and the SPB093J1 follows the same footsteps. Suigetsu has been inspirational for Japanese arts for centuries, and the moon occupies an important position in Japanese culture even today.
The pristine white dial of the watch resembles the bright white moon, and the highly reflective blue hands accentuate the design while reminding us of water. Although the white dial's design might appear whimsical when viewed carefully, it will be hard to miss the underlying similarity with the watch designs in the Presage line seen over the past few years. The design underscores the fascination of Seiko designers for abstract designs, but over and above speaks of genuine affection for Japanese cultural roots.
Seiko watches are more than mere watches and convey a deep meaning to the brand that upholds the pride of the watchmaker at the specific price point that only a few other watchmakers in the world can replicate.
Multi-stage production process
Each watch is crafted meticulously and goes through a multi-stage production process that requires multiple phases of firing and involves tremendous skill and patience. Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, the master craftsman along with his colleagues, create the porcelain dials in Arita, a small town in Kyushu that came into prominence in the 17th century by discovering clay suitable for porcelain manufacture and still maintains its position for superior porcelain production. The specially formulated Arita porcelain used for the dials is strong enough and more durable and harder than standard porcelain. The craftsmen use a very precise casting mold to achieve the difficult task of maintaining the accurate dimension of each dial to fit perfectly into a wristwatch.
The timepiece comes with a stainless-steel case measuring 40.6 x14.1mm supporting the porcelain dial with dial curved sapphire crystal and an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. It has a screw case back that is see-through and has Caliber 6R27 automatic movement with manual winding capacity, accuracy +25 to -15 seconds per day, and 10 bar water resistance. It also has 29 jewels, date display, date hand, power reserve display, and stop second hand function. The watch comes with a crocodile leather band and a three-fold clasp with push-button.
The Hakuji dial
The simplistic looking porcelain dial is the most appealing feature of the watch. It also creates a theme that resembles the same artisanal techniques used in other Presage watches with porcelain dial. Unlike traditional Arita porcelain that uses a unique glaze to create the subtle blue sheen, a distinctive clear transparent glaze used in this watch is a unique design feature not found in other watches with porcelain dial. It allows the natural whiteness of the porcelain material to shine brightly. Hakuji, the name for pure white porcelain, echoes the moon's soft reflection on the water, creating a sharp contrast with blue hands, sub-dials, and Roman numerals. The uniqueness of Japanese aesthetic is evident from the combination of the white Arita porcelain and blue color that captures the magnificent beauty of the tradition of Suigetsu.
The watch has a pristine appeal that speaks of the simplicity of design, which can strike the right chords with watch lovers who want to discover the timeless beauty of nature captured in the design that reminds of the Japanese culture’s inclination for nature. The blue hands, sub-dials, and hour markers stand out clearly from the white dial. The grayscale along the dial creates harmony with the dial, and the crescent moon's motifs on the power reserve indicator and the seconds hand uplifts the beauty of the watch, adding to its unique nature and design.
The watch recreates the old-world hand-crafted watches that are incredibly rare these days. And this is perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects for watch collectors. This kind of charm inflames passion for watches, and Seiko watches have a legacy for creating watches that are not only technologically superior but also have its roots firmly embedded into the Japanese culture, which makes the watches one of its kind. The Presage collection bears ample testimony to it.