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Top 10 Seiko Premier and Presage dress watches

Posted on October 06 2020

Top 10 Seiko Premier and Presage dress watches

The wardrobe staple

 

The dress watch is an undeniable staple in every man’s wardrobe. Much like a tailored 3-piece suit, a nice leather belt or a polished pair of Oxfords, the dress watch is in every way as essential. Whether you’re off to work, having a night out at the pub with the guys or at a gala dinner event, the dress watch is the perfect accessory to put a dapper finish on your outfit. Whether you prefer simple traditional 2-handers or multi-dial complications, our list has you covered. Though with an abundance of options out there, what’s the right dress watch for you?

 

 

Well to help us answer that question, we’re taking a look at Seiko today, and if you can’t already tell by now, I’m a huge fan of Seiko and setting them beside my Swiss watches, they’re still fantastic pieces for their price point. We’ll be looking at two ranges of Seikos from the and the lines, which are both very different in value and design, but both offer equally striking and impressive dress watches. With that said, let’s get down to business. 

 

SEIKO PREMIER KINETIC PERPETUAL SNP098P1 STAINLESS STEEL MEN'S SILVER WATCH

 

We can’t have a list of Seiko dress watches without at least one highly complicated timepiece, can we? And we’re starting off with the holy grail of all high-end watch complications, the Perpetual Calendar. Now before we get into the watch, I might need to explain what a perpetual calendar is and why it’s such a revered complication.

It’s a calendar that ‘knows’ what month it is and when the leap year is too, essentially not needing any adjustments whatsoever as long as it is running for a hundred years. All of this is of course stored and displayed in such a compact and wearable package that mechanical or not, is still incredibly impressive.

And that brings us to the SNP098P1 it combines both modern and traditional technologies with an immense and beautiful wristwatch that is not only good looking but technologically and mechanically impressive as well. Coming in at a neat 41.5mm in diameter with flared, mid-century inspired lugs, its certainly not your traditional run-of-the-mill dress watch.

With raised plots for the baton and Roman numeral indexes, striped polished grey dial, rose-gold trims and a big date window to finish it off, the dial is certainly a treat for the eyes. If a complicated timepiece is a must-have for you, then why not have one of the most coveted complications in your collection? The SNP098P1 is undeniably one of the most affordable and pragmatic ways of having a Perpetual calendar in your collection, and that makes it one hell of a deal.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • A modern dressy and unique design
  • Eye-catching black decorated dial with applied rose gold indexes
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal
  • Dependable and rugged quartz kinetic caliber
  • Complex and self-adjusting perpetual calendar complication

 

SEIKO PREMIER ANALOG SKP397P1 MEN'S LEATHER STRAP WATCH

 

From one end of the spectrum to the other, after taking a look at the most impressively complicated watch on the list, we now have the simplest. The Seiko Premier SKP397P1 has only 2 hands, 12 indexes, 2 scripts of text on the deep blue dial and a tiny round date window at 6 O’clock.

It is the antithesis of the SNJ098P1 offering only the most basic of information and frankly, that’s all we actually need. Just the time and the date, not even the seconds too. This might be the most traditionally accurate dress watch on the list, though some people might argue that the perfect traditional dress watch should only have 2 hands without the date, I’d argue otherwise and say that its executed well here and doesn’t really spoil the symmetry of this otherwise minimalist timepiece.

The watch is powered by Seiko’s reliable quartz caliber and is protected by a sapphire crystal as well, but it really is the aesthetics of the watch that sells it for me. With slim hands and Roman numerals set against a nicely textured deep blue dial, paired on an ultra-thin case with skinny lugs. It is a fine and elegant dress watch that would be perfect in anyone’s collection.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and leather strap
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern touch
  • Eye-catching eggshell white textured dial
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal
  • Dependable and rugged quartz caliber

 

SEIKO PRESAGE SSA397J1 MEN'S WATCH

 

If you’re looking for a dress watch that has a bit more to offer besides simply looking good and telling the time, then the Seiko Presage SSA397J1 is definitely for you. It’s a classic dress watch made entirely in-house by Seiko and features an impeccable unique textured green dial meticulously crafted in Japan.

The Seiko Presage Automatic Power Reserve “Moss Green" SSA397J1 measures in at 40.5mm in diameter and 14.4mm in height, making it an excellent choice for watch enthusiasts who are looking for an elegant timepiece. Furthermore, this green Presage features an old-school box hardlex crystal on the front side, adding a charming vintage touch to it.

The SSA397J1 shares the same design cues as its predecessors, with changes made mainly to the dial. As the name suggests, it features a textured deep green dial that is certainly the main feature of this timepiece. What is unique about the SSA397J1 is the pointer date sub-dial at 6 o'clock, deep-set into the dial with a sunburst effect that gives the already very multi-dimensional dial a sense of depth.

Another impressive design element is the power reserve indicator that spans from 12 to 4 o'clock, which is set even further into the dial. Although it might sound like a lot is going on in the dial, it never looks too busy or overdone. Instead, it exudes an air of luxury; the multifaceted applied indexes probably play a major role in that too.

Overall, if you're looking for an everyday watch with a dressier and unique touch, with more than three hands and a little "complication" to play with and with fine finishing that will not break the bank. the Presage Automatic Power Reserve “Green Moss” SSA397J1 is undoubtedly worth your consideration.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Eye-catching textured moss green dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

SEIKO PRESAGE URUSHI BYAKUDAN LIMITED EDITION SPB085J1 MEN'S WATCH

 

The dress watch as I mentioned previously, is a staple in every man’s wardrobe, it is the most quintessential timepiece a man can ever own. Traditionally simple, telling nothing but the time and not even the seconds. But if you’re the sort who has ever looked at a dress watch and wondered; is that all? Then fret not because the Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan has the piece you’re looking for.

With a dress watch conventionally having only two hands, and simple markers on a simple dial, the SPB085J1 would seem to be, visually the antithesis of a conventional dress watch, and you’d be right. With more hands than a monkey, it might seem like a really complicated and really expensive watch but what you’re looking at really, are just the hours, minutes, seconds, days, date and power reserve.

It’s a properly functional and legible timepiece with contrasting markers and dials, but functionality isn’t what we’re here for, at least for most of us. As the name suggests, this watch has an enamel lacquered dial and not just any old form of lacquering, but the most complex.

The dial is subjected to 2 forms of lacquering, first, the Urushi technique is applied, using a jet-black lacquer that is directly painted on the metal base of the dial. The subdials are then sprinkled with a fine metallic powder and are subsequently repainted with a red-tinged semi-transparent Urushi lacquer again.

The process is repeated until the desired effect (a deep red tone) is accomplished. As for the Byakudan-Nuri technique, the crescent power reserve indicator is first coated with a layer of Urushi lacquer which acts as an adhesive to the fine gilt-coloured powder that is then sprinkled and dispersed over the crescent.

The surface is then finished perfectly by the master craftsman and the result is nothing short of stunning. Each dial alone is the result of painstaking efforts over a number of weeks because of the immense complexity and artistic skillset required for the completion of such a dial. Meant to reflect the colours of the sky and the moon just before dawn, the SPB085J1 is a worthy testament to fine Japanese watchmaking and craftsmanship.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and alligator leather strap
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Stunning and complex enamel lacquer dial
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal
  • Dependable and higher-speced decorated automatic caliber

 

SEIKO PRESAGE SRPD05J1 MEN'S WATCH

 

We all know what makes a traditional dress watch, 3 hands, telling just the time and a simple clean uncluttered dial, preferably without a date window to maintain 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 classic dress watch that is something a bit more left-field but still retains 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 and Cartier 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 a few hundred dollars. 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.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and leather strap
  • Timeless dressy design with a unique tonneau case shape 
  • Eye-catching patterned white dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

SEIKO PRESAGE SRPD42J1 MEN'S WATCH

 

 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 and 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, and the watch comes with a sapphire crystal, which means you don’t have to worry about scratches. The round case of about 42mm diameter rests well on any wrist and the watch is only 12mm thick. So, you’ll hardly feel that it’s in the way. Its butterfly buckle clasp, in-house made caliber are some of the additional highlights that you may want to examine as a watch aficionado. It is a timeless, classic design and one hell of a dress watch, especially for the price.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and leather strap
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Textured white dial with beautifully finished eye-catching applied indexes
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

SEIKO PRESAGE SSA405J1 MEN'S WATCH

 

If you’re a fan of Seiko Presage’s “Cocktail Time” line of dress watches, then you’re in for a real treat with this one. This is the Presage SSA405J1, and there’s no other way of saying this, it’s a beautiful watch. This piece features a deep blue graduated dial that plays beautifully under the light, with applied diamond-shaped indexes and sharp sword-like hands polished to a mirror finish shining like jewels beneath the crystal.

Oh, and not forgetting the watch’s open-heart on the left of the dial showcasing the beating escapement which certainly gives the watch an incredibly strong visual impact. The watch is powered by Seiko’s in-house 4r38 caliber, featuring hand-winding, hacking and 41 hours of power reserve.

It tells only the time, without even making do with a date window, but that’s what makes this watch work so well. If a classic three-hander is what you’re looking for, why not consider this? It looks elegant, features an in-house made caliber that is assembled in Japan and is both stunning and intriguing to look at.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and leather strap
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Eye-catching graduated blue dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

SEIKO PRESAGE AUTOMATIC 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. After all, the Swiss watch industry is home to many powerhouses when it comes to watchmaking, 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, let’s look at somewhere closer to home, and who knows, we might find something interesting here too. And without having to look far, here’s our contender for the Europeans, 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 the reminiscence 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 a bit different, the Seiko Presage SPB043J1 might just be what you’re looking for.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Eye-catching graduated blue dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

 

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 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 beveled edges here and there and a golden rotor weight to add a touch of flair to the otherwise spartan looking movement.

The power reserve is a respectable 41 hours and frequency is at a reasonable 21,600VPH (3Hz). So 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.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Eye-catching graduated blue dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

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, it has provided 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. The Seiko Presage SSA395J1 Zen garden keeps to its namesake 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. The watch is powered by Seiko’s in-house caliber 4R57a movement and features a centrally mounted power reserve indicator that’s 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 unquestionably, it is 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 is certainly a great contender to be the much anticipated ‘Baby snowflake’ that Grand Seiko enthusiasts have been waiting for.

 

Key features

  • High polished stainless-steel case and bracelet
  • Timeless dressy design with a modern twist
  • Eye-catching snowflake textured dial
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Dependable and rugged automatic caliber with a decorated rotor

 

The perfect pairing

 

And there we have it, our 10 best dress watches from Seiko that is sure to add some polish and class to any outfit in your wardrobe, no matter which one you choose. Whether it’s the simplest, and traditional time only piece or the more complex calendar, or power-reserve indicator models, these watches are the finest in the market and will certainly be the perfect pairing with your best suit.