Affordable Automatic Watches with a Vintage Look
Seiko relies on in-house automatic calibers in its Presage collection. The design of these watches is heavily based on the Seiko Laurel from 1913. The collection ranges from rather simple three-hand models to intricate chronographs.
- Design inspired by the first Seiko Laurel
- Automatic watches with in-house movements
- "60th Anniversary Chronograph" with a limited run of 1,000 pieces
Seiko Presage – for Price-Conscious Watch Enthusiasts with Ambition
For years, the watches from the Seiko Presage collection were reserved exclusively for Japanese watch fans. However, at Baselworld 2016, the manufacturer announced that the watches would also be available for sale worldwide. Every model is driven by an in-house mechanical caliber made by Seiko, which have proven themselves over and over again. Other features of this series include manual winding, a stop-seconds mechanism, stainless steel cases, and a power reserve of 41 to 50-hours depending on the movement.
Seiko heavily relies on an elegant, vintage look for this line. Their first wristwatch from 1913, the Laurel, is the main source of inspiration for the collection. Some models also have high-quality enameled dials. Others, such as the limited edition SRQ021, come with traditional Japanese urushi lacquer, giving the dial an especially dark sheen. On the other hand, the sunburst dials in the Cocktail Time models shine brightly. The power reserve and date displays lend these watches a modern flair. If you are in the market for a chronograph, you will also find several options in this series. Seiko also offers several more feminine styles for women as well.
How much do Seiko Presage watches cost?
|Seiko Presage SRQ019||2,900 euros||Limited edition, chronograph, enamel dial|
|Seiko Presage SRQ021||3,000 euros||Limited edition, chronograph, dial with urushi lacquer|
|Seiko Presage SPB045J1||880 euros||Retrograde power reserve, subdial with date display, enamel dial|
|Seiko Presage SPB059J1||660 euros||Retrograde power reserve, subdial with date display, dial in Laurel style|
|Seiko Presage SRPB43J1 Cocktail Time||320 euros||Sunburst dial, date|
|Seiko Presage SSA354J1 Cocktail Time||570 euros||Sunburst dial, central power reserve display, date, bi-color|
|Seiko Presage SSA811J1||320 euros||Women's watch, opening in the dial at 9 o'clock|
|Seiko Presage SRP860J1||320 euros||Women's watch, stainless steel case with gold plating, diamond index markers|
Detailed Price Information
A highlight of the collection is the 60th Anniversary Chronograph, which has a limited run of 1,000 watches. The watch is powered by caliber 8R48, which has a column wheel, vertical coupling, 28,800 vibrations per hour, and a power reserve of 45 hours. It has a diameter of 42 mm, water resistance to 100 m (10 bar), a date function, and a subsidiary seconds dial at 3 o'clock. There are also two subdials for the stopwatch function, with a 12-hour display at 6 o'clock and a 30-minute display at 9 o'clock.
Seiko uses handmade enamel dials in its model SRQ019. To guarantee their high quality, the watchmakers worked with the enamel specialist Mitsuru Yokozawa, who personally oversaw the production and processing. The black Arabic numerals and the red 12 index clearly refer back to the Laurel. The price for one of these chronographs is around 2,900 euros.
In contrast, the dial of the model SRQ021 was refined with black, shimmering urushi lacquer. The lacquer was applied in multiple layers and polished following Japanese tradition at the workshop of urushi master Issu Tamura. It's this time-consuming procedure that makes the black especially dark and rich. Plan to set aside around 3,000 euros for one of these watches.
The case and movement of the 60th Anniversary Chronographs are also used in the model SRQ023J1. Here, Seiko also chose a high-quality enamel dial, though this model uses Roman numerals unlike the two limited edition timepieces. You can buy one of these chronographs for around 1,600 euros.
Exquisite and Classic Enamel Dials
Watches from the SPB04XXX series also have enamel dials. Once again, Roman numerals shape the watch's look while a dark crocodile leather band increases its elegance. The models SPB047J1 and SPB049J1 are three-handed watches with a date display at 3 o'clock. They are powered by the caliber 6R15. Both models have differing shapes and water resistance. While the SPB047J1 boasts a round 40.5-mm case and water resistance to 100 m (10 bar), the SPB049J1 has a barrel-shaped case that's just 36 mm in diameter and only water resistant to 50 m (5 bar). Prices for these models start at 700 euros and 870 euros, respectively.
The SPB045J1 is more elaborately designed. This 40.5-mm watch offers a retrograde power reserve display at 9 o'clock and a subdial for the date display at 6. The caliber 6R27 with a power reserve of 45 hours powers this watch. You can acquire this watch starting at 880 euros.
In the Footsteps of the Seiko Laurel
The Laurel's connection to the models SPB039J1 and SPB059J1 is abundantly clear. The characteristic white dial with a red 12 index radiates the same simple elegance that set the original model apart. Both Presage watches have a 40.5-mm stainless steel case, sapphire glass, crocodile leather bands, and water resistance to 100 m (10 bar). The SPB039J1 is a classic three-handed watch with a date display at 3 o'clock. It is driven by the caliber 6R15 with a 50-hour power reserve. The price for this watch begins around 500 euros.The caliber 6R27 is used in the model SPB059J1. This gives the watch a retrograde power reserve display at 9 o'clock and a subdial for the date display at 6 o'clock. Prices for never worn versions of this watch start around 660 euros.
Seiko also offers somewhat sportier variants with stainless steel bracelets and black dials. However, these models lack the red 12. Prices start at 470 euros for the three-handed model SPB038J1 and at 625 euros for the model SPB061J1 with a power reserve display.
It's Cocktail Time
In 2010, Seiko brought the SARB065 Cocktail Time to the market in Japan. The cocktails of Tokyo bar owner and mixologist Shinobu Ishigaki served as the inspiration for this watch. They are reflected in the sparkling sunburst dials, which are available in three "flavors" – Cool, Dry, and Sweet. This makes these watches coveted collector's items among Seiko enthusiasts. The caliber 6R15 drives these watches and boasts a power reserve of 50 hours. Mint condition versions of these timepieces cost around 460 euros.
The Cocktail Time from the Presage line experienced a revival in 2016. Similar to the first Cocktail Times, these also have eye-catching 40.5-mm sunburst dials. They shine in light blue, dark blue, white, or various shades of brown and are protected by Hardlex glass. This mineral glass, which is hardened in a special process, is significantly more durable than conventional mineral glass, according to Seiko. The caliber 4R35 powers the SRPB4XXX models; it vibrates at 21,600 half oscillations per hour and has a power reserve of 41 hours. Prices for a Cocktail Time with a standard design, such as the SRPB43J1 with a light dial and matching leather band, begin around 320 euros in mint condition. Models with stainless steel bracelets, such as the SRPB41J1, cost around 400 euros. If you're looking for something more opulent, the models SRPB44J1 and SRPB46J1 are worth a look. They feel especially elegant thanks to their yellow or pink gold plating and brown calf leather straps. Be prepared to spend about 360 euros for these models.Models from the SSA3XXXX collection utilize the recently developed 4R57 movement. This provides the watches with a central power reserve display and a subsidiary date display dial at 6 o'clock. Those with leather bands, such as the SSA343J1, cost around 400 euros, while those with a stainless steel bracelet are approximately 420 euros. You can buy the SSA345J1 with pink gold plating and a calf leather strap starting at 480 euros. Bi-color variants with stainless steel bracelets and pink gold plating cost around 570 euros.
Seiko Presage for Women
The Presage collection also includes a few women's watches. With a diameter of 35 mm, they cut a good figure on slim wrists. The SSA011J1 deserves special mention. Its silvery shimmering dial is set with 7 diamond indices and provides a view of the 4R38 movement through an opening in the dial at 9 o'clock. It also has a stainless steel bracelet and costs around 320 euros. You can purchase the bi-color variant SSA810J1 with pink gold plating for less than 300 euros.
The SRP860J1 appears a bit more dignified with hands, indices, and a stainless steel case all plated in gold. The dark brown leather band adds to its elegant look. Alternatively, Seiko also offers the SRP858J1 with pink gold plating. Both models can be purchased starting at 320 euros.
Reliable Technology Made In-House
The mechanical calibers developed and produced entirely in-house by the Japanese watch manufacturer are the cornerstone of every Seiko Presage. This allows Seiko to use innovative creations, such as the Magic Lever winding system, which makes it possible to wind the watch using both the clockwise and counterclockwise movements of the rotor. The special alloy, Spron, found in the balance and mainspring is just as innovative. Its an especially elastic and durable material with high resistance to corrosion and heat. Let's not forget the shock protection, Diashock, that protects the balance jewel from tremors using a spring. Seiko summarizes these three components using the term "Trimatic."