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Seiko has developed into a well-respected brand whose watches have been enjoyed by many since its founding in 1881. The brand is an undisputed king of watchmaking from its first mechanical watch in 1913 to the 2014 prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for its hi-beat caliber. In recent years, Seiko has worked hard to streamline its offerings. The Prospex and Presage lines have become more defined and stand on their own capably. Today’s new release is part of the latter. Let us take a closer look.
|Seiko Presage Automatic Enamel Blue Pwr RsvRef. SARW047 / SPB091|
First launched in 2016, the Seiko Presage range is an all-mechanical series to showcase the refined and elegant side of Seiko - no matter the price point. Seiko’s prowess as a watchmaker can be observed and admired from the entry-level Presage Cocktail Time to higher-end enamel and porcelain dial Presages. The new Presage Ref. SARW047 extends Seiko’s lineup of highly sought-after enamel dial watches.
First up, the dimensions. At 40.5mm in diameter, the watch has a lug-to-lug of 47.8mm and a thickness of 12.8mm. With the help of the dial layout, this set of dimensions will help make the Presage Enamel Blue Power Reserve wear smaller on the wrist, elevating the classy nature of the timepiece. The watch is made of 316L stainless steel and is entirely high-polished, creating brilliant light play at multiple angles.
|Handmade enamel dial by master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa|
Seiko’s enamel dials are handmade by a team of artisans supervised by Mitsuru Yokosawa, an expert craftsman of all things Seiko and enamel. After all, he was the one that created the entire enamel dial-making process! The dials are first washed in acid to have the oil removed. Then, an undercoat is applied and left to dry before the enamel glaze is subsequently painted. After the enamel glaze is dried, it is fired and inspected before becoming the enamel watch dials on our wrist. Although it sounds like an easy process, it is anything but. The undercoat is a crucial determinant of overall quality and thus has to be between 0.10mm to 0.12mm thick. Artisans determine the thickness not with the help of any machine but by using their intuition and years of experience. According to Yokosawa-san, the enamel glazing process “requires harmony between brain, eyes, and hands to adapt to each individual design to create a quality product.” Subtle changes in the weather and humidity can also affect how the applied enamel glaze dries, making it easier for irregularities to occur. The enamel dial manufacturing process is truly a highly skilled task that few can accomplish.
|The majestic rich blue-ness of the dial|
In this particular model, the SARW047, we get a blue enamel dial that is fantastic to admire. The majestic rich blue-ness of the dial varies with light and gives off an incredible shine when placed under direct light. The midnight blue colour pays tribute to the importance of the moon in Japanese art, echoing the glow of the nighttime sky. Enamel has a unique beauty, and that beauty will not fade over years or even decades. Thin Roman numerals make up the indices and are placed at the dial's perimeter. The dial is then slightly recessed, where the Seiko and Presage logos are found at 12, with a power reserve indicator at 9 and a sub-dial displaying the date at 6. Leaf hands complete the refined aesthetics of the dial.
Sitting atop the dial is a piece of domed sapphire crystal that offers protection against scratches and dial legibility in harsh lighting, thanks to the anti-reflective coating on the underside. A signed push-pull Seiko crown and screw-down caseback give the watch 100m of water resistance - you can go from the office to the pool without removing your watch.
|Mixture of high-polishing with satin-brushed finishing on case|
Flipping the watch over, you will find an exhibition caseback displaying the in-house Seiko 6R27 movement. The movement is simply decorated with Geneva striping on the rotor and is an extremely robust and reliable calibre that will tick away for decades to come. It has 29 jewels, beats at 28,800 BPH, and has a power reserve of roughly 45 hours - which you can track via the power reserve indicator on the dial.
Most Seiko Presages come on a leather strap. However, Seiko decided to pair this model with a 20mm oyster-style bracelet. The edges of the inner link are high polished, while the rest of the bracelet is satin-brushed. The mixed finishing helps elevate the bracelet's style, thus making it not look out of place with a suit or a t-shirt. The bracelet is also comfortable and tapers slightly to a signed buckle.
|Seiko caliber 6R27|
The Seiko Presage Automatic Enamel Blue Power Reserve Ref. SARW047 offers an elegant timepiece with a beautiful, painstakingly crafted enamel dial. To be honest, getting a handmade dial at this price point is unheard of. Seiko deserves all the plaudits it has been receiving for its enamel and porcelain dial Presages. They have elevated the standards of dress watches and even blurred the line between dress and everyday watches in the process - something that we fully get behind. This new SARW047 is the perfect example - you get a wonderful dial paired on a modern steel bracelet with 100m of water resistance. And then some.