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Seiko needs no introduction as a champion of traditional Japanese craftsmanship. The brand’s Presage Craftsmanship Series exalts the Japanese ‘Takumi’ – timepieces which are individually handcrafted by master artisans who combine Seiko’s latest watchmaking techniques with centuries of traditional workmanship.
Recently, Seiko released a new watch bedecked with traditional Japanese lacquer, the Presage Craftsmanship Series Urushi Dial Limited Edition ref. SARD015. Like its previous iterations, the watch measures at 40.5 mm wide, 47.8mm lug-to-lug, and 12.8 mm tall. Sitting only marginally thicker than its time-only counterpart, it is reasonably sized for most wrist and considering the triple retrograde displays, this watch is well balanced. Outlined by a thin bezel, the case is made up of stainless steel with high satin and mirror polishing throughout. Topping off with a domed sapphire crystal on top, and a exhibition screw-down case-back that guarantees a proper 100m water-resistant.
Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series Urushi Green - Ltd Ed 2000pcs Ref. SARD015 / SPB295
One of the more elegant timepieces in the Presage Cratsmanship line, the SARD015 is unique for its triple retrograde display in a symmetrical format with a dial detailed with gold-powder and coated in dark olive urushi. The one-of-a-kind color of the timepiece augments the charm of the balanced dial layout, with the green color applied in an understated manner alluding to a Japanese moss garden. The dash of gold, emblematic of traditional Japanese lacquerware, gives a welcoming pop to the verdant hue of the dial. Besides its color, the symmetrical dial layout is noteworthy as this model showcases fan-shaped scales for all its retrograde displays - the power reserve at 9’o clock, day display at 3, and balanced off with the date display at 6’o clock. Indeed, this triple-fan dial reflects a great price-to-value ratio.
Handmade dial by master craftsman Tamura Ichifune
Moreover, the urushi dial ( metal disc covered in lacquer) is almost completely handmade. Isshu Tamura, a third-generation, Kanazawa-based master lacquer artist oversees the meticulous dial production process. Firstly, the dial is blasted so that its eventual rough surface would sustain the liquid lacquer. Various layers of urushi undercoat are then added and fired in an oven, before leaving the dial to dry on its own for a fortnight. Subsequently, an intermediate coat of urushi is painted onto the dial before leaving the dial to dry out again. After the intermediate stage, the top coat that is polished to a high gloss when dry is added. The process culminates with the addition of a thin and distinct layer of urushi that functions as a layer of protection. as a protective varnish. The satisfying result of this long-drawn process is a dial rich in depth and texture, very much unlike other dials produced by machine.
JDM Seiko Calibre, 6R24, with retrograde day date display
A workhorse caliber that is part of the 6R family, the cal. 6R24 (with two retrograde indications for the weekday and the date) powers the watch with a power reserve of 45 hours. Because this movement was seldom used previously, the dial layout appears new.
Completing the elegant package, Seiko pairs the SARD015 with an 20mm whip-stitched black leather strap with a three-fold clasp with push button release.
Whether you are a watch collector or a fan of lacquerware, you do not need to go all the way to Kanazawa to admire such intricate artistries. After all, this special model is only limited to 2000 pieces worldwide.