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In 1964, Seiko introduced a 12-ligne, hand-wound chronograph movement known as Caliber 5719, produced by their factory, Suwa Seikosha. The wristwatch chronograph known as its caliber- 5719-8992 features a single pusher chronograph function with horizontal coupling and a column wheel to control the whole star, stop and reset system. What's unique about 5719-8992 excluding a mono-pusher set up, was it has no elapsed-time counter. Therefore Seiko ingeniously incorporated a black rotating bezel with 1-minute increments to deal with elapsed timing. This was the first-ever chronograph that Seiko has brought forth to the world. After 50 years, they have decided to celebrate their Promethean by introducing, or should we say, a remake, of their first chronograph wristwatch, the Seiko Presage Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited Edition Ref. SARK015 back in October 2019. Today, Seiko took the “Crown” ethos to another level with a new limited edition, time only watch that modelled after the same vintage piece. Atlas, limited to 1964 pieces, the Seiko Presage Crown Automatic Champagne White Ref. SARX069/SPB129J1 will be what we looking at today.
|Seiko Presage Crown Automatic Champagne White Ref. SARX069 / SPB129J1|
Before we get onto the limited edition “Crown” Automatic, we like to elaborate more on what the Presage line stood for in Seiko. Seiko has gone through decades of refinements and developing its mechanical watchmaking skills. This had led to the creation of Seiko's all-mechanical collection, the Presage. The selection heavily based on Seiko's heritage, whereby most of the design cues translated from the 1913 Laurel (with a white enamel dial and Arabic numerals). However, the Presage line has evolved since then with different aesthetics and designs while staying true to the pure-mechanical prospects without compromise.
Now back to the main topic right here, the Seiko Presage Crown Automatic LE is Seiko's latest variation of the Presage collection based on their first mechanical chronograph, which is a rare thing to find nowadays in Seiko's collections. It heavily based on the first chronograph they manufactured in 1964; 5719-8992. The case is beefed up from 38mm to 41mm with a thickness of just 11mm, but much slimmer as compared to its previous Chrono variant at 42.3mm wideand a thickness of 15.3mm . The watch kept its DNA, having full polished mid-case and case-back, straight old-school bevelled lugs style with the whole black 1-minute bezel that what makes 5719-8992 distinct. Further, though the vibe of the SARX069/SPB129J1 feels nostalgic and sixties, the finishing is impeccable with Seiko's Zaratsu polishing throughout the whole case, alternating satin brushed finishing on top and full gloss polished on the sides and bevels. On the right side of the case, we got the 3 o’clock signed crown for time and date adjustments.
|Multi Textured Dial with Seiko's Caliber 6R35
Underneath the domed-shaped sapphire crystal showcases Seiko's prowess in dial work. The centre have applied tiny blocks of lumibrite on the inner pie-pan dial, where that paired with the applied faceted hour markers. The hour markers are a major throwback of the 5719-8992, keeping the 60s look. The off-white dial further bears multi-finishings with circular patterns around the inner dial where the hour markers sit, while the rest of it features a matte finishing. Another nod to the original 60s 5719-8992 model goes to the central hands and the minute track on the outer-circumference. A necessary yet subtle date-display is set in-between the 3 o'clock position without any overlaps. Everything on the vintage-looking dial balance off blissfully without feeling cluttered and wearers will have no problem reading off the time with a glance. The overall aesthetics defines what “form-follows-function” is all about.
Flipping the watch over, the Seiko Presage Crown Automatic Champagne White Ref. SARX069/SPB129J1 powered by Seiko's all new top-end automatic caliber, the 6R35. The Seiko Presage Crown Automatic LE is one of the pioneer to have a new movement; powered by Seiko’s latest automatic caliber, 6R35, which is an upgrade from the workhorse 6R15. It still operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. Its main updates are the increase of jewels to 24 and a power reserve of 70 hours from 50 hours on previous versions.
|Seiko luminous glows brightly in the dark|
The Seiko Presage Crown Automatic LE lastly comes with a 3-link oyster steel bracelet that compliments the watch beautifully, having it brushed mainly, with polished sides and a polished lining on either side of the central link, giving this new Black Sumo a seamless look and feel.
Limited to 1964 pieces, the Seiko Presage Crown Automatic Champagne White Ref. SARX069/SPB129J1 is nicely executed that brings one back in celebration mood on Seiko's effort of pioneering a robust mechanical timepiece from 1964. If one is looking for a genuine, solid reissue of one's brand achievement in horology, this new 70 hours automatic calibre hooded in its original heritage case design, the “Crown” Automatic sets forth as a great example, and one will not be disappointed.