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There is no argument that watches embodying a strong nostalgic appeal of vintage timepieces have been vastly popular in the watch world in recent years. The rise of vintage-inspired watches has given birth to countless phenomenal releases from watch manufacturers worldwide. With that being said, Seiko unveiled their latest addition to their Presage collection, bringing seven new stunning references that draw on the design of Japan’s first ever wrist chronograph - the Seiko 1964 Crown Chronograph.
Developed by the Suwa Seikosha factory in the city of Suwa, Japan, this historic hand-wound chronograph was first launched in the 1964 Summer Olympics, achieving a momentous milestone for both Seiko, and for Japanese watchmaking industry. Incorporating a blend of contemporary earth tone colors, a retro ‘60s aesthetic and modern watchmaking precision of the Japanese, this latest Presage model truly rediscovers the elegant yet sporty side of the classic vintage Seiko chronograph, modernized with refreshing specifications in line with present-day timepieces.
|Seiko Presage “Style60’s” George Tokoro's Setagaya Base - Ltd Ed 970pcs Ref. SARY225
During Baselworld 2016, Seiko announced the Presage collection, a series of sporty dress watches to international markets, bringing to the table a range of premium models that were a significant step up from their entry-level offerings. In contrast with Seiko’s Prospex range which encompasses a broad umbrella of robust tool watches, the Presage collection takes a classier approach, bearing designs with a timeless and sophisticated appeal. Having a design that reflects on these elements, the Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Series rekindles a style from a historically significant model from Seiko’s extensive catalogue. Today, Seiko picked this series for an apt partnership with phenom George Tokoro and his renowned “Tokoro George's Setagaya Base" magazine.
"Tokoro George's Setagaya Base" is a book that summarizes Mr. Tokoro as a multi-creator that encapsulates himself as a musician, presenter, writer, photographer, actor, inventor. Each issue introduces in detail how Mr. Tokoro has fun with style, on various themes such as cars, motorcycles, food, fashion, and miscellaneous goods.
The dimensions of the Presage “Style60’s” ”George Tokoro's Setagaya Base" Ref. SARY225 - limited Edition 970 pcs falls in a sweet spot right between an intricate dress watch and a sporty, energetic timepiece, working perfectly well as a daily companion. Packing a delightful case diameter of 40.8mm, a lug to lug distance of 47mm and a reasonably slim case thickness of only 12mm, this is one versatile piece that fits in just about any occasion.
Multi Textured Dial with Seiko's Caliber 4R35
Modelled after the case shape of its venerable predecessor, the watch flaunts a beautiful stainless steel case with lugs that gently curve down to conform comfortably around the wrist. Complementing its slim case profile, the graceful case design appears immensely exquisite. Displaying a mix of brushed finishing on the top of the lugs and a highly-polished mirror finish at the side of the case, close attention to detail is certainly displayed here, just like many of Seiko’s amazing timepieces we came to love.
The SARY225 is presented with a 20mm stainless steel bracelet, secured on the wrist with a fold over clasp and a push-button release. In case you need a quick strap change for the weekend, drilled lug holes on the side of the lugs make strap changing simply a breeze.
Beautiful stainless steel case with lugs
Surrounded by a fixed 60-minute black metallic bezel, the vibrant lime green dial of the Presage “Style60’s” Series pays homage to the color of the vintage bike owned by Mr. Tokoro. It also brings back many distinctive elements present on the legendary 1964 Crown Chronograph. Probably the most iconic trait carried over from the original model lies in its sharp dauphine hands and applied hour indexes, creating a snazzy appearance that remains incredibly timeless even in this day and age. For a modern touch, a date complication rests at the 3 o’clock position, replacing an hour index to keep the dial pleasingly symmetrical.
What’s fun is the additional “Setagaya 97 Base” military-styled text at the bottom 6’ oclock. The “97”, which symbolizes Mr. Tokoro, with the original character “HIYOL” that was created as an original stencil-like logo, inspired by Mr. Tokoro’s secret base “Setagaya Base”.
Let’s not forget about the lume here, Seiko has excelled in this aspect as one of the leading players in the game. Treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite luminous material, the hands and hour indicators glow vibrantly in the dark for an easy time reading experience. To complete the whole vintage look of the original Crown Chronograph, a highly-domed box-shaped Hardlex crystal creates warm and attractive distortions when viewing the piece at different angles, mimicking the look of vintage acrylic crystals while offering superior resistance to scratches.
Seiko luminous glows brightly in the dark
Offering a modern upgrade from the hand-wound Cal. 5719 movement, the Presage “Style60’s” Series White Ref. SARY193 is driven by the ever-reliable Seiko in-house caliber 4R35 automatic movement, a notable upgrade from the previous caliber 7S family of movements that were lacking in handwinding and hacking capabilities. This 23 jewel movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 40 hours and beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Widely recognized as one of a ‘workhorse’ movement, the 4R35 boasts remarkable robustness from the proprietary Diashock anti-shock system and has a reputation to run reliably for an extended period of time without a service. Held under an exhibition see-through display case back which showcases Seiko’s custom gold-tone semi-skeletonized rotor, the watch is water resistant to 50 meters. In addition to the “Limited Edition” notation and serial number, a charming “HIYOL” illustration drawn by Mr. Tokoro is printed on the glass.
Limited to 970 pieces, the Seiko Presage “Style 60's“ ”George Tokoro's Setagaya Base" Ref. SARY225 is a beautiful collaboration. It is created based off an iconic model that will appeal not only to George Tokoro's existing fans, but also to Seiko enthusiasts. Also, it is a significant part of Seiko’s history is now accessible in this latest Presage model, carrying the proud legacy in a modern release exhibiting fantastic value.