Japanese watchmaker Seiko introduces its proprietary Spring Drive movements into the Presage line for the first with two sublime models that feature enamel dials. Presage is Seiko’s premium watchmaking collection and was introduced to the international market only in 2016.  

Since then, the collection has showcased many forms of Japanese aesthetics and craftsmanship. From traditional Japanese lacquer techniques to fine enamel dials, the Presage has been instrumental in introducing the wider world to quality Japanese watchmaking. Up until this year when it blooded Spring Drive movements in its premium Prospex LX line, Seiko only used these movements in the Grand Seiko and Credor range.

A craftsman applies Urushi lacquer to a Presage dial

Seiko produced the first prototype of the Spring Drive-powered watch in 1982. It was developed by Yoshikazu Akahane, an engineer who wanted to create the perfect watch, a timepiece that would tick three boxes – the accuracy of a quartz movement, the perpetual power supply of an automatic caliber and possess refined good looks. It took 17 years to develop the first production model in 20 years ago in 1999.

The emphasis in on clear legibility here

The two new timepieces (Ref. SNR037 is white enamel and SNR039 black) both feature an identical 40 mm wide case that is 13.1 mm thick. The stainless steel case has a super hard coating that helps preserve its good looks over the years. The case is fitted with a dual curved sapphire crystal with super-clear coating, is water-resistant to 100 meters, and is fitted with a sapphire crystal caseback.

The work of pioneering Japanese product designer Riki Watanabe, who passed away in 2013, has had an impact on the design of these enamel dials. A frequent collaborator with Seiko, Watanabe was an influential figure in the emergence of Japanese industrial design in the post‐Second World War year. A long-time colleague and friend of Watanabe’s — to whom he had entrusted the design direction of his work — was roped in to work on this project.

Didoni font is used to mark the numerals on this dial

The dials are the handiwork of master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his team. As mentioned earlier, both color dials, white and black, each require a specific glaze application process that can only be achieved by the skill and sense of a master craftsman. The result is that these dials have a unique sheen. In keeping with Watanabe’s philosophy, the dial is free from excess decoration on both dial and case and allows for a light, modern style. The emphasis is on legibility as evidenced by the use of the Didoni font, which was greatly favored by Watanabe himself, and the strong contrast of color between the dial and the hands and numerals.

Powered by Spring Drive Caliber 5R65

Flip the watch over to view the movement, Caliber 5R65 which has an accuracy rate of ±1 second per day and a power reserve of 72 hours. Both versions come with a power reserve indicator at the eight o’clock position and date display at three o’clock. The watches will be available from October in select Seiko boutiques and retail stores around the world. It is priced at €4,650 (Approx. AED18,750).