Baselworld, the biggest watch event of the year, is happening now at the Messe Basel in Basel, Switzerland. We’ve got a team on the ground there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.
Movement & Winding: Automatic
Case Dimensions: 40.6mm diameter x 14.1mm thick; 40.6mm diameter x 12.4mm thick
Power Reserve: 45 hours; 70 hours
Quick Take: The Presage line’s latest entries play with several elements: a striking pop of color on the Arita porcelain dial, a few neat complications and a flared crown that can’t be missed. Can these disparate elements come together to make something greater than the sum of those parts? If you’re after a playful design made with incredible care, one of these could be the ticket.
Who It’s For: A lover of Seiko’s Presage line will find a lot to like about these watches, though they don’t offer quite the value proposition of the ~$500 SARY081 and its ilk. The gorgeous porcelain dials and blued-steel hands suggest the staid, classic traits of other Presage pieces, while the blazing-red 12 o’clock marker and flared crown lean toward something other.
The retail price could also end up being an issue for prospective buyers, as the tags on these two watches venture into Grand Seiko territory while previous Presage pieces can be found in the $400-800 range right on Seiko’s own website. At what point do you just hold off and save up the difference to buy something from the top tier? That being said, these are really handsome on-wrist, and were they not conditioned to expect such a value-buy in Seiko, most wouldn’t bat an eye over the price.
Key Features: Even if these new designs may not be for everyone, there’s some serious watchmaking going on at Seiko to produce pieces like these. The dials are made of laser-cut porcelain, which is glazed and fired multiple times to achieve a sort of glowing look; the finishing process comes from the Arita region of Japan, an area known for top-level craftsmanship in ceramics and porcelain making. It almost goes without saying, but the finishing on these cases and dials are wonderful. These Presage pieces also introduce a new caliber in the straightforward SPB095: Seiko’s new 6R35 movement, a 21,600bph caliber which boasts a power reserve of 70 hours.