Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
Dress watches don’t have to be boring and they don’t have to be expensive. Rather than tell you that, however, it’s more convincing when Seiko shows you — specifically, when they show you the newest automatic Presage models in the line nicknamed “Cocktail Time.” With a comprehensive redesign featuring a retro-styled numeral font, smaller case size, and interesting dial texture, they feel on-trend but original — and a hell of a value at $425 retail.
The Cocktail Time watches now come in 38.5mm cases (a 2mm reduction), and the dials’ pressed pattern is meant to be reminiscent of traditional glassware. The numerals are said to be inspired by, say, “a font printed on a vintage bottle kept on a shelf.” It’s all somewhat charming, and the indices’ design seems influenced by the popular but sportier Alpinist. The highly domed mineral crystal over the dial only adds to the vintage feel. Inside is the same 4R35 automatic Seiko movement offering around 40 hours of power reserve found in past Cocktail Time watches.
First introduced about ten years ago and subsequently joining to the Presage line, the Cocktail Time has developed an enthusiastic following for the quality, personality and price that many Seiko watches share. Designed, according to the brand, with a general theme of cocktail bar attire, individual models often reference specific drinks. With three dial colors, the new models are apparently based on a Negroni (red SRPE41), Mojito (green SRPE45) and one called Old Clock (blue SRPE43).
You can get something like an Orient Bambino for a bit cheaper, but Seiko is still offering about the best price-to-quality ratio available for an automatic dress watch in this range. Sold on leather straps, each version has the same $425 price and will be available from the brand in July 2020.
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