March 2024 is off to a strong start for Seiko, with double-header announcements of new additions to both the Prospex and the Presage series. The Presage line, which debuted in 2016, combines two elements that Seiko is well known for: an emphasis on quality engineering and aesthetics rooted in Japanese heritage. This line offers Seiko fans a change from the chunky and sporty models in the brand’s large dive and tool watch repertoire. The Presage collection tends to be stripped back, refined, and generally conservative in its design language. These five new watches are part of the new Seiko Presage Classic Series, which takes inspiration from the colors and textures of traditional Japanese crafts and the materials that set them apart. The line features two different dial layouts and functions: Three of the models are standard three-hand configurations with date windows at 3 o’clock, while the other two have an open-heart layout with an overlapping 24-hour subdial at the 6 o’clock position. 

The impressive dials are really where this new series shines. Seiko’s specific inspiration for these watches was Japanese textiles, specifically silk, and its various historical and cultural roots. The three-hand references were inspired by the characteristics of Japanese silk fabric, while the open-heart options (which are not as textured) have a radial dial patterning representative of raw silk yarn. Two of the references (SPB463 and SPB469) are a cream color known as shiro-iro, the color of unbleached natural fabric. SPB465, one of the three-hand configurations, is sensaicha, a brownish-green popular in the Edo period, which spanned the 17th, 18th, and part of the 19th century. Persimmon inspired the third dial color on the SPB467, and the final reference, SPB471, is sumi-iro — a very dark gray representing the garments worn by Japanese monks.

Advertising Message

The 40.2mm case is slightly curved, which speaks further to the depth of Seiko’s silk inspiration for this series. Both the three-hand and open-heart configurations have a height of 13mm, which is fairly thick, especially for those three-handers. However, the curved shape of the case will likely mitigate some of that bulk when the watch is on the wrist. Each model features leaf-style hour and minute hands and stick indices. All hands and indices are slightly curved to match the shape of the case, as is the sapphire crystal. It’s important to note that lume is absent from these watches, though, for the style, this is a design decision that feels right.

The exhibition casebacks will highlight the recently introduced Seiko 6R movements that feature a power reserve of 72 hours. The three-hand references (SPB463, SPB465, and SPB467) are powered by the Caliber 6R55 while the open-heart style uses the 6R5J. The water resistance is 100 meters, which is standard (even a bit unimpressive) for Seiko but far superior to many of its dress watch peers at similar price points.

Each of these five watches is accompanied by a multi-row bracelet that is newly developed by Seiko. Taking inspiration from 1970s design cues, the links are ergonomically shaped and curved like the case. Seiko says the priority here with this new design was to reduce contact points on the wrist for a more comfortable fit. Each link is short, which will allow the wearer to more easily find a fit that works for them.

Advertising Message

One of the most impressive features of this series is its price tag, which is on par with many other Presage references. Though the three-hand options will likely be priced around double a watch from the Cocktail Time line, the much-improved specs and finishing make that figure seem reasonable. The recommended retail price in the United States for these watches is $950 USD for the three-hand configuration (SPB463/465/467), and $1,125 USD for the open-heart layout (SPB469/471). Seiko claims these models should be available in June 2024. More information can be found on the brand’s website.

Advertising Message

Subscribe to our Newsletter