While the quality and innovation of Grand Seiko are well known by now in the West, Japanese giant Seiko still reserves its true haute horlogerie releases for its domestic market consumers under the exclusive Credor nameplate. For its latest creation, Credor has turned to the centuries-old art of Imari Nabeshimayaki porcelain to create a stunningly unique dial, coupled with one of the brand’s most impressive movements and case-making. The resulting limited edition Seiko Credor Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki offers a distinctly Japanese take on luxury materials and finishing for a truly striking final product.
The 38mm platinum case of the Credor Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki is elegantly slim at only 7.8mm-thick. The overall form feels like a modernized take on Art Deco motifs, with a rounded octagonal central case topped with broad attached claw lugs. The finishing is simple but exquisitely done, with a brightly polished bevel that accentuates the brilliant luster of the base metal. The crown, however, seems overly simple and perhaps a touch too small in the context of the overall shape, and a softer shape with something like a cabochon top would round out the case design somewhat better.
As with many of Seiko’s high-end designs, the dial of the Credor Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki begins with inspiration from nature. In this case, the dial looks to capture the spray of a warm waterfall in sunlight. To achieve this, the base layer of the porcelain dial begins with a delicate vertical striping of white and pale blue that fades into view toward 6 o’clock. After this initial layer, 11 individually hand-applied layers of glaze are added and fired, each adding flakes of gold, platinum, and white pearl embedded in the glaze to capture the feel of the waterfall’s spray. On top of this, heat-blued needle hands and matching indices complete the aquatic look. While far from the most subtle dial to come from the halls of Credor, the artisanship here is beautiful.
Seiko powers the Credor Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki with the manufacture Caliber 6890 hand-wound movement. With an overall thickness of just 1.98mm, this movement combines its razor-thin design with clean and simple finishing. Movement plates and bridges are finished in a mix of striping and perlage, punctuated by large heat-blued screws and a handful of visible jewels. Most movement finishing in this segment tends toward the ornately baroque, leaving the Caliber 6890 feeling elegantly minimal by comparison. In terms of performance, the movement offers 37 hours of power reserve at 21,600 bph.
In keeping with the sparkling waterfall theme, Credor opts for a unique strap treatment on the Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki. The base strap is Mississippi alligator leather in graphite gray, finished by the famous Kyoto Leather tannery and treated with a proprietary powdered silver finish. The glittering grains of silver help to accentuate the rough alligator texture, while providing an eye-catching spectacle.
While many Seiko models have sought to capture the beauty of nature, few have done so as creatively or as impressively as the Credor Linealx Imari Nabeshimayaki. Only 10 examples will be made, available now exclusively through Credor authorized dealers at an MSRP of 4,500,000 yen. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.