Nearly 60 years after its initial release, the 1964 Crown Chronograph remains a seminal release for Seiko. As the first chronograph wristwatch produced in Japan, the Crown Chronograph is naturally hugely influential in the brand’s horological development, but the clean, slightly dressy sports watch style it pioneered continues to resonate periodically through Seiko’s designs to this day. Last year, for example, the brand announced the Seiko Presage 2020 Limited Edition, which took a faithful recreation of the look and overall proportions of the Crown Chronograph but deleted the original 60 second chronograph complication to focus on a dressy, light-duty three hand sports watch design. As is often the case with Seiko, this limited edition model has become an influence for a new regular production series, and for 2021 the brand massages this classic midcentury sports watch look into a clean new everyday watch series. The new Seiko Presage Style60’s series (including the Seiko Presage SRPG03, Seiko Presage SRPG05, Seiko Presage SRPG07, and Seiko Presage SRPG09) offers a smoother, more elemental take on the iconic Crown Chronograph look, removing some of the original model’s signature quirks in favor of a streamlined casual style.
Measuring in at 40.8mm, the stainless steel case of the Seiko Presage Style60’s line offers an ironed-out riff on the Crown Chronograph’s ‘60s blend of sportiness and refinement. In smoothing and simplifying the design, however, the case of the Style60’s ends up presenting a markedly different profile to its predecessor. The general shape is similar, with a thin mid case, narrow 60 minute bezel, and the characteristic tapering chamfer atop the angular lugs, but the details set it apart. The most notable of these changes is the bezel, which removes the fully black finish, full 60-minute scale, and intermittent toothed edge of the original. The new bezel, available in black, navy blue, or forest green with gold text, uses an insert rather than previous single-piece iterations for a more refined look in images. Oddly, the new bezel is also fixed where previous models used a rotating model, leaving the diver-style design feeling slightly superfluous. The water resistance of the Presage Style60’s is decidedly un-diver-like as well, managing a meager 50 meters. As is the case with many modern Seiko designs, the brand uses subtle geometry to compact the case of the Presage Style60’s on the wrist. At first glance, the mid-case appears slab sided and cylindrical, but Seiko gently slopes these case sides inward toward the wrist, which should lead to a smaller overall footprint while wearing and a more comfortable fit on the wrist.
While the case design of the Seiko Presage Style60’s series offers a simplified, smooth take on the ‘60s cues of the Crown Chronograph, the dials of the series offer a much more faithful rendition. Like the originals and previous reissues, the signature elements of the Style60’s are the complex fluted indices and the mixed dial surfacing. The midcentury formula of light-catching indices, dauphine hands, and a contrasting hours track are reinterpreted here in a quartet of colors, each of which imparts a different personality to the final look. The white dial Presage SRPG03 is the most faithful to the original design, with a silver hours ring that cuts handsomely through the creamy main dial surface. Here, however, Seiko adds a luxe touch to the vintage sporting mix with gold tone hands and indices. Things are more classically sporty with the black dial Presage SRPG09, as the black contrasting ring fades into the overall look of the dial, but Seiko keeps the vintage feel alive in images with a light khaki lume fill. The blue dial Presage SRPG05 shares this same fauxtina lume and silver dial hardware, but the rich royal blue dial color gives this model a lighter, more summery feel. Lastly, a hunter green dial gives the Presage SRPG07 perhaps the most contemporary look of the series, with the khaki lume and green dial surface complementing one another handsomely in images.
Seiko powers these models in the Presage Style60’s series with its workhorse in-house 4R35 automatic movement. The 4R35 is a staple of Seiko’s mainline offerings and provides a solid 41 hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate. The Seiko Presage Style60’s series is finished with the brand’s three link oyster style bracelet in stainless steel for the SRPG03, SRPG05, and SRPG07, but the black dial SRPG09 is paired with a sporty NATO strap in black. This fabric option effectively dresses down the design of the Style60’s in initial images, providing a laid-back alternative to the more refined bracelet look.
While some of the nuance of its original inspiration is simplified here, the Seiko Presage Style60’s series provides a slick and versatile casual design with a healthy dose of vintage charisma. The Seiko Presage Style60’s series will be available through authorized dealers in June 2021 at a starting MSRP of $525. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.