For the last few years Seiko has not only been impressing me with their sport watches, but also their more formal offerings. The recently (over the last few years) revamped Premier collection has a number of attractive looking pieces for both men and women. The watches have a smooth gracefulness to the case design, along with a very modern size. I fear that most “classy” watches out there are still too small for my tastes, but this timepiece is an exception.
At 43mm wide, the size feels very proper given the style of the watch. Last year the big release in the Premier watch collection was the Moon Phase Direct Drive that I discussed here. I loved the amount of complications that it injected into the design as well as the inclusion of the Kinetic Direct Drive movement. This model before you is in rose gold-toned steel, offering a less complex dial, and a more affordable price.
The movement is a Seiko Kinetic Perpetual Auto Relay. The quartz movement has an “accumulator” like a battery, and a battery that is charged via a rotor in the back of the watch and also has a special system that lets the watch “sleep” for up to four years. It is an interesting hybrid between mechanical and electronic. You don’t need to change the battery in the movement like normal quartz watches (though the watch might need servicing eventually, like most any watch). The Auto Relay system will activate once the watch is inactive for 24 hours. I presume this means that the rotor in the watch does not turn. While in sleep mode the watch hands will cease to move, but the watch will still keep track of the time and date. It can do this for up to four years on a full charge. The moment the watch is picked up and moved again, the Auto Relay system will automatically move all the hands in the right position again. How cool is that? Talk about power efficiency. It is a very logical complication to place into such a movement.
Inside the watch is the Seiko Caliber 7D56 movement (which is available in some other nicer Seiko watches as well). You already know it is a Kinetic and has Auto Relay, but it is also has a perpetual calendar complication. This provides that the watch always displays the accurate date, and will not need to be adjusted until the year 2100. Information on the dial includes the time (with central seconds hand), big-date (large sized date window that uses two discs and is located close to 12 o’clock), the month, a leap year indicator, and 24 hour hand (useful, among other things, for AM/PM indication).
The visible applied hour indicators are similar to the large polished ones used on the high-end Seiko Ananta watches, and look very nice next to the white on black Roman numerals. One of the more interesting design elements of the dial is thematically borrowed from the Audemars Piguet Millenary line of the watches. The Roman hour numerals on the bottom of the dial are large than those on the top. While in the opposite position, the applied gold-tone hour indicators are larger on the top and smaller on the bottom. This creates an oblong look to these rings within rings. Despite appearing a bit asymmetric, the dial is perfectly centered. Plus, you get a mixture of baton hour markers and Roman numeral hour markers.
The men’s Seiko Premier case style has always appealed to me, and I like the rose gold mixed with black. It has always been a very substantial and proud look. I particularly like the design of the lugs. Fit and finish of the Seiko Premier watches is also very good, always feeling like a watch more expensive than they actually are. Naturally the crystal is sapphire, and the case has 100 meters of water resistance. The Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual watch is matched to a black crocodile skin textured embossed leather strap with a matching steel deployment clasp. The watch reference number is SNP036P1 and will retail for 980 euros in Europe (available in Japan, and some other parts of the world as well. Look for this new Seiko model soon.