Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight ‘Cocktail Time’ Watches

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight ‘Cocktail Time’ Watches

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

Seiko continues to expand its popular "Cocktail Time" line of watches, now introducing a couple of new and attractive limited-edition dial executions apparently based on Japanese cocktails called Sakura Hubuki and Starlight. The original SARB065 Cocktail Time watch was officially sold only in Japan but developed an international following, and Seiko brought it back earlier this year with some new colors and now in the Presage family of watches with the SSA and SRPB models. Those featured some small changes while continuing the interesting radial dial texture of the original, but the overall theme is now broadened with the new Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki and Starlight Cocktail Time watches, as I suppose we'll call them.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

Seiko doesn't officially "name" the watches but, as with the "Cocktail Time," ostensibly allows the public to do so. The Cocktail Time watches largely stand out for their dials (and price), and Seiko is known for well-done dial details particularly in its higher-end models. Just as those introduced earlier this year, the new versions are a classic time-and-date-only model; and a model with a large power reserve indicator on the dial and the date displayed via a sub-dial at 6 o'clock – each available in blue or white for a total of four. The dial textures are meant to reference cocktails by a Japanese bartender in Tokyo's Ginza area, one Mr. Hisashi Kishi. The blue version is for a drink called Starlight, of course, and the white version is... the other one.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

I won't try to describe the drinks that are the design inspiration ("I shake the cocktail mixer in a special way that I call my ‘Infinity Shake’ to add tiny bubbles that sparkle in the glass..."), but Seiko's materials do briefly tell us that the dials feature a gloss that is applied no fewer than seven times in a "painstaking process." I'd like to know more, actually. The blue dial's finish looks particularly cool to me with a somewhat fibrous, patterned appearance. If you must have a blue dial watch (which it seems everyone must) and are on a three-figure budget, these seem like some good options. The white dial's texture is also nice with radial waves that from up close look a bit like shallow, ultra-fine guilloché in a cherry blossom (sakura) pattern.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

Each version is 40.5mm wide in steel, but the power reserve models (reference numbers beginning with SSA) are 14.4mm thick and the time/date models (SRPC) are 11.8mm thick – the same measurements as the models introduced earlier this year. Some people felt that the original was too thick for a "dressy" watch such as the Cocktail Time is trying to be, but I sometimes like some extra heft for an otherwise simple design as found here and on other Presage models, for instance. Both are water-resistant to 50m (certainly sufficient for spilled drinks), anti-magnetic to 4,800 A/m, and come on a blue or brown calf leather strap.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

All versions also have a display caseback where you will see the Seiko 4R57 in the SSA (power reserve) models or the 4R35 in the SRPC models – pretty basic movements, likely with minimal industrial finishing, though Seiko has not provided images for now. Each of these automatic movements operate at 3Hz with a power reserve of 41 hours, offer hand-winding and hacking, and are found in a number of watches in Seiko's more affordable mechanical ranges. Over the dial is a box-shaped Hardlex crystal – sapphire might have been nice, but would have also been more expensive (particularly in that shape) and Seiko seems to like to save those premium options for the occasional "extra special" limited edition.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

Power reserve in blue (SSA361) is the one that stands out to me. People sometimes say that a power reserve indicator on an automatic watch is redundant, but this point is lost on me. It's more important and helpful on a manually wound movement, sure, but even if one wears the same automatic watch every day and thereby keeps it perpetually wound, how just how much power is left is still relevant - to me, at least. It's also just fun watching the indicator move as you wind it or knowing that you've been at your desk too long by seeing that it has wound down. Further, you can know if the movement is getting close to the end of its power reserve where it might start to be less accurate, especially in more basic movements like this one. Seiko says that the shape of the power reserve indicator's hand, by the way, is meant to reference a cocktail glass.

Seiko Presage Sakura Hubuki & Starlight 'Cocktail Time' Watches Watch Releases

The blue models will be limited to 1,300 pieces each and available from November 17, 2017, and the white ones limited to 1,000 and available from January 12, 2018 - according to Seiko's Japanese language site, so international availability might be different as the brand's English materials only say "winter." The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time power reserve models (SSA361 in blue and SSA363 in white) will have a retail price (in Europe) of €550 and the time-and-date (SRPC01 in blue and SRPC03 in white) will have a price of €420 (prices in JPY are ¥60,000 and ¥45,000, respectively). You could easily spend around that, one imagines, for a night hanging out in Tokyo's Ginza at places like the Star Bar that inspired the watches. seikowatches.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (69)
  • Thumbs up (23)
  • I love it! (19)
  • Classy (15)
  • Interesting (11)
See more articles about:

Watch Brands

  • Mikita

    Lovely watches, I especially like the time & date models – the dial finish looks very interesting for the price indeed. However, don’t understand why did they downgrade the movement here; the original Cocktail Time had 6R15 and the new one 4R35.

    • IanE

      Another step down in value-for-money for Seiko: still, I like the look of the blue dial – would love to see some actual pictures!

      • Mikita

        Indeed, some years ago you could get 4L25 based Seiko below $700, which was an awesome value. Then they sold 4L25 construction to Soprod and were left with 6R family below 1k. And now they reduce the costs even more with 4R…

  • Lurch

    Nice watch but the hand set could be a bit longer in my opinion, especially the minute hand.

  • Daniel Harper

    Beautiful!! Hell of a price for such a perfectly executed dial. A tad thick on the PR models, but I think it’s worth it

  • Yan Fin

    I like 3 hands model with date better, especially in this cloudy blue. Kind of Bambino with matching date background.

    • egznyc

      The PR models are a little too busy and lopsided for me, not to mention kind of thick.

      I thought the Bambinos were mostly non-matching date wheels though. Do they make a black dialed version with a black date background?

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Real beauties for an incredible price. Sapphire or Hardlex?

    • IanE

      It’s in the article, but easily missed – hardlex, sadly.

      • Mikita

        Sadly or not, but a box shape sapphire is extremely rare thing below 1k, well – even below 3k.

        • Joel Schumann

          This is not exactly a beater watch. Do you really think sapphire is required? I have been in the nothing but sapphire-camp until, a few years ago, I spent 8 months riding a bicycle through Morocco and half of Europe with a hardlex crystal Seiko on my arm on the bike riding through deserts, up and down mountains, along beaches, sleeping in tent etc. Result is 1 (one) tiny scratch which is barely visible (movement is not doing well, though). If the choice is between domed mineral and flat sapphire on a dress watch, I’ll take the dome.

          • Mikita

            No, I don’t. I was just replying to IanE – but I don’t expect a box sapphire on a cheap watch. And yes, I’d prefer a box hardlex here to the flat sapphire, of course, it is a great part of the watch’s charm.
            P.S. Wow, 8 month through Morocco and half of Europe – this sounds like a dream. If only I could do the same some day…

          • Joel Schumann

            Just buy that Minsk and a tent and off you go! 🙂

            I know little about motorbikes but that Minsk you jokingly linked to in the content marketing piece about B&M is a classic which have been used for many adventures around the world.

          • Mikita

            I wish to do this someday 🙂 currently finished my PhD and have to concentrate on my new job.. And my son is only 11 month old LOL. Regarding Minsk – you are right! I’ve read a story of one guy who travelled through Caucasus from Minsk. The total trip was over 10000 km! But frankly – he had some troubles sometimes and had to repair the bike multiple times himself or with the help of Caucasus people.

  • Ranchracer

    Can’t beat these for the price. Seiko does it again! Already spoken with my local AD and I’m first on the list for the blue dial PR when they can order these (along with the new Orange Samurai since I recently quit Amazon).

  • Framlucasse

    The SRPC03 is great, it would be perfect without the “PRESAGE AUTOMATIC”. Very nice dial, great value for money, very well done.
    In the Cocktail collection, the blue SRPB41 (here ont the right side) is also great.

    IMO, the best watches on the market under 500$, and probalbly under 1000$.

    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Seiko-Presage-Cocktail-Time-SRPB43-SRPB41.jpg

    • egznyc

      Have you seen the SRPB41 in person? How does the dial look? Is the bracelet decent (or better)? I’d probably put it on a blue leather band but it’d be nice to have the bracelet as an option.

      Then again, if I had to have only ONE of these … well I might have to go with the original.

      • Joshua Ellner

        The SRPB41 is gorgeous in person. They all are. The blue on blue leather is stunning, that is how I would wear it personally. The bracelet excellent compared to some of the other Seiko bracelets that are out there. Really nice quality for the price of the watch.

        But the blue dial is to me the nicest in the collection when you see them in person, I am a retailer in Canada and I have seen the entire collection, the blue is still my favourite.

        • egznyc

          I hear you: blue dial over the original silver (with just a hint of blue). Then again, maybe you like blue dials in general?

          Hmm. I just noticed that the SARY073 looks identical to the SRPB41; any idea why there would be two different designations (maybe one for Japan market and one for elsewhere)?

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Much better look.

  • Beefalope

    Seiko finishing at this price point is astonishing.

    • The original Cocktail Time was / is probably the best value proposition in dress watches ever.

      • Beefalope

        I agree with this. I’ve got that watch, and it’s amazing how superb that dial is for a $350 watch. I’ve seen $5k watches with a dial that isn’t that nice. I know that movement finishing is not a Seiko priority when it comes to their basic models, but good lord the dial furniture is so good.

    • I would go so far as to say they offer the best finishing in their price point and in 3x their price point.

  • Gorgeous dial ruined by nonsensical and superfluous text. While a power reserve indicator on an automatic watch is pointless to begin with, labeling it “Power reserve” should a crime.

    • Long Tran

      “power reserve indicator on an automatic watch is pointless to begin with”

      Sorry sir but you’re dead wrong. The power reserve is just like a battery indicator on a phone, it eliminates the guessing and unnecessary winding. Also, what if you have more than 1 watch and can only wear 1 at a time? You know exactly when you need to wind it!

      Check out this state-of-the-art JLC, it’s so superfluous because of the power reserve 🙁

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d9547229fd7478f270563ad8914431fec17de7918bdb6fba36699a6698e1a9c.jpg

      • If an automatic watch is on your wrist, it’s wound. While you’re wearing it. Why on Earth would you need a gauge to tell you whether it’s wound or not, *while you’re wearing it*? And if you’re not wearing it, and it’s not on a winder, then it’s not wound.

        Also, that JLC Duometre you’re using as an example has a Caliber 381 movement. A HANDWOUND movement. The only movement you need a power reserve indicator for.

        • Long Tran

          I find your argument very unrealistic, really. Even if you wear a watch, doesn’t mean that it will be fully wound. With the power reserve, you will know instantly.

          Also you missed my second point, which is I believe true for most watch enthusiast: what if you have more than 1 watch? If 4 other watches you have are sitting in the drawer how do you make sure that they will still be running when you need it?

          • I have far more than one watch, and none of them are on winders. Since every watch I own is an automatic, and none of them have more than 70 hour power reserves, and I dont’ wear the same watch twice in a week, whenever I go to put one on, it’s not running, and needs to be wound.

            There’s another way to determine this, even if you don’t have a large collection: If the watch isn’t running, then it isn’t wound. Once you put an automatic watch on, and wear it, it magically winds itself.

            A handwound watch doesn’t, and thus, needs a power reserve for two reasons: To let you know that your watch needs winding, and so that watch manufacturers can charge extra for a complication.

            And even if you feel the need to have a power reserve on an automatic, there’s no reason for the gauge to actually be labeled “power reserve”. Not too many watches have the date labeled “Date”. We can figure it out.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    While i will always have a soft spot for Sieko, pretty much the first watch most folks. This is a bit of a mess. You could ask, what do you want for £487 ?, well for starters what about a bit of honesty. Power reserve ? second markers ? haphazard scratched dial ? . IMO the blue SRPB41 can’t be beaten and coming out with these was just a bit of a waste of time really.
    The word Presage means a sign or warning of (an imminent event, typically an unwelcome one) which fits right in.

    • Daniel Katz

      So I’m so supposed to get rid of the original version of these Watches
      Which I have cause Raymond Wilke does not approve ?
      Only Lange &Sohne maybe to be approved as a member of the human race

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Now you’re being silly.

  • John Stevens

    These are respectable watches and great value for money but as others have mentioned the original cocktail time with the 6R movement for me is the better proposition (not sure for how long that watch will still be available). The finishing at this price is as good if not better than anything else out there.

  • PollyO

    I own the original Cocktail Time. It’s still my favourite. I think adding the Presage branding has taken away from the collection. Just seems a little less classy.

  • BNABOD

    Got to say the blue one w the awkward PR is rather attractive. A tad too thick at 14mm but for the price if you need a dress watch on the cheap that will last forever then do it.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    These new Cocktail times are all perfectly okay. But they make me appreciate my original Cocktail time even more. It has the absolute minimum of writing on the dial. The colour is a very subtle light blue, thats almost white in some light. It has no fuss or comp!ications, and runs on a 6R.
    Interestingly enough I was in hospital for a while. I found that all those consultants wearing Panerais and Hublots all loved the Cocktail time, while rarely committing on any others.
    However, for their price these new Cocktails are all good value watches from Seiko. I’m sure that by the time there’s a loads of them around my old cocktail will look quite boring in comparison.

  • Mark1884

    I hate to admit it, but these are not bad. The original Cocktail Time watches look better to me. I could see myself wearing one of those.
    My pick is the blue dial.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Dang.

    Though…I think the power reserve scale just looks out of place on this dress watch.

  • SuperStrapper

    I have an original cocktail time and I just think it’s a better watch. These are nice, especially the off white dial 3 hander, but the presage branding ruins the harmony.

  • Jon Snow

    The Seiko Cocktail Time is the cheap way to address a mid-life crisis. It goes nicely with the Paul Smith floral shirts and brightly coloured watchstraps that such pitiable individuals prefer.

  • Mark1884

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1170a9fb7dbe8437f5b83f763c6b661484ddf8e8a52072c754cf9fe55e8014c9.jpg
    Now I know why the Cocktail time watches appeal to me so much. I got into the safe, and found my 1959 “Cocktail Time” watch.
    I would still consider a Seiko Presage with brown “Vignette” dial.

  • silkhead

    throw away the watch band when you get it

  • Han Cnx

    Wow. That is beautiful.

    I have one of the original three, and this white one especially is very clearly a new take on the old SARB066. (This one: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jucpCPcriUE/maxresdefault.jpg )

    I only have the SARB065 though. Also nice.

    https://i.imgur.com/ANLymuu.jpg

  • Ulysses31

    I prefer these dial patterns. They’re less harsh to look at. Classy watches that aren’t insanely priced; quite impressive really.

  • wallyboy23 .

    The price isn’t going to break the bank. I’m sure the quality will be exceptionable, but honestly its boring.