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Seiko Prospex & Presage Ginza Editions

Seiko has released two new models that pay homage to the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo.

The Ginza district in central Tokyo has a special importance for Seiko. It was where the company’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing clocks and watches in1881, when he was just 21 years old and, today, Ginza is still where the company is located.

In celebration of Seiko’s 140th anniversary and its long association with Ginza, two limited editions are introduced into the Prospex and Presage collections which capture both the classic and modern faces of Ginza.

Both creations have dial patterns that echo the district’s traditional cobblestone streets but are in a blue-gray tone that also evokes the contemporary feel of the many modern and architecturally interesting buildings which define Ginza today. Heritage and modernity. History and progress. These two creations capture the essential characteristics of today’s Seiko.

PROSPEX GINZA

The Prospex limited edition is based on the modern re-interpretation of the 1959 Alpinist watch introduced earlier this year.

The intricate pattern of the dial incorporates two different sunray patterns which, as the viewing angle changes, create ever-changing impressions that capture the texture and feel of Ginza’s cobblestones. The seconds hand pays homage to the district’s history with Komparu, a traditional Japanese color named after Komparu Street, where Ginza’s nightlife was once centered. This blue color with a soft green tone was first used in the middle Meiji era (1868 – 1912), instantly found favor among the many geishas who lived there and then gradually became a popular color among the public.

The watch is powered by Caliber 6R35, which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. The glass is a curved sapphire crystal that is resistant to scratches and the watch is water resistant to20 bar. It is offered as limited edition of 3,500 and will be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

RRP is 750 euros.

PRESAGE

The Presage creation features the same cobblestone-inspired dial pattern and Komparu color seconds hand, but the watch has the distinguished aspect of the recently released “Style60’s” design series inspired by the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph.

The box-shaped glass, sharp hands and faceted indexes are inherited directly from the Crown Chronograph and create a retro feel that matches perfectly with the classic dial pattern. The opening at the 9 o’clock position allows the wearer to see and enjoy the beating of the escapement and the 24 hour sub-dial above it offers a different and useful way to tell the time.

This Presage watch is offered as a limited edition of 4,000 and will also be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

The RRP is 590 euros and it shows how Seiko is gradually `price walking’ its customer base up to a higher level. Is the Presage on par with a Hamilton Khaki? Yes, it is, but when you come to sell either model you struggle to get £200 back online, or at a watch shop.

VERDICT:

Buy a classic green dial Seiko Alpinist instead, or a trad Prospex dive watch. Both will hold their value better in the long run.

Go Deep Or Go Home, Says Seiko

How deep? Well, 1000m to be exact which is venturing into `Let’s raise a shipwreck this weekend’ territory but this is still a technical tour de force worth showing off in your Seiko collection.

What do you mean, you only collect Swiss watches? Come on, Seiko are true watchmakers, and clockmakers too. It’s all they do and they do it with typical Japanese shokunin elan, always aiming for perfection in terms of craft and excellence.

That’s especially true of the Prospex line we think, so here’s the word from Seiko;

In 1986, Seiko launched a diver’s watch that set a new standard. It combined Seiko’s legendary 1975 design with the 1,000 meter water resistance required for saturation diving with a quartz movement that delivered an accuracy that no mechanical diver’s watch could match. At the time, and still today, it was recognized as one of Seiko’s most important diver’s watches. Today, 35 years on, this classic Seiko Diver’s watch is re-born with new design features and upgraded professional diver’s watch specifications. This is a watch that truly lives up to the promise of the Prospex name. It will be available in July 2021 as a limited edition of 1,200 at selected Seiko Boutiques and retail partners worldwide.

This new watch inherits all the important design features and innovations which made both the 1975 mechanical and the 1986 quartz original so greatly trusted by the professional diving community. It has the 1,000m water resistance and helium resistance that saturation diving requires and incorporates the unique one-piece titanium case with its outer protector structure that makes its shock resistance so exceptional. It also has the accordion-style strap that ensures that the watch remains tight on the wrist at every depth. The outer protector is made of zirconia ceramic, which is seven times harder than steel, further enhancing its resistance to shock. The strap is now of high grade, strong yet flexible silicone.

As a new safety and design feature, the crown is marked with a vivid yellow “Lock” sign and an arrow to indicate the rotating direction. The winding stem is also in yellow so that the wearer can immediately notice if the crown is unlocked. The white hour markers stand out against the dark dial so that they are easy to read at depth.

The watch is equipped with Seiko’s tried and trusted quartz Caliber 7C46 which delivers a high level of torque so that it can move the powerful hands that are wide, robust and Lumibrite-coated for maximum legibility. It also delivers a reassuringly long battery life of 5 years.

The watch is a limited edition of 1200 pieces and it retails for around 2700 euros, or £2400.

Verdict: Invest in a used Grand Seiko instead, better chance of making money in the long run and arguably a more wearable watch.

Strapcode Launches End Link Kit for Prospex Models

Strapcode has spotted the gap on the Seiko Prospex dive watch, where the watch pins can be on view. A flush fit is a nice thing to have, especially with NATO straps, so Strapcode has launched a replacment end link  kit.  Here’s the word;

To rectify the problem with the huge gap space for the Sumo, we would like to introduce an end link add on for the Sumo when pairing with the Canvas & Chaffle FKM watch bands.

Compatible model list:

  • SBDC031
  • SBDC033
  • SPB103
  • SZSC004
  • PADI SBDC049
  • Zimbe ’15’ SPB194

Tested NOT fitted Sumo models:

  • SBDC027
  • SPB029
  • Pepsi SBDC057
  • SBDC069Rootbeer SPB192

More info here.

 

Seiko’s 140th Anniversary Models: Lean & Green

Seiko are celebrating 140 years of watchmaking and the green Prospex models really do offer a bold statement on the wrist for those who admire this Japanese brand. Built to high standards, Seiko’s Prospex is a genuine rival to Swiss watches, in all but brand snobbery. You won’t get the same resale value, but you will get a watch that will last a lifetime. Here’s the word from Seiko;

These two mechanical watches in this Iriomote-inspired series are based on Seiko’s celebrated 1968 diver. One is a 300 meter water resistant, eight beat diver’s watch with a unique onepiece case structure. Suitable for saturation as well as air diving, it is made, assembled and adjusted by the skilled craftsmen and women of Shizukuishi and powered by Caliber 8L35. This was created especially for dive watches. The second mechanical watch is a contemporary reinvention of the 1968 original. It houses a six beat caliber and is 200 metres water resistant.

Solar model is a bit of a bargain compared to Swiss quartz/solar cell watches, but still pricey at £700. Some great pre-owned Seiko autos at that price.

Both are offered as limited editions, of 3,000 and 6,000 respectively. The third watch in the series is a 200m solar chronograph. It, too, is a limited edition of 4,000. All three are presented on stainless steel bracelets but you can buy an extra silicone strap. All three watches will be available in March at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retailers worldwide.

The Prospex 1968 homage retails at 1400 euros, and the heavy duty SLA347 is priced at 3,300 euros. But you get 300m depth resistance and the chunky 44mm case for the extra cash.

Verdict: The `68 homage is the limited edition to go for, great value compared to its big brother. If you have £3000 to invest buy a Tudor Black Bay instead, it will hold its value far better in our humble opinion.