The Presage Collection, which was a Japan Domestic Market exclusive collection until 2016, is going strong to be one of the most prominent product groups of the brand. Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel SPB073, one of the brand’s Baselworld novelties, is dazzling with its blue dial produced with enamel processing technique unique to Japan.
There is an undeniable influence of trends in the world of watches. Oversized Watches that emerged in the early 2000s, are adopted without regard to brand or segment, while others, such as the Heritage or Re-Issue trends are preferred by the companies with rich backgrounds due to the nature of their concepts. Another trend that has been influencing the industry lately is the enamel dials.
The emergence of enamel dials, which deserves to be defined as "luxury" in terms of both materials and processing techniques, is almost as old as the history of watchmaking itself. It is difficult to talk about a dramatic comeback for the enamel dials which are known with their brilliant and smooth image, the natural durability and the elegance they added to the watches. Given today's production techniques and costs, it is possible to find both more practical and more cost-effective solutions. But the increasing interest to the material by the brands who like to use “traditional” as an argument is obvious.
One of the latest examples of enamel dial models that have come to the fore among many new models of different brands in recent years comes from the giant Far Eastern manufacturer Seiko. Here we have the Ref. SPB073 for you from the Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Collection which is a part of the brand’s Baselworld 2018 novelties.
The Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel SPB073, the flagship model of the new collection, comes in a 40.6mm stainless steel case. To understand the positioning of the Presage Collection in the Seiko product line, looking at the craftsmanship of the case would be enough. The case that combines matt and polished surfaces is simply beautiful. Equipped with anti-glare coated scratch-resistant sapphire crystals on both sides, the case is water resistant to 100 meters. There is an S logo on the large and retro-inspired winding crown.
As you may understand from the beginning of the article, the most prominent detail of the model is its enamel dial. The Japanese enamel technique Shippo, dating back to the 17th century, continues to exist thanks to artists whose numbers are rather small nowadays. The dial of this model from the new Presage Shippo Enamel Collection is made by Ando Cloisonne, a company that has been involved in this business since 1880 in Nagoya. The original Guilloché motif on the surface of the dial, which was prepared by the famous enamel master Wataru Totani, is completely hand-crafted. The blue background tone, prepared with lead-free natural colors, is obtained after many processes carried including furnaces reaching 800C temperature. The surface pattern of the blue dial is inspired by the sea surrounding Hiroshima. The wave pattern, which is a common figure in Japanese art and symbolizes continuity, is applied on the dial.
Designed in accordance with the elegant structure of the model, the dial is accompanied with Roman numeral indices and leaf-shaped hands. At 6 o'clock, there is a pointer date display, and a retro-grade style power reserve indicator is added to the dial at clock 3.
Caliber 6R27, the brand's own design and production, has been selected as the movement to work within the new model. The self-winding movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz (28.800vph) and offers a power reserve of 45 hour when fully wound. The movement can be enjoyed through the sapphire crystal display case back.
Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel SPB073, limited to only 2500 pieces, comes with a dark blue alligator strap and a Seiko signed stainless steel folding clasp. The list price for the new model is 1650,00 EUR. For the ones who would find this figure relatively expensive for a Seiko, I would like to note that a similar Swiss watch with Grand Feu enamel dial and an in-house automatic movement will start with a MSRP of (roughly) 8000,00 CHF.