Presage. Fine mechanical watchmaking, from Japan
Posted on 12 July 2016
Enamel Dial Limited Edition
Presage. The product of a century and more of experience
In 1913, Seiko made its first mechanical watch. In 1956, Seiko made its first automatic watch. In 1958 Seiko created its shock resistant system, Diashock, to preserve precision when the movement is subject to impact. In 1959, Seiko invented the Magic Lever spring winding mechanism, and in 1964, it started producing balance springs in-house, utilizing its own specially developed alloy, Spron. In 1967, Seiko created Japan’s first hi-beat caliber. In 1969, Seiko made the world’s first automatic chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel systems and in 2014 Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skills were rewarded with a prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève for its hi-beat caliber.
For over a century, Seiko has developed and refined its mechanical watchmaking skills. Today, all this experience comes together in a new, all-mechanical, collection named Presage. Presage has already been successful in Japan and selected other markets for some time. Now Presage goes global and takes center stage as Seiko’s leading mechanical watch collection.
A living heritage
The new Presage collection draws its inspiration from Seiko’s heritage in mechanical watchmaking, which stretches all the way back to 1913 and the celebrated Laurel which was Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first ever wrist watch. This heritage is brought to life today in two very special Limited Edition automatic chronographs whose design echoes that of the 1913 Laurel and whose dials are made in the finest traditions of Japanese artistry, one in enamel and the other with lacquer. Both use the 8R48 caliber, which has vertical clutch and column wheel systems, and incorporates Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer to ensure the perfect synchronization of the hands’ fly-back. Both are offered in editions of 1,000 in celebration of Seiko’s 60 years of automatic watch making and will be available in September.
The long-lasting beauty of fine enamel
The beauty, depth and subtle texture of the enamel dial is self-evident, but what makes this model so special is the fact that each dial is made by skilled craftsmen, led by Mitsuru Yokozawa who ensures that the color of the enamel will last for decades, just as the dial on the 1913 Laurel has done. The finishing of any enamel can easily be affected by weather and humidity, and it is very difficult to control the precise thickness of the enamel as it is laid down on each dial. To meet these challenges requires the very highest levels of skill, and Seiko is honored to have Mr. Yokozawa in charge of the finish of every enamel dial for Presage. Only the most exclusive, traditional Japanese craftsmanship will do for this special Presage Limited Edition.
The pure, deep black of Urushi lacquer
The Urushi Dial Limited Edition
Craftsmanship of a very different nature but of the same high quality gives the lacquer dial its deep black luster. The dials are made in the studio of master craftsman Isshu Tamura in Kanazawa, on the western side of Honshu, Japan’s main island, using the centuries old art of Urushi which allows the creation of lacquer whose black color is almost magically deep and which gets harder and stronger as the years pass. The dials are painted and polished by hand several times. It is time-consuming and challenging work, but it is the traditional and best way to create the perfect black color. For Presage, only perfection will do.
Through the case backs of both limited
editions the special gold rotor is visible.
Presage: A wide range of calibers, designs and tastes
Presage is a collection of broad appeal. It comprises 60 models and uses the full range of Seiko’s mechanical calibers, from the accessible 4R, through 6R to the exclusive 8R. Highlights include the 6R27 multi-hand power reserve model and a series using an entirely new version of the 4R57 caliber. This new caliber is Seiko’s first ever with a center power reserve indicator, and is available in a series of five designs, including a limited edition. Every Presage watch has 10 bar water resistance and a sapphire crystal.
Japan is a land with a long and unbroken cultural history and therefore values tradition very highly. Long-lasting beauty and long-lasting performance express the deep desires of Japanese culture and are therefore at the heart of Japanese craftsmanship. Both in design and manufacturing values, Presage belongs firmly in this tradition and offers the very highest levels of reliability and durability over time. Each Presage watch is built to last for generations.