BY JOVAN KRSTEVSKI
When it comes down to high-quality mechanical watchmaking at a relatively affordable price point, Seiko is a brand that is hard to beat, and all it takes is a look at the brand’s Presage collection to understand why. Last year, Seiko introduced two elegant and beautiful Presage watches that featured dials made of Arita Porcelain. For 2020, the brand’s latest Arita Porcelain creation comes in the form of the new SPB171 limited edition watch.
Just like last year’s Arita Porcelain based releases, the new SPB171 is all about that stunning dial. Produced in the small Japanese town of Arita under the supervision of master artisan Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, the dial on this watch is an expression of the famous traditional craft of porcelain making. A special Arita porcelain material that is four times harder and more flexible than usual materials is used for making the dial. Each dial is meticulously crafted through a three-step process. First and foremost, the base material is put inside a mold to achieve the exact dial layout and is then kiln-fired to 1300 degrees. In the second step, the dials are hand glazed and fired again. And finally, the hole of the hand stack is cut into the dial followed by another round of firing. The result of this process is the beautiful, smooth, and rich glossy white dial as seen on the SPB171. The white dial is complemented by painted blue Roman numerals and elegant looking blue hands. The deeply sunken sub-dials at 6 (date) and 9 (power reserve) further accentuate the remarkable depth and beauty of porcelain, and a railroad-style minute track on the outer periphery completes the dial.
The case on the SPB171 is made of stainless steel and like the SPB093 released last year measures a modest 40.6mm in diameter with a thickness of around 14.1mm. It features smooth curves throughout and offers a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces. There are sapphire crystals on both front as well as the back, and the case is water-resistant to a healthy 100 meters.
Powering the watch is Seiko’s in-house automatic calibre 6R27. This movement operates at a frequency of 4Hz and offers an autonomy of around 45 hours. The movement has an industrial look to it and can be seen from the exhibition case back.
The Seiko SPB171 comes attached to a blue alligator leather strap with black stitching and retails for EUR 2,100. The production run is limited to 2000 pieces.