The pandemic has not put a dent into Seiko’s European offensive as the brand continues to deploy new models and countless dial variations with the same intensity as other years. A well-kept secret until 2016, Seiko’s Presage collection offers dressy sports watches with exclusive materials and prices well below models in the top tier Grand Seiko family. The Seiko Presage ‘Sharp Edged Series‘ is a completely new product and marks an upgrade for the Presage.
Sharply defined case and bracelet
Comparing a standard Seiko Presage model, like this ‘Riki Enamel‘, it’s patently clear how Seiko has produced something very different closer in spirit to the more pronounced forms of a Grand Seiko. The profile is crisper, sharper and more angular than your regular Presage models giving the watch a more dynamic character. The lugs, for example, are not rounded but end abruptly and play with different finishes to emphasise their angularity.
To highlight the dynamic architecture, the top surfaces feature a subtle hairline finish (vertical brush), and the sides are polished to a brilliant gleam (a bit like Zaratsu polishing on Grand Seiko). The bracelet of the Sharp Edged models, with the polished flanks of the central link contrasting with the satin-finished links, is reminiscent of some Grand Seiko Heritage models. Even the edges of the bracelet have been whittled down and sharpened to match the shape of the case.
Size-wise, the diameter of the case is 39.3mm and the height just 11.1mm, that’s smaller and more compact than the regular Presage models with 40.5mm x 11.8mm dimensions. The distance between lugs has also been slightly reduced, making the Seiko Presage Sharp Edges surprisingly comfortable and compact on the wrist.
Three of the models are housed in steel cases with a ‘super-hard’ coating; a fourth model exudes a more luxurious air and comes with a rose gold-plated case. Not only does this super-hard coating protect the case and bracelet from scratches, but it creates a brighter surface than regular steel and catches the light. Although the crown is not screwed-down, the water-resistance of the watch is 100 metres, a feature that reinforces the versatile nature of the watch. Another difference with regular Presage models is the incorporation of a sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating – a definite step up from Hardlex.
The bezel is polished, a classic, more elegant choice for a watch that is perfectly at ease in more formal environments, like the office. Once again, Seiko has taken inspiration from Japanese culture to create the geometric pattern on the eye-catching dials. Known as Asanoha, the hemp leaf motif on the dial has been in use for over a thousand years, since the Heian period. Originally, the Ashonoha leaf was used on fabrics and like the plant, symbolises rapid, strong growth.
The hemp leaf pattern is not painted on the dial but stamped to achieve a rich texture. Available in four colours – Aitetsu (indigo iron), Shironeri (unbleached silky white), Tokiwa (evergreen trees) and Susutake (smokey brown bamboo) – the geometry and subtle colour gradations create plenty of relief and play with the light. The applied indices feature two different finishes: sandblasted on the front and polished on the sides. The brand name is placed inside a cartouche below noon. Instead of an incision on the dial, the date aperture is framed with a silver or gold-plated border (depending on case material) for a more elegant finish.
Even the hands are new and display a sharper profile and a pointy tip that works very well with the design tenets of the ‘Sharp Edged Series’. The central part of the hour and minute hands are filled with LumiBrite, and the outermost tips of the indices are also treated with luminescent material.
Another upgrade over regular Seiko Presage models is the incorporation of the calibre 6R35. Introduced in 2019, this automatic time-and-date movement features improved precision and a more robust power reserve of 70 hours. The perfect amount of energy to take the watch off over the weekend and not have to reset the time on Monday.
The Seiko Presage ‘Sharp Edged Series’ is delivered with a bracelet, except for the rose gold-plated model which is fitted with a high-quality brown Cordovan leather strap. With all the upgrades, a slight increase in price is to be expected. Coming in at just under EUR 1,000, these models have all the necessary attributes to compete with powerful Swiss brands.
Availability & price
The anticipated retail price in Europe is EUR 990, and the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series are available at Seiko boutiques and retailers worldwide.
More information at Seiko.