Seiko’s Sharp Edged models offer something very attractive in today’s watch market. You get a taste of higher-end finishing in watches under 2K. Seiko now releases two new models in its Sharp Edged range. There is a new time-and-date watch and a more complicated version that we will focus on here. Both come with a menacing black DLC finish and are fitted with dégradé purple dials. Let’s have a look.

If you avoid coated watches out of fear of flaking, Seiko might have you covered here. DLC (Diamond-Like Coating) is rather durable. Seiko describes these as “hard-coated.” I cannot predict what these will look like after twenty-odd years of wear, but under somewhat careful use, they should remain perfectly black for a long time.

Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Akebono

I will not go too deep into the technical details of these watches. These new versions are different from the models we covered before in aesthetics only. So let it suffice to say that we have a 39.3mm SPB363J1 and a 42.2mm SPB361J1. The former features the time and date, while the latter is fitted with a GMT hand, a power-reserve indicator, and a pointer-date sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Both come on a bracelet that suits the style and sharp-edged approach.

These watches are inspired by what the Japanese refer to as akebono“when the dark of night gives way to the glimmers of dawn.” This is translated into the stark black case and bracelet, which are paired with a dégradé purple dial. The hands and indices are executed in a rose gold color, representing rays of sunlight. The dial features a three-dimensional Asanoha pattern. It symbolizes growth and success in life and is therefore often used on kimonos and baby wrapping.

Initial thoughts on the new Seiko Sharp Edged Akebono models

I am a fan of the Sharp Edged line of Seiko Presage watches. Had they been smaller, I would own one already, but that is merely a matter of personal taste. I am less of a fan of the slight overuse of poetic marketing lingo that surrounds many Seiko releases lately. Creating beautiful color combinations is an art form in itself. It is extremely hard to get right. When I see distinct use of color on a watch, I need it to grab me and speak to me instantly. It has to be beautiful in and of itself. Whether it was inspired by a specific mountain or time of day does not interest me all that much.

I am happy to report that I think Seiko pulled it off with these watches. The deep purple fading to black looks great. Furthermore, the pairing with a blackened case and rose gold features works very well.

Take my criticism with a grain of salt, though. I am Dutch, after all. We have a creed: “Act normal, that is strange enough.” But even for a Dutchman, my marketing-lingo radar is perhaps a little sensitively calibrated. Maybe these do feel like a little piece of dawn on the wrist for you. And wouldn’t that just be great?

Pricing and availability

The new Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Akebono SPB361J1 and SPB363J1 will be available from January 2023. Seiko will produce 2,000 individually numbered pieces of each. The SPB361J1 GMT will retail for €1,450, and the time-and-date SPB363J1 will come in at €990.

As always, let us know what you think of these models in the comments.

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