Introducing The Seiko Presage Style60’s GMT In Blue, Gray, And Black (Live Pictures)
It looks like Seiko is on a mission to equip more and more of its watches with a GMT caliber. It all started last year when the fan-favorite Seiko 5 GMT series came out. Then, at the beginning of this year, the famous “Sumo” diver got a solar-powered GMT movement. And last March, Seiko fitted another trio of Prospex dive watches with a higher-end automatic GMT caliber. All those watches have one thing in common: they’re all based on dive watches that have been turned into GMTs. The watch that today’s release is based upon, however, was actually a monopusher chronograph. Let’s take a closer look at the Seiko Presage Style60’s GMT references SSK009, SSK011, and SSK013.
Last December, I wrote an article asking Seiko to bring back that monopusher chronograph, reference 5717-8990. The watch debuted in 1964 to celebrate the fact that Seiko became the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Of course, it was a chronograph, but it was not one with the usual two or three registers on the dial. Actually, it was one of the cleanest chronographs I’ve ever seen. It had a silver sunburst dial, a black minute track, and a steel bidirectional bezel (to track elapsed minutes). Seiko has used this model before as the base design for several new watches. There was, for example, the time-and-date SPB127, the (non-monopusher) chronograph SRQ031, and many current Style60’s models. And now there’s the GMT version that Seiko is introducing today. It’s still not the monopusher re-edition I was hoping for, but I must say, the complication suits the watch.
The Seiko Presage Style60’s SSK009, SSK011, and SSK013
The case of these new Presage Style60’s GMT watches measures 40.8mm wide, and it still looks a lot like the case of the 5717-8990 from the ’60s. It’s a clean case that’s almost fully polished, excluding the tops of the lugs, which have been brushed. Even the lug holes are still there to maintain the vintage vibe. So is the fairly thin bezel, which has an aluminum insert with a 24-hour scale and black and brown sections to indicate night and day.
The dials on all three new references come with a combination of vertical and sunburst satin brushing. The slightly elongated indices look like they have little teeth, and the date window has a nice frame around it. Furthermore, the sharp dauphine hands have been polished and carry a fair amount of lume. And that’s where the noticeable differences start to arise.
SSK009 is the reference number for the version with the blue/gray dial, and it uses stainless steel for the hands and indices. It also has the whitest lume of the three. The one with a sandy gray dial is called SSK011, and it has a brown GMT hand. Its lume is a bit more on the “fauxtina” side of things. And then there’s the SSK013, the smoky black version. That reference has gilt-tone detailing all over the dial and also uses a yellower shade of lume.
Another entry-level GMT
When you look at the new reference numbers, you can already guess that these are watches from Seiko’s entry-level collection. Indeed, they look a lot like the reference numbers from the Seiko 5 GMT series that I mentioned in the introduction. That means that their box-shaped crystals are made out of Hardlex rather than sapphire. It also means they use the same 4R34 automatic GMT movement. This is a 24-jewel workhorse caliber, which provides 41 hours of power reserve and runs at 21,600vph. And no, this isn’t a so-called “true” GMT since it does not have an independently adjustable 12-hour hand. Rather, you can adjust the 24-hour hand by pulling the signed crown out to the first click and turning it clockwise. Turning it the other way allows you to change the date.
The SSKs come with an exhibition case back so you can take a look at the entry-level movement with its equally entry-level finishing. The case back screws into the case, which helps to achieve a water resistance rating of 50 meters. As these aren’t dive watches, I think that’s more than sufficient for most people’s daily lives.
Both the sandy gray and the smoky black references come on a perforated black leather strap. The only difference is the brown (rather than black) stitching on the black-dial version. The blue/gray reference comes on an Oyster-style stainless steel bracelet. The funny thing, though, is that there’s no price difference between the three references. They all cost €670 and will be available as of May 1st. That’s already a nice price for a good-looking Seiko GMT, but it’s even better when you don’t need to pay a premium for getting it on the stainless steel bracelet instead of the leather strap.
Even though I’d still like Seiko to introduce another monopusher chronograph at some point, I do think this new GMT inspired by the 5717-8990 looks great. The dial layout is very clean and clear. I think I even prefer this non-diver version to the other GMT watches that Seiko has recently released. My favorite is definitely the sandy gray variant because it reminds me most of the original watch from 1964.
What do you think of these new Seiko Presage Style60’s GMT watches, and which version is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.
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