Hot Take: Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial
The Seiko Presage collection won the hearts of many enthusiasts with their attractively priced mechanical watches. For those who are able to stretch their budget a bit, there are the Presage models with handcrafted dials.
We’ve often covered the Seiko Presage collection and recently brought them to your attention because of their special dials. What to think of the blue enamel dial Seiko Presage SPB069 or the Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri reference SPB085. Today it is time to bring their latest to your attention, the Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial reference SPB093.
Before I continue this article on that Arita Porcelain watch, let me tell you that I own a Presage watch for a few months and am very impressed with it. It is a very comfortable and ‘easy’ watch to wear, meaning that it goes with anything and that you don’t really have to give it much thought. These watches have a reliable and accurate movement, classic case design with a great fit (approx. 40mm diameter), but the main attraction is often the dial. This time it is no different, with the porcelain dial in the Seiko Presage SPB093 (and SPB095).
Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial
Made in Arita, a small town in Japan of just 20,000 people, these dials are made by a manufacturer who has been making porcelain since 1830. Normally, you’d risk ending up with cracked or damaged dials, due to the lack of flexibility and strength of porcelain. Just three years ago, a special type of porcelain was created in Arita that has properties (four times harder) making it suitable for use as a watch dial.
In short, the process of creating these dials start with a base material that is put into a mould. Then, the dials are being dried and then fired for the time at 1300 degrees Celsius to harden the material. During this process, the dial will also gain its white colour. After this firing, the glaze is being applied by hand by the Arita craftsman. Again the dials are fired again to cement the glaze onto the dial, where it will get its deep finish and blue tinge from. Afterwards, the dial will have holes for the date window and hands cut by laser before it is fired for the last time to smoothen the surfaces that have been cut.
The result is a beautiful white porcelain dial, white with a trace of blue. What I really love about these dials are the recessed subdials for the power reserve indicator and date. So smooth, incredible.
I wouldn’t mind the case being a bit thinner than 14.1mm
Seiko’s Presage Arita Porcelain Dial reference SPB093 is housed in a 40.6mm diameter case with a height of 14.1mm. By no means a thin watch, but the stainless steel case is still elegant due to its curved lugs and the combination of polished and satin-brushed finishing. However, I wouldn’t have minded a bit thinner case for sure. For a self-winding movement, the crown could be considered to be a bit on the large side, but it does suit the watch.
On the porcelain dial, you will find dark blue Roman numerals, with the exception of a red XII. The colour of the 5 hands on the dial has a slighter light tone of blue than the Roman numerals.
Inside the Seiko Arita Porcelain Dial you’ll find their caliber 6R27 movement. It has a power reserve of 45 hours (as indicated on the porcelain dial) and ticks at 28,800vph. The movement has a brush finishing on the bridges and Tokyo striping on the rotor, which also has been engraved with some writing (gilded). The beauty of this watch is certainly on the dial side, but as a watch enthusiast, you will also be able to enjoy the mechanical inner workings of this Presage.
Pricing and Availability
Seiko lets us know that the Presage Arita Porcelain reference SPB093 (and SPB095, a three-hand version) will be delivered September 2019 onwards. As these watches will not be limited, we expect to go properly hands-on with them later on. With a retail price of €1950,- it seems that Seiko is pushing towards a higher segment. The Presage seems to be(come) the link between lower priced Seiko watches and the Grand Seiko range for example. The finish is not on the same level as Grand Seiko watches, but these watches are properly built and finished and have simply amazing dials.
More information via Seiko online.