Seiko Presage Porco Rosso SRQ033 And SNR047 Hands-On
This year has been an awkward one so far. However, despite pretty much all events being canceled, we’ve still had an incredible amount of watches in our hands. Having covered a Presage with enamel dial recently, it was part of a large box with all the Seiko and Grand Seiko Novelties. Inside there were two models that stood out in the shape of the Seiko Presage Porco Rosso SRQ033 and SNR047.
In most cases, the design of the Presage models traces back to the dial layout of the Laurel. This watch is at the origin of Seiko’s watchmaking. With these two limited edition models, other design elements have been brought into play while retaining the look of the Presage collection. And the results speak for itself. While these watches are inspired by Japanese animation, their appeal is not limited to Anime fans thanks to their very likable designs.
Named after the famous “Porco Rosso” character, both sport a pilot pig on the case-back. That’s not something you see on a lot of watches… For those of you that haven’t heard of this flying farm animal, Porco Rosso, or 紅の豚 in Japanese, is an animated character that dates back to 1992. He first featured in a film by Studio Ghibli for Japan Airlines and revolved around a former flying ace who turned into a freelance bounty hunter, chasing sky bandits over Italy and the Adriatic Sea. He is also a pig now. Why? Because he didn’t want to be human. That’s kind of important…
Originally only planned for the short in-flight film, it grew into a full-length movie. In Japan, it was the number one film in 1992. In other countries, it wasn’t as popular so roughly 96% of the proceeds came from the Japanese market alone. Ideas to create a sequel back in 2011 never left the drawing board and there has not been one to this day. But who knows what the future brings. For those who want to see it, it is available on DVD and Blu-ray and various streaming services. But let’s get to the watches!
Porco Rosso SRQ033 and SNR047
Both Seiko Presage Porco Rosso models are created with a variety of details that reference the movie. Even if you’re not into animated movies, they are rather easy to like. We recently covered the SNR047 with the white dial and you can read the write-up by Jorg here. So we have the SNR047 with a white dial and red alligator strap and now the SRQ033 with a black dial and matching black strap.
…the vertical stabilizer on the tail of Porco Rosso’s Savoia S-21 plane.
On the dial of the Porco Rosso SRQ033, there is a three-color sub-dial at 3 o’clock. If you look closely you will notice the propeller shape of the seconds hands. It has different finishes on both sides. The green-white-red combination refers to the vertical stabilizer on the tail of Porco Rosso’s Savoia S-21 plane.
These three colors are used to accent both watches. The colors of the Italien tricolor are used for the stitching of the leather straps and on various parts around the dial and hands. Both watches are also emblazoned with the “R” and shield logo. This “R” also sits on top of the crown. On the other side of the watch case, there is an engraving of the plane’s model name, Savoia S-21.
The dials are made from enamel and these are fully made by hand. Producing these components involves many stages and it isn’t a foolproof process. As such, enamel dials are normally reserved for more expensive watches. Being different from the usual Presage dial, the inspiration came from the instrument panel of the plane. Clean bold numerals make the watches easy-to-read. Each of the models comes in a beautiful box that holds the second strap. Besides that, It also carries a message from the movie director Hayao Miyazaki.
Mechanical versus Spring Drive
The black chronograph features the automatic caliber 8R48 which can also be wound manually. It has a power reserve of about 45 hours and an accuracy of +25 to -15 seconds a day. With the SNR047 you get the Spring Drive caliber 5R65, which comes with much more impressive specs. You can leave the watch on its own for up to 72 hours and the accuracy is brought down to a deviation of about 1 second per day. On average it stays within 15 seconds a month.
Both movements are partially visible through the open case-back. Partially, because a Porco Rosso portrait has been placed on the center on the glass. It still leaves much of the movement on show. That’s a nice touch as both have various finishes on the rotor and the movement itself. Both models come with quite a lot of engravings which make it look a bit busy. Around the glass, there is an engraving saying, “Un maiale che non vola è solo un maiale.” This is a famous quote from the movie that translates into, “A pig that does not fly is just a pig.”
When comparing both watches, my personal favorite model is the SRQ33 for the dial layout. Still, I am not a fan of the power reserve indicator although the Logo does help balance the layout. This is pretty much the reason why I haven’t pulled the trigger on a Grand Seiko Spring Drive. Yet. As explained on other occasions I am not bothered by accuracy much. Although the timekeeping variation of the black-dialed chronograph may seem a bit much, these numbers are the extremes. With normal use, it should run just fine.
While the SNR047 is limited to 500 pieces, the SRQ033 is limited to 600 pieces. Both versions come with an additional black or red alligator strap. While I’m not afraid of a bit of color (I own both a bright yellow and shiny red G-Shock), a bright red alligator strap is just a bit too far outside of my comfort zone for a mechanical watch. Yet I can imagine that this watch can spark a good deal of interest, just because of the daring combination. Time to figure out if I can see the movie somewhere…