Hands-On With The Seiko Presage SRPF041 And SRPF043 Cocktail Time watches
Seiko’s Cocktail Time series has been a breath of fresh air in the Seiko Presage collection. The series is based on the idea of creating watches inspired by the global bar culture. In an industry focused on striving for technical excellence and conveying luxury, this is a nice break from that focus. But don’t think for a second, the Cocktail Time watches are not serious watches. The all-new limited edition SRPF041 and SRPF043 are perfect proof of that.
The Cocktail Time watches are part of the Seiko’s Presage collection. We have covered quite a few of the Presage watches and what they have in common is their incredible dials. Quite a bit of focus is on the incredible craftsmanship that goes into creating enamel and porcelain dials. And the results are often quite stunning. Within the Presage collection, the Cocktail Time watches are a bit different, however.
The Seiko Cocktail Time Collection
The Cocktail Time watches are no different in that they also feature spectacular dials. But the overall focus is less on craftsmanship and more geared towards style. Seiko introduced the Cocktail Time series back in 2010 as Japan Domestic Models (JDM) only. The glamour of cocktail bars inspires the overall design and the dial colors are inspired by world-famous cocktails. It’s a simple but very stylish concept that has worldwide appeal.
However, it took until 2017 before Seiko introduced the Cocktail Time watches worldwide. Robert-Jan wrote about the first models that were available for us all to enjoy. And over the last three years, the series has become an international success. If you are looking for a stylish dress watch with an incredible dial, a good movement for not more than €500, a Seiko Cocktail Time is your way to go.
The design was inspired by old bars.
In the summer we saw Seiko adding quite a few new models to the collection. Among them were the SRPE43, SRPE45, and SRPE47. The overall design is somewhat different from the previous models and according to Seiko, it was inspired by old bars. And looking at the design, it does actually feel like the watches would be perfectly at home in that environment. And once again the dial colors are inspired by cocktails; red from the Negroni, blue from the Old Clock, and green from the Mojito.
The Presage SRPF041 and SRPF043 Limited Editions
Recently Seiko added two new limited edition models to the Cocktail Time series. Both the SRPF041 “Matcha” and the SRPF043 “Hojicha” are both limited to a total of 7,000 pieces worldwide. The watches are inspired by Japanese cocktail culture and more specifically by two drinks from the Star Bar in Kyoto. It’s a bar where bartender Mr. Kishi is the chief mixologist. Two of his tea-based cocktails were the inspiration for the colors and texture of the dials.
Both watches feature a 38.5mm stainless steel case and come with a matching calfskin strap with vintage style stitching. The straps feature a three-fold clasp with push-button release. With a case height of 11.8mm and a total weight of 63 grams, the watches wear easily and are perfect to hide under your cuff if necessary. But with two extraordinary dials like that, they are not meant to be hidden. And both dial and have a different story to tell.
The Seiko Presage SRPF043 “Hojicha”
The first of the two is the Seiko Presage SRPF043 “Hojicha”. The watch features a beautiful brown dial with gold-colored details. The color is inspired by the Hojicha cocktail with its smoky color of roasted green tea. The texture of the dial is designed to echo the traditional green tea ingredients from the Kyoto area.
Once again it’s the kind of storytelling only Seiko can pull off. Whatever your thoughts on the story behind the watch are, there is no denying the dial looks absolutely stunning. The color goes from a lighter shade of brown in the center of the dial to dark brown at the outer edges. But what impressed me most was the texture of the dial. It has a vintage feel to it that is intriguing to see.
In combination with the golden numerals, indices, and hands and the brown leather strap the overall feel is classy and vintage. The only thing I was on the fence about when wearing it, was the date aperture at 3 o’clock. The white date disc with black printing does stand out. So from a practical standpoint, it works very well. But at times I was a bit annoyed that it breaks the overall impact of the dial. But other than that, this is a great executed watch.
The Seiko Presage SRPF041 “Matcha”
The second of the two watches is the Seiko Presage SRPF041 “Matcha”. This watch features a beautiful green dial with silver-colored details. The inspiration for the green color comes from the Matcha cocktail that is also made with green tea. The Japanese matcha traditional tea ingredients from Kyoto are also here the inspiration for the texture of the dial.
The overall feel of the green SRPF041 is crisper and a bit less traditional in its overall presence. The big eye-catcher is once again the unique dial. As with the brown SRPF043, there is a gradient in the color going from lighter green in the center to a darker shade of green at the outer edges.
For this green version, Seiko decided to use a black date ring and white printing for the date. It makes the date aperture overall a bit less intrusive and I have to say I like it a bit better than on the brown SRPF043. But Seiko has created two watches that deserve to be seen in the metal. Bert did an amazing job of capturing the magic of the dials but nothing beats experiencing the colors in broad daylight.
The Seiko Caliber 4R35
Both watches are powered by the Seiko Caliber 4R35. This self-winding movement is used for all the watches in the Cocktail Time series. It’s a well-known Seiko movement that is also used for other Seiko watches in the Prospex and Presage series.
…every watch is individually numbered.
The movement has an operating frequency of 21,600vph and features hacking seconds and a power reserve of approximately 41 hours. The movement is visible through the screw-down display case back. The case back also mentions that the watch is a limited edition and every watch is individually numbered.
Wearing the Presage SRPF041 and SRPF043
It’s no surprise that the first thing that stands out with both watches is the dial. As soon as you put either one of them on your wrist, you can’t help but stare at the dial for a bit. The second impression I got was that the watches are on the limit of what I would find fitting for my wrist when it comes to size. At 38.5mm they are on the smaller side of the spectrum and I much prefer the 40.5mm size of some of the other watches in the Cocktail Time series.
…bang on when it comes to the price vs. quality ratio.
But don’t let that spoil your fun if you are perfectly fine with a 38.5mm diameter. Both leather straps fit the style of the watch perfectly and are of good quality especially considering the sub €500 list price of both watches. The same goes for the folding clasp that is easy to adjust to your wrist size. I would say that Seiko is bang on when it comes to the price vs. quality ratio.
Overall I love the concept of the Cocktail Time series. And these two limited editions show how much fun a watch can be for an affordable price. Both watches have a list price of €490 and for that money, you will get a tremendous amount of value for money. If I were searching for an affordable dress watch, I would start looking at Seiko Cocktail Time options.
Having said that, my choice would probably not be either one of these two watches simply because of their size not being a great match for my wrist. But as mentioned before, if you can wear a 38.5mm dress watch, go check out these two watches. Out of the two, the one that impressed me most is the brown SRPF041 “Hojicha”. There is just that little bit more contrast on the dial that brings the watch to life just a bit more.
Overall I think Seiko has created two great limited editions for the Cocktail Time series. Although production numbers are fairly high at 7,000 pieces per watch, I would not be surprised if they will be gone fairly quickly. So if you are in the market for an affordable dress watch, make sure to check out the Seiko Presage SRPF041 and SRPF043 soon or you will only be drinking green tea instead of enjoying its beautiful texture.