Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Editions
A trio of new watches come in the form of the new Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition series. These new pieces pay homage to the brand’s first chronograph from 1964, the Seiko Crown.
The new release season is definitely in full swing. Despite the recently announced cancellation of Grand Seiko’s upcoming new release soiree, it seems that both the upmarket brand and Seiko will keep the press hot with news. Today happens to be one such example as we have the new Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition pieces. The watches are available in black (SPB127J1), cream (SPB131J1), or green (SPB129J1). These new stainless-steel watches are available now and produced in a run of 1,964 individually numbered pieces each.
Styled After Seiko’s First Chronograph
Why produce 1,964 of each? The Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition pieces are a tribute to the Crown Chronograph (ref 5719 above). This was a single pusher watch that featured a hand-winding column-wheel movement made for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It was a simple chronograph without any counting registers or sub-dials. Instead, it was equipped with a black resin bi-directional rotating bezel that allowed the user to manually “count” the minutes by adjusting the bezel.
A Three-Hand Automatic with a Minutes Bezel
A quick glance at today’s Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition immediately reveals that this is a normal three-hand watch that mimics the style of a 50-plus year-old chronograph. That’s a bit odd, right? Functionally, the watch contains the same style of rotating bezel — this time presumably crafted from anodized aluminum — as its ancestor. With the use of the running seconds hand, one could also count elapsed minutes manually.
The Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Watches are 41.3mm in Diameter
At 41.3mm in diameter, the Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition watches are on the larger side. A length of 48.3mm is mid-pack while a thickness of 11.3mm is at least practical. Seiko has adorned these watches with an oyster-style bracelet and a domed sapphire crystal. The bracelet looks good, but it’s a missed opportunity to bring back a more period-correct beads-of-rice-styled accessory.
Underneath the threaded case back of the Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition timepieces, the ubiquitous 6R35 automatic works away. This movement can be hand-wound, offers a date function, and brings 70 hours of power reserve to the table. The crown is of the push-pull type, affording these watches 100 meters of water resistance.
Affordable and Limited
The Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Editions follow the 2019 release of a three-register Presage chronograph (SRQ031) that celebrated the 55th Anniversary of the 1964 original. I was a bit unimpressed by that watch due to its high pricing and large size. I like today’s watches more, but this is a confusing release. On the one hand, they’re fine looking watches on their own and with a price tag of just €829, they’re at least affordable. On the other hand, tying a normal hours and minutes watch to a chronograph feels like a reach. I simply can’t help but feel like this is yet another lukewarm tribute to a highly regarded watch from Seiko’s history. Diehard collectors are probably scratching their collective heads wondering why a real single pusher model can’t be made by this juggernaut of a brand. Especially when it would surely meet with a warm reception.
We’ll Return with a Hands-on Review
With all that being said, I am sure the Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition trio will look great in person. These dials come off as less crowded than the 2019 watch and more like the original (despite lacking the chronograph function). And, let’s be honest, the color choices are pretty nice. We’ll make sure to come back with live pictures and more impressions as soon as we photograph them at our nearest Seiko boutique. For more information on the Seiko Presage Crown Chronograph Limited Edition, visit a dedicated page on Seiko’s official website.