Presage honors 110 years of Seiko watchmaking by celebrating Japanese craftsmanship

Press Release

Presage honors 110 years of Seiko watchmaking by celebrating Japanese craftsmanship

The history of Seiko began in 1881 when Kintaro Hattori opened a shop in Ginza to repair and sell timepieces. In 1913, his company produced Japan’s first wristwatch, the Laurel, and has advanced the art of watchmaking in the ensuing years through both technology and craft.

Today, four special timepieces join the Presage Craftsmanship Series and commemorate the 110th anniversary of Seiko watchmaking. Each showcases a traditional Japanese handcraft combined with Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skills, creating a unique balance of beauty and precision.

The Presage Craftsmanship Series shines a light on traditional Japanese crafts through vivid watch dials. With each of the four crafts, a different master and his team demonstrate the painstaking skill required to practice their technique on the miniature canvas that is a Seiko Presage dial. For this special anniversary series, Seiko is presenting a limited-edition Presage watch in each of the following four materials: enamel, Urushi lacquer, Arita porcelain, and Shippo enamel.

A new profile for the Presage Craftsmanship Series

The limited-edition watches use a new case shape with refined angles and an elegant sense of proportion. The structure of this case is designed to emphasize the craft dials within while offering a slimmer look on the wrist. Each dial features a new design with alternating roman numerals and indexes, lending a new look to the familiar series of dress watches. And thanks to dual-curved sapphire crystals, the dials appear even closer and more legible, bringing a truly striking appearance to the craftsmanship on display.

A white enamel dial to stand the test of time

The pristine white enamel dial created by master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his team features a red roman numeral at 12 o’clock, evoking the original Laurel wristwatch of 1913. Beneath the dial is Caliber 6R24, with displays for the date, the day of the week, and the power reserve. Presented on a black leather strap, this watch makes a classic impression and, thanks to the time-honored enamel dial-making, its striking white appearance will endure for years to come.

The traditional streetscape of Kanazawa comes to life in Urushi lacquer

Urushi lacquer is a centuries-old decorative art that is practically synonymous with Japanese craft. Typically found on fine objects such as soup bowls or furniture, Urushi comes to life on this dial through an innovative method employed to achieve a flat surface. The coppery brown hue is inspired by the streetscape of Kanazawa, an evocatively named city that means “marsh of gold,” in Ishikawa Prefecture. There, Urushi master Isshu Tamura and his team employ tech- niques to make some of the most distinctive Urushi lacquer in all of Japan. Like the white enamel dial watch, the Urushi lacquer creation is also powered by Caliber 6R24. It is presented on a dark brown leather strap.

Fusing tradition and technique through Arita porcelain

This dial’s new ivory color transports the wearer to the Izumiyama Ceramic Stone Field in Arita, a small town in Saga Prefecture that is, after more than 400 years of history, inseparable from Japanese porcelain. Master craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi and his team make the dials in a multi-stage process that requires tremendous skill and patience, and several firings in a scorch- ing kiln, to lock in rich color, texture, and depth for years to come.

The movement in this watch is Seiko’s high-performance Caliber 6R27, with a sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the date and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. The watch is presented on a dark brown leather strap.

The deep blue sea evoked in Shippo enamel

This dial’s intense blue calls to mind a vast ocean. So, it seems fitting that the art of Owari Shippo was sparked by a blue plate that came to Japan from the Netherlands hundreds of years ago by sea. From there, the craft developed in a Japanese way.

What sets Shippo enamel apart is the way it is polished after firing. The process is made more complex by the fact that each watch dial is a mere one millimeter thick. Master craftsman Wataru Totani and his team repeat a multi-step process of glazing the surface of the dial by hand, firing the dial, and polishing its surface to bring out the distinctive wave pattern. Though slender, this dial has a readily visible depth, like the oceans that inspired its design. The watch is powered by Caliber 6R27 whose date and power reserve displays add yet another layer of visual intrigue. It is presented in a dark blue leather strap.

All four watches will be available from June 2023 at the Seiko boutiques and select retail partners worldwide. The enamel, Urushi lacquer and Arita porcelain dial watches will be offered as limited editions of 1,500. The Shippo enamel dial watch will be offered as a limited edition of 800.

(Images © Seiko)