The Moon in the Water

The Presage Blue Enamel Limited Edition SPBO69 from Seiko

The Presage Blue Enamel Limited Edition SPBO69 from Seiko is a timepiece that combines Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skill, the beauty of Mitsuru Yokozawa’s enamel work, and Japan’s long-time love of the Moon.

Japanese culture has had a fascination with the Moon that goes back centuries, or so Seiko tells us. During the Heian period (794-1185) the Japanese nobility initiated a ceremony, wherein they would gather in the open air and recite poems to the beauty of the moon, whether above in the sky or reflected in the water of nearby rivers, lakes or the sea. The ‘Tsukimi’ ceremony endures to this day. Seiko, in their Presage Blue Enamel, finds a way to continue that tradition.

The watch is powered by the 6R15 mechanical caliber, that gives about a 50 hour power reserve. It is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces. The case is made of stainless steel, and the strap is of dark blue crocodile leather.

This enamel surface required great care to create. The dial for each of the 1,500 watches in the limited edition was supervised by enamel craftsman Mitsuru Yokozawa, and the care and attention to detail has paid off. That deep blue requires a particular touch, even more so than working with white enamel, because the blue material has a higher viscosity. And the detailing on the dial was equally painstaking: the hour markers each had to be painted ten times. This lifts them from the surface of the dial, creating a tiny relief impression. Bear in mind that each line had to be painted ten times on each dial… and these are Roman numerals. Painting just the 12 alone would have taken four strokes times ten, times 1,500.


The whole of the watch thus becomes a continuation of the Tsukimi ceremony, honoring the beauty of the reflection of the Moon in the water.


On such a tightly focused surface as a watch dial, the work of creating the enamel has to be exact to maintain the evenness of the watch face. Indeed, the watch dial seems almost liquid, pooling around the central hub and the date dial. It adds a lovely natural feel to the watch, as if the whole thing were a pool suspended within the sapphire crystal. The new Presage Blue Moon has a golden crescent Moon on the reverse end of the second hand, so there is always a moon sliding across the blue enamel dial, like a reflection of the night sky seen in the water. The whole of the watch thus becomes a continuation of the Tsukimi ceremony, honoring the beauty of the reflection of the Moon in the water.