NOT too far from Seiko’s Wako birthplace in Ginza is the Star Bar, reputed as one of the planet’s best, and where Hisashi Kishi is the, well, star bartender. So it could be proximity between two stellar identities, shared style preferences, and even just plain affinity — or most likely a mix of these — that prompted Seiko and Kishi-san to concoct a line of watches together, the result being the new Presage Cocktail ”Fuyugeshiki” Limited Editions.
Seiko’s Cocktail Time series actually goes nearly a decade back, preceding the Presage line’s release into the international scene in 2016. In 2010 the watchmaker collaborated with top mixologist Shinobu Ishigaki in creating three Cocktail Time models — the limited-edition SARB068 Sweet, SARB066 Dry, and the hugely popular SARB065 Cool — each of which inspired by a mixed drink.
The Presage line expanded the Cocktail Time series into more flavors while retaining the originals’ vibe. The cult favorite SARB065, for instance, turned into the Presage SRPB043, an identical piece powered by the in-house 4R35, rather than the original’s 6R15, and which can be identified by the “Presage” inscription on the dial, which replaced the cursive Automatic. But all the Presage Cocktail Time pieces, such as the Cocktail Starlight and Sakura Hubuki of 2017, still wear the dressy cocktail attire that defined Ishigaki-san’s creations.
The Cocktail Fuyugeshiki is no different, and is also named after a mixed drink — which Kishi created. In designing the latest Cocktail Time, the bartender, a winner in the International Bar Association World Championships, went for cool, pristine aesthetics defined by a predominantly white dial accented by silver metallic and blue elements. The dial has a subtle texture, evoking snow on the ground. Well, Fuyugeshiki loosely means “a winter scene,” so the look can be expected.
The Cocktail Fuyugeshiki comes in three models, one of which is for women. The SSA385J1 is the most complicated (among the three, that is) as it gets a date subdial at 9 o’clock and a fancy power reserve meter that sweeps from 12 o’clock to a little past 4 o’clock. All right, the furniture layout is not new to the Presage Cocktail Time, but the dial of the Fuyugeshiki is unique. Powering this piece is Seiko’s self-winding cal. 4R57, which gets a gold-tone rotor.
The other men’s piece is the three-hand SRPC97J1, which receives only a date aperture as an accompanying feature to the textured dial. Spinning this watch is the in-house 4R35 which, like the 4R57, can store power enough for around 41 hours. Both these men’s watches share 40.5-millimeter cases made of steel (as are the bracelets; there are no optional leather straps), and are limited to 7,000 examples each. Each watch is marked an individual serial number.
The SRP843J1, meant for ladies, measures only 33.8 millimeters across. But its size is the only thing that sets it apart from the SRPC97J1 men’s version, as even its movement — the 4R35, is retained. Like the men’s pair this watch has sapphire crystals front and back. It’s capped at lesser pieces though, at 5,000, but again each is numbered individually. Which is mighty impressive considering the reasonable price tags these watches come with.
Now that calls for a drink. Bartender…