Kintaro Hattori established a shop in Ginza in 1881, where he sold and repaired timepieces. In 1913, his company introduced Japan’s first wristwatch, the Laurel, and since then, Seiko has been advancing the craft of watchmaking through both technological innovation and skilled craftsmanship.
To celebrate the 110th anniversary of Seiko’s watchmaking legacy, the Presage Craftsmanship Series presents four exceptional timepieces. Each watch showcases a traditional Japanese handcraft and Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking expertise, resulting in a perfect blend of beauty and precision.
The Presage Craftsmanship Series illuminates traditional Japanese crafts by featuring them on vivid watch dials. Each of the four crafts is demonstrated by a master and their team, showcasing the meticulous skills required to apply their technique on the miniature canvas of a Seiko Presage dial. For this special anniversary series, Seiko is releasing a limited-edition Presage watch in four different materials: enamel, Urushi lacquer, Arita porcelain, and Shippo enamel.
The limited-edition watches boast a fresh case shape, featuring sleek angles and a sophisticated sense of balance. The structure of the case is intentionally crafted to accentuate the intricate dials, while also creating a slender profile when worn on the wrist. The dials themselves have a new design that features a mix of Roman numerals and indexes, adding a fresh twist to the classic dress watch series. Additionally, the dual-curved sapphire crystals enhance the visibility and legibility of the dials, resulting in a breathtaking display of the masterful craftsmanship.
Crafted by the skilled hands of master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his team, the pure white enamel dial of this watch boasts a red roman numeral at 12 o’clock, paying homage to Seiko’s very first Laurel wristwatch released in 1913. Powering the watch is Caliber 6R24, which showcases the date, day of the week, and power reserve on the dial. The watch is elegantly presented on a black leather strap, exuding a timeless and sophisticated aura. And thanks to the traditional enamel dial-making techniques employed, the watch’s pristine white appearance is guaranteed to remain striking and pristine for many years to come.
Urushi lacquer is a time-honored decorative art that is closely associated with Japanese craftsmanship. Typically reserved for objects of exceptional quality such as furniture or soup bowls, Urushi finds its way onto this watch dial through an innovative method that creates a smooth, even surface. The rich coppery brown hue is inspired by the stunning streetscape of Kanazawa, a city that goes by the evocative name of “marsh of gold” in Ishikawa Prefecture. Here, Urushi master Isshu Tamura and his team employ techniques that produce some of the most distinctive Urushi lacquer in all of Japan. Similar to the white enamel dial watch, this Urushi lacquer timepiece is also powered by Caliber 6R24 and is presented on a dark brown leather strap.
The dial of this watch features a new ivory color that transports the wearer to the Izumiyama Ceramic Stone Field in Arita, a quaint town in Saga Prefecture that has been inextricably linked with Japanese porcelain for over 400 years. Master craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi and his team create these dials through a complex, multi-stage process that demands exceptional skill and patience, including multiple firings in a searing kiln to lock in the rich color, texture, and depth that will endure for many years.
Powering this watch is Seiko’s high-performance Caliber 6R27, which includes a date sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. The watch is presented on a dark brown leather strap, adding a touch of timeless sophistication to this unique timepiece.
The fourth and final timepiece in the Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series features an intense blue dial crafted using the Owari Shippo enamel technique. The art of Shippo enamel originated from a blue plate that was brought to Japan by sea from the Netherlands centuries ago, and has since been developed into a unique Japanese craft.
Craftsman Wataru Totani and his team utilize a multi-step process of hand-glazing the dial’s surface, firing it, and then meticulously polishing it to reveal a beautiful wave pattern. Despite its thinness, the dial has an impressive depth that is reminiscent of the ocean’s vastness, which inspired its design.
Powered by Seiko’s Caliber 6R27 movement, the watch includes a date display and power reserve indicator that adds another layer of visual intrigue. The timepiece is presented on a dark blue leather strap.
All four watches in the Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series will be available starting in June 2023 at Seiko boutiques and select retail partners worldwide. The enamel, Urushi lacquer, and Arita porcelain dial watches will be limited editions of 1,500, while the Shippo enamel dial watch will be a limited edition of 800.