The year was 1964, and Japan was hosting an international sporting event for the first time. This would be a major achievement and a chance to show the world what Japan could do. The whole country would be on display, not just the sporting venues, but how the country and its people would play host to all the athletes and guests. A special timepiece was needed to not only track the time of the competitions but to commemorate the event itself. Thus was created the Crown Chronograph.
The Crown Chronograph was Japan’s first wristwatch with a stopwatch function. As watchheads know, a chronograph is a watch with built-in stopwatch function, no separate equipment needed. The Crown Chronograph was based on the Crown, a manual winding mechanical watch. The Crown Chronograph incorporated a one-push chronograph, using a pillar wheel to control the stopwatch. The piece is an example of exquisite workmanship that Seiko is known for. Stopwatches are critical in sporting competitions, because the slimmest of margins could mean the difference between gold and silver, or bronze and nothing.
Presage combines the Japanese design aesthetic and skilled craftsmanship with the Seiko traditions of watchmaking. These Presage Prestige Line limited-edition watches will pay homage to the 1964 watch by, no surprise, having only 1964 units available.
The Presage homage pieces are as close to the 1964 Crown Chronograph original as possible. The piece is a three-hand mechanical watch. The dial has the Arabic numerals and the narrow bezel. Even the gradations on the dial are reproduced faithfully too. Each watch has the date window at the 3 o’clock. The case is slightly tilted so it sits more securely on the wrist. The watch is also highly legible, thanks to the Lumibrite on the indexes. The watch is powered by the 6R35 caliber, and has water resistance of 10 bar.
The dial color is what separates each of the three watches. The first watch (ref. no. SPB127J1) has an off-white or cream-colored dial. The second watch (ref. no. SPB129J1) has the brilliant green dial, and the third watch (ref. no. SPB131J1) has the classic black dial. Normally I would prefer the black from these three choices but the green is so vibrant that I seem to be leaning towards it. Each Presage Prestige timepiece comes with a special presentation box.
The homage has served its purpose – these Seiko Presage 2020 limited edition watches show great respect and honor to the original Crown Chronograph. You’d be proud to have one on your wrist.