Introducing the Seiko SARY147

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One of the fun things about watches as a hobby is the way that, sometimes, great looking watches tend to just materialize out of nowhere. If you spend enough time combing the various enthusiast forums and retail marketplaces based in far flung corners of the world, you happen across all kinds of things that just don’t get a lot of mainstream press, because they’re typically dropped into the retail chain without an official announcement of any kind. This method of pushing watches out into the world stands in stark contrast to the highly deliberate way many brands introduce the public to new products in the age of Instagram and social media influencers, through large scale media events and glitzy campaigns.

Seiko SARY147

Image courtesy of Seiyajapan.com
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: White
  • Dimensions: 38.3 x 43.6 x 11.2mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM 
  • Crown: Push/pull  
  • Movement: 4R35
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet 
  • Price: Approximately $505
  • Reference Number: SARY147
  • Expected Release: Available now

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Seiko, of course, sells their watches the way brands of all stripes do in 2019, and it’s not unusual for us to get word of a new release well ahead of time. But they also tend to surprise us every so often, and even more so in the realm of releases made specifically for the Japanese market (known as “JDM,” for Japanese domestic market). Take, for example, the watch we uncovered today, the SARY147, dubbed the “Japanese Garden” on some retail outlets. Hiding in plain sight on Seiko’s Japanese e-commerce site, it sits beside a host of other new releases and has to this point drawn little fanfare, which is a bit surprising once you get a good look at the watch. 

Image courtesy of Seiyajapan.com

At first glance, the SARY147 bears a close resemblance to the SARX055, known as the “Baby Snowflake” due to its textured dial that seems to borrow an awful lot from the iconic Grand Seiko reference. But look at the indexes. While the dials appear to possibly have the same or at least a very similar texture, on the SARY147 the applied indexes have been given something of a frosted finish, which has the effect of matching the texture of the dial. Think of the old “bark” bracelets that Rolex produced in the 1980s, and you have an idea of what’s happening here. This watch is part of the Presage line, so a certain level of formality is expected, but there’s something opulent about this type of finishing that Seiko doesn’t really do a whole lot of, so it’s really interesting to see it pop up here.

Image courtesy of Seiyajapan.com

Other than the unique finishing of the indexes, this is a pretty standard time and date Seiko Presage. It’s powered by a reliable 4R35 automatic movement, and sized at just a hair over 38mm with a lug to lug of 43.6mm. It’s about 11mm thick, which isn’t razor-thin for a dress watch, but is right in line with other similar Seikos. These newer watches in the Presage line tend to have pretty forgiving proportions once you handle them in the metal, and I would suspect that the SARY147 is solidly built and comfortable on the wrist.

For hobbyists on the lookout for a new thing, there’s an undeniable thrill in coming across a previously unseen Seiko – even better if you have to translate the website to figure out what it is you’re looking at. At a time when new product is literally being served to us on a daily basis, it’s refreshing and fun to sample something just a little more exotic, that the watch press isn’t talking about yet.
Seiko JP
SeiyaJapan

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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