Seiko has been bringing the heat (quite literally) with sophisticated and labor-intensive dials to its mid-level lines like Presage. Last week we saw a slew of releases celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Laurel, Seiko’s first watch. The headliner was the Presage SPB401 and its enamel dial. Today we see enamel and lacquer make their way to the Presage collection in the form of three new references. The changes don’t stop there, though; there’s more to these watches than new dials.
In a break from the current porcelain dials in the Craftsmanship Series, the new SPB403 features a white enamel dial courtesy of Mitsuru Yokasawa and Co. The dial layout on these references has been simplified with thin stick hour markers (as opposed to thin roman numerals). This results in a more versatile watch and allows the color and material to take center stage. In a nice touch, the chapter ring is further subdivided into sixths, corresponding to the movement’s 3Hz beat rate. Of the three, the SPB403 is the most classic-looking and comes on a five link bracelet with Seiko’s super-hard coating.
The SPB405 (black dial) and SPB407 (green dial) incorporate the ancient art of lacquering into the Seiko Presage Craftsmanship Series. Made from the sap of the Urushi tree (Rhus verniciflua, found primarily in China and Japan), Japanese lacquer is notoriously expensive and highly prized. Master Usshu Tamura and his team at Seiko have developed a method that, unlike enamel, allows the lacquer to strengthen over time. The black-dialed SPB405 comes on the same bracelet as the previous watch, while the green SPB407 is paired with a brown leather strap.
In regards to the watches’ dimensions, Seiko has tweaked the cases and lugs for a more compact and comfortable wearing experience. The lacquered watches are 40.2mm x 11.6mm (the SPB403 is slightly thicker at 12.1mm), and all three are outfitted with the caliber 6R55, bringing a three-day power reserve to the Craftsmanship line. While these dials will no doubt impress in person, it is also encouraging to see Seiko make ergonomic and aesthetic improvements to the cases.
Available beginning in October 2023 from select Seiko Retailers, the SPB403 will retail at $1,350 while the SPB405 and SPB407 are $1,600 and $1,650, respectively. Details and full specifications can be found on Seikowatches.com.