Seiko has significantly expanded their still relatively new Sharp Edged Series of watches with a total of five new references, including a limited edition GMT and a selection of watches in a brand new case design. The Sharp Edged Series was introduced two years ago as part of the Presage line, and tends to have an ornate aesthetic that is easy to compare to certain aspects of the Grand Seiko collection, but the Seiko branded timepieces naturally come in at a lower price point. It’s a fair comparison though, as Seiko links these watches directly to Japanese culture, largely through the use of the Asanoha, or hemp leaf, pattern, which has been used in Japanese textiles for over a thousand years. Let’s jump into the new watches.
The watch that will likely garner the most attention from Worn & Wound readers is certainly the SPB303, a limited edition GMT with a dark blue dial and matching ceramic bezel. The dial displays the power reserve between 9:00 and 10:00, along with the date in a subdial at 6:00. The tone of blue seen here is said to be inspired by the color used for Mt. Fugi in traditional Ukiyoe art dating back hundreds of years. The case measures 42.2mm in diameter and is 13.7mm thick, and the watch will sell for $1,550 when it goes on sale in the US beginning in August. It’s a limited edition of 900 pieces.
The other new Sharp Edged watches all feature a new case design. It’s not radically different from other Seiko cases – it’s clearly part of the same design language – but it has some refinements that should please enthusiasts and Seiko collectors. First, there is a new facet on the case band between the bezel and long brushed case flank that’s mirror polished. Secondly, the lugs now taper slightly inward as they extend, which should lend these watches a more refined look and feel on the wrist. The case measurers just a hair over 40mm, so it’s a nice all purpose size as well.
Of the four watches in this new case, two are powered by Caliber 6R21, which features day, date, and power reserve complications in subdial arrangements. The other two run on a new movement, 6R38, which was designed as an “open heart” caliber to give the wearer a view of the escapement from the dial side. The two new open heart watches come in white and blue dial variants, references SPB309 and SPB311, respectively. The watches running the 6R21 movement will be available in both an icey blueish-white (SPB305) or a multi-tone black (SPB307). Colors for all four watches are drawn from Japanese culture, particularly craft traditions. The open heart watches are inspired by the white of unbleached silk and “Aisumi” indigo dye, for example. Of course, all use the same hemp leaf pattern on the dial.
The 6R21 caliber watches are open editions and have a retail price of $1,100, and are expected at authorized dealers in August.The open heart watches are not currently set to be available in the United States, but carry a retail price of €1,000 and will be available in Europe later this year. Seiko