Seiko Celebrates the Crown Chronograph with Three New Limited Edition Watches in the Presage Line

You may recall that back in October we brought you news of a new Seiko Presage chronograph inspired by the classic Seiko Crown Chronograph, the very first Japanese chrono. That watch had a crisp champagne dial, and took the Presage line in a direction that’s a bit more sporty than what we’ve seen in the past. Just as that watch, the SRQ031, is hitting store shelves, Seiko has announced a series of limited edition time and date watches modeled after the same vintage watch. If you’re a fan of the overall impression of the Crown Chronograph, but prefer a less complicated watch, these should hold a ton of interest.

Seiko Presage SPB129J1, SPB127J1, and SPB131J1 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Champagne, black, green
  • Dimensions: 41 x 48 x 11mm 
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters 
  • Crown: Push/pull           
  • Movement: 6R35
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet 
  • Price: $825
  • Reference Number: SPB129J1, SPB127J1, and SPB131J1
  • Expected Release: February 


It’s a little ironic, but visually speaking, the new Presage references SPB127J1, SPB131J1, SPB129J1 we’re covering today have more in common with the Crown Chronograph than the SRQ031 linked above. The original Crown Chronograph, which dates from 1964, is rudimentary in function, and more of a stop-watch that tells the time than what we typically think of as a chronograph (it was a single pusher mechanism, and without registers for minutes and hours, could only track seconds). As you can see in the side-by-side images below, the new Presage has a direct aesthetic link to the vintage watch.

The new reference SPB131J1.
The original Crown Chronograph.

These new watches in the Presage line take all of the spirit of the Crown Chronograph and distill it into a simple time and date watch classic, vintage inspired looks. Held over from the original are dials (in your choice of three colors) that have a mixture finishing techniques in a sector-like layout. Hour markers are applied, as well as polished and faceted, and the Crown Chronograph’s fine minute gradations are ported to the new watches as well. 

Three versions of the Crown Chronograph inspired LE are available. The champagne dialed variant hews the closest to the original, but there’s also a sleek black and a modern green. They all look great, but the black benefits a great deal from a date aperture that is matched in color to the dial. Regardless of which color variant you select, all three watches have the same thin 60 minute bezel in black anodized aluminum, a final vintage inspired touch to complete the package.

The case measures a hair over 41mm in diameter, and extends about 48mm from lug to lug. Seiko’s newer 6R35 movement is thinner than its predecessor, which allows for a trimmer case that’s only 11mm thick. This watch has sporty, casual vibe to it, but without the chunkiness and heft of true Seiko dive watch (although these are good for 100 meters of water resistance).

The new Crown Chronograph inspired Presage timepieces are limited to 1,964 examples, and will be available this month through the Seiko retail network. Seiko

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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.