When it comes to Seiko, we somewhat understandably spend an awful lot of time focused on their excellent dive watches. Just this week, we brought you news of a new diver introduced for the brand’s 110th anniversary, and there will no doubt be more to follow as we make our way through 2023. But seasoned enthusiasts know that it would be a mistake to dismiss other pockets of the Seiko catalog, because just as they deliver an insane amount of value of terrific execution in the dive watch sphere, they offer similarly high quality watches in other areas. What’s more, outside of the pure sports watch family, you see Seiko really start to get a little experimental, and dip into some design choices that might be considered a little outside the mainstream. The Sharp Edged series, part of the Presage line, is a great example.
When you think of Seiko Presage, you probably think mostly of craft oriented dress watches. Ornate designs, enamel dials, that kind of thing. The Sharp Edged watches, which first appeared in the fall of 2020, can be thought of as a somewhat sportier Presage, with contemporary dial designs and (sometimes) bold colors. These new limited editions, based on the Japanese concept of “Akebono,” which is the period of time when darkness yields to the light of dawn, have stainless steel cases with a sleek black coating and dials in a gradient purple, recalling the earliest moments of a sunrise. Purple, of course, has been threatening to become the new trendy dial color for the better part of a year now, so it’s quite possible these watches could signal the beginning of a widespread acceptance that the color is here to stay. Time will tell.
The SPB363 is the more straightforward of the two new releases. It’s a simple three hander with a date at 3:00, and features complementary gold toned hour markers and hands that look great against the purple dial. The case measures just a hair under 40mm and is only 11mm thick. The dial has the repeating triangle pattern that has become a signature of the Sharp Edged line, and the gradient effect appears to be nicely executed here, with the tone of the dial taking on a bright hue in the center, and becoming progressively darker until it matches the bezel at the outer edge. The SPB363 runs on the 6R35 automatic caliber, which has 70 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
The SPB361 features the same basic dial as the SPB363, but adds a GMT complication to the mix. It also moves the date to a subdial at 6:00, and adds a 24 hour bezel and a larger overall footprint, coming in at 42.2mm across and 13.7mm thick. This reference also has a power reserve at 9:00, which makes for a dial that is quite a bit busier than its less complicated counterpart. Still, the added functionality of the GMT can’t be ignored, and it’s certainly worth remembering here that Seiko’s 6R64 movement, which powers the SPB361, makes use of the ever so useful “flyer” GMT option, which allows for the independent setting of the local hour hand. While the “caller” style GMT certainly has its defenders, there are more options than ever before with a local jumping hour hand style GMT mechanism, and we wonder how much longer enthusiasts will accept travel watches that aren’t actually all that easy to use for travel.
Both of these new entries in the Sharp Edged line are limited to 2,000 pieces, and will be available at Seiko retailers beginning in February. The SPB363 has a retail price of $1,000, while the SPB361 will sell for $1,400. Seiko