As we’ve talked about on the Hourtime Podcast, Seiko is a brand that everyone knows about, but sometimes can have difficulty understanding how the brand segments its watches. I mean, we all had an inexpensive Seiko at some point (I’ve still got my OG Orange Monster), and then we have the rarified air of the Grand Seiko line. What if you want that legendary Seiko reliability, and some hints of the higher-end touches that GS does, at a price someone in the middle? Then the Seiko Presage Arita could be what you’re looking for.
To look at the bracelet on one of these Seiko Presage Arita models is to know you’re looking at a Seiko. Well, ok, that logo on the dial gives it away as well. That dial is what we’re really here about. Here, it’s made out of a lovely porcelain. That’s right – think about the fine plates or vases that you were never allowed to touch as a kid, and it’s a similar concept being done here on the dials. Rather than being a flat disc, there’s a curve that comes down from the case to the center of the dial, giving it almost a two-tier effect. These dials are made in the town of Arita, where master craftsman have been making porcelain for a long time.
The 1mm thick dial is then finished with glaze that makes things glossy, as well as giving things a softer look. Well, as soft a look as elongated Roman numerals can give you. For this release, there’s a white dial (the SPB293) and a rather stunning soft blue (SPB319) that is done to mimic a faint lapis lazuli coloration.
All of this is tucked into a 40.5mm case that also houses a 6R31 movement that also keeps running for up to 70 hours once fully wound. Depending on the version you go for, you either get a bracelet (the white dial) or strap (blue dial), though we imagine you could get the bracelet for the blue dial if you wanted to (I know I would). Both have a clean, dressy look that seems to be spot-on for your more formal summer events. When they’re introduced in June 2022, both models will go for $1,700. For more information, head on over to seikowatches.com.
Tech Specs from Seiko
- Caliber Number: 6R31
- Movement Type: Automatic with manual winding
- Accuracy: +25 to -15 seconds per day
- Duration: Approx. 70 hours
- 24 jewels
- Stop seconds hand function
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal
- Crystal Coating: Anti-reflective coating on inner surface
- Clasp: Three-fold clasp with push button release
- Water Resistance: 10 bar
- Case Size
- Thickness: 12.4 ?
- Diameter: 40.5 ?
- Length: 48.8 ?
- Other Specifications
- Arita Porcelain Dial
- Screw case back
- See-through case back