Though Grand Seiko is generally the home for the Japanese firm’s most revered horological exploits, Seiko’s Presage range has — since 2016 when it officially went global — served as a go-to platform for increasingly high-end features and techniques, most of which are offered to consumers at a relatively reasonable price point. Now, Presage is taking a page from Grand Seiko’s playbook and offering their latest with a Spring Drive caliber, a movement that isn’t solely relegated to Grand Seiko, but one that is most certainly best connected to it (Spring Drive has also been used in Credor watches and most recently in Seiko’s Prospex LX range).*
So, what do we have here? Refs. SNR037 and SNR039 are two classically styled, enamel-dial pieces that, as far as aesthetics go, are much like past Presage releases. That is to say, they’re absolutely gorgeous, and finished to a degree that you just don’t see at the price point. The addition of the Spring Drive movement here takes it to a whole new level.

Seiko Presage Enamel Dial Spring Drive Refs. SNR037 and SNR039

  • Case Material: Stainless steel with Seiko’s super-hard coating
  • Dial:*Enamel SNR037 (white) and SNR039 (black)
  • Dimensions:*40mm wide, 13.1mm thick
  • Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with super-clear coating
  • Water Resistance: 10 bar
  • Movement: Spring Drive Caliber 5R65 with 72 hours of power reserve
  • Strap/bracelet: Shell Cordovan with deployant
  • Price: €4,650
  • Expected Release: October 2019

Let’s start with the dials. These enamel beauties are produced by master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa, who has been working with enamel since 1971. He’s honed his skills and technique over the course of what is now nearly half-a-century, and in that time he’s developed processes that allow him to produce dials in larger quantities than what was possible before, which allows Seiko to keep prices reasonable. Having a highly-trained eye here is, of course, absolutely critical. Each dial must have the right form and even application to pass the QC process, and Yokosawa ensures that to be the case even though the dials are produced in batches.
The dial design is inspired by the work of Japanese industrial designer Riki Watanabe, who had a longstanding relationship with Seiko until his death in 2013. The Presage team worked closely with Watanabe’s colleague to create a dial that was very much in the spirit of Watanabe’s aesthetic, and that is most evident through the impactful use of the Didoni font, one of Watanabe’s favorites. I’m a fan, too. It’s effective and functional without sacrificing a single drop of elegance.
Refs. SNR037 and SNR039

As far as the layout goes, there’s a 12-hour scale and a power reserve indicator right off 8:00. Theres a color-matched date window at 3:00, and it perfectly integrates into the design of the watch. This is a date complication done right.

The stainless steel case measures 40mm across, and it’s coated in Seiko’s super-hard coating. The dual-curved sapphire crystal features AR coating for maximum legibility, and a see-through case back offers a view at the beautiful caliber within.
Powering the watch is the Spring Drive 5R65 caliber, which can be found in other references such as the Golden Tuna Marinemaster as well as some of the pieces in the Prospex LX range unveiled earlier this year. To put it simply, Spring Drive combines the best of mechanical watchmaking and the best of quartz timekeeping to create a state of the art caliber that lacks the weaknesses inherent to both of these movement types. The result is a watch with quartz-like accuracy of plus or minus 1 second a day, coupled with the unlimited energy potential of a mechanical watch powered by a mainspring. Because there is no traditional escapement here, but instead a continuously spinning glide wheel, the second hand has a smooth sweep — a trademark of Spring Drive. The power reserve is 72 hours.
Both watches watches will be available October, 2019 in select Seiko boutiques and retail stores around the world. The estimated retail price in Euros is €4,650, so expect USD pricing to be around that figure as well. Seiko

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