Sun, 02 August 2020
Japanese Mega Brand SEIKO Watches Presage range combines a Japanese aesthetic sense with traditional craftsmanship and Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking skills in an original collection that offers Japanese beauty, quality and long-lasting performance.
The inspiration for each series of Presage comes from a different aspect of Japan, from traditional culture to engineering craftsmanship and from fine art to industrial design. In shaping Presage, Seiko collaborates with craftsmen and women in all these fields and integrates classic designs, artisans’ techniques and uses advanced technology to create a unique collection of fine mechanical watches.
Arita porcelain. Traditional craftsmanship and modern techniques.
Arita, a small town on Kyushu, the third largest island in the southwest of Japan, came to prominence in the early 17th century when clay suitable for porcelain manufacture was discovered there and its porcelain products soon became highly prized in Japan for the high quality of their artistry.
Within a generation, Arita porcelain, also known as ‘‘Imari ware’’ after the port from which most was shipped, became known overseas and was exported, first to Europe and later across the world when Japan opened its doors to international trade in the 19th century. Today, Arita porcelain is still highly prized worldwide and many porcelain makers still thrive in the town of just 20,000 people, thanks to its long tradition of craftsmanship, to the rich variety of its products and to the uniquely Japanese sensibility that they embody.
Seiko Presage salutes Japanese craftsmanship in porcelain from Arita.
The heritage of Arita porcelain is respected in the color of the dials, white with a trace of blue, which was the color of the earliest Arita porcelain. The dials, which are made in Arita itself, have the rich texture and depth which is the signature of all the finest porcelain.
Arita porcelain was therefore a natural choice for the dials of a Seiko Presage collection but the Presage team needed to be 100% confident in its durability and strength. A new type of Arita porcelain material, created just three years ago, provided the solution. This new porcelain is more than four times harder than the usual material and has both the strength and flexibility required for a Seiko Presage watch dial.
Japanese craftsmanship - Seiko’s traditional watchmaking skills
The new Presage porcelain dials are made by an experienced manufacturer in Arita that has been making porcelain since 1830. Hiroyuki Hashiguchi is the master craftsman and he and his colleagues have been developing the dials with the Presage team over the past few years.
A multi-stage production process
To produce the dials involves a challenging combination of skill, patience and artistry. First, the base material is put into a special mold which gives dials depth, especially in the version where the power reserve indictor is recessed into the dial with a deep cut.
The dials are dried and then fired for the first time at 1,300 degrees to harden and whiten the material. Hashiguchi and his craftsmen then apply the glaze by hand, after which the dials are fired again, this time cementing the glaze on to the dial, a process which gives the dials their deep, rich finish and the subtle blue tinge. Next, the holes for the date window and hands are cut by laser. Finally, the dials are then fired again to render smooth the surfaces that have been cut.
Two interpretations, one with a new extended power reserve caliber.
This Presage series comprises two interpretations of the design, both of which are powered by Seiko’s high performance 6R series calibers. SPB093 offers caliber 6R27, with a power reserve indicator at the nine o’clock position and a date indicator at six o’clock. SPB095 offers a new caliber, 6R35, which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours.
The crystal glass is a dual-curved sapphire, the exhibition case back reveals the fine finishing of the 6R movements and both versions are 10 bar water resistant. Straps are crocodile leather.
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