Written by Michele Schai
My love affair with Seiko’s Presage Collection only started in 2017. I yet remember it was after strapping on the SSA309J1 in stainless steel with that killer blue dial and gold accents. The value proposition was one thing for sure but more than that I was fascinated with how every aspect of the design was given equal importance; something I find has remained quite consistent ever since.
Building on the success of two Arita Porcelain dialed creations in 2019 (SPB093 and SPB095), Seiko has unveiled the new Presage Arita Porcelain Limited Edition SPB171 ‘Suigetsu’ – another stunning interpretation, in stainless steel with a pristine white dial complemented by bold blue hands and hour markers.
This 40.6mm stainless steel watch is inspired by the Japanese tradition of *Suigetsu which celebrates the beauty of the moon when it is reflected in water. Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, the ingenious craftsman, who has been making porcelain since 1830 at an experienced manufacture in Arita is responsible for creating that gorgeous glossy smooth white dial. To give the dials the strength required for a watch, the craftsmen use a type of Arita porcelain specially formulated to be harder and more durable than traditional porcelain. A very precise casting mould is used to achieve the difficult task of giving each dial the precise dimensions required to fit perfectly into a wristwatch. A special glaze is applied to create its distinctive subtle blue sheen, a clear, transparent glaze is used for the dial of this new watch to allow the natural whiteness of the porcelain material to shine through. This pure white porcelain, called Hakuji, echoes the delicate reflection of the moon on water, and creates a sharp contrast with the blue of the hands, roman numerals and sub-dials. The combination of the blue color with the white Arita porcelain lends the watch a uniquely Japanese aesthetic that captures the transient yet memorable beauty of the time-honored tradition of Suigetsu.
At $3,200 Australian Dollars, the watch is undoubtedly value for money, true to Seiko’s history of making affordable timepiece without compromising on quality.
Limited to just 2,000 timepieces, the Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Limited Edition SPB171 ‘Suigetsu’ is a rare find and definitely deserves a place on your wrist. The screwed see-through case back not only ensures a water resistance of 10 bar, it also allows the wearer to witness the intricate workings of Seiko’s high performance Caliber 6R27 that clocks in a power reserve of 45 hours. There is a uniquely placed power reserve indicator at 9 o clock and sub-dial at 6 o’clock.
With understated appeal lent by its blue crocodile strap, a hue that echoes the color of lakes and ponds illuminated by moonlight, this watch will perfectly blend with your smart casuals.
The Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Limited Edition SPB171 ‘Suigetsu’ will be available from June, 2020 at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retail partners worldwide.
* During the Heian age, from the late eighth to the early twelfth century, Japan enjoyed a long period of prosperity during which a large part of the nation’s cultural identity was forged through prose, poetry and painting. A favourite pastime among the leisured classes was Suigetsu, the enjoyment of the moon’s reflection on the lakes and ponds in their gardens, a sight that appealed because of its ephemerality and unattainability and that has inspired Japanese art ever since. Suigetsu is a Japanese word whose Kanji characters signify water and the moon.
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second) Power reserve: 45 hours, Number of jewels: 29
Stainless steel case
Arita Porcelain dial
Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating See-through screw case back, with sapphire crystal
Diameter: 40.6mm, Thickness: 14.1mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release, Limited edition of 2,000