Seiko Presage Prestige Line 2020 Limited EditionBy Israel Ortega
It is not inaccurate to say that the Presage line of watches is a major player in Seiko’s strategy. Within Presage we can find just about every kind of watch there is, from reliable and affordable pieces to more robust and high-end examples, all of them shining with elaborate aesthetic and technical features, which, sometimes, may even include the wondrous 9-series Spring Drive caliber. In all cases and in a very relevant way, the inspiration for the Presage style comes from nature and Japanese culture and this is especially demonstrated in the availability of numerous patterns, colors and finishings of their dials, regardless of price level.
Now, these three new Presage timepieces, constructed in steel cases and with black, white and green dials, belong to the “Prestige” sub-brand, where a myriad of classic watches with essential complications abound. The other Presage sub-brand is called Basic and is made up of watches that are, well, more primary in their execution, but far from less artistic and valuable.
The inspiration for this new Presage Prestige special series was a nifty Seiko Crown chronograph from 1964, a central-hand, mono pusher timekeeper created by the brand to be used in “the first international sporting event held in Japan in 1964” (Seiko’s words, for the Olympics!). And what do you know? They will be held here again this year! That Crown chronograph was, in turn, based on a mechanical three-hand. The main feature of these pieces was their sectored dial, with concentric rings containing different information elements that offered superb readability.
In the new Presages, those lines and proportions (but in a larger size) give us a pretty showy timepiece. The 41.3 mm case (the 1964 Crown chrono was 38mm) combines satin and polished surfaces that refine the appearance of these pointy-lugged Seikos. Also, the back has been recessed just enough so the watch is more stable on the wrist. The slim and knurled directional bezel amplifies the appearance of the sunray-finished dial. There are three main sections: an external minute scale with 1/4-second resolution — smartly confirming the 4Hz frequency of the 6R35 caliber and paying homage to the Crown; an intermediate ring with applied hour indexes, as well as the impeccably placed date window; and the inner disc, home of 12 indexes filled with Lumibrite that highlight the rotation of the sword hour hand. The sapphire crystal has been treated on the inside with anti-reflective coating to improve legibility.
On the rear, the solid caseback on each of these three sporty Seiko Presage Prestige watches reminds us that this is a special edition, numbered and limited to 1,964 pieces that will undoubtedly sell out very quickly.