Back in March 2019, Seiko released two new creations of the Presage collection, that would eventually lead to high acclaim from watch lovers all around the world, particularly thanks to the Arita porcelain dial. Following on the back of this, Seiko has just recently unveiled another Arita porcelain dial for the Presage collection.
The inspiration for this now Arita porcelain dial comes from local Japanese tradition, which in this case is the tradition of Suigetsu. The Suigetsu tradition is one where the Japanese celebrate the beauty of the moon when it’s reflected in the water.
During the late eighth to the early twelfth century, Japan enjoyed a notable period of prosperity. The country’s cultural identity was being shifted and becoming known for prose, poetry and painting. Painting, in particular, was a favourite past time, with Suigetsu imagery being very popular. Suigetsu was the enjoyment of the moon’s reflection on lakes, ponds in gardens, mainly bodies of water. This enjoyment was a sight that appealed to many, due to its beauty and unattainability, which has inspired Japanese artworks still to this day. Seiko has kept this tradition going by using this imagery as the blueprint for the design of the dial.
The Seiko SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition comes in a 40.6mm stainless steel case, with a water resistance of 100m. The dial of this timepiece features roman numerals for the hour indexes done in a navy blue colour. The hands themselves have a vivid blue tone that resembles water. The date is shown by the sub-dial at 6 o’clock, while the 9 o’clock counter indicates the power reserve. Both counters are done in blue to stay in theme with the rest of the markings.
The Arita porcelain dial has quite a unique production process which undergoes many different stages, that involves great skill and patience. Since 1830, the porcelain dials themselves are produced in a manufacturer in Arita, by master craftsmen Hiroyuki Hashiguchi and his team. The Arita porcelain used is specially designed to give the strength required to be used as dials in a watch.
For traditional Arita porcelain, a unique glaze is added to make it have a distinctive subtle green appearance. However for the Seiko SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition, a transparent glaze had to be used so that the natural white of the material can shine through. The pure white porcelain is termed “Hakuji”, and it provides high contrast against the blue hands, hour indexes and subdials, while ultimately showcasing the reflection of the moon on the water.
The movement used to power the Seiko SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition is the brand’s high-performance calibre 6R27. The 6R27 calibre movement beats at roughly 28, 800 Vph and delivers a power reserve of approximately 45 hours. The watch comes with an open case-back which allows the wearer to see the calibre 6R27 movement in action. The Seiko SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition comes standard in a blue crocodile strap which matches the dial nicely and helps emphasise the Suigetsu imagery.
The SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition is another model by the much-admired Seiko brand that showcases Japanese craftsmanship and their attention to detail. Illustrating a fascination of the moon and its reflection on water, the long-standing Suigetsu Japanese tradition is brought to life with the latest Presage creation by Seiko. The SPB171 Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition will be available starting June 2020 at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retail partners, and will only be limited to a worldwide run of 2, 000 units.