A living heritage
The new Presage collection draws its inspiration from Seiko’s heritage in mechanical watchmaking, which stretches all the way back to 1913 and the celebrated Laurel which was Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first ever wrist watch. This heritage is brought to life today in two very special Limited Edition automatic chronographs whose design echoes that of the 1913 Laurel and whose dials are made in the finest traditions of Japanese artistry, one in enamel and the other with lacquer. Both use the 8R48 caliber, which has vertical clutch and column wheel systems, and incorporates Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer to ensure the perfect synchronization of the hands’ fly-back. Both are offered in editions of 1,000 in celebration of Seiko’s 60 years of automatic watch making and will be available in September.
The long-lasting beauty of fine enamel
The beauty, depth and subtle texture of the enamel dial is self-evident, but what makes this model so special is the fact that each dial is made by skilled craftsmen, led by Mitsuru Yokozawa who ensures that the color of the enamel will last for decades, just as the dial on the 1913 Laurel has done. The finishing of any enamel can easily be affected by weather and humidity, and it is very difficult to control the precise thickness of the enamel as it is laid down on each dial. To meet these challenges requires the very highest levels of skill, and Seiko is honored to have Mr. Yokozawa in charge of the finish of every enamel dial for Presage. Only the most exclusive, traditional Japanese craftsmanship will do for this special Presage Limited Edition.
The pure, deep black of Urushi lacquer
Craftsmanship of a very different nature but of the same high quality gives the lacquer dial its deep black luster. The dials are made in the studio of master craftsman Isshu Tamura in Kanazawa, on the western side of Honshu, Japan’s main island, using the centuries old art of Urushi which allows the creation of lacquer whose black color is almost magically deep and which gets harder and stronger as the years pass. The dials are painted and polished by hand several times. It is time-consuming and challenging work, but it is the traditional and best way to create the perfect black color. For Presage, only perfection will do.
Enamel Craftsman Mitsuru Yokozawa
A veteran craftsman, Mitsuru Yokozawa began working with enamel in 1968 when he joined Fuji Porcelain Enamel Co., Ltd. By applying quantifiable data to the techniques he has cultivated over more than 40 years, Mr. Yokozawa has succeeded in increasing the reproducibility of high-quality craft techniques. He has also developed visual acuity that allows him to work with coated surfaces measured in fractions of a millimeter.
While most small enamel products measure in the range of 10cm2, the dials used in Seiko watches are significantly smaller at 3cm in diameter. They also impose challenging limitations due to their thickness and evenness. Mr. Yokozawa is the only craftsman in Japan capable of applying enamel to a substrate as delicately crafted as a Seiko dial.
Lacquer Artist Isshu Tamura
Born in 1957, Isshu Tamura trained in the traditional Kaga Maki-e gold lacquer technique of Kanazawa under master craftsman Ikko Kiyose. After honing his skills in the technique, Mr. Tamura set out to produce unparalleled original works of art. He has executed his technique in Kaga Maki-e not only in lacquerware, but also in the creation of luxury fountain pens and wristwatches which have received worldwide acclaim for their elaborate detail and fine beauty.
A specially designed oscillating weight.
Through the case backs of both limited editions the special gold rotor is visible.
It has 311 components including the vertical clutch that is at the heart of all true chronographs, the column wheel that provides superior durability and operability, and the “three-pointed hammer” which is Seiko’s own stopwatch return-to-zero mechanism.