Everybody that has a bit of knowledge about Seiko knows that they’re known for making great watches at a great price. However, when you’re not familiar with Seiko or their Presage series you can wonder if these watches are actually any good.
How good are Seiko Presage watches? Seiko Presage watches are very good watches. They’re made of high quality materials such as genuine leather, stainless steel and hardlex mineral. Furthermore, they cost between $300 – $2000 making them fairly affordable.
Now that you know that Seiko Presage is a good series of watches it’s time to dive into a bit more detail. Let’s first discuss the use of material a bit more in-depth. After that we’ll have a look at the movement and where the watches are made. Finally, we discuss what the best Presage watches are.
What Are Seiko Presage Watches Made Of?
Seiko Presage watches are made out of different materials depending on the specific watch that you decide to buy. In all cases the watch has a stainless steel case which is of very high quality. Colors vary depending on the serial number.
The strap of the watch is either made of stainless steel or genuine leather. Seiko Presage watches can be considered to be more casual watches though the ones that have a leather strap can also be used as dress watches (depending on their styling).
All of the Seiko Presage watches have a very noticeable feature and that is their so-called ”sunburst” dial. This dial is definitely an attention grabber. The way the dial is styled looks like a sunburst and depending on the way the light catches the dial it looks stunning.
Seiko Presage Models
It must be noted that Seiko has a lot more models in their Presage series. Most likely they produce more than 40+ models. However, most models are only sold in specific areas of the world or are limited editions. Below is a list of the common Seiko Presage models that form the backbone of this series.
- SRPB41: Stainless steel case and bracelet. The dial has a blue sunburst pattern. Furthermore, there’s a date aperture on the dial.
- SRBP43: Stainless steel case in combination with a black leather strap. The sunburst dial has is made out of steel and there’s also a date aperture on this watch.
- SRPB46: Rose gold finished, stainless steel case with a brown leather strap. The combination with the brown sunburst dial look very elegant. Don’t forget about the date aperture.
- SRPB77: Stainless steel case and the same goes for the bracelet. There’s a white sunburst dial and a date aperture.
- SSA358: Two tone, gold color, stainless steel case and metal bracelet. Furthermore it has a white sunburst dial and a balance wheel aperture. This means you can see the balance wheel which is a really cool feature.
- SSA359: Stainless steel case with a black leather strap. This watch also has a balance wheel aperture. Also, it has a black sunburst dial.
For the cover of the dial Seiko uses their trademarked mineral which they call Hardlex. Hardlex is considered to be a great way to balance quality and cost in a watch and it therefore fits perfectly within this series.
Before Seiko invented Hardlex it could either use acrylic or plastic (which aren’t very scratch resistant and can warp when exposed to heat) or sapphire (which is the best material but also has the highest cost). Hardlex is a mineral based clear glass which is more scratch resistant than acrylic or plastic but less expensive than sapphire.
What Movements Do Seiko Presage Watches Use?
The models that were mentioned above actually use two slightly different movements. Let it first be clear that Seiko is a watchmaker that cares about the watches they produce, therefore, the movements of the watches are all made in-house which is a big plus in my personal opinion.
Furthermore, all Presage watches use a Japanese automatic, hand-winding movement. These movements are considered to be of great quality for a few reasons.
First of all, they allow for hacking. This means that, when you set the time on the watch, you’re able to make the second hand (seconds) stop. This way you’re able to set the watch to the exact time which wasn’t possible with previous movements. Furthermore the movements vibrate at 21.600 beats per minute and have a power reserve of 41 hours.
The watches that have a SRBP… serial number use a 4R35 movement while the ones that have SSA… serial number us a 4R38 movement. The main difference is the fact that the 4R35 also has a day display while the 4R38 only displays the correct hour and minutes.
What Is The Most Expensive Seiko Presage Watches?
The most expensive Seiko Presage is the so-called “Prestige Line Enamel Dial Spring Drive”. That’s definitely an impressive name but does the watch live up to it?
With a price tag of well over $4.500 this special watch definitely has something to prove. I mean, the price suggest that it’s a competitor for Grand Seiko entry watches which is quite a name to compete with. So, let’s see why this watch is priced this way.
As the name suggest it uses an enamel dial. Enamel dials are normally only used in watches that cost $10.000 and up. Reason being that these types of dials look beautiful but they’re also a pain to make. With luxury watches you’ll have to pay for craftsmanship and that’s what you’ll get in this case.
Another special feature about this watch is the fact that this one, for the first time in the Presage collection, uses Seiko’s Spring Drive movement. In this case that’s the caliber 5R65.
In essence this is the same movement as the caliber 9R65 which is used in many Grand Seiko watches. In other words: it’s top quality. The movement that the Presage uses is accurate up to +/- 1 seconds a day which is incredibly accurate for an automatic watch. To top it all off the watch can also be manually winded and has a power reserve of up to 72 hours.
Where Are Seiko Presage Watches Made?
Seiko Presage watches are made in Japan in different studios and factories around the country. First of all the enamel cover of the dial is made in the Micro Artists Studio of Seiko Epson Corporation’s Shiojiri plant. This process is led by Mitsuru Yokozawa who is a master craftsman and it ensures the enamel dials are all of great quality (since a lot can go wrong here).
The dials of the watch are made in the studio of master craftsman Isshu Tamura in Kanazawa, on the western side of Honshu. Another facility of Seiko’s plant. These dials are painted and polished several times to create a perfect black color.
Furthermore their movements are also made in-house in either Shizukuishi, Ninohe, or Shiojiri. What you end up with is a great in-house made watch that looks much more expensive then it actually is.