Yet another anniversary? Indeed, Seiko releases a new Presage to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Japan’s first wristwatch – the Seiko Laurel, made in 1913.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Seiko Presage 110th Anniversary of Laurel SPB359
Retail price of the new Seiko Presage 110th Anniversary of Laurel SPB359 is set at EUR 1,900, inclusive of tax in Europe. Limited edition of 2,500 pieces worldwide.
In yet another anniversary edition, Seiko releases the new Presage 110th Anniversary watch. But this one is perhaps more significant than many of the other anniversary limited editions that Seiko has recently been sprouting. The watch not only commemorates the very first Seiko ever made, but the first Japanese watch manufactured. Way back in 1913.
The novelty is based on the Laurel, and one which resembles the original piece very well. Such is the longevity of good design, that 110 years after the initial release, it still looks superb.
But this is not a reproduction of the original Laurel, the design incorporates new features. The watch is based on the Presage Multi-hand Enamel Automatic released in 2017. The difference the use of italicised Arabic numerals in place of the Romans. But the movement remains the same Caliber 6R27 used in the 2017 watch.
Compared to the original Laurel, the new model has a central sweep seconds hand, and the addition of a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and a date shown in the sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Detractors of having a date aperture on a dress watch will be pleased to see this unusual date indicator, which can be easily mistaken as a subsidiary seconds hand. The special enamel dial, is as pristine as the other enamels that Seiko has released in the Presage series in the past. And is the work of a master craftsman. Even the detailing on the strp is a close resemblance to the original.
And at a price of only EUR 1,900, the 2,500 piece limited edition. We do note that the 2017 model debuted at EUR 1.3k, though the latest closest incarnation is the SPB161, retailing at EUR 1.4k. Regardless, even with the premium of the 110th Anniversary Laurel Edition, it will sell out in no time. Get yours before you regret.
The history of Seiko began in 1881 when Kintaro Hattori opened a shop in Ginza to repair and sell timepieces. In 1892, he opened a factory called Seikosha to produce his own clocks. Twenty years later, when pocket watches were still the standard, he was experimenting with wristwatches, which were state-of-the-art technology at that time. In 1913, his company produced Japan’s first wristwatch, the Laurel, the first of many innovations that have advanced the art of watchmaking, including the first quartz wristwatch in 1969 and the groundbreaking technology that is Spring Drive in 1999. In 2023, Seiko will celebrate the 110th anniversary of its first wristwatch with the release of a series of commemorative timepieces. The celebration starts with the announcement of a new creation that draws its inspiration from the 1913 Laurel.
The new watch revives the form and design of the Laurel in every detail. The round case is carefully constructed to retain the elegance of the original while housing a modern automatic movement. The characteristic Arabic numerals, the retro-style blued hands, and a large onion crown are also faithfully re-created, in keeping with the nostalgic feel of this special timepiece. Just as with the 1913 original, the new creation features a pristine enamel dial. Its depth and beauty, as well as its lauded stable appearance over time, are made possible thanks to master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his colleagues at a workshop specializing in enamel production.
The new creation runs on Seiko’s high-performance Caliber 6R27, which has a power reserve indicator at the nine o’clock position and a date indicator at six o’clock. The crystal is a boxed-shaped sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface, delivering high legibility from any viewing angle.
The Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Seiko Presage Limited Edition will be available from January 2023 at Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide as a limited edition of 2,500.
The 1913 Laurel.
As more and more companies focused on manufacturing table clocks and pocket watches, Kintaro Hattori, who had foreseen the coming of the age of the wristwatch, continued to think further ahead of his competitors by beginning the development of a wristwatch of his own. In 1913, Seikosha began production of the Laurel. After the release of the Laurel, Seikosha made tremendous advances in its development of every wristwatch manufacturing technology, from design to micro-fabrication and machine tool manufacture. In 2014, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers designated the Laurel as one of its “Mechanical Engineering Heritages” in recognition of its contribution to the development of mechanical technology.
Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Seiko Presage Limited Edition: SPB359 specifications
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 45 hours
Number of jewels: 29
Stainless steel case
Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Screw case back
Diameter: 37.5mm, Thickness: 12.6mm
Water resistance: 5 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Deer leather strap