New: Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial SPB171 Limited Edition with Editorial Commentary

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Seiko releases a new Presage SPB171 with the highly acclaimed Arita porcelain dial. This novelty is a dial update to the three hand watch with fan shaped power reserve indicator released in 2019.

Press Release with commentary in italics.

Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition

Seiko Presage SPB171 Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition, 2020.

In March 2019, two creations in the Presage collection won high acclaim from watch lovers worldwide for their Arita porcelain dials. Today, a new Presage creation features another Arita porcelain dial whose design is inspired by the Japanese tradition of Suigetsu, which celebrates the beauty of the moon when it is reflected in water. The strong blue hands and hour markers stand out against the delicate white texture of the dial to give the watch a unique beauty. Once again, Presage enshrines the very best of Japanese craftsmanship in a prestige automatic watch.

The new Presage Arita the same watch as 2019 version which we reviewed here, with the exception of the colours chosen for the dial and markers.

The 2019 edition of the Presage SPB093, also with the Arita porcelain dial. The red 12 are distinctive features removed from the 2020 version.

Seiko Presage SPB093 Arita 2019 model.

Suigetsu. A thousand-year love affair with the moon

During the Heian age, from the late eighth to the early twelfth century, Japan enjoyed a long period of prosperity during which a large part of the nation’s cultural identity was forged through prose, poetry and painting. A favorite pastime among the leisured classes was Suigetsu, the enjoyment of the moon’s reflection on the lakes and ponds in their gardens, a sight that appealed because of its ephemerality and unattainability and that has inspired Japanese art ever since. Suigetsu is a Japanese word whose Kanji characters signify water and the moon. This fascination with the moon continues in Japan to this day and is brought to life in this new Presage creation with the highest levels of traditional Japanese hand craftsmanship and mechanical watchmaking reflected in every detail.

We are not quite certain of the reference to the moon. The new watch is neither a moonphase or moonage display timepiece.

The production of each watch dial is a multi-stage process that requires several phases of firing and involves great skill and patience. The dials are produced by master craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi and his colleagues at an experienced manufacturer in Arita that has been making porcelain since 1830. To give the dials the strength required for a watch, the craftsmen use a type of Arita porcelain specially formulated to be harder and more durable than traditional porcelain. A very precise casting mold is used to achieve the difficult task of giving each dial the precise dimensions required to fit perfectly into a wristwatch.

While in traditional Arita porcelain a special glaze is applied to create its distinctive subtle blue sheen, a clear, transparent glaze is used for the dial of this new watch to allow the natural whiteness of the porcelain material to shine through. This pure white porcelain, called Hakuji, echoes the delicate reflection of the moon on water, and creates a sharp contrast with the blue of the hands, roman numerals and sub-dials. The combination of the blue color with the white Arita porcelain lends the watch a uniquely Japanese aesthetic that captures the transient yet memorable beauty of the time-honored tradition of Suigetsu.

The sub-dial at six o’clock shows the date and the one at nine o’clock, the power reserve in hours.

This limited edition watch carries Seiko’s high performance Caliber 6R27. Its 28,800 vibrations per hour can be seen and enjoyed through the exhibition case back. The crystal is a dual-curved sapphire that delivers high legibility from any angle.

File photograph of the Caliber 6R27 from the 2019 version of the Presage Arita SPB093.

The watch is 10 bar water resistant and is presented on a crocodile strap with a blue tone that echoes the color of lakes and ponds illuminated by moonlight.

This Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition will be available from June, 2020 at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retail partners worldwide as a limited edition of 2,000.

Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial Limited Edition Specifications

Caliber 6R27

Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second) Power reserve: 45 hours Number of jewels: 29


Stainless steel case Arita Porcelain dial Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating See-through screw case back, with sapphire crystal Diameter: 40.6mm, Thickness: 14.1mm Water resistance: 10 bar Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release

Approximate recommended retail price in Europe: €2,100 up slightly from the 2019 version which retailed for €1,950

Limited edition of 2,000


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