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There is no argument that watches embodying a strong nostalgic appeal of vintage timepieces have been vastly popular in the watch world in recent years. The rise of vintage-inspired watches has given birth to countless phenomenal releases from watch manufacturers worldwide. With that being said, Seiko unveiled their latest addition to their Presage collection, bringing seven new stunning references that draw on the design of Japan’s first ever wrist chronograph - the Seiko 1964 Crown Chronograph.
Developed by the Suwa Seikosha factory in the city of Suwa, Japan, this historic hand-wound chronograph was first launched in the 1964 Summer Olympics, achieving a momentous milestone for both Seiko, and for Japanese watchmaking industry. Incorporating a blend of contemporary earth tone colors, a retro ‘60s aesthetic and modern watchmaking precision of the Japanese, this latest Presage model truly rediscovers the elegant yet sporty side of the classic vintage Seiko chronograph, modernized with refreshing specifications in line with present-day timepieces.
|Seiko Presage GMT “Style60’s” Series Marine Ref. SARY229
During Baselworld 2016, Seiko announced the Presage collection, a series of sporty dress watches to international markets, bringing to the table a range of premium models that were a significant step up from their entry-level offerings. In contrast with Seiko’s Prospex range which encompasses a broad umbrella of robust tool watches, the Presage collection takes a classier approach, bearing designs with a timeless and sophisticated appeal. Having a design that reflects on these elements, the Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Series rekindles a style from a historically significant model from Seiko’s extensive catalogue.
A new lineup of GMT models that express the vintage charm unique to old cars from the 60's. It is characterized by a thin aluminum display plate and a dial with intricate vertical stripes, which evokes a cockpit that retains the texture and delicateness of metal. The layout, which is unique to this current GMT series, incorporates the details of the Crown Chronograph to create the image of analog precision instruments.
Multi Textured Dial with Seiko's Caliber 4R34
The dimensions of the Presage “Style60’s” Series GMT Marine Ref. SARY229 falls in a sweet spot right between an intricate dress watch and a sporty, energetic timepiece, working perfectly well as a daily companion. Packing a delightful case diameter of 40.8mm, a lug to lug distance of 47mm and a reasonably slim case thickness of only 13mm, this is one versatile piece that fits in just about any occasion.
Modelled after the case shape of its venerable predecessor, the watch flaunts a beautiful stainless steel case with lugs that gently curve down to conform comfortably around the wrist. Complementing its slim case profile, the graceful case design appears immensely exquisite. Displaying a mix of brushed finishing on the top of the lugs and a highly-polished mirror finish at the side of the case, close attention to detail is certainly displayed here, just like many of Seiko’s amazing timepieces we came to love.
The GMT is presented with a 20mm stainless steel bracelet, secured on the wrist with a fold over clasp and a push-button release. In case you need a quick strap change for the weekend, drilled lug holes on the side of the lugs make strap changing simply a breeze.
Beautiful stainless steel case with lugs
Surrounded by a fixed 12-hour black metallic bezel, the deep marine blue dial of the Presage “Style60’s” Series brings back many distinctive elements present on the legendary 1964 Crown Chronograph. Probably the most iconic trait carried over from the original model lies in its sharp dauphine hands and applied hour indexes, creating a snazzy appearance that remains incredibly timeless even in this day and age. For a modern touch, a white GMT hand is placed nicely within, in tandem its date complication rests at the 3 o’clock position, replacing an hour index to keep the dial pleasingly symmetrical.
Let’s not forget about the lume here, Seiko has excelled in this aspect as one of the leading players in the game. Treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite luminous material, the hands and hour indicators glow vibrantly in the dark for an easy time reading experience. To complete the whole vintage look of the original Crown Chronograph, a highly-domed box-shaped Hardlex crystal creates warm and attractive distortions when viewing the piece at different angles, mimicking the look of vintage acrylic crystals while offering superior resistance to scratches.
Seiko luminous glows brightly in the dark
Offering a modern upgrade from the hand-wound Cal. 5719 movement, the Presage Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Series GMT Marine Ref. SARY229 is driven by the ever-reliable Seiko in-house caliber 4R34 automatic movement, a notable upgrade from the previous caliber 7S family of movements that were lacking in handwinding and hacking capabilities. This 24 jewel GMT movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 41 hours and beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour. It also allowed its wearer to adjust the GMT hand separately as well for the date complication. Widely recognized as one of a ‘workhorse’ movement, the 4R34 boasts remarkable robustness from the proprietary Diashock anti-shock system and has a reputation to run reliably for an extended period of time without a service. Held under an exhibition see-through display case back which showcases Seiko’s custom semi-skeletonized rotor, the watch is water resistant to 50 meters.
Drawing inspiration from a distinguished model that paved the way for countless subsequent Seiko timepieces, the Presage Seiko Presage “Style60’s” Series GMT Marine Ref. SARY229 is a sensational modern interpretation of Japan’s first ever wrist chronograph. A significant part of Seiko’s history is now accessible in this latest Presage GMT model, carrying the proud legacy in a modern release exhibiting fantastic value.