Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Seiko Enamel Dial - Another Winner for me

Enamel dial for under one thousand dollars? Well Seiko did it again! They managed to produce a batch in their Presage line with a white enamel dial code SARX027.

As some of you may know, I visited Japan recently and was able to get my hands one some of these beauties. The enamel dial I suspect are machine enamel. Flawless really.
 photo Presage SARX027 01_zpserzfqwsu.jpg

Again, finding these beauties is not an easy feat. Each store had at most one piece in stock and if you had wanted more, you need to order and delivery is probably 4-5 days for them to transfer from other stores. But it was definitely worth the wait. The dial work is shiny with black printed numerals.
 photo Presage SARX027 05_zpspbiwthjs.jpg

The steel case on this timepiece is nicer than the earlier ones and even the crown is different from the earlier SARX019.
 photo Presage SARX027 06_zpsoewy7piv.jpg

The crown is signed with an S.
 photo Presage SARX027 08_zps1mkx3bgv.jpg

A close up view of the dial shows the gleam of the enamel. But not as glossy as the lacquer dial of the SARX029. I have one gripe - that the seconds hand is “not balanced”.
 photo Presage SARX027 10_zpsgqksbdsx.jpg

At the date window is where one sees the “flaw”… some darker shades around the window.
 photo Presage SARX027 09_zpssgtmivbj.jpg

On the back reveals the caliber 6R15 automatic movement. Case back clearly shows the timepiece is Made in Japan.
 photo Presage SARX027 11_zpslge3glpe.jpg
 photo Presage SARX027 12_zpsasbeumsa.jpg

In the end, I manage to get 5 pieces - all accounted for. They have another iteration the SARD007 but that to me is over-spec. It comes with a day indicator at 3 o’clock, a retrograde date at 6 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. But the “crowded” dial takes away the beauty of the enamel dial.
 photo Presage SARX027 16_zps9ayuzwud.jpg

What I can say is that for an enamel dial piece, the price point is just unbelievable. If this were a Swiss timepiece with an enamel dial, pricing would probably be ten fold at least. But finishing on the SARX027 is definitely not the same standard as that of typical Swiss enamel pieces. But for the price you pay, one cannot complain as this is probably the best value enamel dial timepiece you can get.
 photo Presage SARX027 04_zpspnx8fvpj.jpg

The list price of these timepieces are a very reasonable JPY80,000 for the SARX027 while the SARD007 is listed at JPY150,000.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Urushi - A Rare Dial for a Rare Beauty!

The Japanese are well know masters of lacquer ware and when I first heard that they have commissioned a new timepiece in their Presage line, I was excited about it. So when I visited Japan earlier this year, I had to look for it.

Despite going to several department store in my first three days in Tokyo, I was met with one disappointment after another. And then, when we visited Kyoto, I chanced upon it there!
 photo Presage SARX029 11_zpslpq9azc2.jpg

What’s so special about this piece? Well, for one the Presage line in this case features a special dial. The dials are made by artists Seiko commissioned and they are called “tokinowaza” - master craftsman. The art of applying lacquer is a well known Japanese skill and when I saw the timepiece, I was really awestruck! What a flawless dial!
 photo Presage SARX029 10_zpsfqugwwm5.jpg

The gloss on the dial is beautifully reflective. The master craftsman making these dials is Mr. Tamura Ichifune, a resident of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. According to Seiko press release, the production numbers of these dials are very low - about 15 per day due to the complexity of applying lacquer to the dials to achieve a high gloss and deep finishing.
 photo Presage SARX029 06_zpsi7r4f04e.jpg
 photo Presage SARX029 07_zpsnezqxrib.jpg
 photo Presage SARX029 09_zpsnqgcltyx.jpg

Even the hands are different - seems like the gold coloured hands have a sandblasted finish. I have not seen such finishing on a Seiko before.
 photo Presage SARX029 12_zpswr0bsiwk.jpg

On the display case back houses the calibre 6R15 which is the workhorse calibre for Seiko three handed timepieces.
 photo Presage SARX029 13_zpsdpmax3vo.jpg

As you can see, it says “Made In Japan” - in fact, it is Made for Japan! As I understand it, this range is not available outside of Japan thus dubbing some of these as Japan Domestic Model!
 photo Presage SARX029 14_zpsuduiqpxw.jpg

The timepiece is 40mm and a similar piece was also launched on Valentines Day 2015 - the SARW013. I saw both the SARX029 and the SARW013 with power reserve and date. I ended up with the three handed model.
 photo Presage SARX029 05_zpsl1resfsu.jpg

Why the three handed model and not the “higher end” SARW013? Well, what’s special about this piece is the Japanese Urushi (lacquer) dial. When one adds the date at the six o’clock position and the power reserve at the nine, it somehow crowds the dial and takes away the beauty of the urushi dial. Even the strap has a matching golden thread matching the hands. In the end, the cleaner three handed timepiece was my choice to show off the dial work.
 photo Presage SARX029 04_zpslmt5o7jw.jpg

In the end, I managed to source another two pieces making it a total of three.
 photo Presage SARX029 01_zpsqm5pr2x7.jpg

One more look at this beauty.
 photo Presage SARX029 16_zpsnqyjijna.jpg

The list price of these timepieces are a very reasonable JPY110,000 for the SARX029 while the SARW013 is listed at JPY130,000. Good luck trying to find them if you happen to be in Japan. I also managed to find the SARX027 which comes with an enamel dial. I shall be sharing that in another post.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Seiko Presage - Made In Japan For Japan

The Seiko Presage range is somewhat special - more so the “tokinowaza” range where Seiko enlists the services of a master craftsman to create special timepieces for the Japanese market.

Enters both the Presage SARX027 and the SARX029. The former comes with a white enamel dial while the latter a lacquer (Japanese Urushi) dial.

The SARX027 with the enamel dial.
 photo Presage SARX027 01_zpserzfqwsu.jpg

The SARX029 with the lacquer dial.
 photo Presage SARX029 04_zpslmt5o7jw.jpg

So which one do you like? Both are available only in Japan - Made In Japan for the domestic market. A full report to come.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Metro - The All Important Nomos

With the unveiling of the Nomos Metro, the Glashutte manufacture has created another stir! In-house developed and manufactured escapement they call - The Swing System.

Four of us managed to get our hands on this beauty - so excited I am that I want to share the first images with you.
 photo Nomos Metro 01_zpsckalnmwq.jpg

Truly Nomos! A 37mm case and ultra-thin too.
 photo Nomos Metro 04_zpsenralwd0.jpg

And the case back featuring the in-house movement and in-house escapement. The calibre is DUW4401.
 photo Nomos Metro 02_zpsy4lvy8ot.jpg

One more look at the all new Nomos Metro!
 photo Nomos Metro 03_zpstvi2ipt2.jpg

I am loving it! More report to come. Stay tuned!