Nov 12, 20175416 views
Here's a Seiko I picked up on my recent trip to Japan. This is the SARX045, which I believe is a JDM (Japan Domestic Model).
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The midnight blue dial on this is what sealed the deal for me. In most lighting (especially indoors) it just looks black, but take it out into sunlight, and it gives a deep blue shimmer, like a well-made tux.

This is from the Presage line, and it is finished with all the attention to detail one would expect of a Presage watch. The bracelet and case combine brushed and polished surfaces in perfect proportion, showing off Seiko's craftsmanship and making this watch equally at home in the boardroom and at a dinner party. The dial is also set off by a dark jewel topping the crown, which is unique for Seiko and could be a callout to Cartier.

Moving on to the dial, it's topped by a sapphire crystal with AR coating on the inside only. Applied metal markers and the applied SEIKO logo are almost the only adornments on this minimalist dial. They make it elegant yet still interesting.

The hands are perfectly proportioned, and they hold a secret in plain sight. On close inspection, one sees that the leading edge of the hour and minute hands are frosted, whereas the trailing edge is polished. This solves a common problem with fully polished hands - unless the polished edges catch the light, they can look dark and blend into a dark dial. The frosted edge ensures that each hand is always visible with light from any direction. The markers carry on this theme - the center strip of each marker is frosted, and its other surfaces are polished.

I am normally not a fan of white date windows against dark dials, but I make an exception for this watch. Somehow Seiko made it work here.

Finally, I previously wrote about another Presage in my collection, the SARW011. That watch has a 28,800 bph movement (8 beats per second), and I pointed out how it has 4 sub-second markers per second division, which align precisely to every other beat of its second hand.

This watch does almost the same thing. It has a 6R15 movement beating at 21,600 bph (6 beats per second), and its dial has 6 sub-second markers per second division to reflect the different beat rate.

I still find it mind-boggling that Seiko would actually bother with details like this, which 99% of people wouldn't even look for or notice.
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OneLove, idoc72, and 16 others
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Great job writing this post. It really seems this might be your forte writing & reviewing products and designs. I’m very impressed and I now want one of those watches :)
SCtallguy
Thank you! I enjoy writing and I enjoy well-crafted products, so that's a happy confluence of interests there.
Do get one of these, you won't be disappointed.
Oh, what a choice! I have a soft spot for dials like this, reserved, but filled with design secrets. W&W ran a cool piece on Seiko's "Grammar of Design" philosophy here: http://wornandwound.com/art-time-taro-tanaka-seikos-grammar-design/
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c0rnelius
Thank you for this link, I love pretty much everything about Japanese Culture and first visited the place in 1969. The food, stereo gear and photographic gear knocked me out. Great reading.
c0rnelius
This is new to me too! Great article.
This confirms things I only started noticing about Seiko watches when I really looked at them closely and began appreciating all the little details and design choices. Seiko truly takes understated to a new level.
Very nice Seiko! Couldn't help but notice the similarities to it's less expensive brother, the SRPA29 which I picked up recently and really like.
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It has the wonderful 4R35 movement and also has the midnight blue dial.
Gugliermo
Nice! I'm obviously a fan of that minimalist, midnight blue dial, and if anything yours looks even dressier because there are no sub-second markers to clutter up the dial. I also like the shiny segments on the bracelet, which mine doesn't have.
Apart from the movement, I'd say the only major upgrade mine has over this would be the sapphire crystal. That's nice to have, but considering that I'll be treating mine as a dress watch and will be babying it, this is not really a feature I need.
The 6R15 movement is also supposed to be better, but it seems the only differences from the 4R35 are slightly better power reserve and rated accuracy. A slightly better power reserve is not really relevant for an auto watch that's worn every day. In terms of accuracy, my experience has been that every Seiko, even those with the venerable 7s26 movements, is actually capable of far better accuracy than Seiko actually claims. For all intents and purposes, I consider these two movements to be in the same class.
Congratulations on an excellent purchase!
Daisy_Cutter
Thanks for the great response and explaining the differences. I think yours is definitely the more luxurious model but I'm very happy with it's little brother...(-; The 4R35 is made in Japan unlike its NH35 counterpart, of which I have a half dozen in various micro brands. The 4R35 was more accurate delivered but the NH35s were all capable of within 3-6 seconds per day with a little adjusting. What a fabulous brand this SEIKO is...(-;
Are you a professional writer? Great post.
Vintage1982Benz
Thank you! I'm not a professional writer, but writing is a big part of my job and I've always enjoyed it.
Fortunately, those of us that can't travel to Japan can still find a way to buy that beauty. https://www.seiyajapan.com/products/seiko-automatic-presage-sarx045-japan-made
PetrosD
Yup! I'm really glad JDM models are getting more accessible.
Great looking watch man! Where’d you visit in Japan and where did you get this one?
nice play again
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Thanks! My better half prefers Japanese blades for most purposes, and we decided to fore go and box sets. Her primary knives are MAC, Moritaka, and a Miyabi, though I had to hunt for the MAC and Moritaka. The stores in Kyoto will come in especially nice, as some of the blades are ready for upgrades.
Cheers friend, and thanks again
StainlessOnly
Happy to help!
This should be a good chance to try out smaller, more traditional Japanese brands, as opposed to those you've listed that are sold worldwide. My experience has been that the domestic stuff easily equals or betters the international brands, without the price markup.
Hayakawa Hamonoten in particular carries blades in Shirogami and Aogami at the best prices I've seen so far. If I'd had more cash on me when I was there, I'd have picked up a yanagiba as well. Sadly, I didn't.
Oh my that's a beauty. It is the spitting image of one of my grail watches, the Omega Aqua Terra Skyfall. Not an homage, but many similarities.
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PetrosD
Wow, that's a beautiful Omega. Good taste!
Omega does this amazing thing with its curved lugs that isn't the first thing you notice, but really makes the watch pop.
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