Presage. Over a century in the making.
Before I go into detail about the Seiko Presage Mechanical watch I want to share a little history of how it came to be…
Over 100 years ago in 1913 Seiko made its first mechanical watch. In 1956, Seiko made its first automatic watch. In 1958 Seiko created its shock resistant system, Diashock, (which you see printed on the dials of vintage Seiko watches) in order to preserve precision when the movement is subjected to impact.
From 1959 through 1968 Seiko invented several innovative techniques that would be revolutionary; the Magic Lever spring winding mechanism, in-house balance springs, and the hi-beat caliber. The year 1969, Seiko launched the world’s first automatic chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel system (more on these features in a later article).
For over a century, Seiko has revolutionized and fine-tuned its mechanical watchmaking. All this experience has come together in an all-mechanical watch collection Seiko as named Presage. Presage has already been successful in the Japanese market for some time. Now Presage has gone global and takes center stage as Seiko’s leading mechanical watch collection.
The Presage is a collection comprised of over 50 different models and uses Seiko’s in-house mechanical calibers including one of the newest versions the 4R57 caliber with Seiko’s first ever center power reserve indicator.
Each piece in the Presage collection has its own unique classic and timeless design. Over a century of Seiko’s tradition of creating and developing high quality and long-lasting timepieces is very evident in this collection. Which is why I chose a piece from this collection to review.
Today we are looking at the Seiko Presage Mechanical Automatic Ref. SARY057 (made in Japan for the Japanese market). I mention where it’s made because I specifically choose a model made in Japan for the Japanese market. They also make models in China, Malaysia and Singapore for other global markets. But I’ve heard and I have mentioned before the watches coming out of Japan are the best made…
The SARY057 is a classic design with no fancy bells and whistles other than it tells me the time and has the day/date feature. I love the day feature has the option of displaying in Japanese or English. I chose Japanese just as a novelty. The dial is simple yet classy in black with crisp stainless steel hands (those hands are sharp, crisp and three dimensional) and markers for a dressy look. There is no Lume anywhere on the dial and I happy that it doesn’t…more of formal look without it.
The case is a 41mm solid stainless steel with 22mm lugs, solid stainless steel bracelet and solid end links, disappointing is the poorly constructed clasp. The case thickness is at 11.4mm, a bit on the thick side. It sounds like a large watch, and it is… but it doesn’t look or feel large at all and feels very comfortable.
The SARY057 comes with a sapphire crystal and a crystal display case back, which shows Seiko’s 4R36 24J Automatic movement. This movement also has a hand winding feature and Hack function. Power reserve is 41 hours so pretty standard, I would like to see it higher but not a deal breaker by any means. Water resistance is standard on all the Presage watches at 10 ATM. I would like to see a screw down crown for any watch over 5 ATM, but again not a deal breaker in my view.
Overall a beautiful and elegant time piece with the look and feel of a Grand Seiko, but for thousands less. To be honest you can’t see or feel the difference in my opinion between the Grand Seiko and the Presage when side by side; other than the “GS” logo. It feels good on the wrist, fit and finish is impeccable but being a Seiko that is no surprise. The Presage is often referred to as the “Poor Mans” Grand Seiko but starting at about 595. USD not necessarily cheap; however, factor in its function, movement and design… It’s a bargain.
What I would like to see in future generations of the Presage:
- Anti reflective sapphire crystal
- Screw down crown
- Screw pins for ease of adding and removing links
- Nicer more innovative clasp including fit and finish. (In my opinion, the clasp just cheapens the look of what otherwise is a solid watch)
I would give this Presage SARY057 a two thumbs up! Please share your thoughts or your experience with this Seiko.
Watches, The Collection of Art