Summer Stunners: Seiko Unveils the 2024 Prospex and Presage Variants

Seiko has improved its renowned dress and diving watch lines with a daring collection of avant-garde additions for the summer of 2024
Summer Stunners: Seiko Unveils the 2024 Prospex and Presage Variants
March 14, 2024
Summer Stunners: Seiko Unveils the 2024 Prospex and Presage Variants

Kintaro Hattori started Seiko in 1881; he set up a watch and clock repair shop in central Tokyo. The company eventually evolved into Seiko, which went on to become one of the world's most well-known watch manufacturers. Seiko has consistently introduced impressive new timepieces since the turn of the century. This year too, it has treated watch buffs to a raft of new timepieces, including the latest variants in the Presage and Prospex collections. 

The Presage Collection

This collection includes Ref. SPB463, Ref. SPB465, and Ref. SPB467, featuring a three-hand configuration with a date, and the open-heart models, namely Ref. SPB469 and Ref. SPB471. The new time and date Seiko Presage models come in stainless steel cases, measuring 40.2 mm in diameter. The fluted crown on each is signed with a large S. The case is mainly polished with some fine satin finish while the sapphire crystal is domed. Still, the rounded case construction makes each piece appear quite slim. Many enthusiasts will consider these three models more dressy than casual. The three new references also stand out with their gracefully curved dials that feature delicate textured patterns, inspired by traditional Japanese silk materials. 

Furthermore, each model adopts a particular colour from Japan's vast cultural palette. The SPB463 dial features shiro-iro, which is suggestive of unbleached natural fabric. At the same time, SPB465 depicts a colour influenced by sensaicha, a dark brownish-green shade that was prevalent throughout the Edo Period (1603-1868), distinguished by its flourishing arts and culture. SPB467 uses araigaki, a washed and bleached persimmon colour (likely to be dubbed salmon by some), lending the variant a distinct and lively appearance.

The bar-shaped metallic hour indices debuted last year with the launch of Seiko Presage with enamel and Urushi dials; these are curved to match the dials' rounded shapes. The hour and second hands, finished in a matching design, smoothly bend towards the markers, adding to the overall visual equilibrium. The minute track on the outer periphery is sharp and the central seconds hand (notice the counterweight design) at the pointer end appears as thin as the track's printed markings. The little date window at 3 o'clock coexists with the emblem above the centre, while “Automatic 3 Days” and the name of the calibre are located at 6 o’clock. The 6R55 automatic movement powers these new Presage Classic pieces, which provide time and date features. The calibre 6R55, which operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour, provides a significant 72-hour autonomy and has a gold-coloured rotor for bidirectional winding of the oscillating weight that is visible through an exhibition caseback. 

Open-Heart Watches

While the new Seiko Presage Classic open-heart watches have the same case size as the above-mentioned models, their dials have a unique finish with a radial pattern intended to mimic the texture of raw silk yarn. Despite having similar indices and hands, what distinguishes these models are the deeply recessed subdials for the 24-hour display at 6 o'clock and the aperture into the movement at 9 o'clock, which give them a unique character and feel. 

The dial of SPB469 is shiro-iro, just like the new Presage Classic SPB463 watch. However, SPB471 features sumi-iro, a greyish-black tint traditionally associated with monks' clothing. SPB468 and SPB471 are powered by calibre 6R5J, which delivers 72 hours of power reserve. Beyond the dial variations, one cannot miss the 1970s-inspired multi-row bracelet with short links, which promises ergonomic comfort with its curved top surface across all five new references. The bracelet is designed to be aesthetically pleasing while still prioritising wearers’ comfort. It includes a deployant clasp with a push-button release mechanism for secure fastening.

Prospex Diver’s Watch

Although Seiko has a long history of waterproof watchmaking, the Japanese firm did not enter the professional diving watch market until 1965. New for 2024 is a trio of timepieces based on the original diver’s watch design, but with a few minor yet significant changes. 

Seiko has opted to slightly update the general design of the 62MAS reinterpretation in 2024 while adhering to the design codes of the original 1965 model. Seiko has reduced the diameter, height, and lug-to-lug proportions, albeit only slightly. The diameter is now 40 mm instead of 40.5 mm and the thickness has dropped from 13.2 mm to 13 mm, from top to bottom. The distance between the ends of the lugs has been shortened to 46.4 mm.

Seiko has raised the water resistance of the stainless steel case from 200 metres to 300 metres, in addition to updating the size. Each of the three references has a curved sapphire crystal, a unidirectional rotating diving bezel, and an aluminium insert. The diving scale on the inserts is laser-engraved and filled with either white lacquer on the blue or black dials or gold-coloured accents on the special-edition charcoal model to commemorate Seiko's 100th anniversary. Another feature that distinguishes these three from prior generations is the screw-down crown, which is somewhat recessed into the case.

The improvements continue on the dial, which is available in the aforementioned blue, black, and charcoal-grey tones. Depending on the dial you choose, the raised indices and hands are either white, silver or gold. LumiBrite inlays are used throughout to help with night-time legibility. Furthermore, the date has been relocated to 4:30 and now features a circular window with horizontally aligned numerals, a good aesthetic element that many manufacturers seem to ignore. 

Image Credits: Seiko