Seiko Introduces the Presage Prestige Crown-Chronograph Remake

Just time and date.

Having unveiled the vintage-inspired Presage Automatic Chronograph ref. SRQ031 in October 2019, Seiko has returned to the same historical wristwatch with the Presage Prestige 2020. Comprising of three variants – SPB127J1, SPB131J1, and SPB129J1 – the new Presage is once again modelled on the “Crown” chronograph ref. 5719A-45899 that was unveiled in 1964 to mark that year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The vintage original was a mono-pusher chronograph with basic functionality, featuring a central, elapsed seconds hand and black plastic bidirectional bezel for recording times of over a minute. Last year’s Presage chronograph was a step up from the original with three counters, but this year’s Presage Prestige does away with the chronograph altogether. But since the original had a plain dial without registers, the new Presage Prestige manages to look pretty much the same.

The original “Crown” chronograph from 1964

All three versions of the Presage Prestige differ only in dial colour, and are otherwise identical in terms of dimensions, design and movement.

Because of the styling of the “Crown” Chronograph, the Presage Prestige manages to be fairly faithful to the original. Nearly all of the elements of the dial, from the chapter ring with the applied hour markers and oblong “lume” plots to the dauphine hands, are a close-enough replica of the original.

Granted it has been modernised with the usual tweaks found in remakes, including a slightly larger case and a date function. The steel case measures 41.3 mm (versus 38.2 mm for the original), but is relatively slim at just 11.2mm hight. The flanks of the case are polished, while the lugs are brushed on top with a polished bevel in between.

And as with the original, the watch is characterised by a distinctive 60-minute bezel, but now in hardier black-coated steel instead of plastic.

The ref. SPB131J1

The ref. SPB129J1

All three watches are powered by the 6R35, a central-rotor automatic with a frequency of 3 Hz, quick-set date, and hacking seconds. Most notably, it boasts a 70-hour power reserve as opposed to the 50 hours of the earlier generation 6R15.

Key facts and price

Seiko Presage Prestige “Crown” chronograph remake
Ref. SPB127J1 (SARX069 in Japan) – beige
Ref. SPB131J1 (SARX073 in Japan) – black
Ref. SPB129J1 (SARX07 in Japan) – green

Diameter: 41.3 mm
Height: 11.3 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: 6R35
Functions: Time and date; 60-minute, bidirectional bezel
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet

Limited edition: 1964 pieces (including all dial styles)
Availability: At retailers and boutiques From February 2020 onwards
Price: US$825

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