Seiko Introduces the Presage Sharp Edged Series

A new case and dial design.

Well regarded for offering strong value, the Seiko Presage has seen a proliferation of variations in dial styles, ranging from stamped patterns to high-end materials like fired enamel and porcelain. The diversity of dials continues with the Presage Sharp Edged Series.

The new quartet of watches all feature a dial decorated with a repeating motif inspired by a traditional Japanese leaf pattern. But as the model name suggests, the new watches also boast a new case design that, with the use of edges and angles, creates the play between light and shadow – an attempt, in other words, to give the Presage a more upscale case finish.

Initial thoughts

The new Presage is slightly pricier than earlier models, but boasts several smart details that set it apart. Both the case and dial have been refined as compared to previous generations.

The case has slightly more elaborate finishing, while the dial is decorated with a stamped pattern that catches the light nicely. And that continues right down to details like the the applied markers and date window frame.

All of that makes it a value buy at US$1,000, though the higher price tag means it is not as much of a screaming deal as its predecessors.

Refined case lines

At first glance, the angular case with its wide lugs is reminiscent of the 44GS case, perhaps is the most recognisable Grand Seiko case design. However, the Presage Sharp Edged is not merely Grand Seiko “lite”. With a contrasting brushed top on the lugs, the watch looks sportier and more casual than a Grand Seiko. The contrast between the brushed and polished surfaces are accentuated by the lines of the case.

It is worth mentioning that the bracelet echoes the case design – and is also reminiscent of the Grand Seiko bracelet – not just in form but also in finishing, with alternating finishing on the bracelets links.

Quintessentially Japanese

Case aside, the dial has received an upgrade. Seiko frequently incorporates themes from Japanese culture in its watches, usually through reinterpreting landscapes or traditional themes to create dial patterns.

The latest such design is a geometric motif based on the the hemp-leaf pattern known as Asanoha. Over a thousand years old, Asanoha is symbolises prosperity and health, and is a recurring theme on fabrics and furniture. Notably, the dial motif is not simply printed but stamped to create three-dimensionality, which results in dynamic reflective effect.

Another example of the attention to detail in the new design are the hands, which are new. Wide and angular but with an elegant, pointed tip, the hands look at home with the sporty-yet-elegant case style.

While the highlight of the new Presage is the case style and dial pattern, Seiko has also taken care of other less obvious details, including the case size.

At 39.3 mm wide and 11.1 mm thick, Seiko has reduced the case dimensions compared to earlier Presage watches, which were usually slightly above 40 mm wide. Though trimmed by a tiny margin, the reduced case size should increase the wearability, as the lug to lug span has also narrowed to 47.2 mm – long for a smallish case but still manageable for most wrists.

The brown dial is paired with a rose gold-plated case and leather strap, while the other models feature a steel case and bracelet treated with Seiko’s proprietary “super-hard” coating

Workhorse function

With a running time of 70 hours, the 6R35 movement inside is one that complies with modern expectations for power reserve. And with a water resistance of 100 m, the new Presage can be worn easily on most occasions – a trait that is also helped by the versatile design.

The 6R35

Key facts and price

Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series
Ref. SPB167 (blue dial)
Ref. SPB165 (white dial)
Ref. SPB169 (green dial)
Ref. SPB170 (brown dial)

Diameter: 39.3 mm
Height: 11.1  mm
Material: Stainless steel with hard coating or rose-gold plating
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: 6R35
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 70 hours

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or cordovan strap

Availability: To be announced
Price: US$1,000; or €990

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Longines Introduces the Heritage Military Marine Nationale

A vintage remake properly upsized.

Longines’ momentum with retro timepieces continues with the new Heritage Military Marine Nationale. The new remake is clean and legible, just like its inspiration, which was made for the French Navy in 1947. The vintage original, the ref. 5774, was an instrument for shallow diving – albeit one without the familiar rotating bezel of a diver’s watch that wouldn’t be invented until the 1950s. Consequently, it was a clean and legible watch, and so does the vintage reissue.

Initial thoughts

The Marine Nationale recreates the feel of the original quite well, despite being substantially larger. That’s accomplished by retaining the proportions of the original, as well as smaller but important details, like the shape of the seconds hand and the vintage logo on the dial. And thankfully there is no date to ruin the symmetrical dial.

Like most of Longines’ other remakes, the appeal of the Marine Nationale lies in its affordable price of US$2,000, which is strong value especially given the upgraded ETA movement within.

The only weakness of the Marine Nationale – especially given it is a remake of a dive watch – is the minimal water resistance of just 30 m.

Subtle reworking

At 38.5 mm wide, the Marine Nationale is relatively small by modern standards, even though it has been significantly enlarged from its original’s 33 mm diameter. That said, the size of the remake is good, especially coupled with the relatively thick case, which preserves the proportions of the original. As is the case with many vintage watches that are smallish yet thick, the aspect ratio of the case has a sturdy feel that evokes a bit of romantic nostalgia.

The height of the case can be attributed to the “box type” sapphire and wide, double-stepped bezel, which also leaves the dial looking smaller. The vintage proportions are well done and makes the watch visually interesting, since it is distinct from most modern designs.

Similarly, the dial stays close to the original, a faithfulness that elevates its charm. The tone is a warm ivory colour, matched with an unusual dark brown Super-Luminova on the numerals and hands that mimics the look of heavily-aged radium on vintage watches. Beyond the faux patina, the dial is also finished with random, grained finish, which is meant to recreate the aged surface of the vintage original – and no doubt an extra that is polarising.

Modern movement

Powering the watch is the automatic L888.5, which is an upgraded ETA 2982 with a power reserve of 64 hours, compared to the 42 hours of the standard model.

The movement runs at a slightly lower beat rate, as a result of the silicon hairspring. The material makes the hairspring resilient to creep, magnetism, and temperature changes.

Key Facts and Price

Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale
Ref. L2.833.4.93.2

Case diameter: 38.5 mm
Height: Not available
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: L888.5 (ETA A31.L11)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds,
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 64 hours

Strap: Cognac leather strap

Availability: At Longines boutiques and retailers
Price: US$2,000, or 3,020 Singapore dollars

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H. Moser & Cie Introduces the Streamliner Centre Second

A time-only sports watch.

Launched earlier this year after much teasing, the Streamliner chronograph was the first sports watch – with an integrated bracelet – from H. Moser & Cie. The Streamliner design accomplished an unusual feature: bringing to the table a unique case and bracelet style that manages to look at home with other luxury-sports watches, while being distinctive enough to avoid being derivative.

With Moser chief executive Edouard Meylan having revealed additional Streamliner models were in the pipeline, the latest is not a surprise. The Steamliner Centre Second retains the same case and bracelet style of the chronograph, but as a more affordable, time-only watch.

Initial thoughts

Slightly smaller than the chronograph, the time-only Streamliner is 40 mm wide and 11.8 mm high, so it is fairly classical in its proportions. That also means it probably wears slightly better than the chronograph, which was already quite compact despite its measurements. And the striking green fume dial doubtlessly gives the Streamliner Centre Second a good deal of wrist presence.

Priced at a little under US$22,000, the new watch is markedly more affordable, costing half as much as the chronograph. That said, the Streamliner Centre Second is pricey compared to Moser’s other steel watches. While the chronograph was well priced and compelling, mainly because it is powered by the ingenious Agenhor movement, the time-only Streamliner isn’t quite as strong a value proposition.

Streamliner style

Having the same design as the Streamliner Chronograph means the new time-only model possesses the same strengths, but so does the weakness.

The case architecture is thoughtful and attractive; squarish but with fluid, curved edges. Notably, the case flank resembles a sandwich construction with raised top and bottom edges, yet it is actually one piece.

And it has the same bracelet, which is a crucial element of the design. Truly integrated both visually and mechanically, the bracelet flows into the case, which elevates the sporty feel of the watch.

At the same time, the new watch has the same hands, which have rounded tips that lack poise and don’t quite suit the overall style.

Characteristic fumè

The dial is a fumè affair – graduated and smoked – that is now quintessential Moser. More unconventional is the colour, which stands out from the faddish blue dials found in almost all luxury-sports watch. The dial design also continues the minimalist look established by the chronograph, with applied hour indices and a “racing” style minute track.

Visible through the back is the HMC 200 with a three-day power reserve. Dressed up with an 18k gold rotor, the calibre is a relatively new workhorse movement introduced in 2017 in the Endeavour and Pioneer Centre Seconds. While less elaborate than the brand’s higher-end movements, the HMC 200 incorporates several signature features like the double striping for the bridges and moustache-shaped balance bridge.

Key Facts and Price

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Second
Ref. 6200-1200

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 11.8 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 120 m

Movement: HMC 200
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Integrated steel bracelet with folding clasp

Availability: Starting September at retailers
Price: US$21,900; or S$33,000

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