HANDS-ON: Everlasting glory – the Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual HANDS-ON: Everlasting glory – the Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual

HANDS-ON: Everlasting glory – the Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual

Felix Scholz

If you’re a regular reader of Time+Tide it should come as no surprise to learn that I’m a fan of Seiko. Honestly, I think anyone with a more than passing interest in wrist-based timekeeping should be, as there are few brands that offer the sort of vertical integration that the Japanese manufacturer is capable of. If I had to narrow my appreciation for the brand down to two things, I’d have to say it’s their ongoing quest for perpetual accuracy (as evidenced in their innovations in quartz, Spring Drive and Astron technologies), as well as their unique approach to design. Both these traits are very much in evidence on the Premier Kinetic Perpetual, both the steel (SNP139P) and the limited edition Novak Djokovic (SNP146P).

As you might have surmised from the headline and the dial layout, this Seiko is a perpetual calendar. And while it’s not an incredibly complex (and expensive) mechanical number, it’s also not a straight-up quartz. Rather, it’s a hybrid of the two – a kinetic – meaning there’s a winding rotor behind the solid caseback that provides power to the quartz movement, which is just jam-packed full of calendar complication: big date, month, leap year and 24-hour indication. It’s a pragmatic and cost-effective way to get a perpetual calendar on your wrist, an approach that’s very much in line with Seiko’s mission to be as accurate as possible, for as long as possible.

Onto the design front. This is where things start getting interesting. Typically this sort of complicated watch is a more dressy affair, and Seiko haven’t strayed too far from this convention, but they also haven’t felt too constrained either. Take, for example, the size: it’s fairly slender at 12.3mm high, but at 42.9mm across it’s on the larger size. Aside from the scale, the style is pretty bold too, with large, flared, mid-century inspired lugs, crown guards and a mix of Romans and applied batons, on a raised outer dial ring. The hands are quite distinctive too, sharply faceted dauphine numbers, with pointed counterweights. Add to this the guilloché dial texture and big date display and you’ve got a pretty striking dress watch, especially in the black and rose gold coated Djokovic special edition.

The straps are interesting too; the steel bracelet is high quality, with a sporty feel. So, too — surprisingly — is the brown alligator on the SNP146P, mostly because the leather is inset into a soft rubber backing, which adds durability and a more casual air.

To me, these Kinetic Perpetuals are all about the intriguing mix — of movement technology, but more so the blending of traditional and avant-garde design codes.

Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual SNP139P and SNP146P Australian pricing

Seiko Premier Kinetic Perpetual SNP139P, on steel bracelet, $1300, SNP146P on leather, $1500