INTRODUCING: The Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 take inspiration from the break of dawn INTRODUCING: The Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 take inspiration from the break of dawn

INTRODUCING: The Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 take inspiration from the break of dawn

Fergus Nash

Seiko’s attempt to clean up their back catalogue and simplify their product lines may have backfired as soon as they flooded the world with new releases across varying price points, but the Seiko Presage range has continued to be reliably impressive, housing some of the brand’s top finishing and movements. Even within that realm of quality, the previous versions of the Presage Sharp Edge line have been presented as one of the stepping stones between Seiko and Grand Seiko, and these two new SPB361 & SPB363 references don’t disappoint.

Akebono is the Japanese word for dawn, and both of the Seiko SPB361 & SPB363 limited editions use that as their theme. While dawn usually conjures mental images of golden warmth, these Seiko Presage watches are more specifically designed to evoke that moment of first light peeking through before the sun can really be seen, sending beams through clouds and across to the dark horizon on the other side. The dials do a great job of capturing that magical aspect of a sky glowing purple with its soft gradient into darkness, and rose-gold toned hands that represent the dawn sun. The dial pattern is unrelated to the Akebono theme, but all the same its complexity lends a lovely sheen that plays with the light and adds to the overall intrigue. The pattern is called asanoha, and is originally meant to represent hemp leaves for the vitality they imbue.

One subtle difference that marks the Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 limited editions aside from the rest in the Sharp Edge range is the use of trapezoidal indices in place of baton indices, which embody the theme of radiating light from the centre of the dial. While the finishing on the stainless-steel case has always been one of the most attractive features of the Sharp Edge watches, you may assume that a black coating would diminish that effect and make the case feel more stealthy. In fact, the differing surfaces engage light in diverse enough ways that all of those sharp edges are still very much defined, allowing the case’s geometric aggression to survive. The black is also topped with Seiko’s proprietary super-hard coating, ensuring that your nice dark finish isn’t going to get nasty scratches or chips.

Taking a closer look at the Seiko SPB361, the watch is larger to accommodate the extra subdials for the pointer date and power reserve indicator, as well as the general sportiness from the 24-hour bezel. At 42.2mm across, it has a 49.2mm lug-to-lug length and a 13.7mm thickness ensuring a good balance between wearability and beefy presence. One of the watch’s most impressive features is the inclusion of the calibre 6R64 movement — a true traveller’s GMT with an independently adjustable hour hand, a 4Hz beat rate, and a power reserve of 45 hours as shown on the dial.

The Seiko SPB363 does a fantastic job of capturing the same sportiness and Sharp Edge character of the GMT, while reducing the size and simplifying matters for those who prefer something a little bit more contained. The diameter is a wrist-friendly 39.3mm, with a 47.2mm lug-to-lug and a thickness of only 11.1mm, which is pretty slender for an automatic Seiko. Visible from the caseback is the calibre 6R35, lowering the beat rate to 3Hz but lengthening the power reserve to 70 hours. It also features a traditional date wheel in place of the subdial, with a black wheel neatly framed in both white and rose gold.

The Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 Limited Editions pricing and availability:

The Seiko Presage SPB361 & SPB363 Limited Editions are each limited to 2000 pieces worldwide, and are now available from Seiko’s online or physical boutiques. Price: AU$2,150 (SPB361) / AU$1,500 (SPB363)

Brand Seiko
Model Presage Sharp Edge SPB361 / SPB363
Case Dimensions 42.2mm x 49.2mm x 13.7mm / 39.3mm x 47.2mm x 11.1mm
Case Material Stainless steel with super-hard black coating
Water Resistance 100m
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Purple gradient
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Steel bracelet
Movement 6R64 / 6R35
Power Reserve 45 hours / 70 hours
Availability Available now
Price AU$2,150 (SPB361) / AU$1,500 (SPB363)