First, we had the Limited Edition ‘Moonlit Night’, and now we have a brand new Limited Edition porcelain dial model inspired by Suigetsu, a Japanese tradition which celebrates the beauty of the moon reflected in water. If you needed another reason to be entranced by this stunning, liquid white porcelain dial, there it is – a poetic backstory.
Seiko have pursued excellence in dial making for decades, with their skill in ceramics being widely regarded as unparalleled. Japan is a country that has been extremely well known for high-quality ceramic crockery and vases for hundreds of years, so it’s not surprising that the Seiko craftsmen excel in porcelain and enamel dial making. This is exactly what we are getting with the new limited edition Seiko SPB171, with an Arita porcelain dial.
Arita is a small town in the south-western part of Japan that came to prominence when porcelain clay was discovered, something it is still known for today. Seiko has leaned on this expertise in its dial making before, specifically for another member of the Presage family, the Seiko SPB093, another example of a beautifully executed hand-finished dial. The process to produce such a dial is done over several steps, all of which have been perfected by Seiko mastercraftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, who oversees the production of this type of dial at the manufacture.
The first step is mixing the porcelain slurry, before moulding it into the correct shape and dimensions, and then finally firing and glazing the dials. Each step has its own challenges, with many dials failing to pass the firing process due to the extreme heat stress that the dials must endure to be complete. The almost liquid sheen of the surface of the Seiko SPB171 is testament to the skill of the craftsmen behind this type of dial process.
The pure white of the porcelain dial stands out from the 40.6mm stainless steel case of the Seiko SPB171, the heat-blued steel hands reflecting slightly against it in a way that offers a touch of colour, and reminds of the blue and white motif of other Japanese ceramic work. The case is 14.1mm thick, and offers a genuinely practical 100m of water resistance — enough to allow any water to accidentally interact with the movement. The movement in question is the Seiko in-house 6R27, which offers additional date and power reserve indicators as well as the time. The power reserve will deliver 45 hours before needing to be rewound.
Tastefully matching the evenly blued hands is a blue crocodile leather strap, with a folding clasp to fasten the watch to your wrist. As the process behind the dial of the Seiko SPB171 is challenging to say the least, it is limited in production numbers, with only 2000 pieces to be produced worldwide.
Seiko SPB171 price and availability:
The Seiko SPB171 is AUD$3200 and will be available from July 2020.
For more details visit the Seiko Online Boutique.
Made in partnership with Seiko. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.