The Seiko Presage Style 60s SRPG05J1 and SRPG09J1 mix crazy value with vintage panacheThor Svaboe
On paper, the new Seiko Presage Style 60s collection is purportedly based on the Japanese brand’s first 1964 chronograph. But after setting this scene, Seiko quickly deviates from the script in an intriguing direction. The Style 60s, you see, are actually suave, three-hand watches with no stopwatch function or sub-dials. Seiko has also added a 60-minute bezel reminiscent of a vintage Seamaster 300, but in a dressy 50m depth rated case that feels sleek and refined.
So while some of you might feel a bit confused, for me it’s a case of ordering my favourite cake and enjoying every last piece. That’s because I can happily admit to being a desk diver, a term explained here as “someone who never takes his watch into the water and only wears it in the office”. Guilty as charged.
The Cases and Straps
And while the Style 60s is no desk diver per se, it has more of that sort of formal elegance about it than the chronograph from which it took its inspiration. Personally, I enjoy the sharp mid-century sports watch style that this watch conveys, as cool with a denim shirt as that crisp white number you save for parties. It’s an image that says I enjoy suiting up, but would be ready to jump in a small jet for a dive off a reef in the Pacific. Sure, that’s never actually going to happen, but the Presage Style 60s is all about a vibe, and it’s strong. The case shape? Pure sixties round, tight of form with angular lugs that work as a perfect counterbalance to the circular case.
The blue dial version SRPG05J1 has nailed a smooth navy dial colour, and sits on a smooth bracelet, a pared-down three-link brushed affair that tapers in nicely. The black dialled SRPG09J1 has a more casual, cool feel on its sturdy NATO strap, ready to be strapped on for whatever you feel like, whether it’s under a chunky knit for a ramble in the woods, or a summer tee. At 40.8mm with a mere 12mm thickness, the classic shape of both versions sit smooth and low on the wrist.
The delightful gilt markings on the slim bezel of the black SRPG09J1 strike that delicate balance of sports and elegance, matching the cream lume touches to the dial. I can see how this would look damn fine on the bracelet, so I’d almost be tempted to tell you to buy both and swap out the bracelet and NATO at your whim and fancy.
As with many Seikos, the case is superb, but the dial details are what for many will make the watch. The navy SRPG05J1 dial is a just-so colour that will even work in a very formal context with its slim case, while the vintage touch is more pronounced in the black dial SRPG09J1. The semi-matte black surface is anything but minimalist, and stays true to the original 1964 inspiration. Seiko’s pure dedication to the art of dials always seems to come through in an almost visceral way with the brand’s vintage inspired watches and this is the perfect example of elegance with attitude, the sharp sword hands bringing a sense of early ’60s savoir faire
As dial details go, the twin indices are bevelled and polished almost to a Grand Seiko level and offer a match for sports watch references that are five times the price. A tidy framed date window might have been more elegant with a matched background, but look at any sixties icon and it’ll be white because the date is there to be read, and here it looks just right as a contrast on the navy blue dial.
The black dialled SRPG09J1 has a matched black date window, and while looking perfectly fine on the NATO strap, my inner (and rather loud) strap-a holic can tell just how nice this will look on a bewildering array of leather and suede. The image on the black NATO is nevertheless pure secret agent (whose latest film never seems to get released), with a sense that the light and sturdy NATO is required to keep you agile, should you be required to ditch the tuxedo and steal a jet ski for some urgent pursuit.
At this price point, the Bond-esque daydream becomes reality, with a big brand vintage feel on a very decent budget. The daily wear-reliable 4R35 movement we know from Seiko’s Turtles to Cocktail-infused wristwear, is sturdy and accurate with a 41 hour power reserve. The knowledge that this is 100% in-house makes the Style 60s a perfect blend, a suited-up sports watch with a taste of the sixties.What at first might seem confusing simply gels into a very tempting package, and one that I can’t take my eyes off.
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Made in partnership with Seiko. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.