Introducing: The Seiko Presage Sharp Edged GMTs (Live Pics)

Introducing: The Seiko Presage Sharp Edged GMTs (Live Pics)

Quick Take

When you see the new Sharp Edged GMTs from the Seiko Presage line, you may experience a feeling of déjà vu. Have we been here before?

While technically, mechanically, and budgetarily different from a certain sporty travel watch at Grand Seiko, the Sharp Edged GMTs of Seiko’s Presage line pack a similar design punch to last year’s Spring Drive GMTs. I’m thinking of references SBGE257, SBGE255, and SBGE253, as well as the limited edition SBGE263 Eagle. The comparison may be imperfect – some of the colors are not precisely the same, and we are talking about a different level of craftsmanship, but from about ten feet away, I’d call ’em dead ringers. Each of the new Presage models features a date at the six o’clock position and a textured dial modeled after a traditional Japanese Asanoha, or “hemp leaf” pattern.

The new crop of automatic Presage GMTs come with a GMT movement that’s been around for a few years, though this is the first time I’ve taken note of the 6R64. No mere “caller GMT,” this full-on traveler offers independent setting for the local hour – the hallmark of a really useful GMT movement. Pop the crown, move the local hour hand to whatever time zone you happen to be in, and you’re good to go. The seconds hand keeps moving while you set the local time. The dials have applied luminous numerals and hands that call to mind those of Grand Seiko’s classic sport designs.

Initial Thoughts

These great-looking GMTs make a democratically priced watch out of an aesthetic, a set of proportions, and an approach to color that’s been tested among Grand Seiko’s higher-end collector base. The watches you see here are expected to cost about $ 1,400 when they become available in the summer. Given all that goes into them, that feels like a deal.

“Sharp Edged” may evoke an unfortunate quality of discomfort, but the name actually refers to the watch’s flat surfaces and sharp angles, which allow them to reflect light from any angle. The vertical brushing and polished surfaces are bound to draw comparisons to Grand Seiko and its much-lauded Zaratsu polishing technique. Seiko says these highly finished surfaces have a protective coating that’ll safeguard them against scratches. This seems like a good thing, because despite their polished look, they’re the kind of watch I can see myself wanting to wear often and really treating like a sport watch. They’re 100 meters water resistant, and they come with a summer-friendly bracelet – apt since the watches you see here come out in June.

There are four main dial variations in the Sharp Edge GMT, with Japanese names defined by Seiko: Aitetsu, or indigo iron; Tokiwa, the color of evergreens; Sumi-iro,  Japanese black ink; and Hihada-iro, a reddish-brown color first derived from Japanese cypress. The green dial is particularly dark in color. A fifth version, part of an ongoing tribute to the 140th anniversary of Seiko, comes in a light-blue-and-white limited edition of 3,500 pieces. Granted, that’s kind of a lot for an LE, but Seiko’s clearly anticipating genuine demand for all of the watches in this line, including the anniversary edition.

The Basics

Brand: Seiko
Model: Sharp Edged GMT
Reference Numbers: SPB217 (aitetsu, or indigo iron), SPB219 (tokiwa, the color of evergreens), SPB221 (sumi-iro,  Japanese black ink), SPB225 (hihada-iro, a reddish-brown color first derived from Japanese cypress), and SPB223 (blue and white limited edition).

Diameter: 42.2mm
Thickness: 13.7mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: blue, green, red, brown, or white
Indexes: Applied
Lume: Yes, LumiBrite
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel

The Movement

Caliber: 6R64
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date (in sub-dial), power-reserve indicator
Power Reserve: 45 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Jewels: 29
Chronometer Certified: No

Pricing & Availability

Price: Approximately $ 1,400
Availability: June 2021
Limited Edition: Only SPB223

For more, visit Seiko.

All photos: Tiffany Wade

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