Seiko’s Presage collection, initially reserved for the Japanese market, has enjoyed a meteoric rise on the global market thanks to its combination of solid mechanical movements, its demonstration of ancestral Japanese artistic crafts and highly competitive prices. Ranging from Arita porcelain and Urushi lacquer to Shippo enamel and patterns used to decorate kimonos in the past, the Presage collection offers a lot more aesthetic pleasure than a classic Swiss three-hand dress watch. The latest Presage model is the Cocktail Time Star Bar (SRPH78J1), a three-hand-and-date inspired by the golden colours of the “Houjou” sake cocktail made by one of the world’s leading bartenders, Hisashi Kishi.
One of the ‘narratives’ in the Presage collection – Cocktail Culture – might not sound very Japanese, but as Seiko explains, Japan’s cocktail culture is an entrenched phenomenon (remember the bar in Lost in Translation?). Like all things adopted from abroad, cocktails are elaborated with a characteristic Japanese twist that is closer in spirit to the ritual of a tea ceremony. In Japan, skilled barmen working in absolute silence prepare cocktails individually, ensuring the perfect mix of ingredients and refined aesthetics. To develop its Presage Cocktail collection, Seiko enlisted owner and head bartender, Hisashi Kishi, of the Star Bar in Ginza as an advisor for its cocktail-themed series. Last year we saw the Matcha and Hojicha models (SRPF41 & SRPF43) with textured gradient dials inspired by the colour of Nippon teas and two models (SRPF37J1 & SRPF39J1) with stamped dials and Milanese mesh bracelets.
Unlike the Cocktail models listed above, the Cocktail Star Bar SRPH78J1 is larger with a diameter of 40.5mm (compared to 38.5mm) and, instead of Arabic numerals, uses sharp, applied indices to underscore its stronger vintage spirit. With a height of 11.8mm and lug-to-lug measurement of 47.5mm, the watch is photographed here on Robin’s 19cm wrist.
The colour theme is golden, running from the gold-plated case to the dial, hands and indices. Using Hisashi Kishi’s “Houjou” sake-based cocktail as inspiration, the dial recreates the colour of the golden fields of rice that are used to brew sake. The subtle crackled pattern can be interpreted as glistening shards of ice in the sake cocktail or the golden fields of rice swaying in the breeze. The faceted indices might not be Zaratsu polished, but they shine like the golden case and play with the light, as do the razor-sharp hour and minute hands. The date window at 3 o’clock has a golden frame, and the applied Seiko logo is also golden to match the warm golden feel of the watch. A box-shaped Hardlex crystal protects the dial for an old-school look; the reverse side has a see-through caseback.
Inside the case is the classic Seiko entry-level in-house automatic calibre 4R35 renowned for its decent precision and excellent reliability. It displays the time via central hours, minutes and seconds hands (the latter equipped with stop-seconds mechanism), as well as a date at 3 o’clock. It features a gold-coloured oscillating weight and delivers a 41-hour power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Presage Cocktail Time Star Bar SRPH78J1 comes on a brown calfskin strap with golden stitches at the lugs and a triple-folding clasp and push-button release. It is limited to 5,500 pieces and retails for GBP 450.
More information at Seiko Watches.