Hello again, folks! It’s been quite some time since I’ve purchased a new timepiece (at the time I started writing this), as I have been carefully weighing my options on which one I’d rather purchase next. I find it rather amusing that most people think a watch collector just goes nuts and buys any old watch that they think looks cool without any rhyme or reason; in fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. Anyway, I’ve actually had this piece for over six months now and I’ve been meaning to write a review and share it with you after wearing it for the first month. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite busy; however, an over six month review is better than just a one month review, is it not?
So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce to my collection my new—well, maybe not so new anymore—Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition (Ref. SPB073).
The Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition comes in two variations, by the way, one that is a simple time and date (Ref. SPB075) and one that has a power reserve indicator, as well as a date wheel (the one that I’ll be reviewing, Ref. SPB073). Both have a 40mm stainless steel case with faceted lugs (with the exception of the SPB073, as that has a case size that’s .6mm larger). The SPB075 has a 50-hour power reserve and the SPB073 has a 45-hour power reserve. They also both come with a beautiful crocodile leather strap and a sapphire crystal on both the case back, as well as the dial side.
The first noticeable, eye-catching design aspect of this watch is the intricately designed gorgeous blue dial color. This beautiful hue of blue color is achieved by a traditional Japanese enameling art form that was introduced in the 17th century called Shippo, which is a reference to the Seven Treasures mentioned in ancient Buddhist texts. Master craftsman, Wataru Totani, oversees the entire enameling process. The intricate blue colored enamel glaze is painted entirely by hand on the surface of the dial and then fired at 800°C (1,473°F). This process is repeated numerous times until an even surface and desired color saturation is achieved. After the firing process, the wafer-thin disc is then polished by hand until it meets the master’s approval. The particular shade of blue chosen for the dial is inspired from the color of the sea around Hiroshima; the guilloché pattern emanating from the center of the dial represents the continuous motion of the waves, a recurrent theme in Japanese artwork.
So, why did I choose the SPB073 as opposed to the SPB075? Quite honestly, I like power reserve indicators and other kinds of subdials. It’s one of the reasons as to why I’m always attracted to chronograph and other complications (moonphase, subdial date, etc.). Why this watch specifically, as opposed to any other watch I could have purchased? For one, I’ve always been a big fan of Seiko and their movements, mainly because of the fact that their automatic and manual movements are all made in-house. I mean, value wise, they’re incredible because they never compensate in terms of quality. Lastly, I love how exquisite this piece looks! The fact that the dial is hand painted gives it even more character, as each piece will have tiny, minuscule micro-imperfections that makes it that much more different than another SPB073 piece.
The white colored roman numerals applied on the dial, along with the white color of the words “Seiko Presage Automatic,” beautifully contrasts with the blue. Same goes with the white color for the bars on the power reserve indicator, leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, and the leaf-shaped hands on the date subdial, as well as the leaf-shaped hands on the power reserve indicator. The crescent shape added to the base of the second hand is a nice touch that complements the overall theme of the dial. One thing I’ve noticed that I think is absolutely cool is how the crescent on the second hand perfectly aligns with the “o” in Seiko. Whether or not that’s by coincidence, I’m not sure. Either way, I think that just adds to the coolness factor. Also, the blue colored crocodile leather strap pairs with the watch perfectly.
Now let’s get to the rating! As usual, we here at Time of Horology always rate using the x/10 scale, 10 being the highest, of course. Overall, I give the watch an 8/10. The only reason as to why it’s not a 10/10 is because I feel that the movement—as great of a movement as it is mechanically, in-house and all—aesthetically speaking, it doesn’t have a good looking finish. To me, at least, it’s as aesthetically pleasing as any other movement. Other than that, I think it’s a perfect watch for any and every occasion. It serves as a great addition if one is wearing a suit, and it also serves very well if one is dressed causal.
Seiko has only released 2500 pieces worldwide of the Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition, for both variations. It’s definitely worth the buy for watch collectors, seasoned and new alike. Trust me, it does not disappoint!