Traditional Japanese Craftsmanship Meets Seiko’s Contemporary Design

Traditional Japanese Craftsmanship Meets Seiko’s Contemporary Design

Vintage Seiko is a topic we cover very often, however, there is a recent Seiko release inspired by its long traditional design and beauty of Japanese art pieces that I would like to highlight with all of you this week.


From the Seiko Presage line, over the last few years, it has become a favorite among collectors for the incredibly high-quality craftsmanship found in their dials and cases, far exceeding the level of what you’d expect of watches in their price range. Unlike other Seiko’s product line, Presage has been a showcase for uniquely Japanese craftsmanship in various life area, and also a vehicle for promoting Seiko’s long watchmaking history.



This week we will highlight their new release in the line-up, reference SJE081. As most Seiko enthusiastic may have noticed, the dial layout has drawn its inspiration from Seiko’s first wristwatch, the Laurel from 1913. The red 12 from the Laurel design have been in part of the Presage line for quite some time, but for the first time, it is highlighted in Gold with a contrasting black dial finish. This combination has shown a contemporary approach paying tribute to the traditional design.


The dial finishing is the main highlight of this watch, the dial finished using Japanese’s traditional Urushi lacquer technology with a history dating back thousands of years in Japan. Lacquer is a material derived from tree sap that’s used to protect an object (often made of wood) by coating it in several layers of lacquer over a period of many weeks, and then polishing and decorating it. The technique of Urushi lacquer is extremely high and extremely time-consuming, therefore they are usually found in the decoration of Temples, Samurai’s shield and the daily wear of ancient Japanese shogun.


A dial for the Presage is hand painted and hand polish by master Isshu Tamura, it offers a unique texture that no other modern painting can match. (Strongly encourage you to check one out in person in any Seiko boutique near you)

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 39.5mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Movement: 6L35
  • Reference Number: SJE081
  • Expected Release: April


There is however one small thing I think the watch can improve. The watch housing a 6L35 movement with a date complication, that means opening up a window for showing the date. For a watch with such a high-quality finishing dial, I think Seiko should preserve the dial as the contemporary date window does not match the traditional hand-painted dial that much.


That’s just my own thought, all in all, the SJE081 is still an amazing watch with exceptional finishing and design. And we truly appreciate how Seiko try to blend in their countries tradition into their wristwatch design and show the world how amazing Japanese craftsmanship is.


Cheers, and see you next week!

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