Last year, around this time, Seiko introduced the Presage Blue Enamel Limited Edition SPB069 – a watch inspired by Japan’s everlasting fascination with the moon. Following the success of this model, the Japanese brand is now proud to present another moon-inspired piece – the Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri Limited Edition: SPB085. To create the watch’s dial, Seiko’s artisans used one of the most complex lacquer techniques of all, Byakudan-nuri. This traditional technique has been used for centuries to decorate Urushi lacquer and, because of the complexity involved, was only used in places and on objects of high status such as temples and shrines.
Featuring deep tones of black and red, the dial of the new Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri Limited Edition: SPB085 evokes the atmosphere and feeling of the moon against the night sky as dawn approaches. To create this atmosphere, Seiko’s craftsmen used a combination of several traditional techniques. First, the dial was made with the traditional Urushi technique in which black lacquer is hand-painted onto the metal base of the dial, dried and then polished. This step was repeated several times until the artisan achieved the exact depth of black that he wanted. The next step involved the Byakudan-nuri technique in which the artisan, using a new layer of Urushi as the binding agent, sprinkled the sub-dials with a layer of very fine metallic powder. The entire dial was then repeatedly painted with a red semi-transparent Urushi lacquer and then each new layer was dried and polished several times.
The final touches on the dial were made using the technique called Maki-e. Representing the moon, the crescent shaped power reserve indicator was first coated with a layer of Urushi lacquer. Using this lacquer as an adhesive, the artisan then applied gilt-colored powder to the moon. After dispersing the powder evenly across the surface, he then used his own specially chosen material to finish the surface. The end result is an indicator that’s not only shaped like the moon, but also has its shimmering, granular texture and beautifully contrasts with the smoothness of the sky against which it stands out. The Maki-e technique was also used for the crescent shaped tip of the second hand.
The new Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri Limited Edition: SPB085 is housed in a 40.5mm stainless steel case. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and features a transparent sapphire case back. The glass itself features a crescent shaped decoration which was affixed by vapor deposition. Ticking inside the timepiece is Seiko’s Caliber 6R21 with 29 jewels. This self-winding movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers a power reserve of approximately 45 hours. Completing the watch is a stylish black crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release. The timepiece comes in a special paulownia wood presentation box.
Limited to 2,000 pieces, the elegant Seiko Presage Urushi Byakudan-nuri Limited Edition: SPB085 is now available at selected Seiko outlets worldwide. The watch retails at $2,500.