At Baselworld 2017, Seiko offered up a menu of colorful new models in its all-mechanical Presage collection, with dazzling dials inspired by classic cocktails (I review the Martini-dial model here). This winter, the Japanese brand invites us to belly up to the bar for a second round, introducing a pair of new Presage timepieces designed to evoke two cocktails invented by master mixologist Hisashi Kishi, owner of the Star Bar in Tokyo’s world-famous Ginza district.
Each of the two new models is available in two references, one a simple three-hand with date (powered by Seiko’s Caliber 4R35); the other with a date subdial at 6 o’clock and a peripheral power-reserve display with a cheekily designed indicator hand in the shape of a martini-glass stem (powered by Seiko’s Caliber 4R57; both are automatic movements with 41-hour power reserves). One of the new models has a deep blue dial with a cloudy, radiating motif that is designed to evoke the tiny bubbles in Kishi’s Starlight cocktail, which itself is mixed to resemble a starry night sky. Kishi, a winner of the International Bar Association World Championships, achieves the distinctive look by shaking the cocktail’s ingredients in their mixer in a special manner he refers to as an “Infinity Shake,” which creates the sparkly, bubbly effect. The dial’s blue color is continued on the calfskin strap.
The other new Presage evokes Kishi’s Sakura Fubuki cocktail, which he created to “express the beauty of cherry blossoms in the spring breeze.” The intricately textured, pink-tinted dial captures the look of the cocktail, which mixes gin with sweet sake and tops it off with grains of malted rice that float on the surface like freshly fallen, full-bloom cherry blossoms (known as sakura in Japanese).
As with the eight other “Cocktail Time” pieces that preceded them, the new Presage watches’ dials feature seven layers of gloss finishing to achieve their eye-catching, richly textured look. The 40.5-mm cases are made of stainless steel and topped by a box-shaped crystal made of a proprietary Seiko material called Hardlex. A specially sculpted crown helps ensure the case’s 50-meter water resistance, and the movements, on display through a clear caseback, are magnetic-resistant to 4,800 A/m. Prices are astonishingly reasonable — 420 euros for the three-hands, 550 euros for the power-reserve models — but you may have to jump on a plane to get one, as Seiko will not be releasing these particular Presage watches in the United States.