Sunday, March 31, 2024

Full Circle with the Seiko Presage SPB359

Round the world and home again, that's the sailor's way!

(Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971)

Long before there was a job with Tourneau, a three-year stint with DOXA, the blog formerly known as Tempus Fugit, and now probably too many consulting projects with Swiss, Japanese and German brands to count, your's truly was a semi-freshly minted graduate from the University of Oregon with a BA in English (New World Literature as a focus). It is fair to say I had not figured out what to do with my life.  

Moving to Japan changed my life. I found a career, and I met the woman I would marry. And on a side note, nearly 31 years later, we are still together.

Japanese watches at that time were not really valued the way they are now by the Japanese public and or watch collecting community as a whole. In the early 90s, Japan was very brand conscious, and at least in the metro Tokyo area, Swiss brands were IT. 

I have returned to Japan twice since living there - both times in 2018. And it's funny returning to a place you called home 25 years later. You assume that the people who were there will still be there, frozen in time. The landscape of the city I lived in (Kasukabe), had changed completely. And I suspect that now after an additional 6 years, it's changed even more. But what is curious about memory, is it is often more visceral than anything else. Smells, sights, noises can trigger memories of people and events that you have filed away deep in your personal hard drive, remaining completely forgotten until the switch is flipped.

Seiko came out with the Presage "Laurel" in 2023. It was created in celebration of Seiko's 110th anniversary. It was limited to 2500 pieces. And when I first saw it, it triggered a flood of visceral memories. It brought me back to being 23 years old, trying to figure out how to navigate in a new environment, living in a "newish" city that was still deeply rooted in the past. Old, yet modern, and constantly evolving while never letting go of its history.

I have been tracking the Presage Laurel for the past year and a half. and hitting a personal milestone, the timing seemed right. I love the look and feel of the Laurel. I appreciate the fact that it is, indeed, different. And this, in turn, might be why it did not sell out as quickly as a limited series might typically do. But there are some retail outlets our there who still have them, so if it is in your wheelhouse, I would encourage you to run, don't walk to get one before they are gone.

For those of you in search of the vital statistics:

The case measures 37.5 mm in diameter and is of stainless steel. The movement is Calibre 6R27 which is an automatic movement with self-winding capability.

The functions are hours, minutes, and seconds with a date and power reserve complication. The power reserve is approximately 45 hours.

The dial is enamel - and it is beautiful.

A watch can be simply a way to measure time. But at least for me, the Seiko Presage Laurel is a time machine, taking me back to a place and time I continue to reflect on, uncovering misplaced memories that continue to inspire me.

Enjoy your watches.

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