Seiko SARY005, Presage, Silver Dial
For our upcoming 10th wedding anniversary and Christmas 2012, my beautiful wife gave me this Seiko Automatic dress watch, the SARY005 aka SRP119J1. It is a watch designed for the Japanese domestic market and, to be honest, the photos really don’t do it justice. First, let’s start with the dial.
It is an extremely detailed dial, the center is intersecting circles. Moving outward are concentric circles so fine they looks like the grooves in a compact disk or DVD. They even produce rainbows when twisted in the light. Finally, the minute chapter ring is separated by a precision ring and has a brushed finish. There is a date window at the three O’clock position.
The hour markers are Roman numerals and applied. They are the most clear cut markers I have seen on any watch, with laser sharp edges. They have a mirror polish and stand out shockingly well against the dial. The minute chapter ring uses Arabic numbers every five minutes and they are a subtle blue to match the hands. Between the number markers are six tic marks between two printed rings. These match exactly with the 1/6th of the second sweep of the second hand.
The hands are an iridescent blued steel, Seiko dauphine. Seiko has their own version with the tail squared off. The minute and seconds hand extend almost to the chapter ring, making it very easy to tell the time and are almost twice the length of the hour hand. The seconds hand is stick with a very long tail. The tail ends with a ring which perfectly bisects the transition between the inner and outer part of the dial and add a lot to character of the watch. There is no luminescent material anywhere on this watch.
Next up we have the case, crystal, and crown. The crystal is flat sapphire with what appears to be anti-reflective coating. It is totally invisible at most angles. It is held in place with a very unique bezel I have never seen before. It is narrower at the top and flares out to the diameter of the case. The case is 40mm in diameter, but wears surprisingly small with the very down turned lugs. The lugs are 20mm and are drilled through, making band replacements much easier. I like 39 to 40mm watches, just the right size for smaller wrists. The crown is unsigned, but very easy to wind the watch with. Oh yes, you can actually hand wind this watch. The case is stainless steel, 10 ATM water resistant. The bezel and top of the watch are polished , the sides are brushed from top to bottom.
Continuing to the back and bracelet, the case back is solid stainless steel, screw down, and simply marked SEIKO, Sapphire crystal, Made in Japan with the case number, serial number, and water resistance of 10 Bar. It would of been nice to have a transparent back, but the simple steel keeps the watch thinner and has a timeless quality to it. The bracelet is an elegant brushed and polished affair, with a signed two button clasp. The bracelet also has solid end links, so no squeaks or wobbles there. It is very flexible and comfortable to wear and is only second to my Omega in quality.
Beating at 21600BPH inside the case is a newer in-house Seiko movement, the 23 jewel 4R35. This movement is a descendant of the 7S36, but adds the very important hand-winding and hacking functions. This is an significant upgrade to compete against ETA and Miyota automatics, which can at least hand wind, and usually hack (second hand stop). The accuracy rating is pretty low, but so far I am running a very consistent +9 seconds a day. Power reserve is 41+ hours, same as the 7S series, but at least you can hand-wind it and don’t have to use the backwards pressure trick to stop the seconds hand. I really hope Seiko converts all of their 5’s to this more practical design.
To sum it all up, this is a very elegant, high quality Seiko that moves from being a watch to a ‘timepiece.’ Side by side against my Omega, which costs more than 10 times as much, it looks just as good, or better made. One thing is certain, it is much easier to read and more manageable on the wrist. The styling is a pure, modern dress watch with a definite nod towards Cartier styling. The size is just right and I love wearing it.
Case: 39.5 mm diameter, 11mm thick, Stainless Steel. 10 Bar water resistance.
Back: Solid Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, with anti-reflective coating.
Movement: SEIKO 4R35, 23 jewel automatic, hand winds and hacks.
Other: On solid end link stainless bracelet.