Every once in a while, Seiko nails it. Even though we’ve been critical of their releases and pricing in recent years, a few gems still manage to sneak by. Much like the Navigator Timer I wrote about recently, this new Seiko Presage SPB411 stopped me in my tracks and the more I dug into it, the more I found myself mesmerized by its history and modern-day relevance. Inspired by the very first Seiko-branded wristwatch, the Seiko SPB441 makes for one of the more attractive limited-edition offerings from the brand this year.
The SPB441 makes a statement with its modest 35mm size and dumps the old wire lugs for something more solid. At a glance, it’s a throwback to the 1924 classic—white enamel dial and elegant numerals. But look closer and you’ll spot the updates, like Seiko’s original font making a comeback. Together with the blued hands, it’s something even I can get behind as someone that doesn’t usually go for these dressy-type watches.
There’s a new twist with four hands instead of three, adding a central second hand and a 24-hour sub-dial to differentiate day and night. Sure, it strays from the 1924 design, but it’s a closer match than last year’s SPB359. Credit goes to Seiko’s new automatic movement making these tweaks possible.
The SPB441’s movement is the 6R5H, a cousin to the 6R51 and 6R55, but with a 24-hour sub-dial instead of a date function. It’s a steady performer with a 72-hour power reserve, running at 21,600vph, and it has a decent accuracy range. And honestly, I think this is fine without a date function. So clean.
This watch is built to last with a 12.3mm stainless steel case, water-resistant up to 5 ATM. It sports a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and Seiko’s “S” logo on the crown and case back. There’s even a nod to Seiko’s founder with his motto engraved on the back. The black leather strap keeps it vintage.
Priced at $1,900, just a bit more than last year’s anniversary model, it’s a fair deal for a limited edition. With only 1,000 pieces available, it’s a race to grab one. It comes in a classic box with a Seiko pin badge, hitting the shelves in January 2024. Check Seiko’s website for more.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.