Thursday, November 7, 2013

Seiko Ananta Double Retrograde Automatic SPB013J1 - Fabulous Masterpiece From Seiko's Craftmen

Ananta is Seiko's first line of high-end watches. The watches totally changed my perception of the brand, and I think if you check them out they will change the way you look at Seiko as well. They aren't cheap. These watches help propel Seiko as a luxury brand with models that are a more natural step up for most Seiko watch owners. Unless you really understand the significant appeal of the Ananta, moving from the prices you are used to with Seiko watches to the Spring Drive Ananta pieces is hard to do. Seiko realised this and to make the transition financially less stressful, the Ananta series have a number of models that can breach the gap.

What I got is the Ananta Double Retrograde Automatic SPB013J1. This watch has a more conservative and mainstream look than the very sporty Automatic Chronograph model. The bezel is polished and brushed steel. Dial is black with a steel bracelet. There is a black crocodile straps option available.

The watch case has a diameter of 46 mm wide. The thickness is 13.1 mm.

The "Katana" sides of the cases are specially "blade polished". The watch hands also went though the same treatment. These watches have some of the finest polishing jobs I've ever seen on watches.

Over the dial as well as for the display case-back, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment is used.

The watch has three-half dials. The top left is the power reserve indicator. The on the right is the day indicator and the last one on the bottom dial is the date indicator. As the name suggest, it has two retrograde hands that automatically moves back to the original start position once reaching the end of the movement cycle.

The layout is balance and symmetrical. It makes for an attractive, modern, and very Japanese look (for example the retrograde dials look like fans). A good design for a Seiko watch.

The push-in crown is large. You can wind the watch when it is in the rest position. It has two other positions to allow it to adjust. First position from rest adjusts the day and date functions.Second position from rest adjusts the time.

Because it is not a screw-down crown, water rating is just 100 meters.

All the rest of the watch, the crown in finely polished with no markings on it.

In the photo below, note the unique flow of the form between the watch, the main main casing and the bracelet. Just beautiful.

Inside the Double Retrograde Automatic is the Seiko 6R24 movement. It has about 45 hours in energy reserves it its springs. It comes in 224 parts out of which 31 are jewels.

The displace case-back is also uniquely designed. Here you can see the 6R24 and its decorated rotor.

The bracelet uses the three-fold clasp with push button release. The brand is sandblasted on the clasp.

Although the watch looks bulky, it is designed to fit nicely on a wrist. The shape of the casing properly wraps itself on the wrist, hence distributing the weight over a larger surface area.

The lume on the watch is subtle and unlike what you would expect from a Seiko. Twelve dimple lumes are provided to represent the hours and only the hour and minute hands are lumed. In the photo below, this is what you get. Personally, I am a bit disappointed.

Despite the poor lume, this watch is fabulous in all other aspects. The shape itself is a talking point and more than once I was asked about it by complete strangers.

Investment: RM6,128.50 (16 June 2011)

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