SEIKO Automatic PRESAGE SARX055 Titanium - All the bits and pieces to make it feel special yet at a price point that does not break the bank, A Review (plus Video)
The Seiko Presage SARX055 Titanium is the latest model by Seiko to come out from the Presage line. A dress watch design, the SARX055 has some of the qualities that mirror the more refined Grand Seiko line of watches. I was very intrigued by the white paper-like dial surface which has some semblance to the famous Grand Seiko 'Snowflake'.
I desired to get the watch through SeiyaJapan.com when I saw it being listed (I was lucky as a few days after the listing, the website announced that the stocks had sold out). The listed price was YEN140,400 (including tax) or USD1,248.16 (based on the the exchange rate on 21 November 2017) but the merchant sold it at USD1,058 or MYR4,623.97. Adding the import tax of a further MYR296.50, total cost came out to MYR4,920.47.
The watch is made out of titanium with the super-hard proprietary surface coating by Seiko called DiaShield. It has been said that it has the hardness of 2 to 3 times stronger than stainless steel. This provides the necessary hardness to the titanium surface to protect it from scratches from normal wear. Meanwhile, the dial is protected by sapphire crystal with super-clear coating surface for anti-reflective and anti-smudging qualities. The display case-back is also protected with the same crystal material.
The design is a very traditional round wristwatch with a crown located at the 3 o'clock position as well as a date aperture at 3 o'clock. Measuring 40.8 mm wide (excluding the crown), the watch has a lug width of 20.0 mm and a lug-to-lug length of 45.0 mm. Thickness is 11.0 mm. Made out of titanium, the overall weight (with all links included) is just 106 gm. The bracelet is able to accommodate a maximum wrist size of 200.0 mm or 7.9 inches.
The watch has finely polished markers and sharply tapered hands. The seconds hand is flame blued. There are sub-second markers on the chapter ring. The date aperture has a rectangle polished frame and the date is black on a white back ground. Only four lines of text are on the dial; the brand name, the series name, the movement type and the manufacturing coding. All are in different font and sizes.
The uniqueness of the SARX055 is the dial texture. It looks like the surface of a white (slightly beige) conqueror paper. It has the same concept as the Grand Seiko ‘Snowflake’ (see: My review of the Snowflake). If you are like me, you would love to see the special dial texture on the SARX055.
The crown uses a push-in system. Despite that, the water rating on the watch is still 10 ATM or 100 meters. It has a nice rounded edge and a large “S” cut deep into the top surface.
The bracelet has a combination of brushed and polished sections. The end-link is solid. A typical link is made out of 5 separate items and this show how intricate the design of the bracelet. The central bridge connecting both part of the bracelet is machined and not stamped sheet metal. Definitely shows quality.
Care must be taken when resizing the bracelet as Seiko decided to use a pin-sleeve system to attach the links together where the sleeve is a very small friction tube than can easily be lost.
As this is a dress watch, the clasp on the watch does not have an additional safety flap as per typical Seiko bracelets apart from the button latch. In the center of the clasp is the brand sandblasted prominently.
The display case-back shows the mid-range Seiko 6R15 automatic caliber with 23 jewels. Introduced in 2006, the movement has hacking and hand-winding capabilities. It features a hacking mechanism and pinned balance spring for adjustability. Thanks to a Spron 510 mainspring, the 6R15 boasts 50 hour power reserve, operating at 21,600 BPH or 3 hertz. The manufacturer states an accuracy rate of +25/-15 seconds per day although in reality, the accuracy is much better straight from the box.
The Wearing Experience
The skin-care "Comfotex Titanium" technology incorporated in the SARX055 was originally used as standard for Seiko Brightz series of titanium watches. This technology allows the watch to be light and allergy-friendly. It has a luxurious feeling to it and tougher to scratch then the typical 316L stainless steel alloy.
Visually, it has the ‘Grand Seiko’ feel to it. Compared to my Grand Seiko SBGA011 “Snowflake”, the SARX055 has very similar design lines. Their bracelets also look similar. Anyway, more about this later.
As a dress watch, this watch is a gem. It wears well and feels like a million bucks on the wrist. The sapphire glass and its anti-reflective and anti-smudging coating make it visually stunning at any angle.
Below is a short video of the watch on my wrist.
Comparison between the SARX055 and SBGA011
The Seiko Presage SARX055 Titanium has been given the nickname “Baby GS Snowflake” in view of its striking similarity to the famous Grand Seiko SBGA011 Spring Drive “Snowflake”. However, is this nickname justifiable? How similar are they? These are some questions that I will try to answer in this next section.
In the table below are some of the basic comparative statistics.
Titanium with DiaShield
Seiko’s patented “High-Intensity” titanium alloy with DiaShield
Flat sapphire crystal
Dual-curved sapphire crystal
W: 40.8 mm
L2L: 45.0 mm
T: 11.0 mm
L: 20 mm
W: 106 gm
W: 40.0 mm
L2L: 48.0 mm
T: 12.5 mm
L: 20 mm
W: 100 gm
9R65 Spring Drive
Date and Power Reserve
From the size perspective, the dimensions are generally similar although the SBGA011 is slightly on the longer and taller side of things. From that point onward, the SBGA011 starts to sprint well ahead of the SARX055.
Visually, one can see why the SARX055 has been given the nickname “Baby GS Snowflake”. In the photos below, you can see how similar the two watches are to each other.
Nevertheless, side-by-side you can see the subtle differences – the shape of the lugs, the hands, the markers, the clasp, the crown etc. Despite that, the SARX055 is an excellent ‘homage’ to the Snowflake and it now gives the opportunity for many fans of the brand that may not be able to afford the SBGA011 with something similar yet inexpensive.
This is one timepiece that has the capacity to impress yet give confidence to the wearer to use it anytime and anyplace. It has all the bits and pieces to make it feel special yet at a price point that does not break the bank.