Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Seiko Presage Automatic Blue "Tuxedo" Ref. SARX045 - An Elegant Gentleman's Watch, A Review (plus Video)

I am really into dress watches now. Having tasted the quality and beauty of Seiko's classy dress watches from the Grand Seiko line right down to the level entry Seiko 5 line, my hunger for more is insatiable. While researching the Japanese Seiko website, I came across the SARX045, a watch under the Presage line. This particular model is a JDM hence information can only be found on the Japanese website, not on the global website.

Not a lot has been written and commented on the SARX045. As part of the Presage line under the Prestige sub-category, the SARX045 has a MSRP of YEN70,000 and has a contemporary dress watch design. Made out of stainless steel, the dial is protected by a flat sapphire crystal with inner AR coating. It has a screw-down display case-back with Hardly crystal. It's width is 39.5 mm (excluding the crown), lug width is 20.0 mm, lug-to-lug length is 48.0 mm and a height of 11.3 mm. Although the crown utilises a push-in style system, the watch is still water rated to 10 ATM or 100 meters. Powered by a Seiko automatic 6R15D movement with manual wind and seconds hand stop capabilities, the watch has a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.

This watch has been touted to be one of a few watches by Seiko that has some semblance to the brand's high end series, the Grand Seiko. Otherwise known as a 'Baby Grand Seiko', Seikoholics covet such models as it would give them the opportunity to own something similar to a Grand Seiko at a fraction of the cost. I personally don't buy into this idea. Each watch has its own uniqueness. If someone buys a watch just because it looks like another more expensive watch, this is just the same like buying a homage. To me, the SARX045 has its own personality and should be appreciated as such.

I got this watch from Gnomon Watches out of Singapore. The merchant put in the title "Tuxedo" as one of the references for this watch. Officially, there is no other references provided by Seiko apart from the official designation of SARX045. Like most nicknames given to Seiko watches, it is usually given by fans. I honestly like the nickname given; "Tuxedo".

As highlighted earlier, this watch is designed as a dress watch. With a watch case diameter of just 39.5 mm and a lug width of 20.0 mm, this watch would be able to fit most wrists. It has more angular surfaces, similar to an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which also extends to the vintage "H-Link" style bracelet. The SARX045 is finished in a mixture of satin brushed and high mirror polish finishing.

The SARX045 dial has a sleek, vertical stripes on a sunburst blue dial. This has the effect of making the dial looks either black, blue or even purple at certain angles or different lighting conditions. Everything else on the dial is kept to a minimum such as the minute (and sub-minute micro markers) as well as the hour indexes. The three hands are in the elegantly slim epee sword design which also keeps the dial looking very minimalist. The only text on the dial is the brand and the words "AUTOMATIC". One complication on the dial is the date aperture located at the 3 o'clock position. The date wheel is black on a white background.

Protecting the dial is a flat sapphire crystal with internal AR coating. The watch does comes with a display case-back but covered with Hardlex crystal instead.

Do note that the SARX045 does not come with any Lumibrite paint.

One interesting feature of the watch is the crown. The crown is capped with a dark or black sapphire crystal. This is generally called the "cabochon sapphire" style crown that has been used by Seiko in the Brightz (see my SDGC013) as well as Transocean series (see my SBDC039 and SBEC001) for that luxurious look. Protecting the crown is a crown guard to shield it from possible impacts.

The screw-down display case-back allows you to see the 6R15D automatic caliber clearly. I was made to understand that there is no difference between the 6R15C and 6R15D apart from the production batch. If anyone knows anything, please comment down below. Anyway, the caliber operates at 21,600 BPH or 3 Hertzs and has 23 jewels. It has a power reserve of 50 hours using the  Spron 510 mainspring with hacking and hand winding capabilities.

The "H-Link" style bracelet uses a pin-and-collar retention system to connect the links together. As the bracelet uses Seiko standard dress watch clasp which does not provide micro-adjustment points, the bracelet also includes two half-links for resizing.

The Buying Experience

As mentioned earlier, I got this watch from Gnomon Watches of Singapore. Paid USD570.00 or RM2,376.30. Couriered by DHL, the package came through customs without any taxes. It was also nice of Gnomon Watches to give a complementary signed polishing cloth with the watch.

The Wearing Experience

The watch looks really elegant on the wrist. The sub-40 mm width is the just key to make a watch looks natural on a wrist. The deep blue dial with the vertical stripes and sunburst pattern exudes class and sophistication. Despite the formal nature of the watch, it is also equally equipped to handle situations of a more common nature.

The polished nature of some surfaces of the watch (including the bracelet) as well as the sharp corners and angles does make it easy for the watch to suffer scratches and nicks upon impact. Wearers must be aware of this risk.

Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.


This is another winner from Seiko. Having sharper features makes it standout from the rest of the crowd.

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