The Seiko Presage Automatic Arita Porcelain Dial SPB095J1 is a beautiful watch. Its beauty owes a lot to a porcelain dial made in Arita, Japan. Arita porcelain is legendary and its serene beauty is what makes this watch exceptional. Also, the story behind Arita’s porcelain is exceptional and is a perfect crystallization of the Japanese approach to craftsmanship.
Porcelain making was invented in China a long time ago and for a long time the world was ruled by the legendary Ming Dynasty porcelain.replique bell ross Its reputation in the world was so legendary that the word ‘china’ became synonymous with porcelain in English. However, the Ming Dynasty did as it used to do in the late 16th century, and the quality of Chinese porcelain deteriorated dramatically. Yet it was so superior to European porcelain that European merchants sold Chinese porcelain all over the world along their trade routes and made a tough account.
When European merchants arrived in Japan in the mid-17th century with Chinese porcelain, they were bitterly disappointed because the answer was something like, “No thanks, we’re better”. According to legend, Ming-era potter Ri Sampei, who had been taken prisoner of war by Shogun Hideyoshi on a Chinese expedition in 1599, found kaolin, or ‘Chinese clay’, on the island of Kyushu in Arita. Kaolin makes the porcelain white and can be glazed completely smooth at hotter temperatures. The Japanese decided to start making the finest porcelain in the world. From then on, the Dutch, who had the exclusive right to trade in Japan (the Japanese evicted other Europeans from the islands with the exception of one Dutch trading post), began to bring Arita’s purple-and-white porcelain to Europe where it became inconceivably popular. For a hundred years, Arita porcelain dominated the world’s perception of quality porcelain.
In Japan, rebirth is widely believed. Japanese artisans practice their skills throughout life, as they often believe they will not be ready for their profession until the next life. Perfection cannot be achieved in one lifetime. This dedicated attitude to manufacturing did not disappear even though in China, potters got their lines in order and began copying Arita porcelain. It did not disappear even though in Europe, in Delft, the Netherlands, learning to make porcelain by the same method as in Arita, and shipping porcelain over stormy seas from Japan became unprofitable. The city of Arita, with a population of 20,000, still supports itself with hand-made porcelain, which is widely considered the finest in the world.
The story of Arita porcelain echoes the story of Seiko. When the period of Japanese closure ended at the end of the 19th century, Kintaratt Hattori became acquainted with Swiss watches and, impressed by them, decided to start making the best watches in Japan. After a lifelong dedication, Seiko was born, in whose name the heirs of Kintarō Hattor have continued to make watches. The Seiko Presage Automatic Arita Porcelain Dial SPB095J1 is a watch that is a tribute to the stories of artisans dedicated to quality with their whole souls like Arita and Seiko.
The watch itself is of stable Seiko quality. The pointers are rotated by the Seikon 6R35 inhouse automatic mechanism. The glass is double convex sapphire crystal and the glass back cover allows the machining finish to be admired and the shell is 100m / 10 bar up to waterproof. The strap of the watch is made of crocodile leather and the case has a zaratsu polish branded by Seiko combined with a beautiful satin-polished surface. All the blocks of the watch are of high quality and in place. To be honest, however, it must be said that the specialty of this watch, however, is that porcelain plate, where it is enough to admire even for a longer period of time.
Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, a porcelain master borrowed from Arita Seiko, spent several years (in addition to his lifelong studies) developing the techniques used to make the dial on Seiko. Making porcelain with the precision needed for watches is a tremendous performance. Porcelain is also hardened to be four times more durable than regular porcelain. The board is burned at 1300 degrees, after which they are glazed by hand and re-burned. Arita porcelain was known for glazing, which means that after painting the porcelain, the board has received another layer of glazing, which means that the paint must also withstand the temperatures used in glazing without spreading. The colors of the painting, along with the blue of the pointers, are a reminder of the historical colors of Arita porcelain. The painting is as smooth as a calm water surface on a summer night and carries with it centuries of craft tradition and timeless poetic aesthetics.
Some part of me would have liked to have seen this painting in Grand Seiko, allowing the uniqueness of the painting to come to the fore in even more stunning frames. With this watch, however, even ordinary mortals get to touch the world that Grand Seiko is capable of with its finish.replique breitling The Presage series has got a great addition to their costume watches. The ensemble is beautiful and strives for the same infinity as the artisans who made it in search of perfect skill.