Japan is a nation that has deep feelings regarding tradition and culture. These feelings are obvious when you see the way culture and tradition is so deeply woven into their art work. Watchmaking truly is an art. It is much more than the creation of a tool to tell time. It is an expression of art, craftsmanship, and themes. Seiko is Japan’s number one watchmaker, and many of the timepieces they make, blend craftsmanship with cultural expressions with traditional meanings of what it is to be Japanese.
A good example of this is the Presage collection of watches. The collection was launched in 2016, and since then has been expressing Japanese art in its dials. The watch dials have been made using ancient artistic techniques using enamel, lacquer, and other formulas. Now Seiko is releasing a watch bearing a dial made of Rice Cracker material. The watch is named the Senbei.
The Presage collection really is a fascinating take on wrist watches. The line blends elegance with mechanical genius, and flavors the piece with culture and tradition. Shippo, which is enamel, and Urishi, which is lacquer date back centuries in Japanese art. Rice is considered life to the people of Asia, and the Senbei, meaning the traditional Japanese rice cracker, holds deep meaning in the survival of the nation. Rice, and the foods made from rice, give sustenance to the whole of their culture.
Making a watch dial out of very hardened rice crackers is a serious work of art that holds meaning to the people of Japan. To create such a watch dial is no easy feat. The watchmaking engineers at Seiko had to work as partners with a highly skilled and experienced Senbei artisan. The rice cracker dial needed to be stable and usable, while at the same time not losing its authenticity. A perfect balance of rice and soy sauce has to be achieved, and the product had to be perfectly cooked. Then the cooked product needs to be hand lacquered properly.
In these days of mass production, it is very special to have watches such as these that are so hand crafted, and so slowly made to artistic perfection. Three different editions will be available. One is Soy Sauce, another is Sesame Seeds, and the other is Crystal Sugar. These three editions will have dial variants as well. The watches will all come with a 40 millimeter diameter, and will be powered by the caliber 6R27 movement. Please go to seikowatches.com for more information.