Retro is king these days and as such, almost every brand is releasing watches with a style from the 60s and 70s. Seiko is no slouch when it comes to new models, so they have brought out the Seiko Presage Style 60s, a watch that takes from the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph. Available in 2 different styles (three-hand and open heart) and 5 different colors, I chose this dark green dial with a green bezel, as it is the most casual looking piece of them all in my opinion, and also I am just a sucker for these days for the green on watches. The Style 60s comes in priced at $525 and has a fantastic look about it, but it may be priced too high for some once you see the overall build and specs.
For the most part, $525 is not a lot to spend on a watch these days, especially as a watch enthusiast. This is budget territory for most, so we cant expect insane high-beat movements, or fantastic bracelets, intricated dial work or case finishing, etc. That said, Seiko has been doing a makeover of sorts to their popular affordable lineup, like the Seiko King Turtle I reviewed, and this Seiko Prospex Land is quite the attractive bargain as well, at the same price as this Seiko Presage Style 60s.
Those are very different watches to the one I am reviewing here today, but I still think they are a fair comparison, considering both of those watches I linked to offer more in terms of water resistance, dial work, lume, and overall finishing. I will give you a spoiler for those who are impatient. All the while I was working on this review, I kept wondering, why is this watch so expensive?
I think my biggest issue is the use of the Hardlex crystal. When Seiko released the King Turtle and Samurai, and now this Prospex Land, among many other new lower-end models, and they all had sapphire crystals, I assumed the days of Hardlex at this price point were gone for good. I was obviously mistaken. Now I know many of you out there reading this love your Hardlex and could give a good debate as to why it is such good material and you’ve had yours for years and it’s just fine. That is all well and good, but I will tell you the thing.s
I have owned countless watches with Hardlex over the years. I am going to be 41 this year and trust me when I tell you the majority of watches I could afford when I was younger were Seiko and Citizen. They all had Hardlex and I scratched every one of them, and I am not someone who is hard on watches at all.
2. Competition. Let’s face facts. Seiko is a massive corporation and they sell a boat, no a cruise-ship load of watches every year, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t pay attention to the competition. If a microbrand, with limited funds and resources compared to a behemoth like Seiko, released a watch at this price with a mineral crystal, the watch community would go nuts. So why should Seiko get a pass?
The Seiko Presage Style 60s does offer the retro look as far as the dial, hands and indices, and overall case shape, but if they used a chronograph for inspiration, I am not sure why they didn’t just make a chronograph? Maybe they did the research and felt a more simple complication was the way to go, who knows. Let me be clear, I really love the overall look of this watch. The dial color is very dark green at times, and honestly, as you can see through my pics and the video, I had a hard time capturing the green, and at times it does look black. Even on the Seiko website, it does not stand out, but when you do get the light to hit it just right, it is a nice shade. The bezel does not really match the dial color, but I am ok with that. I like the contrast and the aluminum bezel insert has this light moss green hue about it that plays well with the yellow numbers that match the faux patina lume of the dial markers and hands.
The case has polished sides and drilled lugs, a non-screw-down crown, because this watch rides the line between casual and dress, and they decided to go with only 50m of water resistance. I think regardless of the style of watch, 100m of water resistance and a screw-down crown would make this watch much more wearable for everyday use. The movement is of course the old stand by, the 4r35, and if you are new to the Seiko world, you would probably know it more by the NH35, or specifically SII NH35, which is just the movement. branded for the rest of the world as Seiko sells a lot of budget movements for use by other brands. I have talked about this movement so much the past decade, I think I say it in my sleep, but it is a very basic movement with poor accuracy, but it is cheap and relatively reliable. This watch is right on the cusp of the price that should use this movement, possibly even above it in this case.
If it sounds like I coming across too harshly, rest assured I am not. This is, after all, a review. If you look at the pictured of the movement above, you can see the end links. These are somewhat common in Seikos undercard lineup and are an improvement over the old days of the purely folded end links, but this is not exactly a completely solid end link either. Because of this, there is a lot of rattling going on when wearing it, and it gives this good-looking piece a cheap feeling.
The bracelet itself is pretty standard fare as well, with a push-button branded clasp, oyster-style links that use friction pins, and all brushed finishing except for the sides.
One pass I will give is the lume. Now, this may sound odd, because why should I give a pass on lume that isn’t so great? Well, in fairness, it is not terrible, but at this price and the style of watch, no matter the brand, I just don’t expect great lume, and so for that reason, I think it suffices on this Seiko Presage Style 60s.
I would hope that many who frequent this website now that I always try to be fair, and even though it sounds like I was overly critical of this piece, I just think I was pointing out the obvious. Any way you slice it, Seiko somewhat dropped the ball on this newest release. The Seiko Presage Style 60s has a great retro-inspired look, a good-looking dial, and some nice color work about it, but the letdown here is the use of a cheaper bracelet and Hardlex crystal.
The price is just too high in my opinion for what you are getting, and I think if they were not going to do the upgrades, $350 seems more in line with what it should be. That said, if you like the look and can live with the rattly bracelet or just want to put it on a strap and do not mind the Hardlex, maybe look for one on sale. I will never disagree that it is an attractive piece. Here’s hoping I can get my hands on the Prospex Land sometime soon, as I feel that watch will hold up to its price tag much better.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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