Seiko Presage Studio Ghibli Porco Rosso Collaboration Limited Editions
The Seiko Presage Studio Ghibli Porco Rosso Collaboration Limited Editions includes two models, a fully-integrated chronograph featuring a column-wheel and vertical coupling and a second model endowed with Seiko’s Spring Drive movement.
Seiko Presage is a fascinating brand. It has repeatedly engaged with Japanese artisans, creating wonderful watches endowed with enamel or porcelain dials. The company has also made some incredible fully-integrated chronographs featuring a column-wheel and vertical coupling, the ultimate stop-watch ensemble, beloved by aficionados. Despite possessing an array of desirable traits, the brand’s models have also proved incredibly affordable and represent superb value for money.
This year, Seiko has ventured off-piste, creating two watches in collaboration with the Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. They are inspired by the feature-length film, ‘Porco Rosso’. One model, a chronograph with a black dial (SRQ033), incorporates the Calibre 8R48, once again, featuring the highly desirable combination of a column-wheel and vertical coupling.
The second model (SNR047), sporting a white dial with poire-style hands, is equipped with Seiko’s remarkable Spring Drive 5R65. For many years, Spring Drive was the preserve of Grand Seiko, however, it has recently utilised within an increasing number of Seiko Presage and Seiko Prospex models.
The Spring Drive model harnesses energy using a conventional mainspring. This power is transferred via gears to the glide wheel. Simultaneously, a small rotor linked to the gears generates an electrical charge which powers an integrated circuit and quartz oscillator. Unlike a conventional Swiss lever escapement which has a balance wheel, oscillating in both directions, to and fro, the glide wheel of the Spring Drive is unidirectional. Its rate of rotation is controlled by an electromagnetic brake governed by the integrated circuit.
The central sweep seconds hand moves in one smooth gliding motion, a notable trait found on watches equipped with a Spring Drive movement. Most importantly, a Spring Drive movement delivers a degree of precision that surpasses those movements fitted with a Swiss lever escapement. Seiko states the accuracy of the Spring Drive 5R65 is ± 15 seconds per month.
Both these limited-edition models feature a sapphire caseback, adorned with the Porco Rosso symbol, a flying pig.
The brand’s press release
The artistry of traditional Japanese craftsmanship has been a central feature of the Presage collection since its introduction to the world in 2016. The collection’s wide variety of creations have showcased handcrafts such as Shippo enamel and, most recently, Arita porcelain, which, in combination with Seiko’s watchmaking skills, create a unique balance of beauty and technology. Today, Presage introduces two new watches that reveal a completely different
and more contemporary form of Japanese artistry. These timepieces are inspired by the widely acclaimed feature-length film “Porco Rosso,” created by the famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. Its creations have won the favour of animation fans worldwide for their creative, other-worldly settings, distinctive visuals and masterful storytelling.
One of these films is “Porco Rosso,” released in 1992. The film features an early 20th-century pilot who transforms himself into a seaplane-flying pig, Porco, and makes his living chasing sky bandits over Italy and the beautiful Adriatic Sea. With its vivid animation, the film brings to life the romance of the early days of aviation.
The two watches capture the passion for mechanical engineering and technology that underpin the film and explore the interface between function and design that the film’s director, Hayao Miyazaki, describes through the affectionate way that he depicts Porco’s aeroplane, Savoia S-21. The watch with the white dial carries Seiko’s innovative Spring Drive movement while the black dial version pays respect to Seiko’s contribution to the history of traditional horology with an automatic chronograph.
The beauty and individuality of Porco’s fictitious 1920’s plane, Savoia S-21, are reflected in every detail of the watch. The dial takes its inspiration from the instrument panel of the plane with clear, bold hands and numerals as well as detailed and intricate markers. The white and black dials are made of enamel by master craftsman Mitsuru Yokosawa and his colleagues to create the warm beauty that echoes the feel and texture of the materials used in a 1920’s aircraft.
The “R” emblem on the tail of Savoia S-21 is displayed at the six o’clock position of the Spring Drive watch and at three o’clock with the same colouring as the plane’s tail in the automatic chronograph. This colouring is also subtly integrated into the Spring Drive creation with its white dial, red seconds hand and green power reserve indicator.
Spring Drive and the automatic chronograph – the cornerstones of Seiko’s watchmaking
The white dial watch incorporates Spring Drive Caliber 5R65 which has an accuracy of +/–1 second per day and a power reserve of 72 hours. There is a power reserve indicator at the eight o’clock position and a date window at three o’clock. The automatic chronograph is powered by Seiko’s most advanced chronograph calibre, 8R48, which measures elapsed time up to 12 hours and has a power reserve of 45 hours. In addition to a vertical clutch and a column wheel, it incorporates Seiko’s unique three-pointed hammer and a heart-shaped cam which ensure the perfect and instant synchronization of the hands when the chronograph is reset.
The beauty of the Spring Drive movement is clearly visible through the sapphire crystal case back, as is the Porco Rosso symbol. On the case back itself is engraved, in Italian, a famous quote from the film, “A pig that does not fly is just a pig.”
The watches are offered in a special presentation box, each with an alternative strap and a leather cloth that is marked with the symbol of Porco. One strap is in the vibrant red colour of the fuselage of Savoia S-21 with stitching in red, white and green, and the other is in black with the same coloured stitching.
Both watches are available in the Presage collection from June 2020 as limited editions, 500 for the Spring Drive version and 600 for the automatic chronograph.