Comparing three Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Watches
 

Comparing three Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Watches

6 min read
Charlotte Harris

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Seiko

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Charlotte Harris

Brands

Seiko

Categories

Reviews

My first ever “proper” watch was a Seiko Presage Cocktail Time. It’s a collection that always felt well suited to someone like me who loves a dressy timepiece but doesn’t necessarily have the budget to spend thousands on a Rolex or Omega. And it’s definitely not just me with a love of this particular Seiko design. 

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Diamond Twist - Credit Guest Author

In fact, the Presage Cocktail Time has become a bit of a cult classic amongst Seiko enthusiasts. The collection first debuted in 2010 and was designed in collaboration with Shinobu Ishigaki, a world-famous mixologist and the owner of Ishinohana Bar in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Ishigaki used his expertise in crafting cocktails to inspire the designs of the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time watches, with each one named after an alcoholic drink. 

Over the years, the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time collection has become known as Seiko’s go-to line-up for elegant and sophisticated dress watches, perfect for the ambiance of cocktail parties – no doubt as the Japanese watchmaker intended. And as is typically the case with Seiko, the offerings are not sparse. There are cases as dainty as 30mm and others reaching the 40mm mark, textured dials in every colour imaginable and displays that include simple time-and-date only function, power reserve indicators, skeletonised apertures and more.   

Seiko Cocktail Time CollectionSeiko Presage Cocktail Collection - Credit Guest Author

 
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Since the collection is rather expansive, we thought a great way to introduce some of the line-up to our readers was to compare three Seiko Presage Cocktail Time models in three different sizes. So today, we’re getting hands-on with the 30.3mm two-toned “White Lady” SRE010J1, the mid-size 33.8mm rose gold-plated “Bellini” SRP852J1 and the larger 40.5mm full stainless steel “Skydiving”. 

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist SRE010J1 

The smallest and interestingly the most expensive out of today’s trio is the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist under reference SRE010J1. This is actually my personal watch and it’s one I wear more than any other in my collection. I have a reasonably small five-and-a-half inch wrist and on those occasions where I want to wear a smart watch that feels almost non-existent (which is basically everyday), I choose this one. 

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist SRE010J1The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist SRE010J1 - Credit Guest Author

It is a small watch, measuring to just 30.28mm wide, 10.89mm thick and with a lug-to-lug width of 36.96mm; it’s definitely one for those that like cute and dainty dress watches. It comes with a lovely two-toned case machined from stainless steel with yellow gold plating added to the bezel, crown and middle links of the five-row link metal bracelet. There’s also box-shaped Hardlex crystal glass and a 50 metre water resistance. 

One of the many reasons I fell in love with the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist watch was for its dial. As you’ll soon see, the Cocktail Time dial is typically executed with a prominent sunburst decoration, but for this model, the dial has a unique mosaic-like wave pattern. It gives the display an iridescence similar to that of mother of pearl but with a creamier, golden hue. The dial is paired with slim, gold-plated markers and hands that evoke the stems of cocktail glasses and eight diamond dot indices – hence the more expensive price point of £510. 

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist SRE010J1The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘White Lady’ Diamond Twist SRE010J1 - Credit Guest Author

Due to it being smaller in size, the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRE010J1 is powered by the lesser known Calibre 2R05 automatic winding movement. It arrives with hours, minutes, seconds and date function and a power reserve of 41 hours. My only wish for this watch is that the movement was put on display through an exhibition case back, as is the case with most Seiko Presage Cocktail Time watches. Why Seiko chose not to include a glass back here remains a mystery. 

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Bellini’ SRP852J1 

Another stunning example of one of the smaller-sized Seiko Presage Cocktail Time watches is reference SRP852J1 which is suitably named “Bellini” for its champagne dial. Despite only being just a couple of millimetres larger than the above reference SRE010J1, it sits noticeably larger on the wrist and proves just how much difference a few millimetres can make. This time, dimensions lie at 33.8mm wide, 11.3mm tall with a lug-to-lug width of around 41mm. 

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Bellini’ SRP852J1Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Bellini’ SRP852J1 - Credit Guest Author

 
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Other than the case back, the entire stainless steel housing is coated in a warm rose gold plating with bright polished finishing. It has the same slim, downward turned lugs, unassuming bezel and knurled crown with a 50 metre water resistant rating. The case back is also exhibition, showing off the Calibre 4R35 automatic winding movement inside. 

The Calibre 4R35 is one of the better-known Seiko movements and powers the majority of Seiko Presage Cocktail Time watches in the collection. It’s a true tried-and-tested workhorse offering a 41 hour power reserve and an accuracy of -35 to +45 seconds per day. The finishing of the movement is relatively basic, but the yellow gold rotor has some nice open work detailing that adds to the watch’s delicate and dressy personality. 

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Bellini’ SRP852J1Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Bellini’ SRP852J1 - Credit Guest Author

As mentioned, most Seiko Presage Cocktail Time watches feature a distinctive sunray-finished dial and the “Bellini” SRP852J1 reference is one of the same. It’s an extremely eye-catching dial technique and reflects the light in every direction and truly makes the watch appear significantly more expensive than its £429 price tag. The champagne-coloured display is finished with sharp rose gold hour markers and hands and a date window at 3 o’clock bordered by its own rose gold frame.  

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Skydiving’ 

Finally, the last model we want to showcase is the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Skydiving’. This is possibly the one out of today’s three that most strongly embodies the personality of the entire Cocktail Time collection. As it stands right now, most of the models in the series measure between 38mm and 41mm and keep things classic with bare stainless steel cases. That’s exactly the case with this reference; it has a 40.5mm width, 11.8mm height and a lug-to-lug of around 46mm.  

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Skydiving’ - Credit Guest Author

It's still a really nice size for a dress watch, but I’d say it will likely suit wrists of six inches or larger. As mentioned, the entire housing is stainless steel with polished finishing and offers all the familiar specs including Hardlex crystal glass, a non-screw locked knurled crown and a 50 metre water resistance. It is also powered by the same Calibre 4R35 automatic winding movement which is put on display through the case back. 

For the dial of the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time ‘Skydiving’ watch, the light blue sunray-finished décor is inspired by the skydiving cocktail which has its own delicate blue hue. Once again, the faceted finishing reflects the light wonderfully and makes room for the sharp and polished hands and hour markers. A nice touch on this reference can be seen on the seconds hand which is finished in a navy blue and not silvered like the rest of the hardware. 

Seiko Cocktail Time CollectionSeiko Cocktail Time Collection - Credit Guest Author

Hopefully this has helped give you a general overview of what’s on offer in the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time collection. As you can see, all of the models have a distinct dressy finish, carefully thought-out dials and reliable movements – and all at really impressive price points. If you’re on the lookout for a dress watch for yourself, we highly recommend the Seiko Presage collection as a whole.  

Or if you already own a Cocktail Time model, which one is it, and why did you choose it? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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