The Seiko Urushi Presage SARX029: A standout value dress watch

Many of us don’t have many occasions to wear a suit, let alone a dedicated dress watch. But even in our casual society, we do need a great suit and, if you believe in rules of style, a dress watch that isn’t a smaller sport watch. While I won’t get into the strict definition of dress watch, let’s just leave it at it’s nice to have a more formal looking watch for those occasions that may be more serious or business. I saw a red-bezeled Black Bay at a funeral not too long ago, and while no one else probably noticed, that watch did seem out of place during an occasion where not drawing attention to oneself is a good idea.

Nowadays when it’s acceptable to wear sneakers and jeans to the office, it’s tough to justify adding a true dress watch to your collection. Fortunately, there are some “dressier” watches that are relatively affordable and interesting enough to add to a rotation. One standout, in particular due to its enamel dial, is the Seiko Presage SARX029 priced at under $1,000.

Photo by Seiya Japan

At 40.5 mm wide and 12 mm thick, it’s on the big side for a watch in the dress category. That’s also a strength in that you can wear it jeans and T-shirt easily too. The details—the deep black lacquered dial, the gold hands and date window  frame, and gold stitch accented crocodile strap—give this conservative design a touch of spice that makes ownership more enjoyable. Most of us revel in the finer points of what’s on our wrists.

The movement is a pedestrian 6R15 spec’d on less-expensive watches, but it’s more than capable and is inexpensive to service or replace. The value here is the craftsmanship of the Urushi dial and its overall harmony with the other elements such the svelte Roman numerals and nicely shaped case.

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