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The tradition of Kabuki theater inspires two new Presage creations

The tradition of Kabuki theater inspires two new Presage creations

The Presage Sharp Edged Series adapts the traditional Japanese art of Kabuki to the modern age.


Ever since its introduction in 2020, the creative combination of Japanese culture and modern design has been a central feature of the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series. Today, two new creations join this series and pay homage to the enduring longevity of Kabuki, a Japanese form of theater that has its roots in the 17th century Edo period and is still popular today. These watches have been designed in collaboration with Ebizo Ichikawa, one of Japan's most prominent and influential Kabuki actors.

 

Reaching back into the history of Kabuki

The two new creations express the artistry of Kabuki in every detail. The dials incorporate the Japanese hemp leaf pattern known as Asanoha, which has been used in the fabric of Kabuki costumes for centuries. Partly thanks to the popularity and influence of Kabuki actors, the Asanoha pattern has long been highly favored in Japanese fashion and design.

The sharply edged geometric pattern of the dial with its rich Asanoha texture allows the dial to change appearance as the light plays across it at different angles.

The dial’s reddish-brown persimmon color is known as Kakiiro, which is a traditional Japanese color that originated with the Ichikawa family who first used it generations ago in their Kabuki costumes. This rich color remains a Kabuki favorite to this day. The dial edge is a darker shade so that the gold color hands and indexes stand out clearly.
The watches are offered with a leather strap whose back is also Kakiiro. This is a subtle nod to the Edo period when it was forbidden to wear vivid colors in public and so they were only used on the reverse side of garments.
A scene from a recent Kabuki production with Ebizo Ichikawa in the center of the stage

A sharp and modern execution 

Both watches share the same crisp and angular case design that gives the series its distinctive and modern look. The indexes are textured on the top and polished on the sides so as to create a sharp and contemporary feel. The hour and minute hands are coated generously with Lumibrite to enhance legibility even in dark conditions.

 

Both watches are powered by Seiko’s high performance 6R series movements: the first with Caliber 6R21, which has day, date and power reserve indicators at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions respectively and the second with Caliber 6R35, which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. Each also features a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating and is 10 bar water resistant. The new creations will be available as limited editions of 2,000 from October 2022 at selected retail partners worldwide.

Ebizo Ichikawa sharing his insights in creating the watches’ designs.

Ebizo Ichikawa. Continuing a family tradition.

Ebizo Ichikawa is a prominent figure in the Kabuki world and is also well known for his work in television and cinema. Born in 1977, Ichikawa belongs to one of the most famous lineages in Kabuki founded by Ichikawa Danjuro I in the 17th century. He will assume his family’s distinguished Danjuro stage name, which is considered to be the most prestigious in Kabuki, in November 2022.

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