Thursday, 28 April 2016

Time Less - Alba Riki Watanabe AAAA101

This watch is a strange blend of Japanese and Bauhaus design, wrapped tightly around the venerable 7s26 Seiko movement. It's tiny, but wears large. It mixes minimalist industrial design with the zen of a raked gravel garden. It has cantilevered, diving board hour markers!

Designed by the now deceased Riki Watanabe, this little 38mm watch is loaded with beautiful details. The watch hands appear to sweep circles in the radially textured face. The hour markers hang precariously over the edge of the minute hand's arc, casting offset shadows across the dial.

The stainless steel case is, unlike most of my Seikos, entirely mirror polished. The fine lugs blend into a case body so small it appears to have shrunk-fit onto the movement within, causing the Hardlex crystal to bulge outwards in a high dome.

The display case-back appears similar to many Seiko 5 models, and the movement, though labelled otherwise, is identical. This view shows just how small the outer diameter of the case is when compared to the rear gasket.

And yet, because it's all dial, it wears significantly larger than the specs would suggest. Here it is next to the venerable SNZH57, a watch thought of as significantly larger.

I love this watch, it's a far more modern alternative to the classic Seiko "cocktail time". My only regret is that i didn't also buy the amazing AAAA105 variant at the same time.

After their fairly small initial run, these beautiful watches were discontinued, and are now incredibly hard to find. If you're selling one of these, or know of anyone who is, PLEASE contact me!

Like this? See more of my Time Less series!