Seiko 4R57 Cocktail Time – SSA343J1

I did a comparison of the 4R35 Seiko Cocktail Time, SRPB47J with its 6R15 predecessor, the SARB065 when it was launched in May 2017. A month later, the 4R57 version was launched and I thought it would be nice to take a quick look and share my views of this watch here on my blog. The specimen I have here is the SSA343J1 which has the same light blue dial colour as the SARB065 that everyone is familiar with.

The 4R57 Cocktail Time was launched in Singapore in June 2017. There is an additional model other than the four that were officially announced and shown on Seiko’s global website (see picture below).

The additional model is the SSA347J1 shown below. It is a bracelet version with dark blue dial

The 4R57 movement is a relatively new movement in the 4R family and it is one that I find more useful than its other siblings if you really want some complications. The other 4R variants either have an open heart or a 24 hour indicator hand which is not so practical in my opinion. The 4R57 movement features a date sub-dial as well as a power reserve indicator. They are useful and do not ruin the layout of the dial.

Since it is relatively new, there aren’t many models using this movement at the moment.

The dial of the SSA343J has the same sunburst texture as the other cocktail models. This model however has a power reserve scale running from the 12 o’clock position to the 4 o’clock position. As you hand wind the watch, the power reserve indicator will move toward the end of the scale. The 4R57 movement has a maximum power reserve of 41 hours.

Another feature that this model has is the date sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. This feature tells the date in the form of a date sub-dial and a pointer. You can set the date when you pull the crown out to the first click position.

Here’s another dial shot that shows the colour of the hands more clearly. The second hand, date point, as well as the tip of the power reserve indicator are painted in blue.

The watch comes with a box type Hardlex crystal and has a signed crown as you can see in the side profile shot below. From this shot, you can see that it is quite a thick watch.

Below is a comparison picture of the SRPB47J and the SSA343J. The watch on top is the 4R35 powered SRPB47J with a thickness of 11.8mm and the watch below is the SSA343J with a thickness of 14.4mm. Both watches have beautiful side profile and crown. Obviously the SSA343J is thicker due to it power reserve indicator and sub dial for date.

The 6R version, SARB065 would be somewhere between the two in terms of thickness. Unfortunately, I do not have the SARB065 to put them together in one picture.

Here’s the thickness of the different versions of the Seiko Cocktail Time:

6R15 version: 13.1mm
4R35 version: 11.8mm
4R57 version: 14.4mm

In this picture, the watch on the left is the SRPB47J and watch on the right is the beefy SSA343J.

This watch is made in Japan as indicated on its caseback as well as its dial. It has a gold rotor which is always something nice to look at. It’s model number in Japan is SARY081 and I believe they are the same watch since both are made in Japan.

Here’s a picture of the relatively new 4R57 movement found in this watch.

This watch comes with a black leather strap that has glossy surface. This is the same strap found on the 4R version, SRPB43J1. If I have this watch, I would probably replace it with another strap. This strap just doesn’t feel like calf leather to me although it say “Calf” on its reverse side.

This is an international Presage model available at all authorized Seiko retailers. It comes with box, instruction manual and warranty booklet/card from the authorized distributor, Thong Sia Group.

With these papers, you will be able to service the watch at the Seiko service center.

Here are the hang tags that came with the watch. It has a recommended retail price of SGD767.20 (including GST) in Singapore.

Conclusion

For watch lovers, the 4R57 Cocktail Time will feel like a very solid watch when you hold in you hands. On the wrist, it sits tall and has plenty of wrist presence. The date sub dial and power reserve indicator do not make the dial look busy but instead help to enhance the look of the watch. The sub dial at 6 o’clock really suit the style of this watch very well. From far, it looks like a classic watch with a second hand sub dial.

Other features I like include the box crystal and the well finished case. I also find that the hour and minute hands match very well with the shape of the hour markers. They have a rather 3D look and together with the light blue sunburst dial, the watch a sparkling and classy look under certain lighting condition.

The strap may be a little bit of a letdown but it can easy be fixed changing to another strap.

My post on the 4R35 Cocktail Time – SRPB47J:
https://yeomanseiko.com/2017/05/28/seiko-4r35-cocktail-time-srpb47j/

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Seiko SSA343J featured in this post is provided by K2 Watch Co.

845 Geylang Road, Tanjong Katong Complex, #03-K1.

Singapore 400845.

Tel: 6746 0270

 

Note: All photos in this post should not be used for any form of sales or advertising purpose without my permission.

 
 

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5 thoughts on “Seiko 4R57 Cocktail Time – SSA343J1

  1. Love the dial! I wish however the watch was a bit smaller say around 38mm or 39mm. I guess I’m a bit old school but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker. Nice job, thanks.

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  2. Hi, Yeoman! Long time no see!
    (I’ve left the watch world for several years and returned for months)

    I like this cocktail series a lot due to their elegant color and design. However, the “downgrade” of hardlex crystal and 4R movement makes me hesitate to acquire them(though they’re reasonable considering their price).

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    • Yang兄,welcome back. I believe the SARB065 also has hardlex crystal (box type). Seiko usually put Hardlex version of their box type crystal on their 4R and 6R models. They have Sapphire version but they usually put them on high end models like the Grand Seiko.

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      • Sorry for my misleading reply. The downgrade of crystal I meant is comparing the SSA343 to the SSA303(same movement, similar price but different style). Of course the box-type sapphire will cost more, but I am happy to pay the extra cost.

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