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The Cool New Seiko Prospex Black Series SPB253J1, SPB255J1 and SPB257J1 (Live Pics & Price)

A continuation of Seiko’s blacked out series of dive watches, with vintage inspiration.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Robin Nooy | ic_query_builder_black_24px 5 min read |

Seiko shows a relentless push to bring out new watches again and again, and it started off 2022 with a string of novelties already. We’ve seen the return of King Seiko as a permanent collection, a vibrant blue dial for the Speedtimer Chronograph and existing models being adapted into new colourways. Showing no signs of slowing down, Seiko now releases a new set of vintage-inspired dive watches with the Seiko Prospex Black Series Limited Edition SPB253J1, SPB255J1 and SPB257J1.

To get one thing out of the way, this series of watches also includes a fourth model but we’ll address that in a stand-alone article later today. The quartet of watches follow the same principles, but we felt it was fitting to split things up for now. This also isn’t the first time Seiko releases a collection labelled the Black Series, as it has done so in the past with the Prospex Samurai SRPH11K1 and Monster SRPH13K1, and with the Prospex SLA035J1 and SPB125J1.

The Prospex series of watches is home to many recognizable and often iconic designs, and Seiko embraces its historic lineage more and more. The three watches at hand here, the SPB253J1, SPB255J1 and SPB257J1 are derived from various classic Seiko dive watches from the 1960s and 1970s.

Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB253J1

First up is the SPB253J1, a play on existing Prospex 1965 Modern Re-interpretation models, which in turn are modelled after the 62MAS, Seiko’s first-ever dive watch. The 62MAS is obviously a very important reference in the brand’s long and storied history and served as inspiration for a whole range of modern remakes in recent years, like the cool SPB239J1 presented last year.

The Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB253J1 comes in a fully blacked-out stainless steel case measuring 40.5mm in diameter, and 13.2mm in height. The colour pallet mixes in beige, grey and orange, similar to the previous Black Series we’ve seen. It all remains very legible thanks to large indices and hands, with a good amount of LumiBrite. Power comes from Seiko’s Calibre 6R35 automatic, providing a healthy 70h power reserve. It’s worn on a brown textile strap and comes with a second one in black rubber. It is limited to 5,500 pieces and retails for EUR 1,250.

Quick Facts – 40.5mm x 13.2mm – stainless steel case with black coating, brushed and polished – unidirectional rotatable bezel with two-tone grey and orange 60min scale – screw-down crown at 3 o’clock – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistance – black dial with beige LumiBrite markers – black hands with beige and orange LumiBrite inserts – Seiko Calibre 6R35 automatic – 24 jewels – 21,600vph – 70h power reserve – brown textile strap with rubber strap alternative – limited to 5,500 pieces – EUR 1,250

Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB255J1

Second in line is the Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB255J1, taking inspiration from the 1968 Seiko ref 6159-7001. Another important piece in Seiko’s dive watch history, this moves the crown to 4 o’clock, has a larger diameter compared to the 62MAS and pretty much laid the foundation for the brand’s design ethos for dive watches.

The case is again done in black coated stainless steel but measures 42mm across and 12.5mm in height. We again see a black dial with large, applied roundels for the hours and a set of black hands. Contrast comes from the use of different colours for the diving scale on the bezel and the hands for instance. It uses the same automatic movement as the other two, so no changes there. The 6R35 calibre uses 24 jewels and runs at 21,600vph. We again see the brown textile strap with black hardware, and the rubber strap as an alternative. The SPB255J1 is also limited to 5,500 pieces and priced at EUR 1,250.

Quick Facts – 42mm x 12.5mm – stainless steel case with black coating, brushed and polished – unidirectional rotatable bezel with two-tone grey and orange 60min scale – screw-down crown at 4 o’clock – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistance – black dial with beige LumiBrite markers – black hands with beige and orange LumiBrite inserts – Seiko Calibre 6R35 automatic – 24 jewels – 21,600vph – 70h power reserve – brown textile strap with rubber strap alternative – limited to 5,500 pieces – EUR 1,250

Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB257J1

The final limited edition in the series, for now, that is, is the Seiko Prospex Black Series L.E. SPB257J1. This is a direct descendent of the Seiko 6105-8110, which was made famous by being worn in the legendary movie Apocalypse Now, and by US soldiers in the Vietnam war. It was a rugged, reliable choice in combat, and has since served as inspiration for quite a few new editions, nicknamed Captain Willard in the process.

The stainless steel case, coated in black of course, measures 42.7mm by 13.2mm. This sounds like a rather large watch but the integrated short lugs keep it very wearable. Unlike the other two, the crown is protected by the extended caseband from 3 to 5 o’clock. In terms of colours, movement and straps nothing changes between the three. So, again the Seiko 6R35 automatic movement, a brown textile strap and a black rubber one. The SPB257J1 is again limited to 5,500 pieces, yet priced a little higher at EUR 1,350.

Quick Facts – 42.7mm x 13.2mm – stainless steel case with black coating, brushed and polished – unidirectional rotatable bezel with two-tone grey and orange 60min scale – screw-down crown at 4 o’clock with crown guard – sapphire crystal – 200m water-resistance – black dial with beige LumiBrite markers – black hands with beige and orange LumiBrite inserts – Seiko calibre 6R35 automatic – 24 jewels – 21,600vph – 70h power reserve – brown textile strap with black rubber strap alternative – limited to 5,500 pieces – EUR 1,350

For more information, please visit SeikoWatches.com

https://monochrome-watches.com/2022-seiko-prospex-black-series-spb253j1-spb255j1-spb257j1-hands-on-price/

6 responses

  1. Cool watches, colorscheme works well!
    Own a SPB143J1 myself (with a slightly misaligned bezel ofcourse) which I find more endearing and closer to the 62MAS.
    Wouldn’t pay full retail for it though.

  2. All seiko ‘new’ release are nothing to be excited about anymore, a change of color with a different strap and call it a new watch. Nothing special.

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  3. Can’t comment on the black coating because I don’t know. But I do own the SPB149 with no misalignments, blemishes, no flaws whatsoever. Seems we only hear from those who are less than satisfied which isn’t fair to the brand. These black series watches are gorgeous.

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  4. 30-42mm. Too tiny. It’s gotta be 44mm+ or I feel like I’m wearing a child’s watch.

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