Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation Naomi Uemura SLA069

Honouring the famous Japanese explorer and his first of five iconic climbs.

| By Robin Nooy | 2 min read |
Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver Modern Re-interpretation Naomi Uemura SLA069

Seiko is known for presenting many new models throughout the year, often in special or limited series. Part of the Prospex collection of watches, this new watch honours Naomi Uemura, the highly regarded Japanese mountaineer and adventurer. It’s not the first model dedicated to his achievements, as the Tribute to Naomi Uemura SLA049 and SLA051 were introduced in 2021, all based on the diver from 1970 worn by the man that lends his name to these watches. Now, Seiko returns to this theme with the Prospex 1970 Diver’s SLA069.

Naomi Uemura famously climbed Mont Blanc, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Aconcagua, Mt Everest and Denali (also known as Mt McKinley) within a span of four years, becoming the first mountaineer to reach the top of these five summits. He also made a solo dog sledge run from Greenland to Alaska, which took 18 months to complete. He wore a 1970s diver watch by Seiko during this adventure. Mr Uemura tragically disappeared on the descent of the Denali climb in the winter of 1984 and was never found.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

The 44mm wide and 13mm thick stainless steel case of the SLA069 has the familiar Turtle design of the previous models, with its signature crown guard protruding from the bottom right lug. The bezel and off-centred crown are blue, giving it a very distinct look. The metallic insert is finished in black to add yet more contrast against the blue and silver tones of the rest of the case.

The snow-white dial is constructed using different etching techniques to create a unique texture and imagery. The silhouette of the Mont Blanc mountain range can be seen coming through the snow-like texture. The large applied numerals and sword-shaped hands are finished with LumiBrite, with the seconds hand showing the familiar paddle-shaped tip. A window at 04:30 reveals the date underneath.

Inside the case, we again find the calibre 8L35 automatic, also used in previous 1970 Modern Re-Interpretation references. This has a frequency of 28,800vph, uses 26 jewels and has a running time of 50 hours. It is regulated to run within +15 to -10 seconds of deviation per day. It is hidden from view behind a solid caseback, which along with the screw-down crown, ensures the water-resistance of 200m.

The new Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation Naomi Uemura SLA069 comes on a five-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed big links and polished slender links in between. It’s fitted with a triple-folding buckle that includes a diver’s extension. It is limited to 500 pieces and will be available from May 2023 onwards at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers for EUR 3,000.

For more information, please visit

7 responses

  1. Why does the silhouette feature the Mont Blanc mountain range?

  2. Another winner from Seiko. From the looks of it, the bracelet seems an improvement. That’s honestly the only ding for my SPB149, which has consistently run +5-7 spd for the last 2.5 years.

  3. Are there any functional changes to the Uyehara Tribute Models (SLA 051, SLA 063) – any functional changes (factory regulation, if so… what are the accuracy standards?) – relating to the SLA 069?

  4. Letter to Mr. Akira Naito (President CEO):
    Thank you so much for “awakening” Seiko (especially Prospex), even though news of a potential bank fallout is possible, I “purchased” (put my money) for the Seiko Prospex SLA 069 – Uemura. I many letters to Hodinkee, Seiko, Monochrome, Instagram, etc. I have asked you to implement Seiko-Accuracy and MEMS technology, make it an accurate tool watch, regulate the 8L35 at the factory to optimize its precise nature. Omega has begun to incorporate its new SPIRATE system, measures its accuracy to METAS standards. Likewise, Longines has released the Chronomat and the Majetek (high-beat, chronometer-grade). I am 69 years old, I attended the 1965 World’s Fair, I saw the Seiko Robot, and my Uncle Ted (Teruo) Kojima was an executive with Pan Am. He gifted me an early Sportsmatic 5 Diashock. I still have it. I will proudly wear my Uemura SLA069, along with my SPB153 and SPB239. Thank you Mr. Naito for making my dream come true! I know the Shizukuishi Watch Studio will create a new wave of the world’s finest Dive watches with Imai-san’s Kaizen Principles imbued into its constitution. Long life to Seiko Divers, regulate, improve, win! Dozo yuroshiko!

  5. Ordered this watch, pretty excited.
    It will be released on June in INDIA.
    This will be my first Seiko.

  6. Yes,this is a diver’s watch, and dedicated to Naomi Umera.
    The dial features Mont Blanc because it was Umera’s last solo adventure.
    He was lost in the mountains during the descend.
    So, this is kinda, “a ‘ocean watch’ which embraced the mountain”

  7. He disappeared on February 13th in 1984 while attempting to climb Denali in Alaska, not Mont Blanc.

Leave a Reply