Within its Prospex line (which stands for professional specifications), Seiko has long been inspired by its past glorious watches – most of the time with its emblematic dive watches. This time, however, the brand’s latest historically-inspired model is not intended to explore the ocean’s depths but to follow you in your mountain adventures. A recreation of Seiko’s first GMT watch to feature a rotating bezel, the 1968 Navigator Timer, this new Prospex Land Series GMT reference SPB411 blends modernity and faithfulness.
The original 6117 Navigator Timer, which is said by the brand to have been created in 1968, is a classic design and one that felt perfectly within its times. It used a barrel-shaped case topped by a rotating 24h bezel, a crown at 4 o’clock and a brushed grey dial with blocky applied markers and some colourful accents.
Even though not named Navigator Timer anymore, the new Prospex GMT SPB411 can’t hide its lineage. It brings back most of the design elements of this late-1960s model and blends them with modernity. A good point, however, the Japanese brand has respected the original proportions with a rather compact case of 38.5mm in diameter and only 45.2mm in length, which should bring the desired retro look to the wrist as well as comfort. The all-important rotating bezel is back too, with a black-filled engraved 24h scale and a lumed pearl at the 0/24 mark. The rest is classic Seiko, with brushed steel surfaces, protected by a Super-Hard coating, with a screwed plain steel back, a box-shaped sapphire crystal and a solid 100m water-resistance.
The same retro feel has been carried on the dial, with a mid-grey sunray-brushed base and textured applied markers. The dial is framed by an inner flange with minute scale and LumiBrite dots. It’s a bit sad that Seiko doesn’t bring back the Navigator Timer mention at 6 o’clock but the rest is nicely executed and relatively faithful. Even the short, red-painted GMT hand is back from the past, giving some charm to this model despite its questionable legibility. Note that, as with most mid-range GMT watches from Seiko, this SPB411 is an office-like dual-time watch with the 24h hand adjusted independently.
Inside the case is the in-house automatic Calibre 6R54, running at 3Hz and offering a solid 72-hour power reserve. The final touch comes from the period-correct 5-link stainless steel bracelet, with its distinctive look. It is closed by a three-fold clasp with push button release.
Available as of November 2023, the Seiko Prospex Land Series GMT ref. SPB411 is a limited edition of 4,000 pieces. It will be priced at USD 1,500. For more details, please visit www.seikowatches.com.