Last year, Seiko revisited its first dive watch, the 62Mas, with a truly faithful re-edition, the Prospex Diver SLA017. Alongside this rather expensive and rare edition, the Japanese manufacturer also reinterpreted the 62Mas in a more modern and affordable version with the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB051 and SPB053. This year, we’ll see the same recipe applied to the 1968 Diver 300m. In tandem with the Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025, Seiko is also introducing modern and accessibly-priced versions of the Prospex Diver 200m SPB077 & SPB079.
The inspiration, the 1968 Hi-Beat Automatic Diver 300m Ref. 6159-7001
In 1965, Seiko created its Dive Watch Department (which would lead to the creation of the Prospex standards) and introduced its first professional watch built for divers, the 62Mas or the Seiko 6217-8000/1. This watch would set the tone for the next 50 years and its design and specifications were used as the base for dozens of legendary watches.
In 1968, three years after the creation of the 62Mas, Seiko delivered another impressive and innovative professional diver’s watch, the Automatic Diver 300m Reference 6159-7001. Far beyond a simple update of its predecessor, in just three years Seiko had managed to double the water-resistance, to improve functionality and legibility and to drastically gain in precision. The Automatic Diver 300m was the first hi-beat diver’s watch on the market. Its massive size, its signature design, its iconic gilded accents; all of these factors led to the consolidation of this legendary diver.
The Seiko Prospex Diver 200m SPB077 & SPB079 – The Modern Recreations
For Baselworld 2018, Seiko will present several watches inspired by the Automatic Diver 300m Reference 6159-7001. The first one is a truly faithful re-edition, which not only brings back the design almost 1:1 but also includes, like the original, an ultra-precise hi-beat movement. Alongside this first watch, Seiko will also introduce a more modern, non-limited and more accessibly priced pair of watches.
Two editions, references SPB077 & SPB079, will be offered by Seiko. They share the same case and overall design, with differences on the bezel and the strap. The case of these two Seiko Prospex Diver 200m is crafted in steel and measures a large (yet smaller than the limited edition SLA025) 44mm diameter x 13.10mm thick. The shape is inspired by the 1968 Diver with a few updates visible mainly on the bezel. It is slimmer and available in black or in blue.
The dial is reminiscent of the vintage version but displays more contemporary hands, indexes and textures. The Prospex logo, a hallmark of Seiko’s modern divers, is present at 6 o’clock. Both are water-resistant to 200 metres and have a uni-directional bezel with a 60-minute diving scale. The bezel’s insert is made of aluminium.
The SPB077 & SPB079 models of the Seiko Prospex Diver 200m incorporate calibre 6R15, an automatic movement known for its precision and its reliability. It is used in various watches of the brand, including dive instruments or classic Presage watches. It has a 3Hz frequency, 23 jewels, and a comfortable 50-hour power reserve.
Reference SPB077 comes with a black dial, a black bezel, and a stainless steel bracelet and is priced at EUR 1,100. Reference SPB079 comes with a black dial, a blue bezel, and an extensible silicon strap with a price of EUR 900. More details on www.seiko-prospex.com.