In addition to the three vintage-inspired recreations we presented yesterday, Seiko presents a fourth dive watch to celebrate the 55th anniversary of its first diver. While the “trilogy” of reissues is rare, exclusive and high-end, this one plays in the more accessible field, which Seiko has championed for some years now. Well proportioned, well designed and well equipped, here’s the new Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver 200m SPB149, a modern watch inspired by the famous 62MAS of 1965.
What you’re looking at above is one of Seiko’s most important watches, the watch that laid the groundwork for numerous super-performant dive watches to come, namely the iconic Seiko reference 6217, or “62MAS”. Seiko entered the race for dive watches long after the Swiss did. For instance, Blancpain introduced the Fifty Fathoms in 1953, quickly followed by Rolex and the Submariner (in 1953 too), both considered as the first purpose-built dive watches (with screw-in crown and rotating elapsed-time bezel). Seiko waited until 1965 to produce its own vision of a dive watch… but what an important watch it proved to be, not only for Seiko but for the dive watch industry. The ISO 6425 standards were partially based on aspects of Seiko’s early dive watches. You can read more details about the 62MAS in this in-depth article here.
The modern 62MAS-inspired Prospex SPB149
It isn’t the first time that Seiko introduces a modern “reinterpretation” of its famous 62MAS. Alongside the faithful re-edition SLA017 presented at Baselworld 2017, the brand also presented two contemporary models, the Prospex SPB051 and SPB053 – both are still available and are models in the permanent collection.
What Seiko is introducing today with the Prospex SPB149 is not just another dial based on the 2017 models… It is an entirely new watch, limited in production, with new proportions, new materials and an updated movement.
First of all, this new Seiko Prospex SPB149 is more faithful to the original model in terms of case dimensions. While the SPB051 and SPB053 were on the large side, with a 42.6mm diameter, the new model is much smaller measuring just 40.5mm – and if you are familiar with the average size of a Seiko dive watch, it really is smaller. The case of the SPB149, made of stainless steel with a super-hard coating, retains the classic shape of the 62MAS, with straight casebands, crown classically located at 3 o’clock and angular lugs. The case measures 13.5mm in height and, according to Seiko, has “a lowered centre of gravity that makes it comfortable to wear on even a smaller wrist“. The screw-down crown and the screwed caseback allow for 200m water-resistance.
Also new to this 62MAS-inspired Prospex SPB149 is the bezel with a brushed ceramic 60-minute insert. It is protected by a domed sapphire crystal. The dial inaugurates a new (and quite pleasant) blue-grey colour and its markers and hands are closer to the original 1965 watch. All are filled with Lumebrite and the seconds hand is coloured in yellow, adding some energy to the dial.
Inside the watch is the modern calibre 6R35, a movement found, for instance, in the new Sumo watches. While it retains the classic Seiko 6Rxx architecture, it has been improved with a longer power reserve of 70 hours and still beats at 3Hz.
The Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver 200m SPB149 is delivered on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with a super-hard coating, a three-fold clasp with push-button release, secure lock and extender. A silicone strap is also included in the box.
Price and availability
This new reference, part of the Seiko diver’s 55th-anniversary collection, is a limited edition of 5,500 pieces, available worldwide at boutiques and retailers, as of June 2020. It will be priced at EUR 1,350. More details at www.seikowatches.com.