This yr Seiko is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its first-ever dive watch. In addition to the indispensable particular and restricted editions to have fun the occasion, we had been joyful to see some spectacular fashions within the common Seiko dive watches line-up as nicely.
Again in March, Michael Stockton knowledgeable you concerning the three significant releases Seiko offered to have fun its underwater beginnings. And, lately, Jorg dived deeper into one among them, the SLA037. That mannequin — which hit the market with an intimidating price ticket — was the topic of this week’s Sunday Morning Showdown between Balazs and Rob. Should you haven’t already, why not head over to the article and cast your vote? Whereas shopping the Seiko press launch that reached us on this trilogy, I already observed that there have been not three however 4 commemorative watches. Silently added to the top of the textual content, there was the SPB149.
Seiko 1965 Diver’s Trendy Re-Interpretation
Even higher, the SPB149 proved to be a part of a sequence of 4 watches itself, the SPB143, 145, 147, and the 149. Seiko named this sequence the “1965 Diver’s Trendy Re-Interpretation”. I’m a fan of the design of Seiko’s first diver, the 62MAS. And possibly due to that, I’ve cherished most of the Seiko SPB-models, with SPB051 being my favourite to this point. The one factor stopping me from shopping for one was its arrow-shaped hour hand. Simply not precisely my style, and a bit too far off from the unique.
…tribute to the 62MAS
Then, in 2017, there was the actual tribute to the 62MAS, the SLA017. However I wasn’t prepared for its price ticket of €three,800. That very same drawback appears to play in opposition to me with the brand new SLA037 and its price ticket of €6,500. Don’t get me incorrect; I don’t assume these watches are too costly for what they’re, completely not. I simply can’t discover that form of cash to spend on them.
Seiko Prospex Diver’s 200m
So that you’ll perceive how joyful I used to be with the introduction of the brand new SPB14x-series. Mainly, these watches are the successors to my beloved SPB051, however with a straight hour hand — exactly what I requested for! Plus, whereas I assumed the SPB051 with its diameter of 42.6 mm was a bit giant, the brand new SPB’s have been shrunken to a — for my part — extra appropriate 40.5 mm. Towards the SPB051, the SPB14x-range has a barely totally different dial structure and a 6R35 caliber (changing the 6R15) with 70 hours energy reserve (up from 50 hours). All that was good remained, together with a 200-meter depth ranking and the anti-reflective and curved sapphire crystal. It appears that evidently the brand new SPBs have one other bezel-insert materials. I’m not capable of finding sound data on that and don’t have each variations at hand to match it visually myself.
SPB143, 145, 147, and 149
Development-wise and technically, these 4 fashions are equal. Visually, with 4 totally different dials, there are obvious variations. However there’s extra that units them aside than that. The precise common fashions are solely the SPB143 and SPB147. You received’t discover the SPB145 in simply any store, because it’s reserved for gross sales by official Seiko Boutiques. And as for the SPB149… Nicely, that one may even be tougher to search out as its manufacturing is proscribed to simply 5,500 items.
Consistent with the opposite three 55th anniversary fashions, the SPB149 has a placing blue dial. In addition to this, it’s the one model equipped with each a chrome steel bracelet plus a — color-matched — silicone strap.
Earlier than going deeper into the watch itself, I’ve to speak concerning the costs. Simply to maintain issues in the fitting perspective. Relying on the mannequin and scope of provide, these range from €1.050 to €1,350. Currently, Seiko’s value coverage might need raised some eyebrows. The identical can’t be mentioned for this new SPB line. Contemplating the 200-meter depth ranking, sapphire crystal, and a contemporary 70-hour energy reserve caliber, these fashions are sturdy decisions. All that, plus that it’s an immensely enticing watch which got here a good distance. Let’s be trustworthy, if one spends over a thousand Euro’s you need greater than only a technical marvel. And it isn’t simply magnificence, both. You need to really feel one thing as nicely. And that’s simply what this new SPB-line does to me.
Having shifted that elephant out of the best way, I’ll head again to the watch. How does it really feel? I’d say the very first thing you’ll seize is both the crown or the bezel, so let’s begin with that.
The bezel is the very first thing that separates the boys from the boys. It’s typically heard that Seiko watches on this plus €1,000-range are costly. I don’t assume so. The bezel feels so solidly mounted to the case, turns exactly with the fitting drive, and stops completely goal-oriented at one among its 120 clicks. Evaluating it to a €500 Seiko divers watch, this can be a large distinction. In addition to that, the black higher floor of the bezel is an entire totally different story. It’s matte, feels onerous, and appears superb with its engraved numerals, incomparable to one among its cheaper brothers.
The crown as nicely. It feels good sharp and grippy and winds easily onto the threaded tube. The factor which puzzled me barely was that it isn’t signed. There’s no inscription or embossing of any form. It’s simply plain.
Curved sapphire crystal
In comparison with, for example, a flat Hardlex crystal, a curved sapphire makes a giant distinction. It appears and feels totally different, and, in fact, it received’t scratch. An anti-reflective coating has been utilized on the within, so there’s nothing to fret about when it comes to injury there both.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, there are 4 totally different dials to select from. In chronological order of mannequin quantity, the dial colours are grey-black (SPB143), brown-grey (SPB145), brown-bronze (SPB147), and blue (SPB149). All bezels, besides one, are matte-black-based with silverish-white numerals. The exception, SPB147, with its gilt accents on the dial, has a black-based bezel with gilt numerals. The utilized or raised luminous index markers give off a high-end character. Particularly when their tiny polished frames mirror the sunshine in dim situations.
The finely formed and sized case obtained a round brushed top-side end. From the highest, a sophisticated chamfered edge brings us to straight — within the longitudinal path of the watch — brushed sides. These brushed sides change to tender polished edges, on the underside of the watch, for comfy put on. Then the underside of the case merges to a stable screw-in case again. Delicately engraved with the mandatory data and embellished with the central Nice Wave off Kanagawa (神奈川沖浪裏 in Japanese) medallion.
Bracelet and silicone strap
To shut this overview, I’ll shed some gentle on the bracelet and silicone strap that include these new SPBs. Let’s begin with the bracelet. Even for far more costly watches, we’ve discovered that a bracelet is a really tough half to get proper. Producing (and particularly ending) a chrome steel bracelet is simply very, very pricey.
With regards to watches on this value league, I attempt to mood my enthusiasm. On this case, I have to say, Seiko did an excellent job. The bracelet feels stable, is properly completed, and has enough adjustment prospects, in addition to a security clasp. It even has a never-before-seen kind of dive extension. The hyperlinks will not be screw-fixed although. Pins need to be pushed out. And sure, I’ve seen higher bracelets however not on watches on this value league.
…it wears nearly as good as any silicone strap can put on
Equal to the standard of the bracelet, the silicone strap feels good and is completed correctly as nicely. It’s very tender and versatile. It wears in addition to any silicone strap can put on, and it’s fitted with heavy stable metal hardware. It’s lengthy sufficient to put on over a diving go well with. For smaller wrists — which can love the dimensions of the watch — the top a part of the strap is comparatively lengthy. On this scenario, two keepers would have been extra comfy than only one, which it has now.
These 4 new SPB fashions have my title written throughout them. At first, I used to be certain that the SPB149 was the one to have, however now I’m drawn in the direction of the SPB143. After having it on my wrist for an extended time, the truth that the black/blue bezel/dial combo gave me pause for thought. Additionally, a blue dial is tough to match with different straps. I do know that I like to alter straps, and observed that a brown or a black leather-based strap each color-wise didn’t match the blue dial very nicely. So most likely for me, the extra basic and conservative SPB143 would be the one. However what a one it’s…
You’ll discover me on Instagram @gerardnijenbrinks
1965 Diver’s Trendy Re-Interpretation
Prospex SPB143, SPB145, SPB147, SPB149
Gray-black (SPB143), brown-grey (SPB145), brown-bronze (SPB147), and blue (SPB149)
Chrome steel with ‘tremendous onerous coating’
40.5 x 13.2 mm, lug-to-lug 44 mm, lug-width 20 mm
Curved sapphire, anti-reflective
Automated, caliber 6R35, 21,600 vph, 70-hour energy reserve, 24 jewels
Silicone strap and/or chrome steel bracelet
SPB143: €1,250 – SPB145: €1,250 – SPB147: €1,050 – SPB149: € 1,350
Particular Be aware(s)
SPB145 obtainable at Seiko Boutiques solely, SPB149 restricted to five,500 items