Usually, it’s the little issues that make all of the distinction in life. In watchmaking, that’s virtually all the time the case. Positive, these ticking marvels are tiny to start with, however upon these minute canvases, the minutest flourish or novelty can remodel a watch’s general character. On the subject of the SPB185, that’s definitely true. What’s in any other case a really stable, fairly-priced, handsomely designed dive watch, is vaulted to the following degree by a flash of crimson upon the “shovel-style” seconds hand. Inconsequential or invaluable? Check out the images and also you inform me…
There’s plenty of excellent news popping out of Seiko proper now. We’ve waxed lyrical advert nauseam in regards to the stellar yr this Japanese powerhouse is having fun with. And simply after I thought it was time to cool down by the fireplace with a pleasant cup of cocoa and well-earned break, the SPB185 kicked-in my door and demanded a little bit of consideration.
A possible basic
And due to that seconds hand, and its easy splodge of crimson, it was afforded its demand. Generally, it may be onerous to clarify how such an over-the-top response can come from such an apparently minor level, however right here we’re. The SPB185 is a superb trying watch with out its seconds hand. However it could be honest to say that it might very simply float under-the-radar with out it. If you take the time to review all components of the design (which I’ll do), you begin to understand it is a actually nice, probably basic dive watch. However the chilly onerous fact is that this: had been it not for that seconds hand having caught my eye, I wouldn’t have given this watch the consideration it deserves.
…the little issues are actually the massive issues in relation to design…
On the one hand that made me really feel excellent about the truth that I used to be fortunate sufficient to have observed precisely how a lot this package deal has to supply. On the opposite, I felt a bit of unhappy. I used to be immediately conscious of what number of great watches might need handed me by as a result of they lacked that little spark of separation. However then, that’s life. That’s why the little issues are actually the massive issues in relation to design…
A couple of component
There may be a couple of component that makes this watch nice. In truth, I’m not dissatisfied with any of them. Bizarrely, for a watch that was not in my sights in any respect till this overview landed on my desk, I’m struggling to search out any fault with it in any respect. I believe maybe my largest “grievance” begins and ends with the uncreative bracelet.
I hate to criticize blindly with none options supplied. That, to me, isn’t useful for anybody. It doesn’t assist a would-be purchaser verify why a sure component dissatisfied and it doesn’t assist a model enhance. I’ll say this for Seiko’s bracelets on this worth bracket: they’re dependable and strong and about nearly as good as one might moderately anticipate by way of ending and construct high quality. I do discover the designs a bit vanilla now and again, nonetheless, and this “skilled” fashion is “high-quality” but it surely doesn’t blow my socks off.
Anybody that reads my columns will know I’m a little bit of a bracelet-hater by and enormous. Usually, I change my watches onto leather-based or rubber as quickly as they hit my fingers. However this watch wants a bracelet. It calls for one. Even I’d rock this bracelet on this watch head had been I to purchase it, however I’d have beloved it to be a bit of extra elegant. I believe what would have modified issues for me would have been some polished beveled edges to recall these large polished chamfers on the watch head. Is it a giant deal? No. With a 16.5cm wrist, there’s barely any bracelet left to gripe about as soon as I’ve resized it. Is it one thing I’d handle if I wished to make this watch excellent for me? Sure. Sure, it’s.
I imply, simply take a look at them! It is a textbook instance of find out how to make presence look elegant. I’m not saying these large polished chamfers gained’t decide up their justifiable share of scratches (they absolutely will the second you’re taking this factor out into the wild), however out of the field, this factor is gleaming. It’s humorous to see this sort of design within the steel. I’ve drawn one thing related on paper many instances, however I’m by no means fairly positive whether it is assured to work in actual life.
…my private choice is to stability the essence of a design with real-world wearability.
I have a tendency to start out with an “ideally suited” silhouette (primarily based on no matter my thought of the perfect is on that given day), after which I add broad chamfers. I do that to retain the define however scale back the presence of a watch. Whereas blockish circumstances and equally blockish lugs can be utilized to create the other impact (with a fantastic consequence), my private choice is to stability the essence of a design with real-world wearability.
The bezel and dial mixture
Seiko’s LumiBrite is incessantly praised. Having spent the vast majority of the final month carrying my SRPE33 in all method of circumstances I can say it deserves the accolades. It actually is a wonderful high quality lume for this (or, the truth is, any) worth level. It’s well-applied to this dial (and bezel pip). The glow homogeny between fingers and hour markers is usually stable, and the SPB185 dial format advantages from the good spacing of components. Whereas the Prospex emblem may make the dial however fussy for some, I believe it is rather properly balanced. The lume plots and 12 o’clock marker particularly are barely smaller than a few of the extra cartoonish diver markers we’ve seen from Seiko.
I gained’t get bored with that in a rush…
This provides as much as a extra refined look. Maybe, even, a extra skilled look. The fingers are broad, no-nonsense indicators which might be an excellent size and never so extravagantly styled in order to steal the present by evening. By day, in fact, that little flash of crimson on the seconds hand is the place my love affair with the SPB185 started. I gained’t get bored with that in a rush and it might properly consequence on this watch ending up in my assortment. The colour-matched engraved bezel provides a contact of sophistication due to its chromatic humility in addition to a much less boisterous typeface for the numbers. It’s all enterprise right here and I prefer it.
A worthy successor
At any time when I discuss potential classics within the dive watch sphere, my thoughts all the time skips to Rolex. I see the Submariners and Sea-Dwellers of previous float previous my thoughts’s eye. Overlook this contemporary stuff. That’s not what I’m speaking about. I’m speaking in regards to the reference 6205 Submariner with pencil fingers, the 6538 Sub (two- or four-line — take your decide), or issues just like the reference 1665 “double crimson” Sea-Dweller. These are actual classics — actual archetypes. They’re incessantly referenced, hardly ever matched, and virtually by no means bettered.
…a characterful and cheerful companion…
And I’m not asking you to raise the standard Seiko SPB185 to that degree in any respect, however I’m compelling you to take a look at it with these fashions in thoughts. To say it doesn’t fulfill a few of the similar aesthetic wishes could be harsh. To me, it’s a actually sterling fashionable interpretation of that sort of dive watch. A crisp, legible, practical timepiece at the start, sure. However a characterful and cheerful companion for days past the waves. To me, that’s a fairly highly effective proposition.
Pricing and availability
The SPB185 hit the cabinets immediately (that’s the 11th of November for anybody faraway from their calendar). It needs to be obtainable out of your native boutique every time you’ve gotten an opportunity to cease by. In my view, this launch is an enormous increase for the SPB reference line. Earlier fashions on this assortment (just like the SPB101 or SPB103) had a totally completely different lug profile (this mannequin is extra just like the SLA039, to be sincere). These fashions suffered from being someplace between the scrumptious curviness of a Turtle and the placing angularity of the Samurai. Moreover, they had been 45mm large. This mannequin is a way more forgiving 42mm in diameter.
…actually tempting prospect.
The simplification of the lume plots at 6 and 9 and the refinement of the plot at 12 are all steps in the precise route. In truth, so far as upgrades go, this one is about as positively complete as I’ve seen this yr. It’s a winner in my e book, and at €1,250 the SPB185 is a extremely tempting prospect. It might be a good bit greater than the forerunning SPB fashions, but it surely strikes me as value each additional penny. Study extra about Seiko right here.
Black with luminous hour markers and fingers
42mm large, 12.5mm thick
Closed, engraved with Seiko wave
6R35 — +25/-15 per day when static
Chrome steel bracelet