The year 2020 marks the 55th anniversary of the Seiko’s first dive watch launched in 1965. To commemorate the occasion, the brand introduced three limited-edition Prospex watches in March this year, and now, the celebrations continue further with the introduction of the new SLA043J1 and the SPB183J1. Let’s have a quick look.
The 1965 Diver’s Re-creation- SLA043J1
Like the previously released SLA037J1, the SLA043J1 attempts to re-create the magic of Seiko’s first dive watch. The watch looks identical to its vintage inspiration but does come with its share of nice modern upgrades. The case features a familiar silhouette and measures 39.9mm in diameter. It has been crafted from Seiko’s “Ever-Brilliant” steel, which as per the brand is more corrosion resistant than regular stainless steel and has a nice white hue to it. It has been finely brushed throughout and features drilled lug holes to make strap changing quick and easy. There is a dive time rotating bezel with a black insert on the top, and the crystal on the front is a scratch-resistant sapphire unit. Lastly, the case is water-resistant to a healthy 200 meters, which is 50 meters more than what the 1965 Seiko diver offered.
The dial, like the case, sticks to the original formula. Presented in a rich shade of blue, it features applied batons that have been generously filled with luminous paint, a printed white minute track, and a framed date window at 3. The hour and minute hands are once again baton style, whereas the second’s hand is a stick with a lumed rectangular tip. Furthermore, the second’s hand has been painted in a sky-blue color to provide a nice contrast to the dial. The beating heart of this watch is Seiko’s famous caliber 8L35. A self-winding unit, the 8L35 operates at 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 50 hours. The movement has been hidden behind the closed case back.
The watch comes attached to a silicone strap and is limited to 1700 pieces worldwide. The retail price is EUR 4,800.
The 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation- SPB183J1
The SPB183J1 pays homage to the popular Seiko 6105 from 1970. And like the SLA043J1, this is not the first watch to do so. A short while back, Seiko released the “Captain Willard” references SBDC109 and SPB151J1 as a tribute to the 6105, and the SPB183J1 can be considered as a new variation of those references. The most striking design element on this new watch, like its vintage inspiration, is the bold asymmetrical cushion style case. Made using stainless steel, the case measures 42.7mm in diameter and features a prominent bulge on the right that acts as a crown guard for the threaded unsigned crown and gives the watch a distinctive identity. There is a curved sapphire crystal along with a blue dive time bezel on the front, whereas the case back has been kept closed to ensure 200 meters of water resistance.
On the dial front, you get a blue base with applied blocky lume filled hour, a white printed minute track, and a date window at 3. The entire handset is well-proportioned and the gilt colored second’s hand with a hint of red looks great against the blue background. Ticking inside this watch is Seiko’s workhorse caliber 6R35. This is an automatic movement that operates at a frequency of 3 Hz and offers an autonomy of around 41 hours. The movement is hidden beneath the closed case back.
The watch comes attached to a stainless-steel bracelet and is limited to 5,500 pieces worldwide. The retail price is EUR 1,450.