Introduced in 1965, Seiko’s diver’s watch proved to be a signature timepiece worn by divers and explorers. This led Seiko to create an entirely new collection called ‘Professional Specifications’ or Prospex. Then, in 1968, the Japanese timepiece maker created its first 300 metre water resistance watch with a 10-beat automatic movement. This year, Seiko has come up with a Prospex reinterpretation, honouring the achievements of renowned Japanese solo explorer Naomi Uemura — the Naomi Uemura Limited Edition (Ref. SLA069), a 500-piece limited edition collection.
It has been almost five decades since Uemura conquered some of the world’s tallest mountains and toughest terrains. He crossed Greenland and reached Alaska in 1976 on a dog sled, wearing a Seiko (Ref. 6105) ‘Turtle’ on his wrist. He is also remembered for being the first person to reach the North Pole solo and for being the first person to raft along the Amazon, all by himself. He scaled Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro by the age of 29. In fact, he took great pride in conquering difficult terrains on his own. Unfortunately, he disappeared on Mount Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, in 1984. He was never found.
The Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation: The Naomi Uemura Limited Edition SLA069 comes in a 44 mm stainless steel case. It retains the design of the 1970 watch, but features a Mont Blanc mountain range motif, created with pressing and etching techniques. There is a blue coating on the bezel with a dark blue inlay. The crown lies at 4 o’clock. This blue colour is inspired by the blue shadows surrounding Mont Blanc.
The white dial features rectangular and square hour markers with Seiko’s luminous coating along with compact sword-style hour and minute hands, also filled with the same luminous coating that suits the overall aesthetics perfectly. There is a red and white-tipped second hand, accompanied by the signature date window at 4:30. Seiko has equipped this SLA069 with Caliber 8L35, offering 50 hours of power reserve. This caliber is based on the Grand Seiko caliber 9S55. Turning the watch over showcases the skeleton caseback with a stainless steel oscillating weight.
Completing the watch is the familiar five-row stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp, a push-button release, a safety lock and diving extension. This watch comes with a 200 metre water resistance.
Seiko Prospex GMT Diver's Watches
Introduced in 1965, Seiko’s diver’s watch proved to be a signature timepiece worn by divers and explorers. This led Seiko to create an entirely new collection called ‘Professional Specifications’ or Prospex. Then, in 1968, the Japanese timepiece maker created its first 300 metre water resistance watch with a 10-beat automatic movement. This year, Seiko has come up with a Prospex reinterpretation with two Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watches (Ref.SPB381 and Ref. SPB383) and a Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition (Ref. SPB385) timepiece, marking the brand’s 110th anniversary. The limited-edition watch is part of the Save the Ocean series.
The GMT complication, coupled with a diving technique, has been a favourite among watch aficionados. This duality makes for an ideal watch, especially during summer when people travel and indulge in water sports. The last Prospex Diver watch with a GMT function was part of the LX line and had a Spring Drive movement. Narrowing this gap, Seiko has now unveiled the Prospex range with its first mechanical GMT dive watch, powered by a new movement. The design of this new series of watches follows that of the brand’s 1968 dive watch (Ref 6159-7001) collection.
The three newly launched GMT models are more or less similar to each other with minute differences in aesthetics. These 42 mm stainless steel case watches get a green dial wih green bezel (Ref. SPB381), black dial and black bezel (Ref. SPB383) and an ice-blue dial with a black bezel (Ref. SPB385).
The bezels of the three GMT models are made of ceramic to protect them from scratches and come with a 60-minute elapsed time scale on the bezel and crowns are at 4 o’clock. The Prospex collection comes with rectangular and dotted hour markers with sword-shaped hour and minute hands, all filled with LumiBrite. The 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation GMT variant gets red-dotted central seconds hand with a yellow GMT hand while the Save the Ocean version gets a blue-dotted central seconds hand with a dark blue GMT hand, depicting a dual time zone. Also, these watches come with date windows at 4:30, thus, replacing the 3 o'clock date window from the previous version. The background of each timepiece matches the colour of the respective dial. Except for Ref. SPB385 that has a glacier-texture dial and accents in both dark and bright blue, and is limited to 4,000 pieces with a white background, and black numeral date window.
Powering the new Seiko 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation GMT watches is the new Caliber 6R54 automatic GMT movement, with a power reserve of 72 hours. Turning the watches over reveals the stainless steel screw caseback. These are water-resistant for up to 200 metres.
The GMT collection is finished on a stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release, secure lock, and extender. While Savethe Ocean Limited Edition watch gets an additional recycled polyester strap.