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Look forward to the coming of spring with Seiko’s exceptional annual model releases. Recently, this Japanese powerhouse has launched a fantastic array of reissues for both its Presage and Prospex lines. The spotlight shines on its relaunch of the famed 60s dive watches, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Black Ref. SBDC101. This remake of Seiko’s classic design is fitted with upgrades that will be sure to impress.
Seiko Prospex Professional 62MAS "Save The Ocean" Blue - Ltd Ed 1300pcs Ref. SBDX053 / SLA065
The 62MAS (ref. 6217-8001) was first introduced in 1965, and it had quite the significance, too, being the first Japanese dive watch. Seiko’s first professional series dive watch was the “OG,” as some like to say. Many of Seiko’s famed dive watches so popular today owe at least some of their design cues to the original 62MAS. Things like bezel font, dial colour, and even the indices bear a familiar resemblance to the watches of today. While revolutionary, the timepiece only had basic specifications - a non-hacking and non-hand-winding movement and 150m of water resistance with no screwed-down crown, just to name a few.
The latest 62MAS release from Seiko is part of their Save the Ocean (STO) Series. First started in 2018, the STO series is part of Seiko’s mission to help protect the world’s oceans now and for future generations and secure this legacy for divers everywhere. Seiko donates a portion of all STO proceeds to organisations that study and preserve the seas - you’d directly contribute to saving the oceans (literally) by purchasing any Seiko STO timepiece. One of these is an underwater archaeology project whose aim is to explore historical sites to protect their cultural heritage for future generations. This particular Prospex diver befits among these sites in which one is close to the Greek island of Fournoi where lie many ships that sank in the 4th century CE. Researchers are surveying and excavating them to gain more understanding about those marine trading systems in the Mediterranean at that time.
Undecorated Grand Seiko movement, 8L35
The 62MAS Ref. SBDX053 is made of high-quality 316L stainless steel and has finely-brushed finishing on the top of the lugs and case, with high-polished finishing at the sides. Coming in at 41.3mm in diameter and a lug-to-lug of 47.6mm, the watch is 13.1mm thick. Like the current 62MAS collection from Seiko, this set of dimensions will suit almost all wrist sizes, which is why many deem the modern 62MAS the perfect everyday watch from the esteemed Japanese brand.
The SBDX053 features a black, 120-click unidirectional dive time bezel in glossy blue, with a lume pip at 12. Seiko fans are known for giving their watches cool nicknames like the Turtle, Samurai, and Monster watches that we all love. They have aptly coined the name “Glacier Dial” for this year’s STO series, and it is obvious why. The dial is a beautiful shade of blue with textures that remind one of the astrolabe - the ancient navigational tool that seafarers, perhaps including some of those who braved the rocky coastlines of Fournoi, used to determine the latitude and time of their location based on the position of the stars and the sun, and so assist their navigation.
Applied baton indices are used here, with a double baton at 12 for easy orientation. A date wheel can be found at 3, a useful daily complication that does not mess up the dial's proportions as it blends in like a regular index. Affixed atop the dial is a piece of dual—curved sapphire crystal offering great protection against scratches and great legibility thanks to its anti-reflective coating on the underside.
Under the hood, the Seiko Prospex SBDX053 clads a proven to be reliable and accurate, the is driven by the Seiko Cal. 8L35 movement, a phenomenal work of art designed, hand assembled and adjusted by skillful watchmakers at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Morioka, northern Japan. Assembled from 192 intricate parts, the 8L35 is essentially an undecorated variant of the Grand Seiko caliber 9S55 movement. The 26 jewel movement beats at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH) with a healthy power reserve of about 50 hours. This is a high-grade caliber that is a true powerhouse when it comes to mechanical performance.
The watch comes on a 20mm matching blue silicone strap with multi-holes designed on both ends. This design allows you to wear the timepiece over a wetsuit if needed, and for quick-dry purposes. It offers great comfort and durability. The Seiko Prospex Professional 62MAS Save The Ocean Blue Ref. SBDX053 - Ltd Ed 1300pcs is part of a brilliant 2023 STO series from Seiko. The textured blue dial is a joy to look at, setting the watch apart from other dive watches that could get a tad boring after a while. Also, purchasing this timepiece contributes to the endeavors of scientists trying to preserve the oceans for generations to come. This way, you’ll be doing something good for our planet while simultaneously getting a hell of a watch - what’s not to love?