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Prospex for Seiko means “Professional Specification” that their timepieces in this category are built with very high standards to be used by professionals. One that stands out to collectors around the world and known for one of great value for money Japanese Domestic Model(JDM) is the latest in their scuba diver series; the SBDC097 nicknamed by the Seiko community as “Anthracite Sumo,” featuring their most recent 6R35 automatic movement.
The Seiko Prospex 200M Automatic Anthracite Sumo Sapphire 3rd Gen Ref. SBDC097 precursor initially released in 2007 under the reference. SBDC001/003, but now with a few significant changes made on the latter.
The overall look of the Sumo is one of a kind and stayed through to its roots since 2007; being quirky while still wears like a professional dive watch for more than a decade.
|Seiko Prospex 200M Automatic Anthracite Sumo Sapphire 3rd Gen Ref. SBDC097
Before getting into its specifications, we want to touch more on the milestone of this magnificent engine that Seiko uses for its JDMs. Seiko started to have the 6R15 engine since 2005, which derive from the well known 7S26 movement. Seiko collectors proudly admire the 7S and 6R family as one of their best in-house manufactured calibers found in their watches.
Well, since the 6R15 produced in 2005, the Seiko Sumo range adopted this movement since day one, and have relied on it until 14 years later, where Seiko decided that they should refresh the collection with the latest engine- the 6R35.
Therefore, the Seiko Prospex 200M Automatic Anthracite Sumo Sapphire 3rd Gen Ref. SBDC097 is the pioneer to have a new movement; powered by Seiko’s latest automatic caliber, 6R35, which is an upgrade from the workhorse 6R15. It still operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. Its main updates are the increase of jewels to 24 and a power reserve of 70 hours from 50 hours on previous versions.
|New Seiko Calibre 6R35 With 70 Hours Power Reserve|
The 200m water resistant Sumo stainless steel case embodies the beautiful craftsmanship and fluid line. Measuring 45mm case without the crown, and has a lug to lug length of 52.6mm, and a height of about 12.9mm, with a lug width of 20mm.
A mixture of satin brush and Seiko high polishing on the sides can be seen on the whole watch with crisp edging, especially around the lugs.
Therefore, all these have enhanced the Sumo feels a notch higher than other dive watches in the same price point for many years, and many more to come.
|Iconic Sumo Case Design|
The full silver-tone bezel is aluminum, has prominently printed markings on it (keeping the Sumo theme) with more sleek numberings. It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has zero free play in a clockwise direction. Similar to the JDM models, the screw-down crown at four o’clock now has a sterile approach while still allowing one to make time adjustment with ease.
Onto the back of the watch, the screw-down case back allows 200m water-resistant and is also brushed, featuring the recognizable tsunami emblem that is a staple on the other Seiko divers. Oh, please don’t forget about the lug holes, allowing swapping of straps with ease.
The watch’s unique aesthetic along with the fat markers on the bezel, now the nickname of “Sumo” starts to ring a bell. Further, it has an upgrade that all Seiko fans have been requesting- which is having a sapphire crystal for the Sumo, and this one will be the first to feature one. The matching silver tone dial did with a sunburst effect that reflects a more modern monochromatic look , being sleek and attractive. It manages to dance and play with different lightings when it hits the surface. With all that said, legibility is excellent as on all Sumos.
The impeccable hour markers and hands are both generously coated with Seiko’s LumiBrite, allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours. Further, Seiko has also tweaked a little to the 12 o’clock marker, appearing to be more elegant than before. The only splash of color detected here got to be its orange second hand that freshen up the tool watch overall.
The design of the steel bracelet compliments the watch beautifully, having it brushed mainly, with polished sides and a polished lining on either side of the central link, giving this new Anthracite Sumo a seamless look and feel.
All in all, for more than a decade, the Sumo is still one of the best bangs for buck Seiko dive watch. Some might complain about the price increase from its predecessor, but we beg to differ — the Seiko Prospex Anthracite Sumo Sapphire 3rd Gen Ref. SBDC097 is one hell of a watch that has been the first in its class to have a brand new movement with an enormous amount of power reserve. While it stays true to its formidable durability and legibility, with a proven design that started its cult following, featuring excellent casework, and a unique sunburst dial and silver bezel. Oh, and monochromatic theme will always stay cool remember?