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Seiko’s heritage is replete with significant watches including the 1965 62MAS (the brand's pioneer dive watch) as well as the 1968 Hi-Beat Automatic Diver 300m. With Seiko downsizing many of its dive watches over the past couple of years into more ergonomic proportions for everyday wearing, the brand has used these two historical models as vintage benchmarks to create contemporary re-editions.
Since the birth of the venerable 62MAS, Seiko’s first ever professional dive watch in 1965, Seiko honored their rich heritage by releasing a range of modern reissues of their legendary dive watch, incorporating the avant-garde Japanese watchmaking capabilities of the 21st century. Seiko unveiled their latest 62MAS reissue in a spectacular contemporary piece that unites the timeless heritage design with impressive modern upgrades, upholding the unwavering spirit and vision of Kintaro Hattori, the founder of Seiko.
|Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic “Black Series” - Ltd Ed 600pcs Ref. SBDX055 / SLA067
With over half a century of expertise in producing professional dive watches, illustrious Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko understood the integral elements to construct tried-and-true dependable diving tool watches. Seiko’s “Professional Specifications” line, otherwise known as Prospex, consists of a family of ISO-certified diving watches with a minimum water resistance rating of 200m. Over the years, Seiko continued to dedicate themselves to producing astonishing timepieces with incredible performance and innovative features. Many of these watches have grown to be an icon well-loved by many in the watch world, as well as countless professional divers around the world.
Based on the first Skin-diver from Seiko, the new SBDX055 with vintage design cues that we are introducing today comes with a modern black-out aesthetic. The Black Series sub-collection is part of a long-lasting range of watches all sharing a common theme. The blackened watches in this series provides a very cool theme which watch collectors can enjoy more from some yesteryears design. Indeed, it feels very fitting to coat a dive watch in stealthy black, and this 600 pieces limited edition today is just that.
Seiko's Caliber 8L35 automatic
Covered in full black, the stainless steel case of the Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Black Series Ref. SBDX055 radiates a strong ‘60s charm of the historic 62MAS with its angular lugs and iconic case shape. Presenting dimensions that find a nice balance between a vintage classic and a contemporary dive watch, the 41.3mm case distinctly exudes a retro yet charismatic appeal. Accompanied with its compact lug to lug distance of only 47.6mm and a case thickness of 13.1mm, the watch fits incredibly well even on smaller wrist sizes.
Fit and finish on the Black Series is exceptionally well defined, flaunting fine satin brushing throughout the case, separated by a highly-polished bevelled edge for an extra flair on the case. To keep these intricate finishes looking sharp and pristine, Seiko treated the case with their proprietary DiaShield super-hard coating for added scratch and corrosion resistance.
|Zebra stripes textured dial
The lustrous steel black 120-click unidirectional bezel looks visually stunning with cream-coloured engraved markers, completed with a beautiful radial brushing around the bezel that pleasantly captures the light. As expected of Seiko’s dive watches, rotating the bezel feels truly satisfying with confident, crispy clicks. At the 12 o’clock position, the bezel houses a distinct luminous pip for underwater diving functions.
Staying faithful to the dial design of the esteemed 62MAS from 1965, the SBDX055 sports a black textured dial in which reminds us of some zebra’s stripes. On top of the textured dial belies a set of cool green applied hour markers for a modern touch. Incorporating many elements of the iconic ‘60s dive watch, the handsets here came right out of the original 62MAS, boasting a simple yet cohesive look that seamlessly completes the dial. The date window replaces the 3 o’clock hour marker for a pleasingly symmetrical appearance.
Seiko paired this stunning release with a specially woven 20mm black fabric strap, crafted with traditional Japanese techniques that involves a complex process of weaving to create a highly-durable strap that easily handles the harsh aquatic environment during diving odysseys. Included within the package, an additional beige fabric strap allows a quick switch up of style.
|Seiko's LumiBrite at its best
Naturally, the lume here is excellent with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite treated generously on the minute, hour seconds hand, as well as on the hour markers. For a delightful upgrade from the usual Hardlex crystal, the SBDX055 is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal coated with anti-reflective coating on the underside in order to achieve a crystal clear experience with superior scratch resistance.
Under the hood, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS 200M Automatic Black Series Ref. SBDX055 - Ltd Ed 600pcs 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.
As a dive watch modelled after Seiko’s first ever professional dive watch, the Prospex SBDX055 packs a serious punch when it comes to specifications, incorporating refined case finishes and a performance-driven automatic movement, complete with a woven fabric strap made using traditional techniques. Unlike many of the 62MAS reissues, the Japanese watch manufacturer has captured the hearts of countless fellow enthusiasts when it comes to producing an impressive vintage-inspired dive watch. Now in a full black tone, the 62MAS sticks out even more in today’s time.