Seiko dives deep into the legacy of their great Tuna dive watches to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Seiko’s first release of a 1000m Tuna, an iconic model that uplifted the collection to an unprecedented level of underwater diving performance. This latest commemorative model brings a ravishing gradient dial packed within some beefy modern specifications while retaining the fundamental characteristics of the original vintage 1986 Tuna.
In 1968, Seiko received a response from a saturation diver from Kure City in the Hiroshima prefecture of Japan suggesting the lack of robustness in previous Seiko dive watches that led to a failure due to pressure during prolonged use underwater. This prompted Seiko engineers, which were led by Ikuo Tokunaga, to challenge themselves to create the ultimate dive watch. In 1975, the Seiko 6159-7010, or also known by Seiko aficionados as the “Grandfather Tuna” was born. Since then, the Tuna has drawn a cult following for watch enthusiasts and divers alike for its historical significance, unique design, and impeccable performance.
|Seiko Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue Ref. SBBN051 - Ltd Ed 1200pcs / S23635
The Seiko Tuna line of watches today has kept the Tuna's iconic aesthetic from its first debut, giving the core emphasis on remarkable diving prowess and being a reliable tool watch for saturation divers that can withstand prolonged pressure underwater. With this in mind, Seiko unveiled their latest limited edition release of their distinguished Tuna line up, the Seiko Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue - Ref. SBBN051 pays tribute to the 1986 Seiko “Golden Tuna” Ref. 7009/7010, styling itself on the Golden Tuna’s golden tones, a distinctive attribute deriving from its nitride plated inner titanium case.
Seiko Tunas are unquestionably large watches (The first Seiko Tuna being an astounding 51mm). Similarly, the Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue - Ref. SBBN051 sports a monobloc titanium case construction with a 49.4mm diameter and a thickness of 16.3mm. Additionally, the monobloc titanium case is treated with Seiko’s super-hard coating to ensure utmost durability. The monobloc, or one-piece construction negates the need for a case back, this results in the watch having an impressive ISO-certified water resistance of 1000m. Being a limited release of only 1200 pieces, each individual piece is engraved with a unique serial number on its case back to verify its exclusivity.
|Titanium Inner Case with black hard coating and Ceramic Shroud
Even though the case diameter might seem rather intimidating at first, fortunately, the “lug-less” design makes the watch fit considerably smaller than the diameter suggests, measuring with a lug to lug distance of merely 49.4mm (essentially the same as its case diameter), allowing it to rest comfortably on many wrist sizes despite the rather large diameter. Needless to say, this piece definitely exerts a bold and masculine wrist presence on the wrist, just like the many other Tuna references.
One of the most distinctive features that makes Seiko Tunas is, without a doubt, the shrouded case design. Besides the unique aesthetic, the outer case, or commonly known as the shroud, protects the black 120-click diving bezel from unintentional rotation and shock to the case during diving operations. The Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue - Ref. SBBN051 features a hardened zirconia ceramic shroud, offering a hardness level seven times greater than ordinary steel. Honouring the Golden Tuna, the screws fastening the shroud onto the case are splendidly treated with a brilliant golden hue.
|Ceramic Shroud. Monobloc construction. 1000m water resistant.
For this momentous anniversary model, the main attraction here is perhaps its magnificent deep blue gradient dial that pleasingly fades vertically from a strong midnight blue downwards to almost completely black, recalling the deep depths of the ocean. The striking yellow seconds hand truly adds a pop of contrasting colour that perfectly complements the blue on the dial. Situated at the 3 o’clock position, the black date and day wheel stealthily blends in the black portion of the dial, demonstrating Seiko’s fine attention to detail when it comes to design.
The broad indices and hands are generously treated with Seiko’s famed Lumibite for a bright glow in dark lighting conditions, reading the time here is simply effortless in the dark. Being part of Seiko’s professional sports category, the dial is marked with the “X” shaped Prospex logo at the 6 o’clock position. Protecting the dial sits a piece of sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating for superior scratch resistance.
|Seiko's Lumibrite needs no introduction
Seiko added a marvelous touch to the screw-down crown with a yellow arrow indicating the screwing direction of the crown, as well as a bright yellow crown tube for divers to be completely certain the crown is screwed in place for maximum water resistance.
The Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue - Ref. SBBN051 is powered by Seiko's iconic high tech quartz movement, 7C46. The 7 jeweled movement with extremely hi-torque tolerances and high efficiency enables the gears and pinions to move and turn the hands in perfect sync to the energy-pulse, with much less kinetic effort via the electronic step motors that power them. Thus making for a highly accurate and efficient full size quartz machine to perform strongly with much less resistance resulting in longer battery life.
|Limited 1200pcs. Additional silicone strap in blue
For an extra exclusive experience, the watch comes supplied with two of Seiko’s silicone straps, one in black and another in blue. Marked with a streak of bold yellow text “For Saturation Diving 1000m”, the strap highlights its powerful saturation diving prowess built for uncompromised diving performance in the ocean's deep waters. Matching the gold plated screws, the hardware of the straps are similarly treated in an attractive gold tone. These soft and supple waterproof straps also flaunt excellent durability and resistance to wear and tear, providing comfort, as well as resistance to salt water corrosion.
The purpose-built Seiko Tuna design has grown to be truly iconic in the world of dive watches, you’d never mistake the Tuna for anything else. Within the last 35 years, we have seen countless dive watches from Seiko inspired by the very essence of this historic design, the Prospex Professional 1000M Tuna 35th Anniversary Blue - Ref. SBBN051 breathes new life for the classic 1986 Golden Tuna, carrying all the right specifications one would expect from a modern diver while at the same time, expressing the historic design with an attractive design refresh.