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Our love for dive watches has continued to grow alongside Seiko’s ever-expanding arsenal of professional diver’s watches. On the flip side, the health of our oceans and its wildlife has ceaselessly declined, suffering the negative impacts of human activities. In an effort to preserve the marine environment, Seiko launched a special collection of dive watches back in 2018 by collaborating with Fabien Cousteau, a renowned oceanographic explorer that dedicated his life to underwater exploration and marine conservation.
|Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081
Seiko’s “Save The Ocean'' initiation set a stage for a family of timepieces incorporating beautiful ocean-inspired design motifs with capable ISO-certified diving prowess. Having a core emphasis on protecting the ocean, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each watch from this collection goes to The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Centre (FCOLC), a non-profit organisation committed to marine research projects and preserving our planet’s precious waters. Joining the collection, Seiko dropped their latest “Save The Ocean” special edition that showcases premium materials and an alluring design portraying elements of the ocean.
Based on the highly distinguished Seiko Samurai, the iconic design of the Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081 is no stranger to the masses. Just like the hefty Karuta armor donned by Japanese Samurai warriors, the angular 43.8mm case of the SBDY081 bears a beefy and aggressive presence. Despite the rather large diameter, the watch sits flush on most wrist sizes due to its compact lug to lug distance of 47.5mm and thickness of 12.5mm, wearing closer to 42mm.
|The nautical inspired dial done with a trendy fumé aesthetic|
Other than a polished portion on the left side of the case and underside of the lugs, the case displays satin brushing throughout. Sharp and defined lines certainly gives the piece a unique character, setting itself apart from many diver’s watches. The pointed crown guards protect the knurled screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock position which equips this piece with a capable 200m of ISO-rated water resistance, making it a perfect companion to bring with you for diving adventures. This level of water resistance is also achieved as a result of the screw-in case back, revealing Seiko’s signature Tsunami logo, a mark signifying the watch’s competency as a professional ISO-rated Prospex diver.
One of the key traits that differentiates itself from the Seiko Samurai lies in the bezel of this piece. The Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081 houses a jet black ceramic bezel with contrasting grey markers, offering incredible resistance against scratches. This 120-click unidirectional rotating dive bezel gorgeously catches the light with a glossy shine, presenting a grandeur look that is simply pleasing to look at from various angles.
|Samurai's iconic facetted case design|
Like many previous “Save The Ocean” models, the Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081 illustrates magnificent artistry in the dial design. Diving in for a closer look, the astonishing blue fumé dial transitions from a deep sea blue at the center of the dial to almost black at the outer edge - a stunning design reminiscent of different depths of the ocean. The dial brings forth an exquisite texture that depicts the surface of the ocean, adorned with subtle figures of manta rays. This creates a gorgeous potratral of a view conveying the manta rays just beneath the surface of the water. Seiko definitely makes one of the best looking dials in this price range.
Customary to the Seiko Samurai, the prominent handsets and markers are treated with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite lume, glowing exceptionally bright in dark lighting conditions. On top of that, the dial is protected by a flat piece of scratch-resistant anti-reflective sapphire crystal with a date magnifier at the 3 o’clock position. Matching the blue dial, the watch comes supplied with a soft and supple blue 22mm Seiko silicone rubber diver strap.
The Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081 is driven by the Seiko in-house caliber 4R35 automatic movement, a notable upgrade from the previous caliber 7S family of movements that were lacking in handwinding and hacking capabilities. This 23 jewel movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 41 hours and beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Widely recognized as one of a ‘workhorse’ movement, the 4R35 boasts remarkable robustness from the proprietary Diashock anti-shock system and has a reputation to run reliably for an extended period of time without a service.
In essence, the Prospex “Save The Ocean” King Samurai 200M Ref. SBDY081 is a wonderful addition to the “Save The Ocean” collection, bringing great specifications accompanying a captivating design that looks as charming as the sea. In addition, the contribution back to the ocean through the purchase of this piece holds additional significance, especially for a good cause towards the world we live in. Apart from the excellent value proposition, you also get to experience a little piece of the ocean on your wrist wherever you go with a simple glance down to your wrist.