Posted on May 28 2020
The Seiko Prospex is a name often synonymous with professional tool watches and for good reason. A reputation like that isn't coined up overnight, it was earned through years of technical expertise and manufacturing some iconic and fantastic watches. Of course with a reputation like this, it can be incredibly tempting to get yourself a Prospex watch, after all, you can hardly go wrong with whichever one you'd end up having. If you’re fretting over the array of options available in the Prospex line, well don’t worry because we’ve narrowed down five that we think you’re ought to love.
Seiko Prospex SRPD27K1
The Seiko Prospex SRPD27K1 ‘Monster’ aptly named due to well, its monstrous looking visage, is back and even more handsome than ever. Many of the funky design elements such as the shark-tooth like indices and jagged bezel have been simplified and have resulted in a more refined and approachable design. The dial is straightforward, with blocky indices, an arrow like hour hand and sword shaped minute hand cutting across, it’s a very functional and handsome brute. The unconventional outer case-shroud still remains along with the circa 4-O’clock crown placement. The Monster is rated to a water resistance of 200M no less and is powered by Seiko’s in-house caliber 4R36 with 40 hours of power reserve and a modest beat rate of 21,600VPH (3Hz). The watch also features a day-date function, magnified by a ‘cyclops’ lens attached to the hardlex crystal. The monster is certainly a handsome and reliable timepiece for the man looking for a dive watch, but with a hankering for the unconventional as well.
Seiko Prospex SLA021J1 Men’s watch
If the watch to have is a dive watch, then the dive watch to have would be a Rolex Submariner, but that is if you can even get one of course. A surge in demand over the years, resulting in massive price jumps, and ever-growing waiting lists have relegated this incredible timepiece to be nothing more than just a passing fancy across the jeweller’s window. But just because you can’t get the default doesn’t mean that you can’t get something else that is as interesting, and maybe, just maybe a little more special. Introducing the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster SLA021J1, a commemorative limited edition to the first model from 1968, Seiko’s reference 6159. Powered by Seiko’s Caliber 8L35 and beating at 28,800VPH (4Hz), the Marinemaster pays proper tribute to the original 1968 hi-beat drive Ref. 6159-7001 and then some. Though not equipped with the high-beat 36,000VPH (5Hz) 8L55 caliber, the 8L35 is still a force to be reckoned with, with a respectably high frequency of 28,800VPH (4Hz). The 8L35 is an undecorated version of the Grand Seiko's 9S55 caliber, with 26 jewels, 50 hours of power reserve and an accuracy of -10 to +15 seconds per day is a proper demonstration of Japanese watchmaking prowess. Coming with a 44.3mm mono-bloc case (missing the traditional case-back where the movement is installed from the front), it ensures rugged durability and a water resistance of up to 300m. The case has also been hardened with a super-hard (DLC) coating making it more scratch resistant and wear resistant, it is certainly tougher than your run-off-the-mill diver. A sapphire crystal with a dual sided anti reflective protects the proud blue dial and it features a knurled crown at 4 O'clock (a common and recognizable staple in Seiko's divers). Granted at $6,000 you must have very deep pockets to purchase this watch, but then again, it is a fantastic watch to have especially at that price point.
Seiko Prospex SPB083J1
Following up from a successful release of the SPB077J1 and SPB079J1, Seiko’s next step to release another variant of the successful modern diver was a predictable one. This special edition release (albeit not limited or numbered) comes in the form of the Seiko Prospex SPB083J1 or what some may call, the Great Blue Hole-MM200. Is this new addition to Seiko’s expansive family of divers worth owning? Let’s find out. First impressions of this watch, as with most of Seiko’s offerings these days are great, right off the bat after strapping this watch on, the first thing you’ll notice is the unique dial. The stunning unburst blue has a multi directional gradient to it, catching and reflecting the light at different angles. Speaking of the dial, it is certainly inspired from the Seiko 6159-7001 and the Marine Master MM300 SBDX017. The round markers and the distinctive indices at 12 O clock are evidently lifted from its predecessors. The case and lugs design are close to its predecessors and would have easily sealed the deal on why it would be called the MM200 in reference to the MM300 of its ancestors. The overall case diameter of the SPB083J1 sits at a relatively large 44mm with a 20mm lug width. It is protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and its case is treated with Seiko’s Diashield coating, ensuring improved scratch and corrosion resistance. Right out the box, the SPB083J1 comes with 2 straps, a stainless-steel bracelet and a silicone dive strap. The stainless-steel strap comes with a dive extension for easier fitting over a wetsuit as well as a very secure fold over safety clasp. Power comes from Seiko’s trusty Caliber 6R15 automatic, a step up from the 4R Caliber. And as expected, the movement comes with hacking, hand winding and a modestly beefy 50 hours of power reserve and a respectable 21,600 VPH (3HZ) frequency. The Seiko Prospex SPB083J1 is a real eye-catcher compared to its siblings, the SPB077 and SPB079, thanks mainly to its unique sunburst blue dial.
Seiko Prospex SPB121J1 Men’s watch
The original Seiko Alpinist is a watch that checks a lot of boxes for a vast majority of the watch-wearing public. It’s readily available, reliable, robust, attractive and affordable. It’s the perfect fit, one could call it the Goldilocks of watches. This of course, has made it hugely popular in its hay day, there were 3 released then, but one that stood out in particular, the SARB017 with a sunburst green dial and gold markers. But it, and they are all out of production, driving resale prices sky high, and once the stocks on the second hand market dries out, they’re gone forever. Until now, when Seiko announced a reissue of the Alpinist with 3 new models that sit nicely in the Seiko Prospex line. What Seiko has done essentially, is taken everything that made the Alpinist great and made them better. The old Alpinist was powered by the Caliber 6R15, the new one is powered by the 6R35, giving it a whopping 70 hours of power reserve. The sapphire crystal has been given a cyclops lens (controversial to some, I know) and an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. On top of that, there is an exhibition caseback for you to enjoy the 6R35 caliber in greater detail. However, not much has changed visually on the new Alpinist SPB121J1, aside from the Seiko Prospex “X” branding on the dial. It’s a small touch that shows everyone that this watch is more than just a pretty face, it means serious business. The watch hailed from a line originally intended for Japanese mountaineers back in 1961-1964, called the Laurel Alpinist. It wasn’t until 2006 did Seiko unveil the horological phenomenon which is the Alpinist, we all know and love today. And now they’re back once again, and the wait was certainly worth it. The Alpinist was a watch that struck a chord with the watch community, even under the shadow of the divers like the Sumo, Turtle, Monster and Tuna. And for good reason, the watch is a serious tool watch, with 200m of water resistance, bright luminescent on the hands and 12 markers, as well as an internal rotating bezel which functions as a compass. Yet with all of these, the watch, thanks to its 39mm diameter and proportions, was incredibly versatile. It could be worn hiking, or to a gala dinner with a suit, or even just as an everyday beater and it would still sit comfortably at home on your wrist.
Seiko Prospex Automatic SRPC33K1 Men’s green nylon strap watch
The terms dive watch and sports watch have become practically synonymous with each other in this day and age, but there’s more to sports watches than just a sea of divers, and this Seiko Prospex SRPC33K1 is a fine example of that. First thing’s first, this is a field compass watch, and given that a vast majority of us spend more time on land than on water, its kind of weird that watches with abyssal water resistance are far more common than compass watches. The SRPC33K1 is, visually and functionally, a tool watch, with a 42mm stainless steel case, a 4 O’clock crown for the movement and a large protective bridge for the compass crown (the crown guard being a common sight on sports watches) to prevent accidental actuation of the compass. The dial of the watch follows the same idea. Simple and straight to the point, featuring large luminous (Lumibrite) raised plots and Arabic numerals as well as oversized hour and minute hands. Powering the watch is an in-house 4R36a caliber with 40 hours of power reserve, a 21,600VPH (3Hz) frequency and a day-date complication just for good measure. Its more likely that this will become a daily beater for its owner than to ever be used as a proper equipment and to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In the same sense of wearing a watch that can easily survive the crushing depths of the ocean, 300m below the surface but only ever brining it as deep as the filing cabinet in your desk goes, its pretty safe to say that the same will certainly apply with this SRPC33K1.