Seiko Prospex 140th Anniversary Divers

A Closer Look At Three Stunning New Seiko Prospex 140th Anniversary Divers

This trio of green-themed timepieces is inspired by the diver’s paradise of Iriomote Island.

By Rhonda Riche

This year marks 140 years since Kintaro Hattori created Seiko. Just 21-years-old at the time, Hattori’s youth allowed him to steer the company for 50 years, building it into the largest watch producer in Japan.

Seiko is celebrating this anniversary throughout 2021 by paying tribute to some of its most memorable watches. The brand will also honor the breadth and beauty of the land of its birth. For example, in the Prospex collection, the company is launching three new pieces, all based on 1968 divers.

The color scheme of these 2021 tributes also references Iriomote, an island located in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland. Beyond it being an intensely beautiful island paradise and the home to a lush green jungle, several species of rare flora and fauna, coral reefs, mangrove forests, and waterfalls, Iriomote is a divers’ haven.

Let’s have a closer look at these anniversary editions.

Prospex Automatic Diver’s SLA047

There are two mechanical timepieces and one solar-powered chronograph in this anniversary Prospex collection. The top-shelf model is the Prospex Automatic Diver’s: SLA047, a 300 ATM dive watch crafted, assembled, and adjusted by the skilled watchmakers of Shizukuishi and powered by the Caliber 8L35, a movement created especially for diver’s watches. This eight-beat mechanism also offers a 50-hour power reserve and magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m (60 gauss), making it suitable for saturation as well as air diving.

Housed in a 44.30mm wide and 15.40mm thick case, it is a solid chunk of funk. But the faceting of the stainless steel and the stunning green dial adds an elegance that makes the watch look more elegant than boxy. The face is nicely framed with a unidirectional ceramic bezel and is paired with a steel bracelet featuring a three-fold clasp.

This professional-grade dive watch is limited to 3,000 pieces and priced at $3,200.

Prospex 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB207

The SLA047 takes more of its design cues from the 1968 Hi-Beat Diver. But the second reference in the 2021 Prospex collection – the 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB207 – is more of a modern-day riff on the mid-century classic.

With its slimmer12.50mm thick case, the 42mm diameter SPB207 is perhaps a bit better suited to 21st-century tastes. But being thinner doesn’t make it any less substantial. The SB207 is water-resistant up to 200 meters and has a solid black unidirectional bezel. And it is powered by an in-house, six-beat 6R35 automatic with a power reserve of 70 hours. Like the SLA047, it features a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a screw caseback, screw-down crown and comes on a stainless steel bracelet with super-hard coating.

The Prospex 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB207 is limited to 6,000 pieces and priced at $1,350.

Prospex Solar Chronograph SSC807

The third member in this trio of nature-themed dive watches is the Prospex Solar Chronograph SSC807.

Solar-powered, this Seiko follows the design cues of the modern Prospex Solar Chronograph line but with a few nods to the cult favorite, the “Sumo” Prospex Diver SPB101. The Prospex Solar Chronograph SSC807 includes wide, twisted style lugs and an easy-to-read scale on the unidirectional dive bezel insert. There are also screw-down chronograph pushers on either side of the crown.

At 44.50mm wide and 13.70mm thick, it’s a good-sized yet practical timepiece. The display is clean, with three black sub-dials with a power reserve indicator placed just above the 6 o’clock position. It is also water-resistant to 200 meters and powered by Seiko’s caliber V192, a solar-powered quartz movement.

Like the rest of the Prospex watches celebrating the 140th anniversary of Seiko, it also comes presented on a stainless steel bracelet.

The Prospex SSC807 is limited to 4,000 pieces and priced at $750.

All three 140th Anniversary editions also come with an extra silicone strap and will be available this March.

Learn more about Seiko Prospex at Seiko’s website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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