June 24, 2022
Seiko’s reputation as a manufacturer of world-class diving watches began in the 1960s when the brand began equipping explorers and researchers for their Antarctic expeditions. Using the information gained from these field tests, Seiko was able to fine-tune its cases and movements to withstand some of the harshest environments on the planet. Today, Seiko’s Prospex diver’s watches remain among the most popular in the world, and the brand’s “Re-interpretation” archive models are sought after by collectors.
Among the latest additions to the Prospex range are three modern reinterpretations of legendary Seiko diver’s watches from the 1960s and 1970s with their cases left mostly original and dials updated with colors and textures inspired by polar ice. . Seiko’s commitment to polar exploration, meanwhile, has evolved into a commitment to protecting the world’s oceans, and the brand is taking advantage of the launch of this new collection to contribute to several important conservation initiatives. Here’s an overview of the watches, as well as the causes they help support.
The watch: SEIKO PROSPEX 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation Save the Ocean Special Edition (SPB297)
The original Seiko diver’s watch from 1965 featured an automatic movement and 150m water resistance, both useful for scientists who wore it in Antarctica. This new version ups the ante on both counts, with a 6R35 caliber endowed with 70 hours of power reserve and a case clocked at 200m. The deep blue dial, meanwhile, is an artistic homage to the color and texture of the polar glaciers. ($1,625)
The cause: The PADI AWARE Foundation Marine Debris Program
The world’s largest underwater citizen science movement and cleanup initiative, also known as “Dive Against Debris”, the program brings together over 70,000 divers to create the world’s most comprehensive underwater database on seabed debris. This vital information is then shared with nonprofits, governments, and communities to help them create comprehensive conservation and cleanup plans.
The watch: SEIKO PROSPEX 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation Save the Ocean Special Edition (SPB299)
Released in 1968, the inspiration for this reissue was Seiko’s first watch with 300m water resistance and a 10 beat automatic movement. It also boasted a one-piece case design, a one-way rotating bezel, and a screw-down crown, which made the watch more durable and functional for divers, and made Seiko an increasingly big player in the game of diving watches. The pale blue dial of this reinterpretation features a jagged texture and shifting hue inspired by the ice cliffs of Antarctica. ($1,625)
The cause: The National Polar Research Institute of Japan
This scientific organization conducts research in the Arctic and Antarctica and helps humanity to better understand the impacts of climate change on these sensitive regions. Seiko diver’s watches were provided to Japanese Antarctic research expeditions in the 1960s, and Seiko resurrected that tradition in 2021, donating Prospex diver’s watches to the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition.
The watch: SEIKO PROSPEX 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation Save the Ocean Special Edition (SPB301)
Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura played an important role in the development of Seiko diver’s watches by wearing them on his expeditions, as he did with this one which accompanied him on a sled race 12,500 km solitary dog watch from Greenland to Alaska in 1976. A visual departure from previous versions with an asymmetrical cushion-shaped case and crown at four o’clock, its solid construction, very luminous hands and 150 meters proved ideal for Uemura’s needs. The new version increases the WR rating to 200m and adds a white dial inspired by the Arctic glacial seascape while retaining the original case shape. ($1,750)
The cause: Fournoi underwater study and excavation project in Greece
Seiko supports this underwater archeology project aimed at exploring and preserving a historic site off the Greek island of Fournoi. A graveyard of ships that sank as early as the 4th century (58 of them and counting), the area contains clues to the Mediterranean maritime trading system of the time, as well as countless important historical artifacts.
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