The brand that I look forward to hearing from the most at Baselworld each year would have to be Seiko, not only because I’m an avowed Seikoholic, but they always announce some great models. Well, 2017 did not disappoint! In the last few months there was much speculation in the Seiko collector community that Seiko would announce a heritage edition of their famous first diver the 6217-8001, aka the “62MAS” which debuted in 1965. The original 62MAS was rated to 150m depth, and had large lume filled indices for excellent visibility under water.
It was designed to be used in the harshest conditions, and it was definitely put to the test by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition from 1966 to 1969. The 62MAS performed extremely well during these expeditions, and the watch went on to become quite popular with the leisure diving community.
Today, the 62MAS has become highly sought after by vintage watch collectors, and it is one of Seiko’s most collectible and desirable vintage divers. Seiko has done a fantastic job lately in reaching into their past and releasing modern divers inspired by their vintage relatives and for Baselworld 2017, they did indeed announce a heritage edition of the famous 62MAS: The Prospex SLA017, and it is stunning.
The Prospex version is a very faithful re-creation of the original, retaining the case shape as well as the dial, markers, and hands. They even went so far as to engrave the screw-down caseback with the classic vintage Seiko Dolphin logo just like the original. Although faithful in look and feel, the SLA017 has of course been updated to rock solid modern specs. The stainless steel case measures 39.9mm wide, only 1.9mm larger than the 62MAS, and features a circular brushed finish (this measurement does not include the oversized screw-down crown). The case is also treated with a “super-hard” coating to increase scratch resistance.