Baselworld 2018: Introducing Seiko’s Newest Group of Prospex Divers—refs. SPB077 and SPB079

Seiko’s very first professional diver, the 62MAS, was the subject of an emphatically popular reissue one year ago at Basel. Once again, Seiko looks to its enormous back-catalog for inspiration for a new diver reissue for 2018.

First, some history. In 1968, three years after the release of the 6217-8001 (aka the aforementioned 62MAS), Seiko released an upgraded professional diver. It doubled the water resistance to 300 meters. It was also Seiko’s first dive watch to feature a hi-beat movement, and it introduced a new case shape that would pave the way for the modern Marine Master 300. That influential Seiko reference (6159-7001) is now on the receiving end of a fairly faithful and handsome reissue (not limited!) in the form of the SPB077 and SPB079.

2018’s SPB079 next to last year’s novelty.

Collectively referred to as the Seiko Prospex Diver 200m, the SPB077 and SPB079 differ in the bezel and strap selection only. Both emulate the same striking case shape with a screw-down crown located at the four o’clock position. The dial markers resemble the same huge lume plots of the 1968 original with a combination of trapezoids and circles, though the handset has been updated to fit more in line with Seiko’s other contemporary diving ranges. The bezel is also slightly slimmer, a change that serves to accentuate the curves and strong lugs of the case.

The rugged stainless steel case measures 44mm in diameter and 13.1mm thick, and it boasts a water resistance of 200m, so it’s slightly less than the original reference but still enough to be a true dive watch.Inside is Seiko’s 6R15 automatic caliber beating at 21,600 bph and offering 50 hours of power reserve. Although the Seiko Prospex diver may not quite match the noteworthy specifications of its forefather in terms of beat rate or water resistance, the SPB077 and SPB079 offer the same strong styling and DNA that affirm Seiko’s rich history and reputation in the field of dive watches.

The black-bezeled SPB077 comes on a stainless steel bracelet with a diver’s extension, and it will sell for $1,050. The SPB079 represents a slightly different interpretation with a new blue bezel, and it’s mounted on Seiko’s silicone dive strap, and it will sell for $850. Seiko

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Brad stumbled into the watch world in 2011 and has been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. Based in London, Brad's interests lie in anything that ticks, sweeps or hums and is slightly off the beaten track.