Introducing the Seiko SPB149, or a Modern Reinterpretation of the 62MAS Done Right

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In 2017 when Seiko released their first re-edition of the 62MAS, the SLA017, they also released the Prospex SPB051/053s. Inspired by the 62MAS, these more affordable, non-limited edition dive watches were the real star of the show for enthusiasts as they brought, in spirit at least, some semblance of a rare, coveted Seiko icon back into their modern catalog. Now, with the release of their diver 55th-anniversary trilogy, Seiko has made a new version of the SLA017, the SLA037 (covered here), and, like in 2017, has released a more affordable version alongside it, the SPB149. But this is where things get interesting, as the affordable version, though also limited, has some significant differences from the watches released in 2017 that are likely to make enthusiasts, such as yours truly, extra excited.


SEIKO SPB149

  • Case Material: Stainless steel w/ Dia-Shield super-hard coating
  • Dial: Blue-Gray Sunburst
  • Dimensions: 40.5mm
  • Crystal: Domed Sapphire w/ AR
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Screw-down             
  • Movement: 6R35
  • Strap/bracelet: Bracelet, Silicone
  • Price: $1,350
  • Limited Edition: 5,500 Units
  • Expected Release: June 2020 

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While the SPB051/053 (reviewed here) were in the spirit of the 62MAS, they also had significant visual changes that make them their own watches. Those changes, as is always the case when the archives are being drawn upon, were a bit divisive amongst enthusiasts, though after some initial indigestion, they were accepted and the watches were appreciated. The SPB149 isn’t a new version of those watches, it’s a whole new take on an affordable 62MAS recreation that stays much closer to the original, which is likely to both please fans and possibly infuriate 051/053 owners.

The SPB051 (left) and 053 (right) from 2017

At 40.5mm vs 42.5mm it’s significantly smaller, bringing it much closer to the original and higher-end recreation. I imagine non-watch nerds would look at those two numbers and say “so what?” but us enthusiasts know that on the wrist that will make a world of difference. The crown at three and straight lugs remain, sticking with the 62MAS’ design language. Next, the dial has been overhauled. The markers appear to be a sort of hybrid between the 051/053 and the original, staying closer to the latter for a simpler appearance. Remarkably, the chapter ring has also been removed, keeping the dial flat which immediately gives it a more vintage look. Tying the 149 to the 55th trilogy, the dial is a very appealing blue-gray sunburst.

Next, and this is where 051/053 fans might get a bit prickly, the hands have been changed from the contentious large arrow and sword, to straight swords. While closer in style to the 62MAS, they are actually even more similar to the contemporary Marine Master’s hands, as they feature pointed tips. The result is a cleaner dial that’s truer to the source. Lastly, the bezel insert has gotten an interesting redesign making it neither exactly like the 62MAS or the other modern reinterpretations. In photos, it appears a bit wider and flatter, and while maintaining the classic Seiko layout of numerals, lines, and dots, the typography seems taller and more square. Frankly, it’s a great look that I hope to see on more Seiko divers.

Not all of the changes are external, as the 149 also features Seiko’s newer 6R35 caliber, which features a 70hr power reserve, which is a substantial increase. While the same thickness as the 6R15, the 149 does come in at 13.2mm, which is almost a millimeter thinner than the 051/053s. Between the reduction in diameter and thickness, the overall wearability of the 149 should be improved as well, at least on smaller wrists.

Of course, not every change is bound to be a crowdpleaser as the SPB149 also comes with a higher price tag of $1,350. It does, however, come with both a steel bracelet with extender and an additional silicone strap, which adds some value back in. Limited to 5,500 pieces worldwide, the SPB149 seems like the 62MAS-inspired reissue that Seiko enthusiasts have been waiting for. Seiko

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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