How many times can you go back to the well? If you’re Seiko, and the well is the 62MAS, the answer, apparently, is as many times as you’d like. Or, six. By my rough count, that’s how many re-editions of the historically important Seiko diver we’ve seen since 2017, when they began to really lean into the iconography of their first professional dive watch with the SLA017 along with the SPB051, setting a template for both limited edition, higher priced versions of the 62MAS reedition for collectors, and a more value oriented approach for everyday watch enthusiasts, an approach that was arguably perfected with the SPB143 and its many, many variants. Now, just announced, Seiko has revealed a new re-edition of the 62MAS that might be the closest yet to the aesthetic of the original, with a higher end movement that brings the watch into luxury territory.
The headline here is that the case size of the new SJE093 is the closest approximation yet to the original watch from 1965. It gets the diameter exactly right at 38mm, and, crucially, comes in at just 12.5mm thick. Those are nearly identical measurements to the original 62MAS, and a whole lot more slender than the reissues, and it’s thanks to a new caliber making its debut in this very watch.
The new caliber is the 6L37, which shares an architecture with the 6L35, but has been upgraded to be more durable and resistant to shocks. Seiko says this caliber was made expressly for divers. The “L” series movements are generally of a higher spec than the “R” calibers that are found throughout most of Seiko’s divers in that $1,000 range. You’ll recall that we saw this range of movements in the new King Seiko line, as well as high profile, collector focused limited editions like the reissue of the original Alpinist. In addition to being advertised as more stable and accurate than R series movements (this one is rated to -10 to +15 seconds per day with a 45 hour power reserve) the fact that it’s marginally slimmer should allow for some greater flexibility in the design of these upper tier Seiko pieces. That Alpinist running on the 6L35, for example, was still only 11mm tall.
Unsurprisingly, the watch is a near note for note remake of the original 62MAS, and I imagine it looks a whole lot like a vintage example would have if found in a jeweler’s case in the mid 60s. The dial is gray with a subtle sunburst finish, with chunky rectangular and lume filled hour markers arrayed across the dial, now in proper proportion to everything else thanks to the tried and true 38mm case size. The steel case has the familiar skin diver profile, just a bit thinner now than we’re used to from the modern recreations, with gently curved lugs that we imagine are every bit as forgiving as the previous version of the watch. Something about the geometry of these almost barrel shaped Seiko divers has always made them wear pretty well on a variety of wrist sizes regardless of the actual dimensions, but this sub-40mm sizing certainly feels like it’s hitting a sweet spot.
The SJE093 is a limited edition, and will be sold in packaging that is made to look like the original box the 62MAS was sold in when first released. Only 1,965 pieces will be made, and the retail price is $3,500. Seiko