Seiko Introduces Astrolabe Inspired Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition 1965 Modern Re-interpretation SLA065

The new Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition 1965 Modern Reinterpretation, or better known as the SLA065, is an addition to a long line of limited edition Prospex watches that have served as a platform for the brand to support various marine conservation programs. It’s a watch that houses multiple intersections of Seiko design and various historical instruments embodying the spirit of exploration during a point in time when what was beyond the horizon, and below the ocean’s surface, was virtually unknown. While resting on the shoulders of the 62MAS, Seiko continues the lineage of the archetypal diver through the SLA065, while simultaneously paying tribute to a time keeping device that predates the wrist watch.

The overlapping circle design on the dial is inspired by a 6th century scientific instrument known as an astrolabe. Used for tracking time and astronomical observation, the astrolabe in its infancy was used to track the sun and other prominent stars in relation to the horizon (latitude) and the meridian (longitude). Naturally this information would prove useful for those navigating the seas, and so the astrolabe was modified to be sturdier and more aerodynamic by cutting some of the disc components away. Using a set of pin holes, a pivoting ruler, and a scale on the outer portion of the instrument, a seafarer would be able to determine their latitude, the height of the sun, as well as the time. As one prominent adventurer once put it, the distance you’ve traveled on your exploration is irrelevant, if you are unaware of the time it took you to get there.

An Example Of A Astrolabe Made Of Brass Via Britannica

The SLA065 uses the meridian lines engraved into an astrolabe as a pattern that radiates from different center points within the dial. The end result is an array of lines intersecting with one another as they weave in and out of the dial markers. Each and every one of the rectangular, LumiBrite filled markers gets a polished surround. Thicker rectangular blocks signify the cardinal hours with a partial marker at three o’clock aligned with a white date wheel dictated by black text. The dial and bezel match in color, adorned in a cyan blue that gets slight tones of green. This is a “Save the Ocean” edition after all, and the oceanic tones further compliment the pale green filled markers and handset.

There’s a sense of sleek and lustrous character that’s found within Seiko’s SLA collection. Seiko’s SLA divers have a refined quality that’s noticeable to the eye when you compare them side by side with a diver from their Seiko 5 Sports line. But Seiko doesn’t take it past the point where the traditional, wabi-sabi design is lost. The Seiko SLA065 retains the likeness of an affordable Seiko diver, but in a more matured form without coming off as too grand. 

The SLA065 plays both of those parts well starting with the steel case. The entire case body is hit with Seiko’s super-hard coating, also known as Dia-Shield. Most of the case is brushed except for some facets that get the Zaratsu polish treatment, a desired case finish found within their more luxurious Grand Seiko line. Seiko packages all of this into a tidy case capable of hitting 200 meters of depth no problem while keeping its footprint (should we make wristprint a thing?) within modern proportions – 41.3mm width, 13mm thickness, and 47.6mm lug to lug.

Seiko’s in-house 8L35 movement beating inside is another example of why the SLA065 toes the line between the SPB’s and the SBG’s of the world. Developed by Seiko specifically for their dive watches, the 8L35 touts features like a 50 hour power reserve, SPRON (Seiko alloy) hairspring, and an accuracy within -10/+15 seconds per day. The fact that the 8L35 movement is essentially an undecorated version of the Grand Seiko caliber 9S35, speaks volumes as to what type of movement is inside of the SLA065. It’s worth noting that the 8L35 sports a larger balance wheel to support the larger dive hands, and although it is the base of the GS caliber 9S35, it’s not regulated and adjusted to the same standards as its Grand Seiko brethren.

There is a certain quality that I’ve taken a liking to with the Modern Re-interpretation 62MAS divers. The SLA065 in particular takes these features and adds another layer to admire with the astrolabe-inspired dial. Removing the color-matched synthetic rubber strap should be cinch with the drilled lugs, and I’m sure throwing this diver on a NATO or a steel mesh strap would make the SLA065 even more likable on the wrist. With the SPB143 and co. still making their rounds as the darling of the Seiko Prospex diver line for hitting all the right design cues at an incredibly attractive price, the SLA065 and other 62MAS re-interpretations will continue to have to fight for the spotlight. That said, if you’ve been a lifelong Seiko collector, and have been curious about going upmarket, then the SLA line might be the way to go, or you could just jump into the deep end that is Grand Seiko. I guess all of this are good problems to have if you’re Seiko.

The Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition 1965 Modern Re-interpretation SLA065 is limited to 1,300 pieces and retails for $2,900. Purchasing the SLA065 supports an underwater archaeology project off the coast of the Greek island of Fournoi. With their diving efforts, there’s hope that researchers will learn more about the Mediterranean marine trading system in the 4th century … and maybe discover an actual astroblabe while they’re down there. Seiko

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.