Dive watches have come and gone throughout history, with Rolex and Omega being the most well-known. Many people wear Submariners and Seamasters, and some claim it’s the ideal type of watch to wear. However, the Japanese Domestic Market likes to argue otherwise.
Seiko watches are a popular choice to write about, mostly confined to Seiko’s Prospex series. But what made the Prospex so desirable?
Prospex stands for “Professional Specifications.” It’s Seiko’s contribution to the professional world, where people expect nothing less than the finest timepieces.
In the 1960s, the prevalence of scuba diving was on the increase. We know how important it was for every diver to time their dives, and the impact it had on the horological business was game-changing. As such, dive watches became exceedingly popular. Every watchmaker internationally competed to create the best, and the result was the 6217, the first Seiko diving watch in 1965. It was Seiko’s initial foray into the realm of “high-end” professional dive watches. Subsequently, it helped make Seiko dive watches as iconic as they are today.
Ever since Seiko has been producing a range of timepieces devoted to diving. From low-cost quartz timepieces to higher-end automatics, there’s something for everyone.
Prospex timepieces are not to be mistaken for Seiko’s traditional mechanical wristwatches. These are far from inexpensive, and their build quality is comparable to that of a Rolex. A high-end precision device from a company known for producing low-cost quartz. This is only scratching the surface when it comes to construction quality. Prospex is known for its modern technologies.
In respect of diving watch development, Seiko’s Prospex is the main pioneer. For example, Prospex is the very first diver watch to include a titanium casing instead of steel. Also, the first to utilize a quartz movement in a pro dive watch. The first to have a ceramic shroud for deep-sea dives. And the first one to employ a combination analog-digital watch, including an alarm. Finally, the timepieces are driven by Seiko’s own in-house movements. These are widely regarded as among the highest quality in the industry today.
Not restricted to diving watches, the Prospex line provides a range of precise timepieces. The Prospex series includes automatic and quartz movements. Also, analog and digital displays. The majority of people can’t distinguish between a regular Seiko and a Prospex timepiece.
Though collectors didn’t receive all Prospex models well, each new release had a different reaction. Some were successful, and others were not. But whichever did become popular was likely a diver’s piece. Seiko has gained a deep understanding of diving watch development. Consequently, mistaking the Prospex collection for a diving range is common. Despite this, Prospex remained committed to producing the highest quality products using Seiko’s technology for pros.
Marine Master Professional
Let’s take a look at Prospex’s most famous offering, the Marine Master Professional. Affectionately nicknamed “Tuna.”
So why “Tuna”? Well, the Marine Master has a similar likeness to a tuna can. The Tuna came in a variety of styles – the main differences being the depth rating and movement. And the granddaddy of all, the SBDX011, earned the moniker “Emperor Tuna.” Mostly due to its massive size and 1,000m depth rating
The “Emperor Tuna” houses a highly sought-after movement. A Seiko in-house caliber 8L35 powers it. This is a variation or, to put it differently, an undecorated movement comparable to the 9S55. The 8L35 is a Prospex that has a 50-hour power reserve, date display, hacking mechanism. Furthermore, it has automated winding with an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds every day (that can be adjusted and calibrated). This reliable movement can withstand harsh conditions. There are bells or whistles like see-through case backs… It’s just a basic, long-lasting movement created for the sea.
Overall, the Seiko Prospex, especially the Emperor Tuna, is the best Seiko offers. Everything from the build quality to the movement is exactly what a serious professional desires. It’s a powerful item that can stand up to the strongest of rivals. New pieces are released every year. Revolutionary technology is on the horizon, not to mention the occult-like antique culture that exists now. The Prospex Marine Master will most likely alter your opinion about Seiko watches.
The Landmasters, Fieldmasters, and, of course, those driven by Seiko’s unique Spring-drive mechanism are other noteworthy Prospex pieces.
5 of the best Seiko Prospex Dive watches available today
1. Seiko Prospex Samurai Save The Ocean Diving Watch
The casing of a midrange watch is somewhat cushion-shaped, earning it the nickname “Turtle.”
The blue dial and stainless steel casing make this item seem like it belongs in the ocean. You can be certain this Samurai watch will be of great use to you in terms of functionality. It features a 200m water resistance rating, luminous hands, markings, and a unidirectional bezel to assist you in obtaining precise statistics on the time you spent diving. What’s great is that it’s all done automatically.
2. Seiko Prospex PADI Solar Watch
Seiko’s other Solar powerhouse debuted a while ago and is still smashing diving records. It’s bold, practical, and environmentally responsible. The red and blue color scheme is striking. And the multipurpose dial with a rotating bezel will endure over a long time.
Supplementary features such as a triangle pointer aid in the measurement of oxygen levels underwater. Also, the water resistance to 200m ensures that it continues to function even at the deepest depths.
The solar quartz is a fantastic component of the watch since it provides an almost limitless quantity of power and is eco-friendly.
Stainless steel is used for the 43.5mm case and strap with a three-fold clasp with a tight lock. The display is protected by Hardlex glass. Inside, a Japanese V157 solar quartz is used in the movement. Resistant to water for 200m and holding a 10-month battery reserve.
3. Seiko Prospex Automatic Black Ion Dive Watch
A large, showy watch with a hefty price tag is a financial commitment that not everyone can make. Those that can know this model will last forever, if not longer.
Let me quickly cover the features that Seiko included before you decide whether or not to buy it. With a 41-hour power reserve, even the most dubious divers will be impressed. It has a reasonable 40mm diameter.
Both manual or automatic winding options are offered—lumiBrite markers and hands. You can only spin the elapsed time bezel in one direction at a time. It’s not too big at 40mm. The crown and case back are both secured with screws. You also get a date display.
It has a power reserve of approximately 41 hours. It has a black ion finish with a matching black silicone strap. On the whole, it’s waterproof to 200m with a pressure of 20 bar.
4. Seiko SKX009K2 Stainless Steel Automatic Watch
Keeping with the Seiko heritage red and blue motif, here’s another candidate worth your consideration (and money). It is the perfect pair for any experienced diver since it combines a stunning look with a functional mechanism.
The battery-free mechanism will wow you, as will the two-tone unidirectional bezel. The scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal is another essential factor to consider when weighing the benefits and drawbacks of this gadget.
Stainless steel is used for the 42mm case and strap that is protected by scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal. Also, there’s a day and date display. Inside is a Japanese 7s26 automatic chronograph movement. Resistant to water for 200m.
5. Seiko Chronograph SSC015P1 Dive Watch
This ‘busy’ diving watch has a packed display with features that a diver will enjoy. This is no exception. It has an analog display powered by a solar panel. The unidirectional bezel is numbered, the crown is red striped, and three chronograph subdials are on the black dial. What a diverse collection! Despite the large side buttons, the watch has a sleek appearance that the majority like. This style is versatile enough to be used on both water sports excursions and elegant evening outs.
Stainless steel is used for the 43mm case and strap. The display is protect4ed by Hardlex glass. Inside you’ll find a Caliber V175 Solar Power Quartz. Resistant to water up to 200m. Also, you get a unidirectional bezel with numbers and a push-button clasp with a button.
Jump feet first into learning more about dive watches here.
Another interesting range of Seiko watches is its Kinetic range. Or, check out how Seiko compares to another great Japanese watchmaker, Orient
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