Founded in 1881, Seiko is Japan’s leading watch company and one of the world’s largest in-house watch manufactures. In addition to Seiko branded watches, they also produce high-end timepieces under the Grand Seiko and Credor labels.

IN-DEPTH: Is the Seiko Prospex SLA017 62MAS re-creation their best dive watch ever?

The story in a second The most eagerly awaited dive watch release from Seiko…ever? Seiko were relative latecomers to the professional dive watch game, coming some 10 years after the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submariner. Released in 1965, the legendary Seiko 62MAS (ref. 6217) was Japan’s first professional dive watch and inspired a long tradition of Seiko divers that has seen the brand release some of the most widely used and respected divers on the market. In fact, some of Seiko’s own design innovations contributed to the foundation of the ISO 6425 dive watch standards. So, when the news leaked, that Seiko were finally answering the prayers and wishes of collectors by releasing a re-creation of the iconic 62MAS, the watch world was abuzz with excitement. Was it true? Were the pictures fake? Will they accept MasterCard? All was revealed at Baselworld 2017, when Seiko unveiled one of their most faithful vintage reissues ever, the Prospex SLA017. In fact, if you spotted someone wearing the modern re-creation, you would have a hard time distinguishing it from the original, without resorting to some expert level wrist stalking. The case The SLA017 is an almost exact duplicate of the original… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Dark and deadly – the Grand Seiko Black Ceramic Spring Drive Chronograph GMT (ref. SBGC221)

To be honest, when I first saw Grand Seiko’s contemporary-looking new modular ceramic Spring Drives, I was on the fence. I didn’t expect it, and wasn’t sure what to think. Of course the quality and technical precision were very much in evidence, but the aesthetics were well outside the norm for the brand. But over time the slick looks grew on me – Grand Seiko’s trademark crisp lines look great in black ceramic, and the sporty style was well-suited to the Spring Drive Chrono. So in the lead up to Basel this year, I was looking forward to seeing where they’d take the nascent collection, and I was not disappointed. It’s fair to say the blue and gold limited edition requires a somewhat outgoing personality to pull off on a daily basis; this black version, while not quite stealthy given the 46.4mm case, is far more restrained on the wrist. I’d go so far as to say this watch has a certain menace about it. The deep black colour, titanium and black ceramic case and bracelet, and busy dial all combine to make it look like it’s out of this world, in the same way that concept cars and next-generation fighter… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Way of the warrior – the Seiko Samurai returns in 2017

Seiko’s Prospex series of professional dive watches is renowned for two things: its exceptionally high quality-to-value ratio and its large number of passionate fans. And while there are a few perennial standouts in the Prospex family, some parts of the collection ebb and flow based on style and popularity. One such model is the so-called ‘Samurai’, a contemporarily styled 200m diver produced for a few years from 2004. Released in a range of dials variants, and in steel or titanium cases, the watch earned its moniker because the handset reminded wearers of the distinctive angles of the aforementioned warriors’ swords. Also, it’s an unwritten rule that wherever possible, Seiko model nicknames need to explicitly evoke their Japanese origins. As is so often the case with discontinued models, the Samurai developed something of a cult following, and prices for pre-owned models started, slowly but surely, to rise. So when Seiko announced at Baselworld earlier this year that the Samurai was back as a complete collection, it’s only slightly hyperbolic to say that the people rejoiced. Certainly people who care about well-priced, no-nonsense watches (which it turns out is quite a few) were pretty happy. That’s the backstory, so how about the watch?… Read More

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IN-DEPTH: Is the Seiko Prospex SLA017 62MAS re-creation their best dive watch ever?

The story in a second The most eagerly awaited dive watch release from Seiko…ever? Seiko were relative latecomers to the professional dive watch game, coming some 10 years after the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submariner. Released in 1965, the legendary Seiko 62MAS (ref. 6217) was Japan’s first professional dive watch and inspired a long tradition of Seiko divers that has seen the brand release some of the most widely used and respected divers on the market. In fact, some of Seiko’s own design innovations contributed to the foundation of the ISO 6425 dive watch standards. So, when the news leaked, that Seiko were finally answering the prayers and wishes of collectors by releasing a re-creation of the iconic 62MAS, the watch world was abuzz with excitement. Was it true? Were the pictures fake? Will they accept MasterCard? All was revealed at Baselworld 2017, when Seiko unveiled one of their most faithful vintage reissues ever, the Prospex SLA017. In fact, if you spotted someone wearing the modern re-creation, you would have a hard time distinguishing it from the original, without resorting to some expert level wrist stalking. The case The SLA017 is an almost exact duplicate of the original… Read More

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VIDEO: 4 of the hottest new Seiko releases

One of the brands we’re always excited to see at Baselworld is Seiko. Not just because they’ve always got a few surprises up their sleeve, but also, if we’re honest, because the price point is a lot less painful than some of their Swiss counterparts. This year we were particularly impressed with two models that represent different ends of the Seiko style spectrum. First up is the excellent reissue of the 62MAS, Seiko’s first ever dive watch. And then there’s the flashy, dressy Cocktail Time collection, which is now part of the ever-growing Presage family. No matter what your tastes, it looks like Seiko has your wrist covered in 2017.

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VIDEO: 4 of the biggest Grand Seikos released at Baselworld 2017

Grand Seiko had big news at Baselworld 2017 – and not just the epically proportioned (and named) Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s watch. No, the really big news was that for the first time since 1960, Grand Seiko would stand apart as its own brand. It was the logical next step for Japan’s premier watch brand, which only launched globally in 2010 but has been rapidly building boutiques ever since. Aside from changes to brand position, strategy, company structure and all that jazz, for watch fans the major shift is that Grand Seiko watches will no longer read “Seiko/Grand Seiko” on the dial. A break from tradition and a cleaner dial design in one fell swoop. Nice job Grand Seiko.

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HANDS-ON: Grand Seiko has just released their first professional diver, the Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m (refs. SBGH255, SBGH257) and we find it intimidating

Seiko’s reputation in the world of professional dive watches is unimpeachable, and a trusty Seiko diver is a staple in any well-rounded collection. But, until now these watches have primarily been made under the Seiko Prospex label. Well, that all changes today with the introduction of the first ever professional-grade diver made under their top tier label, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver. Released in two versions, the regular production black-dialled SBGH255 and the limited edition (of 500) blue-dialled SBGH257 is every inch a professional grade diver: with a large 46.9mm wide and 16.9mm high titanium case, powered by Grand Seiko’s excellent 9S85 movement, accurate to -3/+5 seconds a day. Moreover the ingenious design of the case (specifically the L-shaped crystal gasket) means that it’s suitable for gas saturation diving, without the need for a helium escape valve that would blemish the otherwise clean lines of the case. The watch is has magnetic resistance of 16,000 gauss, thanks largely to the solid iron dial. The unidirectional bezel, with elapsed time scale is heavily notched to ensure ease of operation, even at depth. What isn’t captured in this roll call of specifications is just how seriously manly this watch is…. Read More

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