HANDS-ON: The Seiko SPB333 Save The Ocean Limited Edition HANDS-ON: The Seiko SPB333 Save The Ocean Limited Edition

HANDS-ON: The Seiko SPB333 Save The Ocean Limited Edition

Zach Blass

If you are familiar with Seiko, then you know the corporation loves to celebrate an anniversary and 2023 will mark the 110th anniversary of its first wristwatch designed in 1913 – the first Japanese wristwatch for the record. Kicking off these celebrations is a brand new Prospex diver, the SPB333 Save The Ocean Limited Edition.



The case

Its largely brushed case design is based on the Seiko 6105-8000 divers watch from 1968, which many will know as the predecessor to the famed “Willard” diver that was released a few years later and worn in the film Apocalypse Now. Now, the core difference between the famed captain Willard and its predecessor, the 6105-8000, is its smaller case size. The “Willard” was 44mm in diameter, but the 6105-8000 however was a more compact 41mm in diameter. The reason I am pointing this out is because the new SPB333, inspired by the 6105-8000, also utilises a case diameter of 41mm. Rounding out the remaining case specifications, the stainless-steel case is 12.3 mm thick and, with its screw-down crown at the 4′ position, it is 200 metres water-resistant. The case, and its bracelet I will touch upon in a bit, are covered with Seiko’s super hard coating, making it that much more resistant to scratching and wear and tear over the course of daily use.

The dial

While this watch is a Save the Ocean limited edition, its aesthetic is inspired by the Arctic and Antarctic where Seiko has built a huge reputation for robustness through various expeditions their watches were brought on in such environments. When you look at the dial, you can tell almost immediately that it is inspired by the polar caps in the Arctic when you look at it. It kind of looks like a blend of Grand Seiko’s bamboo and White Birch dials. The applied indices and the central handset found on the dial are all coated in the brand’s Lumibrite, providing optimal visibility in darkness.

Seiko SPB333

Just to the left of the crown, you have a circular cut out for the date complication at the 4:30 position. This position for date window placement is known to be contested by dial purists, but, that being said, I think Seiko has done it very tastefully as the window is not really super big (but it is just big enough to make sure that it’s legible for the wearer). Further driving home the Arctic vibes of the textured white dial, Seiko has elected to use a faint ray insert for the timing scale of the unidirectional bezel.

The straps

Seiko SPB333

As I mentioned before the watch is offered on a stainless-steel bracelet to match the case. The bracelet is executed in a five row format that is kind of jubilee-esque in appearance, and it has a secure clasp closure with dive extension. You will also be glad to know that in the spirit of the Save the Ocean limited-edition namesake it is also offered with an additional polyester strap made entirely of recycled plastic bottles. This strap has a grey and white striping to it that perfectly matches the colour of the bezel and dial.

The movement

Seiko SPB333

Inside the watch you have the Seiko in-house caliber 6R35 a 21,600 vibration per hour automatic calibre that has a power reserve of 70 hours. It is by no means a COSC-chronometer calibre, but it is robust and reliable. And considering the price point, and the fact you are getting an in-house movement that has definitely been battle tested over the decades, it is definitely a calibre worthy of respect.

The verdict

I think it is safe to say that we all know just how popular limited-edition Seiko watches are, and, while it is limited to 5000 pieces, this is definitely a watch that if you think you want it I would jump on it sooner rather than later because I don’t think the inventory will last long. The Seiko SPB333 is a price-approachable totally in-house dive watch, rooted in rich heritage and history from one of the few vertically integrated manufacturers in the world – just Seiko and Rolex really. I firmly believe, especially with its friendly case dimensions and handsome aesthetic, it is not a question of if the SPB333 will sell out – it is a question of when.

Seiko SPB333 pricing and availability:

The Seiko SPB333 Save The Ocean Limited Edition is a limited-edition run of 5000 pieces and is available now for purchase. Price: €1,350

Brand Seiko
Model Prospex Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Save the Ocean Limited Edition
Case Diameter 41mm (D) x 12.3mm (T) x 46.9mm (L2L)
Case Material Stainless Steel (with super hard coating)
Water Resistance 200m (screw-down crown)
Dial White
Crystal Sapphire crystal
Strap Five row stainless steel bracelet and polyster strap
Lug Width 20mm
Movement In-house automatic 6R35
Power Reserve 70 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability Now, limited to 5,000 pcs.
Price €1,350