Seiko dive back into 1965 (and 2017) with the SJE093 Seiko dive back into 1965 (and 2017) with the SJE093

Seiko dive back into 1965 (and 2017) with the SJE093

Fergus Nash
  • The Seiko SJE093 is a faithful recreation of the 62MAS from 1965.
  • It can be seen as an updated version of the SLA017 from 2017 with a more accurate case size.
  • The 6L37 movement introduces Seiko’s new range of slimline calibers.

To say that Seiko can sometimes be predictable would be a fair statement, as in the midst of surprising new references we can always rely on them to release a few reissues. Given that dive watches are by far some of their most popular models, it makes sense to give the people as much of what they want as possible. Seiko first re-released their original 62MAS diver in 2017, and this reference SLA017 still ranks among one of the most collectible Seiko Prospex watches with hefty price tags associated. This year, they’ve gone one step further by announcing the SJE093 with an even more accurate case and a price to irritate the hoarders.

The 1965 Seiko 62MAS was a legend even upon its release, with a guaranteed water resistance of 150m and proven reliability across many years of Antarctic expeditions. In a time when most dive watches coming out of Europe had dubious waterproofing and mostly bland, black-dialled designs, the 62MAS was both capable and refined with its grey sunburst pattern. 2017’s SLA017 turned lots of heads for its beautiful tribute to the 62MAS, and the SJE093 does the same thing. The case design, which has gone on to become a best-seller for the modern Prospex catalogue, is sharp and clean with its stern curves and clipped lugs. While the SLA017 upscaled the case to 40mm for contemporary taste, the new SJE093 echoes the 38mm size of the 1965 original.

As for the other details, the SJE093 totally lives up to its name as a re-creation of the 1965 diver. The pattern on the dial is stunning, freezing the heart with its smoky light-play. Wide applied hour markers are filled with Seiko’s LumiBrite for excellent legibility in both light and darkness, and the softened-square edges match on the hands and date window too. There’s no sign of the Prospex branding on the dial, ensuring an uninterrupted vintage viewing experience when you check the time. Perhaps the only difference between the SJE093 and the original 62MAS aesthetically is the bezel, which is still a metallic insert however slightly glossier than you’d expect.

Under the hood, there has definitely been developments since 1965. Eagle-eyed Seiko fans will have noticed that the dial does give away a change from 150m to 200m in water resistance, representing the growth in technology. The movement is also new from Seiko, with the 6L37 being the first of a new range of slimline calibers. The smooth 4Hz beat rate and 45-hour power reserve is a nice upgrade from the entry-level movements such as the 4R35, but collectors of the SLA017 will certainly be a bit disappointed that this watch isn’t fitted with an 8L35 — based on the Grand Seiko 9S55 and assembled at Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio. That is mainly where discussion of price comes in, as the SJE093 launches with the exact same retail price as the SLA017 from six years ago. Sure AU$5,500 is quite a lot of money to part with on a Seiko that doesn’t have the word “Grand” on the dial, and the movement wouldn’t exactly be considered a luxury tier either. Ultimately though, considering the inflation of watch prices and the proven resale value of the SLA017, there’s still value to be had with the SJE093.

The Seiko SJE093 pricing and availability:

The Seiko SJE093 “Prospex The 1965 Diver’s Re-creation Limited Edition” is limited to 1,965 pieces worldwide. Price: AU$5,500

Brand Seiko
Model Prospex The 1665 Diver’s Re-creation Limitied Edition: SJE093
Case Dimensions 38mm x 46mm x 12.5mm
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 200m
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Grey sunburst
Lug Width 19mm
Strap Tropic rubber strap
Movement 6L37
Power Reserve 45 hours
Availability Limited to 1,965 pieces
Price AU$5,500