The breakaway Seiko of 2020 is this affordable, classic dive watch for under $1500USD, the SPB149J The breakaway Seiko of 2020 is this affordable, classic dive watch for under $1500USD, the SPB149J

The breakaway Seiko of 2020 is this affordable, classic dive watch for under $1500USD, the SPB149J


Editor’s note: We knew the reception would be good, for lots of reasons noted below. We suspected the reception might be great, as the watch has direct lineage to Seiko’s first-ever dive watch, the 62MAS. But, honestly, we didn’t expect the sheer level of excitement that it generated. So, we’ve reprised the video post to give you another look at what is certain to be a watch populating many best-of-2020 lists in a month or two. 

Seiko SPB149j best affordable 2020

We’ve become accustomed to the sight of a vintage reissue in the watch world. Some are good, some are just plain opportunistic and unimaginative, and some miss the mark completely. And the reason many miss the mark is an awkward straddling of the fence between the past and the present. The question boils down to the level of historical accuracy that is being attempted, and whether or not the watch pulls it off. The Seiko SPB149J is a modern reissue of the 62MAS, which was Seiko’s first ever dive watch and it opts to proffer a modern interpretation of the OG, rather than a slavish 1:1 reproduction.

This is a modern Seiko dive watch that employs some design cues from the original. The case has a similar shape. The dial layout is also clearly inspired by the 62MAS. But it is a thoroughly modern watch in the movement, bracelet (the original was sold on a rubber strap), and proportions of many other elements of the watch. As a result, we aren’t presented with a watch that looks too vintage for the modern enthusiast, or misses the details that would upset the vintage collector.

Seiko SPB149j best affordable 2020

The result is a watch that feels very coherent in the impression it gives and the way it sits on the wrist, making it a very compelling option for anyone in the market for a relatively affordable and well-balanced sports watch.

And don’t you all know it. The fanatical response to the SPB149J puts it among the most positively received Seiko dive watch models of the last five years. There’s some very stiff competition in that echelon, and even still, it’s possibly a podium finish for this very comely watch, and we can confirm it delivers on the hype on the wrist. Watch the video to see more.

The Seiko SPB149J has an Australian RRP of $1995, and is limited to 5500 pieces worldwide.

Made in partnership with Seiko. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.