VIDEO: The Seiko Prospex SPB213J1 140th Anniversary is a super-crisp modern diverZach Blass
Whenever I am asked about the brands to get into when you’re just starting a collection, Seiko and their value-driven offerings are always at the top of the list. The vertically integrated manufacturer has a deep understanding of watchmaking, building all of the components in house to create robust, reliable and eye-pleasing designs that leverage over a century of accrued wisdom. For the brand’s 140th Anniversary, Seiko has introduced the Seiko Prospex SPB213J1 Diver – a limited-edition watch of 6000 pieces in its modern blue and white configuration
The stainless-steel case is 40.5mm in diameter, 13.2mm thick, and 47.6mm lug-to-lug. The case profile of the super-hard coated stainless steel evokes the original Seiko diver initially introduced in 1965, later proving its mettle in 1966 when it accompanied the wrists of researchers during the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research expedition. It is radially brushed on the front of the case, with a brushed case-band as well. The case-band does, however, have polished bevels that taper down to the polished squared off facets of the lugs. The SPB213J1, with it’s screw-down crown, is highly water-resistant – rated to depths up to 200 metres – that’s 50 metres more than the original diver launched in 1965.
While its case is very much vintage and heritage-inspired, the colour scheme of the blue bezel and stone white dial gives the SPB213J1 a crisp modern aesthetic and appeal. The unidirectional bezel has a full 60-minute timing scale etched in white against the blue backdrop of the bezel insert. The dial flips the switch, with a blue printed outer minutes track against the white dial. The hands and rectangular hour markers are filled with ample LumiBrite to ensure legibility in darker depths and settings. A calendar complication takes the place of third hour marker, with a black on white date disc that blends well into the dial.
The SPB213J1 is outfitted with a stainless-steel bracelet that has also received a super-hard coating. The bracelet is given a utility-driven satin-brush finish to the front and underside facets of the links, with the sides of the links mirror-polished. The satin-brushed clasp has a secure three-fold closure with a push-button release bracelet extender. For those who prefer straps to bracelets, you’ll be glad to know the drilled lugs make it easy to swap between the bracelet and straps you have in your arsenal.
Inside the watch, beneath it’s solid screw-down caseback, is the Seiko in-house caliber 6R35 – a robust automatic movement regulated to +25/-15 seconds per day. The 6R35 also boasts 70 hours of power reserve, situating the watch competitively against divers such as the Tudor Black Bay 58 at a fraction of the price.
Seiko Prospex SPB213J1 pricing and availability:
The Seiko Prospex SPB213J1 is available now, from Seiko Boutiques and Authorized Dealers, as a limited edition of 6,000 pieces. Price: $1895 AUD