When seminal Japanese watchmaker Seiko crafted the original dive watch back in 1965, few could have predicted the impact it would have on the industry. Heritage watchmakers from across the globe began peering over their shoulders, eager to learn how the little-known market had topped their level of innovation. With water resistance to 150m and an automatic movement, the 1965 dive watch was a stunning display of ingenuity. It proved its worth on the world’s stage when members of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition took it with them to the earth’s end, prompting Seiko to double down. The result was a landmark diver’s watch with 300m water resistance and a 10-beat automatic movement was created, in 1968. Now, more than 50 years later, Seiko’s greatest ever dive watch has been reborn.
Seiko has unveiled a new interpretation of that very watch to the iconic Prospex collection. Redesigned to better meet the climate conditions, the timepiece will be worn by members of the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s mission to Antarctica. Design-wise, it’s a perfect homage to the landmark ’60s release.
According to Seiko, the case, bezel and crown are all crafted from Ever-Brilliant Steel, a grade of stainless steel that the brand claims is ‘more corrosion resistant than that which is commonly used in watches today’. Additionally, the new piece ups the durability by altering the crown. In this instance, it is not screwed directly into the case but locked into a separate component that is built into the case.
Inside, the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation is powered by Caliber 8L35, a movement developed secially for diver’s watches and hand-assembled at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. “The movement’s rigidity and accuracy ensure the highest possible levels of performance in the most demanding environments, both on land and under water,” Seiko said in a statement.
In a fitting nod to the Antarctic explorers of old, the new piece features a patterned dial highlighted by subtle gradation of the blue from light to dark, which Seiko says ‘echoes the hauntingly beautiful colours of the polar ice’. All twelve-hour markers come with Lumibrite, as do the hands, while the crystal is a dual-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface.
Limited to just 1,300 pieces worldwide, the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation Save the Ocean Limited Edition will be available at Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners from January 2022. It is priced at AUD$7,250.
Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation Save the Ocean Limited Edition Technical Specs
Movement: Caliber 8L35
Driving system: Automatic
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Number of jewels: 26|
Case: Ever-Brilliant Steel case and bezel
Water resistance: 200m diver’s
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 42.6mm, Thickness: 13.1mm
Examples: Limited edition of 1,300
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