Back in 2018, Seiko surprised us with 3 PVD cased watches in the “Dark” series with solar diver, solar chronographChronograph A chronograph complication is a feature in a watch that allows the wearer to measure elapsed time in addition to telling the time. It works by having a separate set of gears and levers, called the chronograph mechanism, which is activated by pressing a button or a pusher. The chronograph mechanism starts and stops the chronograph's second hand, which is usually located on the watch's dial, separate from the regular watch hands. The elapsed time is usually displayed on a sub-dial or a register on the watch's dial. [Learn More], and the popular Seiko Turtle, all in black colored cases and bezels. Fast forward to 2020, Seiko is releasing 3 more watches in the Prospex line with the same all black case and bezels. In line with the upmarket movement of Seiko, these 3 releases are on the higher ranges of the Seiko Propspex line.
Known for it’s case finishing and its monobloc case, the Seiko Marinemaster has had a cult following. In 2019, the company discontinued the older SBDX017 and updated the bezel to ceramic and updated the crystal to a sapphire crystal with the SLA021.
In addition, the old MarineMaster text was removed and replaced with the 300M text along with a gold Prospex logo, which brings in line with the rest of the professional line up even if it caused some uproar with the watch community.
Similar to the SLA021, the new limited dark series SLA035 has all the same features but with an all black case. Seiko did make some changes to the dial and hand set, as the gold Prospex logo is now white to match the rest of the dial. The 300m text and the seconds hand are also changed from gold to red, providing a nice contrast and military vibe. The indexes appear to be more white than the non limited editions but from the press photos, luminescence is definitely up to the Seiko brightness standard.
Running inside is the 8L55B, which according to Seiko is a non-decorated Grand Seiko automatic movement 9S55, it has 50 hours of power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More] and and has a bit loser tolerance than the Grand Seiko with a +15/-10 seconds a day tolerance.
As mentioned previously, the watch shares the same case with the SLA021 with a case diameter of 44.3 and height of 15.4. The size might come off as large at first but the short lug to lug distance of 50.5mm makes this wear closer to a 42mm watch and the case shape helps absorb some of the height when on the wrist, so it doesn’t feel as tall. All three releases come with a standard silicone strap. The SLA035 is going to be limited to 600 units worldwide and available in March 2020.
Next up is the SPB125, which is based off the Seiko Sumo line up. There have been many variations of the Sumo line up over the years. This slightly orange index with a large orange minute hand looks great against this all black dial and bezel, offering strong contrast and a fun touch of color, in addition to the black coating received.
The watch also received the updated 6R35 movement, which boasts an impressive 72 hour power reserve and runs at a tighter tolerance than the 6R15 movement in terms of accuracy with +25/-15 seconds a day. The case has a 45mm diameter with 12.9mm height, with a limited edition on the caseback. However, this one will have a much larger production number at 7,000 units and available starting in February 2020.
The SSC761, which I have yet to find a nickname from the Seiko fans online, reminded me of the previous generation solar chornograph. Similar to the Sumo, it has a contrasting orange minute hand and slightly burnt orange indexes to provide a nice playful contrast for legibility.
Running inside is the V192 movement with a tri-compaxTri-Compax A tri-compax watch is a type of chronograph watch that has three sub-dials ('triple register'), one for the chronograph minutes, another for the chronograph hours, and a third one for the running seconds [Learn More] layout showing the sub seconds hand at 9 o’clock, the 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock and the chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock. The case has a diameter of 44.5 and thickness of 13.7mm. The watch will also be available starting in February 2020 and a total unit of 3,500
More info here.