You know it’s a great day when you wake up to see emails from Seiko regarding their new releases and not just any new watches, but amazing divers that stay true to their original! It has been 55 years since Seiko released their first dive watch, and the first one in Japan, and to mark that milestone, Seiko releases 3 dive watches in the Prospex range that are tributes to their original with a modern take.
Originally introduced in 1965, the 62MAS only had water resistance of 150 meters, so in 1968, Seiko introduced the 6215-7000 with 300 meters of water resistance and also the first hi beat diver with 5Hz, or 10 beats per second. After receiving a letter from a professional diver looking for a watch that suits his needs for saturation diving, Seiko’s engineers went to work and in 1975, introduced a dive watch with 600 meters of depth rating with an L shaped gasket and a shroud protecting the bezel, this caught on and received the nickname, Tuna.
Staying true to the original design, the new SLA037 looks nearly identical to the 62MAS, except the case size, dial, and alloy used for the case. The case has been updated to a 39.9mm diameter with a thickness of 14.7mm. The case is made with a new alloy called “Ever-Brilliant” steel, it got the name due to the white hue it gives off. According to Seiko, the Ever-Brilliant steel has a PREN value that is 1.7 times more than standard stainless steel used in most high end watches, which increases the corrosion resistance of the case.
This new alloy is also being used in the SLA039 as well! Running inside the watch is the 8L55 hi beat movement at 5Hz or 10 beats per second that provides a smoother sweep than most of the watches with 4Hz/8 beats per second. It also has a respectable 55 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].
The dial side has what Seiko calls the blue-gray color, it also has a light gradiant fade that reflects the way ocean blue is to look, however, this cannot be seen easily based on the press photos we received. Of course, the hands and indexes are applied with Seiko’s LumiBrite, so expect the watch to glow like a torch in the dark. The crystal is updated with sapphire and is box shaped with anti-reflective coating applied on the inside. The watch has a 200 meter water resistance and is paired with a blue rubber strap to match the dial but also pays tribute to the original tropic strap!
1,100 pieces will be made with a suggested retail price of 6,500 Euros and releasing in July 2020.
As mentioned before, Seiko stayed faithful to the original designs and the SLA039 is no different! The case while large at 44.5, is the same as the original with the sharp edges. It receives a nice update with the Ever-Brilliant steel and receives the same blue gray dial as well. The applied indices and hands are filled with Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite and the hi beat movement 8L55 beating inside. The watch is rated to 300 meters of water resistance and has a dual curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside.
Only 1,100 pieces will be made and expected release is August 2020. The suggested retail price is 7,000 Euros.
The new Tuna, modeled after the ref. 6159-7010 while making some nice updates such as the Ever-Brilliant steel on the bezel and increased depth rating up to 1000 meters! The case is still titanium with a ceramic shroud covering the case and beating inside is the 8L35 automatic movement that beats at 4Hz or 8 times a second with a 50 hour power reserve. The watch also receives the LumiBrite treatment on the hands and indexes and the watch has increased magnetic resistance up to 40,000 A/m. The shroud case is a massive 52.4mm and stands tall at 17.2mm.
Like the rest of the trilogy, there will be 1,100 pieces made and available in September 2020 with a retail price of 4,500 Euros.
Wait, if this is a trilogy release, then why four watches? Well, who cares friends, but let’s just agree that this one is arguably the biggest threat to your budgetary ambitions…
Similar to the SLA037, this watch also has the similar size and the same blue gray dial. However, it does not receive the higher end movement but instead the robutst 6R35 with a 3Hz beat rate and 70 hour power reserve. The case is not made with the Ever-Brilliant steel but 316L and is slightly larger at 40.5mm but slimmer than the SLA037 at 13.2mm while also have a 200 meter water resistance. It does have a curved sapphire crystal and LumiBrite in the hands and applied indexes.
This is a great one for those who do not wish to shell out 6,500 for the SLA037 as this has a suggested retail of 1,350 and available in June 2020. However, this is also a limited release, with a total of 5,500 made.
On paper all of these releases look great and it looks like another set of winners by Seiko. We’re looking forward to seeing these in the metal at some point in the future at which time we will of course report back!