In this video review we go hands-on with a surefire hit release by Seiko. The SPB143 joins the Prospex family with a bang indeed. Taking some inspiration from Seiko’s iconic 62MAS, the SPB143 has decided to write its own story. In the video below I take you up close and personal with what has turned out to be one of my favourite watch releases of 2020 so far.
The stainless steel case has a 40.5mm diameter, a thickness of about 13mm, and it measures 47.6mm lug-to-lug. The hands, and indices are generously lumed. The lume on the bezel has been reserved for the pip at 12 o clock.
This model features a slate grey sunburst dial, it looks almost black. Other dial executions are available under references SPB145, SPB147, and SPB149. This particular model sits on the steel three link bracelet and features a three fold clasp with a secure lock.
Less visible is Seiko’s super hard coating, for added wear resistance. The curved sapphire crystal features one sided AR coating on the inner surface. Finally, beating inside is the tried and tested high performance calibre 6r35, an automatic movement with manual winding capacity and a very practical 70 hour power reserve.
I guess I don’t have to tell you that this watch takes its inspiration from arguably seiko’s most important diverswatch ever made, the 62MAS. Forgive me, I’m not going to dwell on that as this is a thoroughly modern watch with a story of its own. I hesitate to call this an homage or a re-issue. Rather, I look at this as a next step in the evolution of this particular style of diverswatch. I also don’t look at a Submariner 114060 and call it an homage to a 5513. This is a lesson in evolution, not history.
A visible difference from other Prospex watches is that we find the crown at 3 o clock here, not at the usual 4 o clock. No crown guards either. At this case size there is no need to edge it to 4 o clock to avoid it digging into your wrist.
Moving to the dial, the sunburst effect works well and I think the slate grey almost black color is the way to go. The applied indices and the baton hands are nicely finished. They are of course taking inspiration from the original model, but they feel entirely modern to me in this new, updated format. Floating above the dial is a slightly domed crystal, which looks great and really fits the overall design language of this watch.
Circling the dial is of course that brushed black brushed bezel. One clarification seems necessary here: The bezel is not ceramic as has been incorrectly reported all over the internet. We reached out to Seiko directly, and they have clearly confirmed – no ceramics. Seiko is able to bring ceramic bezels at a good price point, so you know this was purely a design choice. And I agree with the choice, it fits the overall aesthetic of this watch. A shiny ceramic bezel would have missed the mark. I felt exactly the same way about for example the non ceramic bezel on the Tudor Black Bay 58 and the same is true here.
Overall, bracelet and clasp have been fine-tuned and the increase in quality here is undeniable. Is the bracelet perfect? It isn’t in the same league as for example the bracelet on the Seiko Prospex LX line, but of course those are also in a different price category.
On the wrist, it looks good on something as simple as a NATO strap all the watch to a nice leather strap and of course on the OEM bracelet. The watch does not feel top heavy at all, so it sits nice on the wrist.
It is not a thick watch either so it easily slides under a shirt cuff as far as divers go. It works great on shirt and jacket and on more casual wear. Overall a great wrist experience and an enjoyable watch to wear for work and play.
When I think back of the Seiko watches I loved when growing up, they somehow look like this watch in my mind. SEIKO did a fantastic job, respecting the past while not fearing to bring this watch firmly into the 21st century.