Featured Release Seiko

Release: Seiko 1970s Diver SLA049 & SLA051

As Seiko celebrates its 140th birthday, there are many new pieces introduced into the line up.  The watch covered here today is a bit unusual. Its original design was a dive watch, but worn by the Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura.

He completed a 12,500 KM solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska.  No water in sight. With that said, here is the SLA049. While the case and dial is indeed reminiscent of the famous Captain Willard watch this one is a bit different with the date at 4:30 instead of the standard 3 o’clock position. 

As such, all 12 hour markers are filled with the famous Seiko Lumibrite to provide great visibility in the dark.  In addition, the dial is different than any of the other Captain Willard variants as this watch comes with a patterned blue dial that represents the mountainous terrains that Uemura loved.  The blue dial and matching bezel is based on the blue tones of the earth’s upper atmospheric layers, seen by those who have reached the top of summit such as Uemura.  

Beating inside this beautiful blue dial is the caliber 8L35, which is a high grade movement seen on high end Seiko time pieces. It is similar to the 9S65 used in Grand Seiko, but without the decorations.  This caliber has a power reserve of 50 hours and beats at 4Hz, instead of the normal 3Hz seen in most Seiko watches.  The case is brushed with the proprietary super hard coating to protect the watch from scratches. 

While it is large at 44mm, it is on the thinner side as it stands at 13mm tall. This is rather thin compared to the Marine Master 300 at 15.5mm. Do not let the 44mm diameter deter you, as Seiko has a way to make larger watches wear smaller than the numbers suggest. 

The crystal is also now a dual curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside, instead of the hardlex used in the lower price point models.  With this based on a diver’s watch, the water resistance is 200 meters, which is great for all round daily usage and also comes with a blue silicone strap with train track patterns similar to the original.  On the case back, Uemura’s name and the individual number of the watch are shown. 

In addition to the blue limited edition, there is also a grey dial version, the SLA 051 which shares the same specifications except the dial.  Both watches will be available in July of 2021 at select Seiko retailer and boutiques with the SLA049 being a limited edition of 1,200 pieces while the grey dial SLA051 will be standard production. 

The retail price for the SLA049 is 3,200 Euros and the SLA051 3,000 Euros.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Caliber 8L35
  • Driving system: Automatic
  • Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Number of jewels: 26
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet with super-hard coating Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating Screw case back. Screw-down crown
  • Water resistance: 200m diver’s
  • Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m Diameter: 44.0mm, Thickness: 13.0mm
  • Three-fold clasp with push button release, secure lock and extender Silicone strap included (SLA049)
  • Approximate recommended retail prices in Europe: €3,200 (SLA049) €3,000 (SLA051). Limited edition of 1,200 (SLA049)

More info here at Seiko.

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