In 1968, just three years after Seiko’s first diver’s watch was made, Seiko’s engineers raised the bar with a Hi-Beat diver’s watch with 300 meter water resistance that was one of the foundation stones on which Seiko’s future diver’s watch development was based.
It had a 10 beats per second high-precision automatic calibre, a one-piece structure, screw-down protection crown and unidirectional rotating bezel.
In 2018, that watch is remembered by Seiko in a commemorative edition that brings the latest in Seiko’s high technology watchmaking to professional and amateur divers.
Differently from the 1968 original that was designed for air diving, the new Prospex SLA025J1 is specified for saturation diving via a resilient one-piece case structure. Even with this enhanced specification, the watch rests easily on any size wrist.
The new model is powered by the fast-beating (36,000 vph) automatic Calibre 8L55 which was specially designed for diver’s use and is manufactured by Seiko’s skilled watchmakers in the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Morioka in Northern Japan. The power reserve is 55 hours.
The stainless steel case with super-hard coating has a diameter of 44.8 mm and a thickness of 15.65 mm. The Zaratsu polishing technique gives the lugs the typical sharpness of many Seiko top models.
A dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on inner surface protects the black dial offering excellent legibility. Each of the three hands has a different design, length and width and even the LumiBrite on each has a distinct shape so that the time can be read without error even 300 meters down.
The strap is made of high strength silicone offering great comfort on the wrist.
Water resistant to 300 metres / 990 feet, the new Seiko Prospex “1968 Automatic Diver’s” Limited Edition” Ref. SLA025J1 is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces with a price of Euro 5,500 / US$ 5,400. seikowatches.com