The Japanese brand’s first-ever diver watch was created back in 1965. It was not only Seiko’s first, but also Japan’s first divers watch! The Seiko diver timepiece released at the time had a water resistance of 150m and carried an automatic movement. Being made of high quality and Seiko watches having a good track record of reliability, the members of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in 1966 decided to wear the first-ever Seiko Divers watch on their expedition.
The research team that went on expeditions to the Antarctic between the years of 1966 to 1969 decided to wear the updated iterations of the Seiko Diver’s model as well. It was during this time that Seiko released their landmark Diver’s watch. This timepiece, released in 1968, was equipped with a 10-beat automatic movement and had an impressive 300m water resistance.
Now, released late December last year, Seiko has taken this 1968 model and re-introduced it into the brand’s Prospex collection. This new Diver’s model, named Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation, is equipped to suit modern watch standards, however still retains the core design elements of the classic 1968 model. This new model will accompany the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s mission to Antarctica.
Seiko’s Prospex collection is well known for having incorporated a lot of diver’s watch technology. The 42.6mm case, bezel, and crown have been constructed from Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel, which is a grade of stainless steel that is more corrosion resistant than the standard stainless steel used throughout the watch industry today. The bezel inscriptions and dial design certainly take cues from the original 1968 model, however, the updated piece now has a reference to Antarctica, where the watch was initially designed for.
The patterned dial of the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation gives a visual image of the Antarctic landscape. The dial has a subtle gradient of the colour blue as it goes from light to dark along the outer edges of the dial. This gradient was done so that visually it showcases the beautiful colours of the polar ice. The bezel of the new model comes with ice-blue numerals and markers, all indicative of the icy landscape of the Antarctic.
Being a divers timepiece, the watch comes with an ample amount of luminosity. The hour markers along with hour and minute hand have been giving a large amount of Lumbrite. This will help during deep dives and in low-light conditions.
The movement used for the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation is the Caliber 8L35. This movement has been developed specifically for divers’ watches and is water-resistant to 200m. The movement has a magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m. The movement is hand-assembled by expert craftsmen and women at Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. Seiko has ensured that the accuracy, reliability, and rigidity of the movement are all performing at the highest possible level, especially in extreme conditions on both land and water.
The Caliber 8L35 movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 VpH and comes with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.
There are two strap choices for the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation. The first is designed as a re-imagined version of the 1968 strap, now being offered in silicone. The second strap choice is a Seichu fabric strap. Seichu incorporates a traditional braiding technique from Japan into the watch strap. Seiko has strengthened this strap further as it will be used for Diving.
The Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation is also a part of the brand’s Prospex Save the Ocean series. This series is made to support several different marine conservation initiatives. The brand states that as part of this program, Seiko recently donated watches to the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) team.”
Seiko’s Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation is limited to a production of 1300 units and is available this month for purchase.