Seiko SBDC103/SPB145J1 review

by Yeoman Cheung
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For the 55th anniversary of the 62MAS, Seiko released 3 special watches. On the back of the release, Seiko also produced 4 reissue/reinterpretation modern 62MAS pieces! Smaller case sizing to the last reinterpretation models (SPB051 and SPC053) with a more angular shaped case akin to the original 62MAS. Now when the announcement was made, it was pretty obvious the internet was going to go crazy for the 5500pcs limited edition version, with its blue sunburst dial and gold second hand. But in the background, was the Japanese Special Boutique Edition…. 

I noticed how nobody had seen this piece outside of Seiko! Every pre launch exhibition of the new watches included the standard (grey) version, the gold accented version on the rubber strap, and the limited edition version which included the strap with the bracelet. There were no physical pictures of the Japanese Special Edition! Straight away this intrigued me… and I knew that it was the one for me! I bit the bullet and pre ordered it for 1033 GBP delivered via Chrono24. 
Fast forward to launch day! What was the first thing I noticed? The price had shot up to 1249 GBP delivered. This priced it above the limited edition piece!! This just literally wet the lips further.. And yes by this point I was more than extremely excited!! It took a week for the watch to get to the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, it did get taxed upon arrival… but it was still cheaper than the limited edition overall. Win!

So it arrives at my door. Like an eager beaver, I unbox it and first impressions… KABOOM!! WOW!! YUSSSSSSS!! Seiko completely nailed it…. Like smashed the bullseye to smithereens!! The dial is incredible!! It has this almost grey tone in certain light conditions, but then 1mm movement and bursts of golden browns, beautiful beige, and sparkling champagne come flooding out… Truly spectacular!! I cannot do it justice on the gram whatsoever!! The case dimensions are perfect, and the case shape is truly more akin to the original, which the previous iterations failed on. The hands have the correct feel about them, and what I love mostly about the hands is how half of it is brushed, and the other half is polished giving this three dimensional effect when the light hits them at the right angle!! The finishing levels are top notch!! The beige lume markers go perfectly with that incredible sunburst dial… And…. They lume blue!!!! Blue!!! In Seikos patented lumibrite, which lets face it, is god darn nuclear… And it’s blue!!! Yes, I am excited, and happy, and ecstatic…. All the emotions from basically an amazing purchase!! Let’s get to the bracelet…. Dare I say, as comfortable as Rolex….?!?! Seiko really have upped their game on their once weak link of the product! This particular case and bracelet is coated in the patented diashield coating as well, making it extremely robust and scratch resistant. The clasp is now a forged piece of stainless steel, compared to the days of old, when it was pressed steel. The whole package is just brilliant.

Now come on, I must have something bad to say?? Ok, so I have to dig really hard… And go against my love for this piece to pull this out…… But, my dislikes are possibly the prospex X on the dial… And also the divers extension only being on or off. I’ve always preferred the Marine Master (MM300) ratcheting divers clasp, which should be implemented in all of Seiko’s diver watches in my opinion as it’s extremely adjustable and comfy!! Seiko please take note! Now that is me digging hard, because… This watch has single handedly knocked my SBDC007 titanium prospex diver (the “Shogun”) out of my collection. Seiko, please stand up, take a bow… Receive a standing ovation!! Amazing piece!! At this price point, there is simply nothing to contend with it. Nothing with as much charm and character… And nothing in terms of quality…. I am done!! 

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