Collectors worldwide will agree that Seiko is among the most formidable watchmakers of today, and while so many traditional watch brands have struggled to stay relevant during the pandemic, the Japanese watch manufacturer’s releases have never been more coveted. For 2021, they have unveiled an incredible selection of new designs and many Seiko limited editions in celebration of their 140th anniversary. In particular, we’ve seen many new pieces from their legendary Prospex diver’s collection alongside several Seiko Presage references. Let’s take a look at all the latest Seiko 2021 watch releases…
Seiko Prospex Island Green Limited Editions SPB207, SLA047, SSC807
With 2021 marking Seiko’s 140th anniversary, the brand have unveiled a stunning series of limited edition watches that embody the spirit of their founder Kintaro Hattori. One of the first of the year was a trio of Seiko Prospex Island Green watches designed to capture the deep green scenery and rich ocean colours of Japan’s Iriomote Island through handsome forest-green dials. Reference SPB207J1 from the collection installed the classic Prospex diver’s aesthetic with a slim unidirectional rotating bezel, 42mm stainless steel case and a screw in case back befitting of a 200 metre water resistant rating. Within, the 6R35 automatic winding movement delivers a power reserve of 70 hours alongside classic central hands for hours, minutes, seconds and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. The Seiko Prospex Island Green SPB207J1 is limited to 6,000 pieces and like its two counterparts, delivered in a special 140th anniversary commemorative box.
Next up in the trio is reference SLA047J1. This design delivers a slightly more luxurious aesthetic with a larger case size, Grand Seiko-approved automatic movement and a breathtaking zirconia ceramic bezel. It’s stainless steel case comes in at 44.3mm in diameter and houses the 8L35 automatic winding movement, a hi-beat calibre assembled entirely by hand at Seiko’s legendary Shizukuishi Watch Studio and based on the legendary Grand Seiko Calibre 9S55. It delivers an outstanding accuracy of +15 to -10 seconds per day and a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. The Seiko Prospex Island Green SLA047J1 is a limited edition of 3,000 pieces. Lastly, reference SSC807J1 stands out for its chronograph complication and its bulky case design often nicknamed the Sumo by Seiko collectors. Once again engineered from stainless steel with a green dial, the case measures to 44.5mm and protects a unique solar powered quartz movement, the V192 Calibre. It provides central hands for hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, a 24 hour hand at 3 o’clock, a small seconds hand, date display and a display function for highlighting the remaining power reserve. This model is limited to only 4,000 pieces. You can read a full review of the Seiko Prospex Island Green Limited Edition collection here.
Seiko Prospex King Samurai & King Turtle “Save the Ocean” SRPF79, SRPF77
In addition to the brand’s already extensive list of nicknames, for 2021 they delivered a new Seiko King Samurai watch under reference SRPF79 and another Seiko King Turtle under SRPF77. The prefix “King” is only a fairly recent add-on by Seiko to describe Prospex models that have undergone several important improvements. Some of these upgrades include a newly designed bezel grip for better control, a new ceramic insert on the bezel, sapphire crystal glass and unique dial designs featuring a unique waffle-like texture – which in this pairing is dressed in blue. The Seiko Prospex King Samurai SRPF79 retains all the classic elements of its namesake including sharp hands and a sleek 43.8mm stainless steel case. It is powered by the 4R35 automatic winding calibre and delivers hours, minutes, seconds, date and a power reserve of 41 hours. Meanwhile, the Seiko Prospex King Turtle SRPE03K1 boasts its iconic cushion-shaped case in stainless steel measuring to 45mm and equips the 4R36 automatic calibre with a double day and date window and power reserve of 41 hours.
Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Glacier” & “Captain Willard” SLA043, SPB183
2021 watch not only marked the 140th anniversary of the brand’s founding, but the 55th birthday of Seiko’s first ever dive watch. In celebration of this milestone, the Japanese watch manufacturer released a duo of Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary Limited Edition watches. The first of the pair under reference SLA043J1 has been nicknamed “Glacier” for its stunning marine blue dial inspired by the freezing temperatures of Antarctica seas. The rest of its aesthetic commemorates the brand’s original 62MAS model which was worn during an Antarctic Research Expedition to test its capabilities in extreme conditions. The 904L stainless steel case measures to 39.9mm in diameter and is equipped with the automatic winding 8L35 Calibre. The Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary watch under reference SPB183J1 is nicknamed “Captain Willard” as it takes inspiration from a Seiko Turtle divers watch notoriously worn on the wrist of Captain Willard in the cult 1979 film Apocalypse Now. It showcases a 42.7mm stainless steel case, blue aluminium insert bezel, 200m water resistance and the 6R35 automatic winding calibre with a 70 hour power reserve. You can read our full review of the Seiko Prospex 55th Anniversary “Glacier” and “Captain Willard” watches here.
Seiko Alpinist Prospex 1959 Re-Creations SJE085, SPB241, SPB243, SPB245
Another instalment to Seiko’s 2021 watch releases is a brand new collection of Alpina Prospex creations inspired by the original Seiko Laurel Alpinist of 1959, a watch specially designed for Japanese mountain climbers. As part of the collection, there is an ultra-faithful reproduction of the original design under reference SJE085J1 as well as three modern interpretations under the Prospex line as SPB241, SPB243 and SPB245. Starting with the loyal re-recreation, the 2021 Seiko Alpinist reference SJE085J1 is almost an exact replica of the original 1959 model with only a few minor concessions to modernity. It boasts a 36.6mm stainless steel case with the same thin, flat bezel and thin lugs with a water resistance of 100 metres with modern and highly domed sapphire crystal glass. At the centre, the black dial revives the distinctive dauphine-shaped hands powered by the Calibre 6L35, a high-grade automatic movement with a 45 hour power reserve. Reference SE085 is suitably limited to 1,959 pieces.
Now onto the modern interpretations under references SPB241, SPB243 and SPB245. While still directly inspired by the original 1959 model, these Seiko 2021 releases are more contemporary in design, offered at a more accessible price and not limited edition. They measure to 38mm in diameter from stainless steel with the same sharp edges and polished lugs as the limited edition above. Their dials are distinctively more modern with contemporary lettering and a multi-dimensional finish available in grey, silver-cream or green. The Seiko Alpinist Prospex watches are also powered by the mid-range Calibre 6R35 which is visible through the case back and delivers a comfortable 70 hour power reserve.
Seiko Presage Sharp Edged GMT Collection SPB217, SPB219, SPB221, SPB225
Back in 2020, Seiko launched the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series with a Grand Seiko-esque elegance and sharper, more polished surfaces. For 2021, the collection expands with four new GMT models with a larger case and new movement under references SPB217, SPB219, SPB221 and SPB225. The new editions remain engineered from stainless steel but measure in at 42.2mm in diameter and house the Calibre 6R64, a new automatic movement which delivers a useful central 24 hour hand to pair with the 24 hour fixed bezel. The movement also delivers a small seconds dial and a power reserve indicator for up to 45 hours. Like the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged three-hand editions seen last year, the dials retain the characteristic Japanese Asanoha or hemp leaf geometric pattern in four different colours. There is Aitetsu or indigo iron, Tokiwa, the colour of evergreen trees, Sumi-iro or Japanese black ink, and Hihada-iro, a reddish-brown derived from the bark of the Japanese cypress. All four models are worn on a stainless-steel bracelet.
Seiko Prospex Tortoise Land Collection SRPG13, SRPG15, SRPG17, SRPG18
The Seiko Turtle is one of the brand’s most iconic pieces designed as a diver’s watch for underwater exploration. Now, for 2021, Seiko have launched the new Seiko Prospex Tortoise suitably named after the land variant of the turtle, a design destined for use not in water but on soil. There are four new Seiko Prospex “Tortoise” Land watches currently on offer under references SRPG13K1, SRPG15K1, SRPG17K1 and SRPG18K1 all of which maintain the iconic pebble-shaped case, 4 o’clock crown, 200 metre water resistant rating and 42.4mm diameter. Their evolution however comes from their bezel, which instead of delivering a 60 minute scale for diving, the aluminium insert is printed with a bi-directional compass scale. The colour of the bezel is designed to match the smooth dial with choices of khaki green, navy blue, black or a rose gold PVD case paired with brown. Powering the hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve of 41 hours is the Calibre 4R35 protected behind a closed case back uniquely engraved with ground-to-air emergency signal codes.
Seiko Presage Style60’s Collection SRPG03, SRPG05, SRPG07, SRPG09, SSA423, SSA425, SSA426
Another addition to the Presage collection for Seiko’s 2021 releases is the Seiko Presage Style60’s watch collection modelled after one of the brand’s most historic pieces, the Seiko Crown Chronograph of 1964. The 1964 Crown watch was Japan’s first wrist chronograph with spectacular column wheel and horizontal coupling architecture and a sharp case and bezel. This very aesthetic is revived in the new series with four time-and-date references and three open heart designs. The time-and-date models can be found under references SRPG03, SRPG05, SRPG07 and SRPG09 with 40.8mm stainless steel cases, box-shaped Hardlex crystal glass, fixed bezel with 60 minute metallic insert and sun-brushed dials available in ivory white, blue, dark green or black. The Seiko Presage Style60’s Open Heart watches under SSA423, SSA425 and SSA426 follow closely to the four classic models above with the same case shape but instead opt for a unique cut-out aperture on the dial and 24 hour indication powered by the Calibre 4R39. These models are available with dials in ivory white, black and brown.
Last but not least in Seiko’s 2021 watch releases is a duo of Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Antarctica watches. The designs continue the brand’s Save the Ocean series which donates proceeds to sea conservation and environmental organisations with a new icy aesthetic inspired by the landscape of the world’s largest marine sanctuary: Antarctica. The dials are dressed in graduating hues of blue and textured to echo light as reflected on the ice with footprints representing the declining numbers of its penguin inhabitants. The first design in the duo is the Seiko Prospex Baby Tuna SRPG59K1 which retains the familiar “Tuna Can” aesthetic but at a smaller size of 43.2mm in stainless steel. The unidirectional bezel is coloured with a new silver-coloured metallic insert to pair with the white Lumibrite accents on the artic dial. The hours, minutes, seconds and date are powered by the automatic Calibre 4R35. Lastly, the Seiko Prospex Monster SRPG59K1 is characterised by its large toothy steel bezel paired with a 42.4mm steel case and bracelet. Inside the case is the automatic Calibre 4R36 with day and date complication and a power reserve of 41 hours.