To celebrate the 55th anniversary of their first ever diver’s watch, Seiko have announced the release of a stunning trio of Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers Limited Edition watches all limited to 1,1000 pieces each. Synonymous with excellence, longevity and precision, the original Seiko divers watches with their automatic movements and 150 metre water resistant cases proved their reliability when they were used by members of the Antarctic Research Expedition from 1966 to 1969. Since then, the Japanese manufacturer has become a first choice for professional divers and adventurers alike.
Three of Seiko’s most iconic diver’s watches from 1965, 1968 and 1975 have been re-created in celebration of the anniversary, offered in their legendary Prospex collection. While each new Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers Limited Edition watch is a faithful recreation to its original predecessor, the designs have been upgraded and modified slightly for a modern-day wearer. The most noticeable change is the addition of a deep blue ocean dial which still offers exceptional readability with large Superluminova indexes and hands.
The stainless steel cases have also been improved with a new grade of steel known as Seiko’s “Ever-Brilliant Steel”. This material showcases an unmissable white hue and promises to be more corrosive resistant than that which is used in most other luxury watches today. It is a material often used in the surfaces, linings, bolts, and other components of marine structures due to its notable corrosive resistant properties in chloride-rich environments like seawater. This is the first time the material has been used within the watch industry and will no doubt set a new level of durability in a divers watch. It can be found on the cases of the 1965 and 1968 re-creations and on the bezel of the 1975 re-creation whose case is, like the original, in titanium. Let’s take a look at each of these re-creations in more detail…
Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1965 Limited Edition (SLA037J1)
The first ever diver’s watch to be released in Japan and by Seiko was in 1965, and the new Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1965 Limited Edition recreates this very model. During this time, high water resistant watches were not widely available so when it was unveiled with its automatic mechanical calibre and 150 metre water resistant case, it made a huge splash on the market. It was also the very watch used by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition from 1966 to 1969.
The new contemporary re-creation remains faithful to the original design with its sleek slugs and stunning case back engraved with the same dolphin emblem. Improvements come in the form of its 39.9mm case (increased in size by a very minor 1.9mm) engineered from “Ever Brilliant” steel, water resistant to 200 metres and fitted with box shaped sapphire crystal glass treated with super-hard coating. Housed within is the 10-beat Caliber 8L55 automatic movement which promises a power reserve of 55 hours. The Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1965 will be made available in July 2020 and retail at £5,600.
Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1968 Limited Edition (SLA039J1)
Re-created after the first high-beat diver’s watch created by Seiko in 1968, the Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1968 Limited Edition also features some greatly enhanced specifications. The original laid the foundation for Seiko’s divers watch development with its 10 beat high precision automatic movement, one-piece structure, uni-directional rotating bezel and screw-down protective crown. Similarly, the re-creation features a 10-beat automatic movement, the Caliber 8L55, a unidirectional bezel and a 300 metre water resistant case.
The “Ever Brilliant” steel 44.8mm case has also been enhanced with Seiko’s unique Zaratsu polishing technique which brings a beautiful sharpness and shine to the case and lugs. Dual curved sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface is also used to provide optimal legibility over the blue Superluminova decorated dial. The Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1968 Limited Edition will be released in August 2020 and a retail price of £6,050.
Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1975 Limited Edition (SLA041J1)
Last up in the trio is the Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1975 Limited Edition. The Seiko Tuna returns in brilliant form, inspired by a Seiko divers watch unveiled in 1975. Its design began with a letter from a professional diver who explained that no watch could withstand the stresses and strains he had experienced when working at underwater depths greater than 300 metres. Always up for a challenge, Seiko spent several years designing and researching the ultimate deep-diving watch and in 1975 they introduced the world’s first titanium case divers watch which boasted a remarkable 600 metre water resistant.
Like it’s predecessor, the Seiko 55th Anniversary Divers 1975 Limited Edition features a titanium one-piece case in the legendary Turtle shape and with the same loyal hour markers and crown. Its water resistance has been improved to an unbelievable 1,000 metres while its outer case material is now crafted from zirconia ceramic which is renowned for being seven times harder than steel. The case is also fitted with anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass, comes with an increased anti-magnetic resistance of 40,000 a/m thanks to the dial made of pure iron and makes use of the Caliber 8L35 automatic movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. The limited edition will be released in September 2020 and will retail for £3,900.