Following Seiko’s 2017 re-issue of its first expert jump watch with the SLA017, in light of the 62Mas, this year the brand praises the 50th commemoration of another symbol, the primary hi-beat plunging instrument at any point made, the mighty 1968 Ref. 6159-7001. With this new Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 , the Japanese brand discloses another watch that nobody can address as far as style (it has been consistently commended) at a cost of EUR 5,500, which has incited a few questions about its situating. It’s time to go active, to see the watch in the metal and to comprehend why this SLA025 isn’t your standard Seiko Prospex plunge watch.
The foundation story behind the new SLA025
One of the stars of Baselworld 2017 was the vintage re-release of Seiko’s first plunge watch, the 62Mas or Ref. 6217-8000/1 . Eagerly anticipated, adulated by many, denounced by some as excessively costly, decided by most as a super loyal and eminently executed piece, the Seiko 62Mas Re-release SLA017 was a hot subject of discussion. Comparable responses happened this year with the new Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 . The formula is indistinguishable: take perhaps the most notorious plunge watches of the brand, modernize it (a tad), take some motivation (a ton) and here you go… A fruitful talking piece.
In 1968, three years after the production of the 62Mas, Seiko conveyed another great and creative expert jump watch, the Automatic Diver 300m Ref. 6159-7001. This watch was not simply an update of its archetype. In only three years, Seiko had multiplied the water-obstruction, improved the usefulness and clarity of the watch and acquired radically in exactness. The Automatic Diver 300m was the main hi-beat diver’s watch available. Its enormous size, its particular plan, its notorious overlaid highlights; the entirety of that cultivated the legend behind the watch that is a hot thing on gatherer’s lists.
The Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025
For Baselworld 2018, Seiko once again introduces the Automatic Diver 300m Ref. 6159-7001 of every a somewhat modernised package with a plan dedicated to the first 1968 piece, under the name Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat Ref. SLA025. This watch has, once more, been a talking piece during the Basel Watch Fair; the greater part of us commended the plan and the cool by and large bundle proposed by Seiko, yet a few (without having the full story behind this new piece) questioned the situating Seiko decided for this SLA025 and the procedure the brand will in general apply with these uncommon, collectible vintage re-issues – in light of the fact that this year’s piece is plainly stepping on Grand Seiko’s toes as far as finishing, specifications… and price.
Before addressing these totally advocated questions, let’s investigate the actual watch. What is the SLA025? So, it is a dedicated recreation of the 6159-7001 – and as far as configuration as well as with respect to the determinations of the watch. No negative sentiments in saying that on the grounds that Seiko dispatches precisely what the most no-nonsense authorities need – and this watch isn’t truly made with an intermittent watch devotee in mind.
The habillage (the watchmaking term for the outside/enriching portions of a watch) of the Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 is, all in all, like the original 6159. Its case, with a somewhat enormous 44.8mm breadth and a strong 15.7mm stature, is molded with huge shoulders and precise hauls. The crown is situated, as frequently with Seiko, at 4 o’clock and the bezel sits high over the case. Through and through, not the best watch for a dark tie occasion, yet the plan is simply right on target – truth be told, the 1968 plan was at that point spot-on.
What wasn’t noticeable on the authority pictures given by Seiko was the remarkable work done on the finishings of this case. Obviously, from the outset you can spot two unique surfaces – round brushed on level surfaces and cleaned on the flanks – customary for Seiko in fact. Our active time with this watch allowed us the chance to see that the case wasn’t the typical Prospex case. Nothing amiss with the greater part of them – the Turtle or the Samurai have pleasantly executed cases, in any event for sub-500 EUR watches.
The Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 is extraordinary (fortunately, thinking about its cost) just on the grounds that the case is done in precisely the same manner as a Grand Seiko watch. This implies that the cleaned surfaces are finished by hand utilizing traditional Zaratsu polishing, with sharp points and totally level surfaces. The Zaratsu procedure (or sharp edge polishing), which makes a twisting free mirror finish, is an old technique for hand-polishing utilized on Japanese battling swords. Tedious, and just done by veteran watchmakers, the finishing of the case somewhat clarifies the cost of this piece.
On top of this case sits a highly raised bezel with a coin-edge profile. As an expert plunge watch, the Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 highlights a unidirectional bezel, with an hour long addition to time occasions (decompression steps, jumping meetings or pasta cooking time…) The dark aluminum embed has a brilliant track and numerals, planned much the same as the 1968 adaptation. The SLA025 is a monoblock watch, without an appropriate case back – implying that the development is encased from the dial side – guaranteeing incredible security and the 300m water-opposition – again an element found on the old 6159-7001.
As for the dial, Seiko brings back the pizazz of Reference 6159-7001 with a matte dark “gilt” dial – implying that engravings, tracks, hands and applied files are gold-shaded or gold-plated. Compared to the old form, the distinctions lie in the subtleties. Hands and records, just as the tracks, are close fit as a fiddle to the 1968 model, however their execution is lightyears ahead regarding quality. In the event that you take a gander at the hour hand, you’ll see the regular Grand Seiko enormous cleaned slope on the sides. A comparable scrupulousness has been given to the date window. Exact, spotless, definite, astonishing for a Prospex watch… however desirable.
The connect with Grand Seiko doesn’t end here. Inside the case is Calibre 8L55, a hi-beat (5Hz or 36,000 vibrations each hour) development grew particularly for plunging purposes. What’s more fascinating with this development is that it is a marginally improved and less adorned form of the Grand Seiko calibre 9S85. In the event that somewhat less consideration will be given to the change and to the finishing, what remains is a high-end development with a 55-hour power hold, 37 gems and extremely nice accuracy.
What decisions would we be able to make about this 1,500-piece restricted version SLA025? All things considered, to put it plainly, we’ve been captivated… The watch is noteworthy on all levels: the finishing of the case, the loyalty of the plan, the excellence of the mechanics, and the surprising overall execution for a Prospex watch. On this front, Seiko doesn’t frustrate making the Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 a genuine collector’s piece.
Now to address the issue of its sticker price. The Prospex idea (moderate, dependable, proficient watches) isn’t totally grinding away here, and the facts demonstrate that at EUR 5,500 the cost has raised a few eyebrows. Surely, the execution of the case, the excellence of specific subtleties (the hands for example), the shortage of the watch and the lofty development help to clarify the cost. This watch could nearly be a Grand Seiko and in that sense, it plays in another association. This watch ought to be viewed as the über-Prospex and subsequently, it has contentions to battle against set up Swiss brands. What’s more, recall that the Grand Seiko hi-beat divers SBGH255 – SBGH257 are evaluated over EUR 12,000. Possibly the Seiko SLA025 isn’t that costly after all…
More subtleties on www.seikowatches.com .