An interesting fact about Seiko dive watches is they also make for affordable everyday wears! They don’t seem out of place within social settings like other professional watches do. It could well be your workplace or the club or just old friends jamming up by the riverside; a diver watch fits such situations hand-to-glove. They go well with your business suits; yours smart casuals and look absolutely fabulous with your double-breasted suits, as long as you keep your jacket buttoned-up. Even with that leather jacket and those riding boots when you are astride your hog!
The best part is – a professional diver you may not be or not even an amateur one, but the versatility of the Seiko dive watches doesn’t let you feel awkward or out of the place. More expensive brands of diving watches make people overlook the suitability factor and it’s the brand name and the logo that overpowers the most; however, if the onlooker is a man or a woman of taste, you’ll lose marks right away. The BIG name won’t help much.
Apart from that, the Submariner or the Seamaster have quite become clichés. Seiko diver watches help to break the monotony. These are the watches that make you express yourself with sufficient clarity and confidence – That you can see things through all situations without fear and hesitation. That’s keeping off the easy, predictable pathways.
Here are 10 of the Seiko dive watches that stand almost – if not entirely – equal to a Rolex or an Omega with their toughness and reliability and the best part is, you can throw them around without even blinking an eyelid! They’ll survive and won’t bring your heart to your mouth in case you succeed in damaging them one way or the other. Seiko lets you take thing easy and for long!
A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF SEIKO DIVING WATCHES
1965. It was the year of Seiko’s first success with its endeavour to create something that will not only go in dauntlessly into the wild waters but will also hold equally well on rough terrains. It was Seiko’s response to a letter from a professional diver who wrote to them from Japan’s Hiroshima prefecture, stating that divers, when using a diving capsule (or other saturation diving modes and techniques) and diving beyond 300 meters, end up damaging their watches. Seiko appointed a new development team to address this issue. Japan’s first Professional Diver’s watch with a 150m depth rating emerged as a result of this. It provided a hint for the reliability and safety features to come in the future diver’s watches and in 1966 it was made a part of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition due to its very high reliability and capability factors.
In 1996, Seiko facilitated the establishment of the standard for diver’s watches at International Standard Organization (ISO) and Japan Industrial Standards (JIS). Seiko made ISO amend water resistance standards and match the actual requirements in the deep sea. The ISO6425 is now annexed with that for mixed gas diving.
Below we provide a glimpse of the Seiko diver watches timeline.
- 1968: The 300M Diver was introduced. It carried a movement that’s regarded as the highest achievement in hi-beat calibres. It was clocked at 10 vibrations per second instead of a mere 3 or 4 and was equipped with both automatic and manual-winding mechanisms.
- 1975: This one was the first professional/saturation Diver’s watch in the world, with a 600M depth rating and a titanium case. It was corrosion-proof, shock resistant and completely airtight. Just the exterior of the watch is a combination of 20 patents; you can pretty well imagine the rest of the things that went inside.
- 1978: The Professional Diver’s 600M now received a quartz movement.
- 1982: The world’s first Hybrid Diver’s was born. It was rated to 150M and had an alarm; chronograph functionality and a bilingual display. It also incorporated electronic sounds to make possible better communication between divers under water.
- 1985: The Quartz Diver’s 200M eventually became the world’s best selling diver watch.
- 1986: Seiko introduces the world’s first 1000m Diver’s with a ceramic-covered titanium case. It was lightweight, corrosion resistant and remarkably water resistant.
- 1990: The world’s first computerized diver’s watch was introduced. This paved the way for other diving computers to fall in. The Scuba Master was equipped with water- and depth sensors. It displayed both diving time and depth.
- 1992: The world’s first Kinetic Diver with 200M depth rating was released. It has the high precision of quartz but without the limitations. It generated the electrical energy to run in the mechanical way. Seiko addressed the need for both safety and ecology with this true diver’s watch.
- 1995: The Diver Scuba 200M gets a water thermometer and a depth gauge and displayed log data memory and air pressure. Additionally, it was also given a stopwatch, an alarm and a battery indicator for on-land pursuits. The same year also found the world’s first 24-hour hand Kinetic Scuba Master 200M (for easier time difference adjustment) rear its head. It used high-intensity titanium as case material for an enhanced durability and shock resistance. Later, it also received an automatic analog depth gauge calculator which, in full auto mode, detected water level and water pressure and calculated necessary dive information and warnings.
- 2000: The Diving Computer now displayed a dive profile for nitrox
- 2005: The world’s first Spring Drive 600M Diver watch was released. It had +1 second accuracy; a highly durable high-intensity titanium case and sapphire glass.
Armed with that much of info, now we’ll look at a few Seiko innovations that made their products come up to the list of top dive watches list worldwide. They were good enough to keep them alive and ticking amidst vigorous adventures in North and South Poles.
SEIKO DIVERS: WHAT EARNED THEM THEIR CREDIBILITY?
- Seiko’s 1965 innovation went to 4 missions with the Antarctic Team of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, starting from 1966. It has been, since then, part of numerous other adventures. Explorers have achieved daunting depths to heady heights with this one on their wrist, so it would be wrong to classify the Professional Diver 150m as a diver watch only. It has proved itself worthy of withstanding extreme environments through the years.
- Far more extreme was reaching the depth of 1062 meters! Two Professional Diver’s 600m were mounted on a research submersible on May, 1983. The Shinkai 2000 (a JAMSTEC/Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology property) went down beyond the depth rating of the watches; to 1062 metres, almost double. Both timepieces withstood the water pressure; their legibility, precision and exteriors unscathed.
- Seiko disposed of the helium valve in its diver watches and developed a glass and case that Helium gas can’t get past. The Seiko Diver’s Professional 600M was the first one to get this treatment; in 1983, JAMSTEC also conducted this impermeability test. They tested several saturation diving watches and declared Seiko’s to be 10X more impermeable to Helium gas than others.
- Seiko employs qualified engineers who work to develop and apply newer technologies every day. Not just with functionality but also with specialized materials and structures; designs – everything that’s needed to bring a timepiece to perfection. Many such innovations are now patented by Seiko.
- Seiko made the world’s first Titanium diver’s watch and invented the outer-case protector structure
- Their L-shape gasket achieved best impermeability against fluids and gases.
- Most of all, Seiko made ISO amend their diving watch standards to the higher specs presented by Seiko themselves.
|1||Seiko Prospex Padi Special Edition ‘King Samurai’ Automatic|
|2||Seiko Prospex Padi King Turtle Special Edition Automatic|
|3||Seiko Prospex Turtle Save The Ocean Special Edition|
|4||Seiko Prospex Turtle International Edition Automatic|
|5||Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Frost Monster Special Edition|
|6||Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Special Edition|
|7||Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Special Edition|
|8||Seiko Prospex Tuna Solar Diver|
|9||Seiko Prospex Solar Sumo Chronograph|
|10||Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver’s Sumo|
ABOUT THE MOVEMENTS THAT WENT INTO THE ABOVE 10
Those who are wondering why we don’t see the SKX with the calibre 7S26 in the above list, let it suffice to say that the Seiko SKX has already become a legend by itself. You don’t paint a lily. However, it is always suggested that discussions about the movements that go into the Seiko dive watches start with the 7S26.
Seiko’s natural inclination towards function over form created the 7S series. Apparently just an entry-level Seiko automatic with absolutely nothing in common visually with Swiss movements (for example, the ETA 2824), the Seiko 7S looks more like a machine-built, mass-produced commercial product with Spartan levels of finishing. Seiko’s 7S line, therefore; has always been an affordable workhorse that powered not just the iconic SKX divers but also many of the Seiko 5 automatics. Both are legendary watches in the Seiko roster.
The 4R35 and 4R36 automatic movements are the successors to the 7S26.They share some basic design ideas, but they all are different from each other. Both of these 4R movements are built from the 7S base, added with hacking and handwinding options. These two movements are also sold by Seiko for microbrand watches in unbranded versions; these are known as the calibres NH35A and NH36A.
HOW DO THEY DIFFER?
The difference between the two calibres is a calendar mechanism. The 4R35 has a date calendar complication at 3:00, and the 4R36 has a day/date at 3:00. Everything else is the same, including dimensions, jewels, accuracy, etc. However, there are two variants to each of these calibres; the calibre 4R35B has 23 jewels and the calibre 4R36A has 24 jewels
The Solar movements Caliber V192 and Caliber: V157 are too well-known movements from the brand; the latter one been Seiko’s date-only, reliable work horse Solar movement for years. The Seiko caliber V192 (actually marked V192A) has a power reserve indicator along with a chronograph function.
The Caliber: 5R65 is vastly different from the above. This movement has 30 jewels, a power reserve of 70 hours, consists of 292 parts and beats at 28,800 vph. You may read more about it here.
10 SEIKO DIVE WATCHES FOR 2022: A CLOSER LOOK
- Seiko Prospex Padi Special Edition ‘King Samurai’ Automatic: There are two different makes to it; one is Japan-made (J1) and the other one K1, which could be made in any other Seiko factory Asia. A compact 200m diver featuring the PADI ‘Earth’ pattern on its dial; it comes with a ceramic bezel. PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors – the world’s leading SCUBA diving training organization. It’s named King Samurai because its angular design resembles slices made by the Japanese Samurai sword
- Seiko Prospex Padi King Turtle Special Edition Automatic: The Seiko Turtle has a great personality and boatloads of character. It has fantastic curves that bring excellent wrist) presence. It is a new Turtle that’s slightly less colourful but still has a nicely textured dial resembling the sides of a hand-grenade. A very fresh and fun addition to the PADI Prospex family.
- Seiko Prospex Turtle Save The Ocean Special Edition: An excellent high-end tool watch from a trio of Special Edition Blue Whale wave-patterned dial Prospex watches, the Save the Ocean Turtle boasts more than just a noble goal. An extremely impressive gradient that deepens from a vibrant blue all the way to a deep black does an amazingly good job, given that Prospex is known for being brutal and nearly invincible in its build and looks and not beautiful.
- Seiko Prospex Turtle International Edition Automatic: Nicknamed as the ‘Grenade’, the Turtle after its reissue in 2016 underwent further upgrades in 2020 to transform the tried-and-true Turtle Diver design into something more comfortable than ever! It is now very easy to wear the Turtle despite its dimensions and the new silicone strap is truly sports-inspired. Still, you can wear it on many different occasions, from casual to formal and feel appeased in all of them.
- Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Frost Monster Special Edition: The Save the Ocean special edition pays homage to the creatures of Antarctica and resembles the legendary Monster in many ways. The rotating uni-directional bezel has 120 clicks in its full rotation while the frosty textured gradient blue dial features penguin prints. Equipped with a magnified double day and date window, this watch is easily readable in any environment. It offers an increased security against moisture and dirt intrusion.
- Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Special Edition: The New Monster is a refined version of the original Monster with more subtle fangs and a candy-bar magnifier for the day and date. This 2019 Monster is a nice watch that keeps time within a few seconds a month and looks nice on the wrist. You can’t really go wrong with a Seiko Monster as your chosen every day, go-to watch.
- Seiko Prospex LX Spring Drive Professional: For those not into the stealth style shall find the black and steel a lot more appealing than the black version. Equipped with the legendary Spring Drive movement, this 2019 sea-offeringfrom Seiko presents simplicity, harmony, power and presence all in the same unit. The case does not use a helium escape valve; instead, it is the structural integrity of the case design that prevents Helium from getting into the watch.
- Seiko Prospex Tuna Solar Diver: The Seiko Solar Tuna is built with scuba and professional diving in mind. They are built to last and withstand the most demanding water-related environments. It’s sporty and robust; the shroud around the case bringing it a distinct look apart from added protection. It has a power reserve of 10 months when fully charged; that is, if it is not charged in between.
- Seiko Prospex Solar Sumo Chronograph: This one is basically a Seiko Sumo with a solar chronograph movement. The bezel and face are a nice blue and the subdials are almost a translucent black, inset into the face. Everything about it works like they should be and despite the diver classification, you can use it practically for any kind of time-bound work.
- Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver’s Sumo: A high-quality but nonetheless affordable, professional grade diving watch, the Sumo is a favourite among watch enthusiasts who find largesized watches not fitting snugly their comfort zones. Despite its 45mm case size, the Sumo never appears bulky. Only 7000 of it were made and this could very well be the last one! Very understated, very
Conclusion: Winding up with a few care tips for your Seiko Divers
There are absolutely no doubts about the aforementioned Seiko Diver watches will serve you a lifetime, but with a little care, they’ll serve you the way they’ve had since the first time you would put them on your wrist. Therefore, always remember to:
- Avoid showing people how strong your watch is against shocks and bumps by throwing them deliberately on hard surfaces.
- Do not pull the crown out while it’s in water or when it’s wet. Water resistance won’t work while the crown is pulled out. Also, don’t clean your watch in/under running water with the crown pulled out.
- Water resistance of a watch is as good as the age of its gaskets. Change them every time you take your watch out for a service. Despite their build that ensures a flawless functioning for – if nothing else, then – 5 years or more, servicing and changing the gaskets every 3 years is always a wise decision.
- Wipe off moisture, sweat and dirt with a soft, dry cloth every time you take your watch off your wrist.
- Every time you expose your watch to salt water, remember to wash it with fresh water (not even chlorinated) and dry it with a soft cloth.
- Avoid soaps and saunas when you are wearing the watch. Steam and body cleansing formulations accelerate the deterioration of a watch’s water resistance properties. The same applies to solvents and corrosive chemicals (e.g. benzene, thinner, bleach etc.).
- Avoid extreme temperatures and drastic temperature changes. Should you go to a place where temperature is below 5oC or above 35oC, you must make the transition a gradual one. Stay within the recommended operational temperature ranges mentioned by the manufacturer whenever you can.
- Turn the crown once every few days to prevent the corrosion of the stem and to maintain the flexibility of the gasket. For screw-in crowns, check if it’s locked in place before it’s exposed to water, dust and humidity.
- Keep the watch away from strong and intense magnetic fields, since it adversely affects the mainspring and may gain or lose time. Usually, Seiko watches are immune to magnetic fields created by daily electrical and electronic household items; the precautions must be taken if you are operating lab/industrial machinery creating magnetic flux.