While we have covered innumerable dive watches, and also like to dwell in the part of the watch world where affordability, functionality, and style all live peacefully together, there is one brand (and a big one at that) that we have not paid as much attention to as of late – Seiko. Sure, we do love our Orange Monsters here, but we’ve not focused much on their new releases (which, given all I’ve seen of the Presage line lately, is a miss). One of our readers so helpfully pointed out in our Slack channel a new blue-dialed release that he thought would grab my eye, and he was spot on. Let’s see what the Seiko Prospex SPB071J1 has in store for you and me.
Given the emphasis on PADI and the 200m (diver’s) WR Rating, it’s easy to see that the Seiko Prospex SPB071J1 is intended to be used as a diving tool. However, I’m not a diver, and I still super into this watch. Why? Well, ok, yes, it’s that dial gradient. Something about that vibrant blue fading down into darkness calls to mind the depths of the ocean – or, more pressingly to my interests, the way colors blend in a Bob Ross painting (yeah, I went there). And you know what’s important in darkness? Visibility.
As you should be aware, Seiko dive watches have some of the greatest lume that most of us have seen, courtesy of their Lumibrite. That is employed once again on the Seiko Prospex SPB071J1, and I would imagine to great effect (I’ve not see the watch or lume shots, so this is all conjecture). The giant handset is filled with it, as are the hourly indices (unclear about it’s usage on the bezel pip or not). If my Orange Monster is any indication, this thing should glow like nobody’s business, which is just as much fun in a dark room, or around a campfire, as I imagine it is useful when you’re diving.
In a nod to civilian utilitity, the Seiko Prospex SPB071J1 also features a date window. Normally, I’d slam a brand for not color-matching the date wheel, but here, it works with the color scheme. It also helps that the compass-point indices are about the same size as well. Driving all of this is the Seiko 6R15 automatically movement, which also brings a very tidy 50 hour power reserve to the table.
The Seiko Prospex SPB071J1 also brings a lot of blue to the table (and your wrist). Along with that lovely dial, did you happen to notice that the edge of the bezel is blue? Not surprisingly, then, the silicone strap is also blue. Seiko straps (at least the silicone ones) have not done a whole lot for me in my experience, so I would imagine many folks would be swapping this out, probably for something in a heavier textile (at least if you’re not swimming with it). And you know, that’s fine, because at $850, the Seiko Prospex SPB071J1 does leaves some room in the strap budget as well. And we should discuss that price a bit, right? I mean, that is generally more than many would expect to pay for a Seiko, right? But, then again, this is a brand with a wide range of finishes, technology, and audiences. And, yes, I do feel they are a brand that you definitely get what you pay for, if not a little bit more. http://www.seikowatches.com
- Brand & Model: Seiko Prospex SPB071J1
- Price: $850
- Who we think it might be for: You want a Seiko with some diving cred and bright lume, but the Monsters aren’t your thing
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Hooboy, would I ever
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I wouldn’t mind seeing a bracelet option for teh watch
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s blue. It’s glowy. It’s blue AND glowy! Oh, and it’s tight Seiko automatic. What’s not to like?
- Ref: SPB071J1
- Winding: Automatic
- Caliber: 6R15
- Case: Stainless steel
- BAND: Silicone
- Crystal: Sapphire, with AR coating
- WR: 200m diver’s
- Case diameter: 42.6 mm
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- 21,600 vibrations per hour
- 23 jewels
- Unidirectional rotating bezel
- Screw case back
- Screw-down crown