The concept behind the Prospex Diver’s 1968 Reinterpretation is a fairly classic one for Seiko. The idea of watches inspired by the classic Hi-Beat 1968 diver reference 6159-7001 has been around for some years already, since 2018 to be precise with the ultra-faithful SLA025 (or its blue edition, the SLA039) and, more accessible watches like the SPB077 and SPB079. The diver’s model that some named the MM200 (MarineMaster 200, following the classic and more expensive MM300) has been revamped about a year ago with the SPB185J1 and SPB187J1, including a rather deep overhaul of the design and specs. Now, there’s a third model in the line, and this one not only has an exclusive distribution, but mostly, it looks rather stunning. Here’s the Seiko Prospex Diver 1968 Two-Tone Brown Dial SPB240J1.
As we explained already, the 1968 diver has recently been a major source of inspiration for Seiko. While not the very first dive watch of the brand (that the 62MAS), the 6159-7001 could be considered as the one that laid the foundation for the brand’s design codes, which are still in use today. It indeed already featured all elements that made modern Seiko diving instruments easily recognizable – the angular lugs, the crown at 4 o’clock, the typical applied indexes and hands. The Automatic Diver 300m Ref. 6159-7001 was not just an update of its predecessor. In just three years, Seiko had doubled the water-resistance, improved the functionality and legibility of the watch and gained drastically in precision. The Automatic Diver 300m was the first hi-beat diver’s watch on the market. Its massive size, its signature design, its iconic gilded accents; all of that fostered the legend behind the watch that is a hot item on collector’s lists. And this has been the source of multiple re-editions recently.
Following the release of the vintage-inspired SLA025, Seiko also created a fairly priced model, with a modernized design, the SPB077. This watch was certainly nicely designed, but also rather large with a 44mm case. Following the trend for smaller watches, Seiko revamped this collection in late 2020, launching the SPB185J1 and SPB187J1 you can see above, with reduced diameter, enhanced materials and better proportions for the dial. And now, in addition to these two classic steel models with black or blue dials, the brand adds a third iteration that is probably the most attractive of the lot… but one that won’t be widely available.
The base of this new SPB240J1 is nothing different from the other two models of the permanent collection. As such, it benefits from the same downsizing effect, with its case now 42mm in diameter with a height of 12.5mm (the previous models were 44mm). If this certainly can’t be named small, it remains a fairly acceptable diameter for a solid dive watch, specifically since Seiko Prospex watches often wear smaller due to short lugs. The case of the shape itself has also been reworked, being more dynamic and imposing than before.
The classic 1968-inspired lugs have nice polished facets (also internally) and as such feels now closer to its ancestor. The finishing of the case, which is made of stainless steel with scratch-resistant Super-Hard Coating, is very pleasant. It features a screw-down crown classically positioned at 4 o’clock and a screwed caseback, both guaranteeing a 200m water-resistance. On top is a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective.
But what really makes this SPB240J1 edition different is the use of gold and brown all over… Not your classical theme for a Seiko Prospex, admittedly, but one that adds something fresh and new to the collection. The 120-click bezel with its raised profile is here coated in rose gold and features a brown-coloured glossy aluminium insert with gilt numerals. Without being historically accurate, it adds warmth and vintage coolness to this otherwise technical-looking piece.
To match with this bezel, the Seiko Prospex Diver’s 1968 Reinterpretation SPB240J1 opts for a brown dial with sunray-brushed pattern. The applied numeral and the hands are gold-coloured and largely filled with LumiBrite, which has been given a beige colour too. The shovel-shaped central seconds hand is also gold-coloured, but here with a matte finish that stands out from the rest of the indications. For the rest, the dial of this new edition follows the same design as the classic editions, with bolder markers and hands that are also more faithful to the original 1968 concept.
Inside the case, no surprise as we find the in-house automatic calibre 6R35, the brand’s classic mid-range movement. Beating at 3Hz, this time-and-date calibre stores a comfortable amount of energy, boasting a 70h power reserve when fully wound.
Like other watches from the collection, the Seiko Prospex Diver 1968 Two-Tone Brown Dial SPB240J1 is worn on a 3-link brushed stainless steel bracelet with a complex clasp, since it features security pushers and a clever diving extension – which is entirely visible in this article. A nice touch for a watch in this price range.
Availability & Price
The Seiko Prospex Diver’s 1968 Reinterpretation SPB240J1 with two-tone look and brown dial is a Seiko boutique exclusive edition – also available on the brand’s official online boutiques. It retails for EUR 1,250, GBP 1,130 or USD 1,200 (excl. taxes).
For more details, please visit seikowatches.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.