It seems that this year’s Baselword is yet again another Seiko’s iconic watch release, the new Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025, a recreation of the 1968 Automatic Diver 300 m Reference 6159–7001.
1968 Seiko Automatic Diver 300m hi-beat ref. 6159-7001
For a bit of background, the Automatic Diver 300 m was the first hi-beat diver’s watch on the market and Seiko had doubled its water-resistance and greatly improved its precision.
Fast forward Baselworld 2018, the Automatic Diver 300 m is back in a modernized fashion yet still looking classic. Undoubtedly, this release would make collectors happy particularly those with attachment to the classic 1968 model.
The new watch is large at 44.8 mm x 15.7 mm case dimensions. The case material is steel with super hard coating. Just like the previous model’s details, it consists of circular brushing, the same notched bezel, and the same crown positioning. When it comes to elegance, here we have Zaratsu polishing that gives the lug its incredible sharpness and smoothness at the same time. The screw down crown is positioned at the classic 4 o’clock position.
Moving forward to the dial, we see the same fonts and the unique shape of the indexes and hands or the gold color featured in the 1968 model. We even have the same uni-directional diving bezel although I can’t help but see subtle changes in the details, this is a modernized piece after all. The dual-curved sapphire crystal gives a very clear legibility to the watch and its anti-reflective coating makes it perform well in any lighting condition.
Powering the new Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 is an in-house Caliber 8L55, specially designed for divers and is made by Seiko’s skilled craftsmen and women in the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Morioka, in the north of Japan. This self-winding movement beats at 5 Hz and cranks 55 hours of power reserve. It has 37 jewels and offers hours, minutes, seconds, and date functions.
Finally, the new Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 wears on a black silicone strap with pin buckle. The rubber strap even keeps the original tone which is a very sporty one. Moreover, the watch is limited to 1,500 pieces only and judging from previous Seiko releases inspired by the brand’s iconic releases, this one will not stay too long in display windows. For more info, visit Seiko online.