Another new Prospex model being introduced for Seiko’s 50th Anniversary of dive watches will be their infamous Marinemaster Tuna Can 1000m, with 8L35 movement. A first for the US market to see, the SBDX014 will have rose gold accents, a ceramic shroud and extra-strength silicone strap.
In 1965 Seiko created its dive watch to fit the needs of the divers throughout Japan. Around 1968, Seiko introduced the 6159, their first Hi-Beat caliber to be cased in a dive watch with a rate of 36,000 bph. The movement was important in the sense that the high frequency was not only accurate, but also created more stable precision with less effect from shock due to it’s fast motion. For the 50th Anniversary of Seiko’s first diver, Seiko has unleashed a new limited edition 1000m diver, with its first Hi-Beat caliber to be found outside of Grand Seiko since the late 70’s. Today, we introduce you to the SBEX001, the Prospex Marinemaster Professional Limited Edition.
With Basel less then one week away, Seiko started their teaser campaign on social media, with the picture above “teasing” Seiko fans all over the world. With the introduction of Prospex in 2014, Seiko now has the global market to campaign the 50th Anniversary of their first dive watch in 1965!
A new Baby Tuna has been added to the core line up of Seiko’s newly globally launched Prospex series! The SRP637 is the featured model today, but there will actually be two styles to choose from. The SRP637 is a stainless steel case, bracelet and shroud that measures out at 46.5mm wide. The piece has a 60 minute uni-directional rotating bezel.’
At one point and time, many had hoped to see one of Seiko’s greatest innovations in one of their most coveted dive watches. The thought of a Spring Drive movement in a Tuna Can body came to reality in a limited edition model labeled the SBDB008 in 2013. Sadly, this piece was limited to only 300 pieces for the world and was sold out incredibly fast. There were rumors that the SBDB008 was going to be the one and only Spring Drive Tuna, but thankfully those rumors turned out to be false. For 2014, Seiko introduced the SBDB009 an all black version of the LE Spring Drive Tuna.
The dial of the SBDB009 is deeply recessed, with the center of the dial deeper then the outer ring for the indexes and the chapter ring on an impressive deep slope. This allows for a very thick sapphire crystal to help in its 600m water resistance. The crystal has Seiko’s proprietary 99% clarity coating for anti-reflective purposes and the large hands and indexes on this piece offer incredible legibility. The minute and second hand reach out far to the seconds/minutes track on the chapter ring adding even more quick glance visibility. All hands and indexes are applied heavily with Seiko’s LumiBright luminescent material with the exception of the whole seconds hand. It does make up for it however, by having a luminescent dot for the tail.
The outer case or shroud on this model is DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated titanium. This shrouded design was actually inspired by a letter Seiko received in 1968. The letter was from a professional diver who lived in Kure, a coastal city near Hiroshima. This diver worked in depths as deep as 350m and needed a watch that could resist not only the depths, but also the strong shock of being beaten against rocks on the ocean floor. Seiko’s team was shocked, and went to work on creating a piece that could survive these harsh conditions. After 7 years, Seiko introduced their first 600m diver watch, the 6159 in 1975. This watch was the first to use a titanium shroud, which added greater shock resistance as well as being light weight and corrosion proof. Most importantly, the watch could not be penetrated by helium and the new accordion style strap that remained tight on the wrist, even when the wet suit shrinks due to the pressure at great depths. This new SBDB009 utilizes the same design elements as found on the model from 1975.
The bezel has some very special features to create a beautiful feel when in operation. This “Triple Safety Rotating Bezel” is achieved by a special lubricating material between the case and bezel, the shrouds design that protects the bezel leaving it only slightly open from the 12:00-3:00 and 6:00-9:00 area that also allows for easy turning, and a special structure that allows the bezel to only rotate counter clockwise, ensuring the bezel will not move clockwise at all. The shroud is made of Seiko’s proprietary Bright Titanium with DLC coating, while the inner case does contain some stainless steel. The possibility of achieving a 600m dive watch with no helium release is reached by utilizing a special rubberized material called “L-Shaped Packing Material” in the case structure, giving it complete air and water tightness. The result is a 50.7mm wide by 16.2mm thick Professional Specifications piece, that sits great on the wrist due to its virtually non-existent lugs making the lug to lug length only 49.6mm. A piece of this size only weighing 126g certainly adds to its comfort.
I mentioned the design of the strap and its use on the 1975 diver the 6159. This is still adopted in the Tuna’s design today. Many may remember last years SBDB008 coming with the same polyurethane strap as most of Seiko’s divers. While this was some what of a disappointment, it was still very functional for diving. The SBDB009 however did feature an upgrade on the strap, now utilizing Seiko’s Extra-Strength Silicone material providing about four times greater tear resistance, superb flexibility and an ultra smooth and soft feel. The accordion style design is still there, providing the same functionality on the polyurethane with the inside of the strap gripped to hold onto your wrist.
Inside this insanely sealed case lies one of Seiko’s most innovative movements, the Spring Drive 5R65 caliber. This unique mechanism uses a mainspring as its sole power source with both hand-winding and self-winding capabilities. The energy from the mainspring not only moves your traditional gear train, but also powers an electronic regulating system that would replace a traditional escapement. The frequency from a quartz crystal (of which Seiko grows in-house), is almost 8,200 times faster then that of a common escapement, making it of course substantially more precise. The frequency from these crystals goes to an integrated circuit (also developed in-house) that translates that frequency to an electromagnet. The electromagnet basically regulates a wheel that turns freely in one only direction (unlike a balance wheel that rocks back and forth on a hairspring) telling the wheel to only turn 8 times per second. This makes the mainspring unwind at an unbelievably precise pace and move as fluid as time itself, creating a second hand that glides as opposed to a sweep. This smooth uni-directional motion allows for the smooth gliding second hand, incredible accuracy and a significant reduction in stress on the movement. Seiko’s proprietary alloy Spron 510 that is used for the mainspring material also provides a 72 hour power reserve off only one mainspring, which can be monitored on the dial. The display of the power reserve will reflect tightness of the mainspring, with a full power reserve expressed with the hand all the way down showing tightness, and all the way up in the red section meaning it is near fully expanded.
As a great dive watch should, the SBDB009 provides excellent legibility in the dark. LumiBright’s glow can last up to 10 times longer then conventional luminous paints, has a stronger glow intensity, is non-radioactive (so safe for people and the environment),the quality of glow can be sustained over a long period of time.
The Seiko Prospex Marine Master Professional 600m Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009 retails for $4,200. It can be viewed on the AZ Fine Time site HERE and can be ordered by calling us at 1-800-486-3996.
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After nearly 49 years of being exclusively sold on the Japanese market, Seiko Prospex has finally gone global! The introduction of a new line up came along with its global distribution announcement, creating a ton of excitement in the collector community. The flagship for the new Prospex series is the new, shrouded Kinetic GMT, SUN019. The 47.5mm stainless steel case comes with steel bracelet and is set to retail at $695.
The other variation of Kinteic Diver GMT will be the SUN023 with orange and blue accents, black hard coated case and silicone strap. Both styles will feature the 5M85 Kinetic movement with 6 month power reserve, power reserve display at the push of a button, and independent hour hand adjustment. Both models will also have anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal as well. The SUN023 will be at a retail of $675.
As a part of their flight series, we will also be seeing the solar chronograph SSC289. The case is a 46mm stainless steel with rotating slide rule bezel. The features will include a 60 minute chronograph that can measure up to 1/5th of a second. There is also a 24 hour counter that acts as an AM/PM indicator. The piece is solar powered with 6 month power reserve, has AR coated sapphire crystal and will retail for $650.
The Seiko “Monster” Automatic has made its way into the Prospex series with the upgraded 4R36 movement we 1st saw in the US last year in limited edition form. The SRP583 will come on black hard coated stainless steel bracelet with matching case and bezel, and will have yellow gold accents on the hands and crown. The MSRP on this “Monster” will be $595.
The 2nd “Monster” in the Prospex series is the SRP581, with Blue coated bezel and black coated case. It’s hard to tell the blue in the image, but it will be the same blue as on last years limited edition SRP455. This model on polyurethane strap will retail for $475.
A limited edition model of “Monster” will also be introduced to the US market this year. The all black SRP579 will have a compass bezel, black gradient dial and leather strap with contrast stitching. The 45mm case will be black hard coated, as will the bezel, and also feature the 4R36 movement. This model will retail for $475.
There will also be several models we did not see 1st hand, as we did not have enough time. There will be another series of solar chronograph, brown dialed SSC279 at $450, the blue dialed SSC275 at 495 and SSC277 at $550. There will be 2 other 4R36 automatics, with SRP585 at $475 and SRP633 at $515. There will certainly be some great values in the new Prospex line up.
Of course, Prospex isn’t Prospex without some kind of massively constructed, high quality, super-accurate tool watch…
The Prospex Marine Master 600 Spring Drive Tuna Can is back! The all black professional diver will be hitting US soil this year, with the same titanium DLC shroud as on the previous limited edition model SBDB008. Minus the gold accents, the watch is identical, and is estimated to retail at $4,200. This piece will be available in limited quantities, though not limited edition. This is a great opportunity for those who missed out on the collectible LE from last year.
All pieces are currently available for pre-order, with delivery dates ranging from July to October for release.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.
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AZ Fine Time is proud to bring you the first live look from Seiko’s booth here at Baselworld 2014!! There are some great anniversaries for Seiko this year, which leads to a ton of great new items releasing in the near future. Here’s a taste of what you will see delivering to our store over the next several months…
As a part of the Grand Seiko Historical Collection, Seiko commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 2nd Grand Seiko released, the Self-Dater from 1964. The collection will consist of 3 40mm Spring Drive models, the silver dialed SBGA103, the blue dialed SBGA105, and the champagne dialed with platinum case SBGA107. All 3 of these models will utilize the 9R15 Spring Drive movement the US market saw for the 1st time last year in the 18k gold Snowflake models. This movement contains a specially selected quartz crystal giving a higher accuracy rating of +/-10 seconds a month as compared to the 9R65’s +/-15 seconds a month. The steel bracelet versions will retail for roughly $6,500 and be limited to 500 pieces for the world,while the platinum piece will retail for roughly $34,500, with only 30 pieces produced total.
As a part of the same collection, Seiko will have 2 new Grand Seiko Quartz models to pay tribute to the GS Self-Dater. The silver dialed SBGV009 and black dialed SBGV011 will have 37mm stainless steel cases with black crocodile leather straps. Each contains the 9F82 quartz caliber with specially selected quartz crystal giving a +/- 5 second a year accuracy rating. The SBGV009 will be limited to 1,200 pieces for the world, while the SBGV011 will only have 900 pieces. The estimated retail is roughly $4,000. The fact that the GS Self-Dater was made in Seiko’s Suwa Seikosha factory (now Seiko Epson) makes these pieces even more special as this is now where they make their Spring Drive and Quartz movements for GS. Daini Seikosha (now SII) did not start making GS until 1967 with the 44GS we saw reprised last year.
Another anniversary this year is the 5 year of the 9S85 Hi-Beat caliber. In light of this, Seiko not only has a limited edition model (or 2), but has introduced a whole new feature and caliber to the Hi-Beat line up. The 9S86 movement will feature a GMT with independent moving hour hand and be expressed in 2 regular production models, the white dialed with blue GMT hand SBGJ001 and the black dialed with red GMT hand SBGJ003. The limited edition variation is labeled as SBGJ005 and have a green dial with gold GMT hand. All pieces will have the same Hi-Beat case that is 40mm, and the LE pieces will be limited to 600 made for the world with titanium and tungsten rotor in gold tone. All dials are textured, and exquisite in person. Prices are estimated to range from $7,000-$8,000. There are also 3 18k Hi-Beat GMT Special’s on the horizon, not on display, but they are coming.
Aside from all the anniversary type pieces, Grand Seiko is finally expanding their 9F Quartz collection. The introduction of the SBGV005 with champagne dial and the SBGV007 with black dial, will have the same 40mm stainless steel case and bracelet as found on last years 44GS automatic limited editions. Prices are estimated to be in the $3,500 range.
Galante will also have a new addition labeled the “Snow Leopard”. This limited model will have a white dial, white leather strap and incredible design. More information soon to come.
And now the news everyone has been waiting for… Prospex will finally be available in select styles in the US!!! I hate to leave you hanging, but there will be more to come…
And one of the biggest advancements in tech for Seiko is the release of the NEW Astron GPS Solar CHRONOGRAPH!! Utilizing the 8X82, not only will Astron have a completely new function, but also smaller size at 45mm wide, 13.3mm thick. The new series will consist of many models, with SBXB001 as the new flagship limited edition. Stand by for a whole lot of news on these new releases…
All models are officially available for pre-order through AZ Fine Time. As I mentioned in the beginning, this is only a taste of what is to come. Stand by for much much more on the AZFT Blog, from Seiko and all the other brands we carry! Here’s a little teaser of something else we love…
Prices, quantities and availability are subject to change
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