Seiko’s Black Series Delivers Modern Takes on a Series of Retro Dive Watches

In 1965 Seiko debuted its first-ever Prospex model, kicking off a long line of dive watches that continues through today. And while the brand’s dive watch lineup celebrated its 55th anniversary back in 2020, the Japanese watchmaker has once again opted to honor its vintage dive watches with a new limited-edition lineup of modern interpretations of some of the brand’s most iconic timepieces.

Christened the Black Series, the lineup is comprised of four watches in total. Starting with the Seiko Prospex SPB253J1, this 40.5mm watch is a contemporary reimagining of the brand’s original 1965 diver, the 62MAS, while the beefier-cased 42mm SPB255J1 is modeled after the company’s classic Hi-Beat Diver from 1968. The third reimagining, the 42.7mm SPB257J1, is an update to the famed Seiko 6105, better known as the “Captain Willard” due to its use by the character of the same name in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. The three limited-edition watches are all kept ticking via the same in-house automatic 6R35 movement and come paired with deep cocoa brown NATO straps that are created using a traditional Japanese Seichu braiding pattern. They also feature AR-coated sapphire crystals and 200m water resistance.

Alongside the three main watches, this release also includes the new Seiko Prospex SLA061J1 — a more premium version of the Willard. It features a 44mm case with a black sand-textured dial, a blacked-out stainless-steel three-link bracelet and additional black silicone strap, and an 8L35 automatic movement that’s assembled by hand in the Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio — the same facility that produces the movements for Grand Seiko watches. The entire collection comes adorned in contrasting orange accents to juxtapose Seiko’s proprietary super-hard black coating and, with the exception of the SPB253J1, all four watches also sport the brand’s “stoplight” seconds hand.

Each limited to only 5,500 units worldwide, the Seiko Prospex SPB253J1, Seiko Prospex SPB255J1, and Seiko Prospex SPB257J1 have been priced at $1,200, $1,200, and $1,300, respectively, while the Seiko Prospex SLA061J1 carries an MSRP of $3,300 and will be restricted to only 1,000 pieces globally. All four limited-edition watches will be available at authorized dealers starting in March.

Purchase: $1,200+

Photo: Seiko