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There’s a Great Seiko Dive Watch for Every Budget

Whether you're well-heeled or strapped for cash, Seiko has a cool diver for your price range.

seiko dive watches
Seiko

When you think of Seiko, there's a good chance it's one of their iconic dive watches that comes to mind — which one, however, is anybody's guess. From vintage and out-of-production models to new releases at every price point, the Japanese juggernaut makes compelling dive watches for every type of buyer. If you want the Seiko diver experience, you simply need to ask yourself: how much am I looking to spend?

At almost every hundred-dollar increment, there's going to be something cool — whether you want your first mechanical watch or weekend beater for a couple hundred dollars, or a truly high-end luxury diver with bells, whistles and zaratsu polishing. Among Seiko dive watches at all levels, you'l find some common traits and design features as well as the brand's famous bang-for-buck value.

What Seiko offers at different price points can also help clarify the brand's positioning (though some no-longer produced watches like the SKX series can complicate the picture). Even at the entry point of around $300, Seiko's automatic watches offer robust in-house movements with hacking and hand-winding capabilities (unlike many older models), and at just about every level, you can expect impressive quality for the price and serious diving specs.

The following selection doesn't include every dive watch family or collection Seiko makes, but it illustrates the range and features you can typically expect — and shows how many of 'em are just so damn good.

Seiko 5 Sports SRPD51

seiko 5 blue dial sports watch
Seiko

The modern Seiko 5 Sports collection has impressive quality and comfort for its price — and a staggering number of available variations. It offers a solid automatic movement (visible through the case back) and features Hardlex crystal and 100m of water resistance.

Diameter: 42.5mm
Water Resistance: 100mm
Price: $295

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Seiko Prospex "Samurai" SRPB53

seiko prospex samurai watch with black strap
Seiko

The "Samurai" is one of Seiko's famous nicknamed models. In its current form it represents the entry level tier of Seiko Prospex dive watches well: at this price point one can expect things like Hardlex crystal, 200m of water resistance and some quirky but characterful designs. (This price range is also where you'll also find icons like the "Turtle" and "Monster.")

Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $495

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Seiko Prospex "King Turtle" SRPE05

seiko prospex king turtle green watch
Seiko

The "King" nicknames have been applied to Turtle and Samurai dive watches that are fitted with premium features. In addition to the sapphire crystal with a cyclops — a magnifier over the day and date windows — it features a ceramic bezel and waffle-textured dial that together make its price premium over the "regular" Turtle seem more than reasonable. This right here might be the sweet spot and the strongest value you'll find in modern Seiko divers.

Diameter: 45mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $595

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Seiko SPB053

seiko blue dial watch with black strap
Seiko

This is just one way in which Seiko's first dive watch, known as the "62MAS," has been reinterpreted in recent years. It was announced alongside a more faithful but high-end version, but the relatively affordable SPB053 (and similar models) offers a clear link to the past while being sized up (to 42.6mm) and tweaked with contemporary cues. It's also got familiar Prospex features and a unique, rugged look.

Diameter: 42.6mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $800

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Seiko Prospex Sumo SPB177

seiko prospex sumo watch with green dial
Seiko

The Seiko "Sumo" truly feels like a serious dive watch and a big brother to the Turtle and Samurai. It's also got a more mature, conservative look, with only a date display (no day of the week), a cyclops, refined finishing, solid construction and sapphire crystal. The recently announced "Ice Diver" U.S. exclusive editions include pale colors and textured dials — however, the included bracelet still features the old-style clasp and not the upgraded one available on watches very close to this price point.

Diameter: 45mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $900

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Seiko Prospex SPB077

seiko prospex watch with black dial
Seiko

A modern reinterpretation of a Seiko dive watch from 1968 (ref. 6159), the SPB077 is just another great example of what Seiko does well. It also represents the brand's ascent into more competitive territory, but the details and finishing are commensurate. Its value might not be the bargain of, say, the King Turtle, but it's another demonstration of Seiko's expertise in case design and ergonomics, as its large-sounding 44mm case is, in fact, more wearable than might be expected even for slimmer wrists. You'll find the bracelet has a nicer, more substantial-feeling clasp than most models around $1k.

Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $1,050

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Seiko Prospex SPB143

seiko prospex watch with black dial
Seiko

After a couple shots at reinterpreting the hugely popular "62MAS" dive watch of 1965, many agree that this is the one Seiko really got right. It nails the proportions (40.5mm case) and luxury features you'd expect (sapphire crystal, etc.) but mixes it with a contemporary feel that still seems satisfyingly consistent with the classic design of the 62MAS.

Diameter: 40.5mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $1,200

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Seiko Prospex "Willard" SPB151

seiko prospex willard watch
Seiko

The 6105 is one of Seiko's most iconic dive watches and has influenced the brand's design DNA in a number of ways, visible not least in the famous Turtle. The 6105 has a quirky protruding case shape that functions as a crown protector but also lends it distinctive and utilitarian look. (It got its nickname, "the Willard," when Martin Sheen's character Captain Willard wore it in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.) For the modern rerelease, Seiko introduced a high-end version with a larger case size, but many Seiko fans will be quite satisfied with the 40.5mm proportions of this relatively affordable variation.

Diameter: 40.5mm
Water Resistance
: 200m
Price: $1,300

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Seiko Prospex "Shogun" SPB189

seiko prospex shogun watch with brown dial
Seiko

The "Shogun," as this particular design has been nicknamed, has been around for a while. Though its design isn't as distinctive as some Seiko divers, it's long existed as a more upscale option that still feels very Seiko. With a lot of the higher-end features expected from the brand at over $1k, a fully titanium case, bezel and bracelet elevates this watch to another level.

Diameter: 43.5
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $1,550

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Seiko Prospex SLA042

seiko prospex watch
Seiko

No treatment of Seiko dive watches would be complete without an example of the utterly funky but famous "Tuna"-style case, so called due to its stout shape and proportions that are reminiscent of a store-bought can of tunafish. The strap attaches directly under the case (without protruding lugs) and there's a protective outer shroud that makes it appear utterly unconcerned with aesthetics — and yet it's somehow cool-looking. The original 1975 design is said to be the response to a request from a professional diver, and many such uncompromisingly serious watches have followed.

Diameter: 52.4mm
Water Resistance: 1,000m
Price: $3,900

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Seiko Prospex LX SNR031

seiko prospex lx black watch
Seiko

What you have here is a dive watch that couldn't be more illustrative of the term "overbuilt." Despite being built from lightweight titanium, the large 44.8mm case is a beast on the wrist, but its refinement shows through at the same time. Yes, it's got the brand's famous zaratsu polishing and the innovative Spring Drive movement tech, as well as luxury fit and finish, but it still feels like it's meant to be used as a genuine tool.

Diameter: 44.8mm
Water Resistance: 300m
Price: $6,000

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BONUS: Grand Seiko Sport Diver SBGA231

grand seiko sport diver watch
Seiko

Though the Grand Seiko dive watches are most certainly tough and capable, they seem to emphasize the versatile, luxury diver experience over the pure tool persona found in Prospex. Here, again, you'll find features like titanium and a Spring Drive movement, but the Grand Seiko difference shows in the details and finishing. This is true even of the movement, but it's unfortunately hidden from view behind a solid case back.

Diameter: 44.2mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $7,100

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