Releasing an lofty number of models each year, as Seiko does, is an accomplishment all in itself — but the Japanese watchmaking superstar consistently outdoes themselves by including many highly compelling, entirely new watches in its comprehensive model lineup.
This year, the brand is following a familiar pattern: it's launching tons of updates and new designs, as well as a near-exact remake of a famous vintage piece — alongside more affordable modern interpretations. Here's what you should know.
Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-creation SJE085
The Alpinist was Seiko and Japan's first dedicated sport watch, famously made for Japanese "mountain men" in 1959. The watch of that name as it's known today, however, has a design that was established in the 1990s and looks very little like the original Alpinist.
The popularity of the Alpinist has lead to increasing interest in its earlier versions, so Seiko has harnessed this enthusiasm and released a near-exact remake of the first Alpinist, reference SJE085. As with past such remakes, this is a limited edition model with premium features, high-end finishing and movement...and a price to match. (It comes on a cool leather bund strap, though.)
Movement: Seiko 6L35 automatic
Water Resistance: 100m
Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation SPB241, SPB243 and SPB241
For close followers and mega-fans of Seiko (and there are many), the formula is familiar, but no less exciting: accompany the high-end, limited remake with "modern reinterpretations" of the vintage design at a much more affordable price point. While the "re-creation" models are squarely aimed at Seiko collectors, the reinterpretations have a much broader audience.
While they lack luxury bells and whistles, these models live in the Prospex line's sub-$1,000 tier, but have the excellent build quality, specs and finishing that that makes the collection consistently punch well above its weight. While common design cues like the triangular hour markers make the connection clear, the new models feel contemporary in other ways, including a slightly upsized case. They come in dial colors of gray, green and cream.
Movement: Seiko 6R35 automatic
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $725 (strap) $750 (steel bracelet)
Seiko Prospex Diver 1970 Modern Reinterpretation SLA049 and SLA051
The legendary Seiko 6105 dive watch was released in 1970, and it has a badass vibe with its unusual, asymmetric case. Later nicknamed the "Captain Willard" for the character who wore it in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, this watch has previously received a treatment similar to the Alpinist above. The version you see here is based on the 6105 but with modern tweaks and premium specs. Two new editions respectively feature blue or black dials and bezels; they're intended to highlight both Japan's and Seiko's history, and dedicated to a famous Japanese adventurer, Naomi Uemura.
Movement: Seiko 8L35 automatic
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $2,900 - $3,100
Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series GMT
Alongside Seiko's rugged and outdoor-themed Prospex line is the generally elegant and formal-ish Presage collection. Within Presage are many sub-collections (yes, Seiko's taxonomy can be confusing), including contemporary dress-style watches called Sharp Edge that have striking, faceted dial executions. Seiko has now expanded on this sub-(sub)-line with a new GMT model available in dial four dial colors of black (SPB221), green (SPB219), blue (SPB217) and brown (SPB225).
These automatic models are relative outliers in the Prospex or Presage line for incorporating complications. But the popular GMT function is always welcome, and here it's accompanied by an unusual combination of features: there's a power reserve indicator around 9:30 and the date is displayed in a subdial at 6 o'clock. The dial layout and 24-hour bezel, combined with the unique dial texture, makes for an interesting — but possibly polarizing — aesthetic.
Movement: Seiko 6R64 automatic
Water resistance: 100m