The modern reinterpretations of Seiko's earliest dive watches look, in a word, dope on their existing bracelet and rubber strap options — but, like many tool watches, these Seikos also perfect for mixing up straps. As no-nonsense dive watches, a NATO-style strap is always a good option, but Seiko went the extra mile to offer something uniquely cool and infused, as always, with an extra Japanese touch.
Two Prospex models are now being offered with new textile strap options: they are the SPB239 based on the 1965 watch known as the "62MAS" and the SPB237 based on the 1970 watch nicknamed the "Captain Willard," after the character who wore one in Apocalypse Now. The watches themselves aren't so much new, but the NATO-style straps have have an unusual weave and texture with an interesting pattern and distinctly premium feel.
As with many Seiko releases, there's a "traditional Japanese technique" behind the straps: the fabric's braiding style is said to be the same as that used for kimono sashes' decorative cords. It just so happens that this technique also works particularly well for dive watches with properties that make it flexible, breathable, resistant to degradation from light and give it a "tensile strength nearly four times that of regular Seiko fabric straps."
The straps include premium hardware (a nicely finished steel buckle and keepers) and a Prospex logo patch. Each of the watches is offered with the textile straps in two color options: The SPB239 will be available with a black or tan strap, and the SPB237, with green or gray.
Interestingly, the straps are positioned as premium options, and springing for one brings the watches' prices close to that of steel bracelet-equipped versions (whereas they're a couple hundred dollars less on rubber straps). Available later in June 2021, the 1965 recreation SPB239 will be priced at $1,200 and the 1970 recreation SPB237 will be $1,300.