Baselworld 2018: Seiko Debuts a Trio of Vintage-Inspired Dive Watches

The SLA025, SPB077 and SPB079 all pay homage to the world’s first high-beat dive watch.

From left to right: the SPB079, SPB077 and the SLA025

Baselworld, the biggest watch event of the year, is happening now at the Messe Basel in Basel, Switzerland. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.

Verdict: Last year, Seiko dipped into its archives and developed a hyper-accurate reissue of the 62MAS, the brand’s first ever dive watch. That reissue also spawned two modern reinterpretations that, while larger and less detailed, still took inspiration from that watch. Seiko is reapplying a similar strategy again this year with the introduction of three new Prospex divers: the SLA025, SPB077 and SPB079.

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, in 1968 — three years after the introduction of the 62MAS — it released the reference 6159-7001, which was the first dive watch ever to use a high-beat movement (36,000 bph). The SLA025 is the dead-on reissue of that watch: The case is nearly identical, with the same 44.8mm case diameter and dial design. Inside rests Seiko’s Caliber 8L55, a movement ticking away at, you guessed it, 36,000 bph. This piece is a limited edition of just 1,500 pieces and will cost $5,400.

As with the 62MAS reissue, two full-time models inspired by the 6159-7001 were released, too. The SPB077 and SPB079 have similarly-shaped cases but are slightly smaller and slimmer than the SLA025. The watches also have more modern dial designs and sets of hands, and their high-beat movement was scrapped in favor of the lower-beat 6R15 automatic. Still, both the SPB077 and SPB079 are great divers that will retail for $1,050 and $850, respectively.

Who It’s For: The SLA025 is for hardcore Seikoholics, no doubt, especially those willing to shell out the lofty price to get their hands on a limited watch with a geeky movement. Not that we blame them. The SPB077 and SPB079 certainly have much more mainstream appeal given their much more accessible prices, slimmer cases and will likely see plenty of summer duty.

Key Features: High-beat movement (SLA025). Water-resistant to 300 meters (SLA025) and 200 meters (SPB077 and SPB079).

Size: 44.8mm diameter (SLA025); 44mm diameter (SPB077 and SPB079)

Movement: Seiko 8L55 (SLA025); Seiko 6R15 (SPB077 and SPB079)

Release Date: July, 2018

Price: $5,400 (SLA025); $850+ (SPB077 and SPB079)

Learn More: Here

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