It all began at the opening of the Baselworld 2017 with Seiko’s SLA017; a collector-worthy re-creation of their first-ever diver watch – the Seiko Diver 62MAS.
Time-piece enthusiasts and Seiko diehards scrambled for the modern rendition of Seiko’s vintage 1965 top-seller but there were two limitations: a limited production and a premium price tag.
Fortunately, Seiko lets your budget dictate which Seiko Diver to buy. Graciously, the company produced two models of a more modern interpretation of the iconic 62MAS, namely, the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB051 and SPB053.
With varying features, yet similar modern capabilities, the model featuring the stainless steel bracelet is the subject of our Seiko SPB051 review.
The Seiko brand, in itself, is enough to shout elegance and quality- but divers have varying prerequisites. Personally, I was on a search for a stylish watch that I could wear with formal or casual attire and yet leave on while I engaged in my underworld paradise. So not only was I on a quest for a high-quality feature-rich diving watch, but also the best dress dive watch available.
Prospex for Seiko simply means “Professional Specification” thus any watch with the label is usually designed with professionals in mind – in this case, professional divers.
Though up-to-date with modern tech and functions, the SPB051 echoes the vintage 62MAS’ design to a great extent. To clarify, whereas the SLA017 attempts to reincarnate the 62MAS, the SPB051, and its sibling the SPB053, are larger and sportier modern-day renditions or re-imagination of the 62MAS in a more affordable package.
However, make no mistake; while the SPB051 costs a third of what you would pay for the SLA017, it is no thrifty man’s watch! Seiko’s high quality material, superior craftsmanship, premium name, and uncompromising standards do not come for cheap. The fit is impeccable, the finish immaculate and the bezel action as smooth as it’s iconic prototype. Pondering which Seiko diver to buy, any product review for the Seiko SPB051 I came upon before I took the plunge re-iterated its solid craftsmanship, its modern features and its stylish appearance. At first glance of the watch on my wrist I felt happy with what I saw and agreed with all I had read. However, I wanted to dive with the watch before I was reassured that it met all my expectations. I was not disappointed! Let’s get to the notable features and specifications.
SPB051 Features/ Specs:
The SPB051 features stainless-steel construction with Seiko’s DiaShield coating on the bracelet and case for enhanced scratch resistance. Like the 62MAS, it comes with a circular brushed finish, straight cut integrated lugs, and no crown guards but measures a massive 42.6mm across and 13.8mm thick.
Seiko’s Caliber 6R15 powers the Prospex SPB051. The 23-jewel automatic caliber which powers most of the brand’s mid-range products is popular because of its reliability. It operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) and delivers over 50 hours of power reserve through a Spron 510 mainspring. The brand’s favorite since 2006, the caliber’s precision is regulated to -15/+25 seconds/day. It also features self-winding movement with hand wind capabilities.
Most notably, the SPB051 boasts a 200-meter water-resistance capability thanks to a rugged screw-down back case. That is an excellent rating for a mid-range watch and sets this offering above many of its peers. It also comes with a strong and durable sapphire crystal with anti-reflection properties plus a screw-down crown to prevent accidental removal.
Looking for the best scuba dive watches with depth gauge? Read our post here!
Seiko’s Impeccable Finish
The SPB051 is curvy, sleek, and rounded to provide a smooth flow with your wrist. It is also comfortable to wear because it is less square than most of its competitors. It is aesthetically pleasing with renowned Seiko finishing and satin brush polishing.
A shiny Zaratsu polish line on the side adds a touch of refinement to the design. On top sits a smooth-acting black steel bezel with 60-minute markings. The matte black dial is home to broad arrow hands filled with Lumibrite lume for easy visibility in dark waters. Even in its luminous state, aesthetically, it is trendy and tasteful. I have no hesitation in classing it as the best dress dive watch with many a customer review reiterating its attractiveness. The stainless-steel bracelet goes well with the watch’s design. The beautiful bracelet feels more solid thanks to an angled design that is a step above the regular flat design.
So, which Seiko Diver To Buy?
The Seiko SPB053 features an accordion-style silicone strap which many divers prefer due to its ability to contract and expand on the wrist under water. The blue dial and bezel give an attractive sporty look. I like this look but I also wanted a bracelet strap watch for non-diving time.
To conclude this review of the Seiko SPB051, put simply, which model suits your personal prerequisites? Along with its underwater capabilities and modern features for the diving enthusiast, it also passes as the best dress dive watch. With its stainless-steel bracelet, black dial and bezel to match any attire, you’ll leave it on!