Seiko is pretty late to the all-black party; it’s missing out on the novelty but perhaps that’s not all-bad as it gets a better shot at doing all-black right with some calibration from time passed. As a result, the trio of all-black limited edition divers the company recently announced have sleek black cases, dials and straps but the markings and hands are usefully clear and distinct. Black watches where the time can actually be read even under the challenging circumstances under which they were designed to be worn… is a good thing.
SLA035J1: Going Deepest
The star of The Black Series Limited Edition is the SLA035J1. On land, it is a sporty, black number at a generous 44.3mm across, with brightly lumed hands and markers on dial and bezel, aesthetically complemented with pops of red for the seconds hand and water resistance rating, at 300m.
The SLA035J1 is driven by the self-winding 8L35 movement that offers hacking and hand-winding, with power reserve of 50 hours, in a steel case with black hard coating and sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside.
Seiko intends the SLA035J1 for the saturation diver. At the extreme depths that constitute the working environment for professional divers, light behaves in a different way than near the surface: the bezel markers are lumed up to the 20-minute mark, while the red seconds hand and WR rating disappears, because more red light is absorbed rather than reflected at depth. In this way, only critical information – time and elapsed time not past 20 – are brought to the fore. A thoughtful touch in a professional timepiece that still scores well for everyday wearability.
SPB125J1 & SSC761J1: All Occasions Covered
For those who aren’t looking to dive so deep, and we also mean into their pockets, the orange accented SPB125J1 and SSC761J1 have the performance and practicality that covers most of what life can throw at them. The SPB125J1 is driven by the self-winding 6R35 that also hacks and can be hand-wound, with 50 hours’ power reserve. On the other hand, the SSC761J1 is driven by the very clever solar-powered V192 chronograph with and split seconds capability.
Technical Specifications ― SLA035J1
Self-winding 8L35; 50 hours power reserve
44.3mm stainless steel case with black hard coating; 15.4mm case height; 300m water resistance; sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating; serial number engraved on caseback
600 pieces, available from March 2020
Technical Specifications ― SPB125J1
Self-winding 6R35; 50 hours power reserve
45mm stainless steel case with black hard coating; 12.9mm case height; sapphire crystal; serial number engraved on caseback
7,000 pieces, available from Feb 2020
Technical Specifications ― SSC761J1
Solar powered V192; chronograph accurate to 1/5 seconds; overcharge prevention function
44.5mm stainless steel case with black hard coating; 13.7mm case height; sapphire crystal; serial number engraved caseback
3,500 pieces, available from Feb 2020