Here at Revolution, there are two things that we really love: a watch that lives up to its hype, and a timepiece where value is not just implied – by a venerable name or the use of weird and wonderful materials – but is so obvious that the question becomes, “Who wouldn’t buy one?” We have long championed the purity, beauty and exceptional quality of Grand Seiko but often this means missing out on the virtues of the Big Daddy behind GS: the affordable, reliable and, all-too-often neglected Seiko.
No newbie to the world of tool watches, Seiko has been producing timepieces for divers since 1965, with many professional and recreational divers choosing the brand thanks to the fully functional nature of the watches, which have more than 50 years of research, technical innovation and development. These watches are no show ponies, made for the Riviera playboy. No, sir. These are the watches that Leo Burnett’s Marlboro Man would choose to wear if he decided to rethink his career direction, leaving the cattle steering behind him to become an aquatic version of himself. These are the watches for the man or woman that just wants to get the job done. That said, the new Black Series manages to be effortlessly good looking at the same time.
The original Seiko diver – the 6217 – is now legendary among divers and collectors and the Prospex line has continued in the vein – all the time with an unbeatable price tag. The name Prospex is a portmanteau of “Professional” and “Specifications” and the watches in the collection are exactly what they say on the tin: high-end and ultra-reliable watches that have gained a reputation in the hard-core circles for being enormously sturdy and reliable and some of the best tool watches in the world today.
The 2018 Seiko Prospex Black Series – part of the collection nicknamed the “Turtles” – is a trilogy of high performance timepieces inspired by the world of night diving and built to Seiko’s stringent standards. Two of the watches in the new trio are solar powered and one – arguably the most handsome of the group – is automatic, waterproof to 200m with a screw-down crown at 4 o’clock and a generous day-date aperture at 3 o’clock.
With a black-coated 45mm case, a uni-directional bezel to prevent accidental rotation and a dial colour that reflects the darkness of the sea at night, the watch is as practical for diving as it is dashing enough for wearing on land. Bearing in mind its “professional” status, it has a bright orange minute hand and large hour markers coated in Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite that is hard to miss in any light condition – even deep underwater where the sun struggles to penetrate. Now that’s a lot of watch for just 550 USD!
Automatic Calibre 4R36; 41-hour power reserve
45mm blackened stainless steel; uni-directional rotating bezel; Hardlex crystal; screw caseback; screw-down crown; water-resistant to 200m