5 Seiko Watches That Make Me Happy
In this article, I share with you my top 5 Seiko watches from the current collection that put a smile on my face.
Sometimes, you’d almost forget about Seiko watches with all this ongoing Grand Seiko news. Its popularity is immense and ever-growing, but what about talking about some cool Seiko watches? One of my all-time favorites would be of course the Seiko Space Walk SPS005 (click here for our review), but what about the watches you can buy today from Seiko?
Top 5 modern Seiko watches
I made a selection of 5 watches from the current Seiko catalog, that I wouldn’t mind adding to my modest watch collection. Without further ado, let’s have a closer look.
1. Seiko Prospex SLA021J1
After I bought my first Seiko diver in 2014, a Sumo model, I realized that modern Seikos are actually pretty special. They represent amazing value for money. Subsequently, I started to wonder how good a Marinemaster 300 (then €2,000) needs to be when €600 would buy you this amazing Sumo (SBDC001). Early 2015, I got a Marinemaster 300 and it blew me away. And it still does. A monobloc case, Grand Seiko base movement, and superb finishing on the case. It wasn’t until my first trip to (Grand) Seiko Japan later that year, I realized the Marinemaster was actually manufactured in the Grand Seiko production facility.
Fast forward 2020, and the Marinemaster 300 as we know it does not exist anymore. Today, there’s the Seiko Prospex SLA021J1. A bit more expensive (€,3200) than five years ago, but you will get a sapphire crystal instead of Hardlex and a ceramic bezel instead of steel. I have the Marinemaster 300 SBDX001 in my collection, and I don’t need the upgrade, but this Seiko Prospex SLA021J1 is my top of the picks. If you have never tried on one, do it. Now.
2. Seiko Prospex SLA041
Perhaps a bit unfair to include this, as it is only 1,100 pieces, but I love these tuna models. I used to have the very first “Grandfather” Tuna 6159-7010, and it is just a very cool watch. I remember seeing one of my friends with a modern SBDX011 version, and I decided I needed one too. After a bit of research, I ended up with the vintage model from 1975. Pretty hot of course, but a watch that rarely saw my wrist. I traded it to fund a Grand Seiko, but once in a while I miss that hockey puck. The Seiko SLA041 or one of its less limited homies need to be back in my collection of Seikos again, soon. The retail price on the Seiko SLA041 is €4,500. It has the same 8L35 movement as the SLA021J1, which has its roots from the Grand Seiko 9S55.
3. Seiko Alpinist SPB117
No “Alpinist” on the dial, but 100% Alpinist. That’s more or less how Mike described the new Alpinist models when they were introduced earlier this year. The Alpinist is Seiko’s “explorer” watch with two crowns, one of setting time and the other to operate the compass. Today, the Alpinist is part of the Prospex collection, which, in my opinion, perfectly positions the Alpinist as a “professional specifications” watch. It is water-resistant to 200 meters, has a Seiko caliber 6R35 inside (with the hacking feature), and a sapphire crystal. It’s a 39.5mm diameter watch, making it a very modest — almost sophisticated — tool watch on the wrist. The price tag is €739 on this SPB117, but there are a number of interesting variations out there.
4. Seiko Prospex SPB103J1
Another diver, I hear you. But it is simply beautiful in green. The retail price of €830 makes it a very attractive professional diver watch, with a uni-directional diving bezel, sapphire crystal, 200 meters water resistance, screw-down crown, and bracelet with diver’s extension. With a diameter of 45mm, it is surely not suitable for all wrists but it wears amazingly well on mine (a 19cm wrist). Inside, you’ll again find the Seiko 6R35 movement like in the Prospex Alpinist. Oh, and I love the green on this watch. Stunning! The SPB101J1 is the same watch but in black, so if you don’t like green, that’s the one to look for.
5. Seiko Presage SPB165J1
Finally, a Seiko Presage on this list! You are looking at the SPB165 and don’t worry, Seiko has others dial colors available as well. But as a matter of fact, I have a soft spot for white dials. This 39.3mm diameter watch is part of the Presage collection, but can easily be mistaken for something from the Grand Seiko stable. Look at those sharp edges, the number of facets on the case, and the dial motif. That’s GS material normally. The Seiko Presage SPB165 is dubbed “Sharp Edged” for a good reason.
Inside, you’ll find the 6R35 movement that I already discussed in this article. The “Speedmaster” style bracelet has a similar design as the one on my Grand Seiko SBGJ201 (click here) and it suits this Presage perfectly as well. The retail price of the Seiko Presage SPB165J1 is €990.
Let us know your favorite modern Seiko watch in the comments below.