It was 1913 when Japanese watchmaker and businessman Kintaro Hattori launched the Laurel, the timepiece we now consider Seiko’s very first wristwatch. The Seiko Prospex SPB333J1 Save the Ocean Limited Edition is nothing like the Laurel. This new limited edition of 5,000 pieces is, however, a celebration of 110 years of Seiko watchmaking. And it’s a particularly cool if not frosty diver at that. I mean, with its icy gray dial, it looks just like it just crawled out of the Arctic Ocean!

Brace yourself, Fratelli, for 2023 will be the year that will see a deluge of Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary watches. Earlier this week, you saw the Presage homage to the Laurel, the brand’s very first wristwatch. Now it’s time for something completely different — a Prospex with a silvery-white dial showing a subtle, striated texture that looks like ice. Yes, the Prospex SPB333J1 Save The Ocean Limited Edition is one frosty piece of kit. This is a watch you could go ice diving with.

Seiko Prospex SPB333J1

The ice-cold Seiko Prospex SPB333J1 Save The Ocean Limited Edition

When you decide to take a chilling plunge with the Prospex SPB333J1, you can choose between two ways of wearing it. There’s a robust five-row stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp with a pushbutton release, security lock, and extender. And you can also wear the watch on a Seichu strap. That strap is made of a type of polyester that is entirely composed of recycled plastic bottles.

Seichu is a traditional Japanese braiding technique, and straps of this style debuted on the Prospex 1965 and 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches. At first glance, they look like NATO straps, largely because they attach to the watch in the very same way. However, a regular nylon NATO strap has a very fine, woven structure, and the strap is often quite thin.

The Seichu straps are thicker and have a more pronounced texture. Because of that added thickness and clearly visible braiding pattern, the straps don’t only look more luxurious, but they also feel that way. On top of that, the Seichu strap of the Prospex SPB333J1 has a thematic pattern inspired by the ice of a glacier.


An ice-skate-ready, frosty wrist companion

Once the temperature drops below zero (32°F for our American readers) people in the Netherlands start talking about skating. And that’s why when I look at the dial of the Prospex SPB333J1, I think of skating. With this dial, Seiko’s designers tried to capture the power of the polar glaciers that shape the landscapes and seascapes of the Arctic and Antarctic. You can be the judge of whether they managed that or not.

When I see the dial, I want to go ice skating. Still, apart from being decorative, the dial of this Prospex tells the story of adventurers and researchers in the 1960s and 1970s who wore Seiko watches to the North and South Poles. The case of the Prospex SPB333J1 is based on the Seiko 6105-8000 dive watch from 1968. You might recognize the curved silhouette and crown positioned at 4 o’clock.

Seiko Prospex SPB333J1

Dive 200 meters deep if you dare

The stainless steel 41 × 47 × 12.3mm case of the Prospex SPB333J1 has a super-hard coating (as does the bracelet) and a curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment. There’s also a screw-down crown and case back, as you’d expect. If you dare, you can take the watch to a depth of 200 meters. And once you reach this dark depth, Lumibrite on hands and all 12 indexes will let you know what time it is. Making those hands turn is the tried-and-true caliber 6R35, a 3Hz automatic movement with a power reserve of 70 hours.

The new Prospex SPB333J1 will be available worldwide from January 2023 as a limited edition of 5,000 pieces. The watch joins the Save the Ocean series, meaning that it financially supports different marine charities. But before it does, you will have to pay €1,350 for the ice-gray and frosty Prospex SPB333J1 at a Seiko boutique or a selected retailer.

For more information about the Prospex SPB333J1 Save The Ocean Limited Edition, please visit Seiko’s official website.

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