Meet the new Seiko Prospex SLA065, a new interpretation of a template set back in 1965. The original 62MAS has garnered legendary status, inspiring a series of reissues in different segments over the years. Today, Seiko adds another to that lineage. This SLA065 is a limited edition in the Save the Ocean collection.

Seiko’s 62MAS-inspired reissues come in different price ranges. The SLA065 is a top-of-the-range model, coming in at €3,000. Let’s have a closer look.

Seiko Prospex SLA065

The new Seiko Prospex SLA065

The watch we have before us is clearly a descendant of the 62MAS. The original design language is still very much alive in this watch. It is a little bit bigger, however, at 41.3mm versus the original 38mm size. Additionally, Seiko has brought modern updates in several places. This, then, is not the most faithful reissue of the 62MAS. Consider it a modern Seiko diver in the spirit of the 62MAS.

The capable automatic 8L35 caliber powers the SLA065. This 26-jewel movement has a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 50 hours. This caliber is based on the Grand Seiko caliber 9S55, and it is reserved for Seiko’s high-end watches. Seiko, however, does not regulate it to Grand Seiko standards. It runs at +15/-10 seconds per day.

The 200m-water-resistant SLA065 comes with a double-domed sapphire crystal with an inner AR coating. Seiko hard-coats the case for extra scratch resistance. The case beveling is Zaratsu-polished for an extra-smooth finish.

The original 62MAS (left) and the SLA065 (right)

A dial inspired by the astrolabe

The first thing that jumps out about the SLA065 is its dial. It has an intricate pattern etched into its surface. It is a rather indirect ode to Seiko’s Save the Ocean program. Seiko sponsors and supports charities aimed at marine preservation. One such charity is an underwater archaeology project around the Greek island of Fournoi. Researchers are studying shipwrecks from the fourth century to learn about marine trading at that time.

It is historically possible that those traders used so-called astrolabes for navigation. Thus, Seiko used it as inspiration for this dial. It is a bit of a stretch, but here we are. In any case, the astrolabe is an ingenious device that can be used for numerous purposes. The handheld model of the universe can help identify celestial objects. Throughout the ages, it had all sorts of applications in astronomy, astrology, and even religion. It can also be used for triangulation, which is how it might have served our fourth-century Mediterranean traders.

The astrolabe is a disc with intricate overlapping patterns, which inspired the pattern on the SLA065 dial. It is a purely artistic impression, though; you cannot actually use your new Seiko as an astrolabe.

Seiko Prospex SLA065

Initial impressions of the SLA065

I am a big fan of Seiko dive watches. I own and have owned several. There is something about them that is quite unique. I am unsure what it is, but they just do not look and feel like watches from any other brand. I am yet to buy into a higher-end Seiko diver, but I certainly see the appeal. The most faithful 62MAS reissue, the SLA017, is high on my wishlist.

Can you feel the “however” coming? Well, I am much less attracted to the special editions, especially those with special dials. They compromise legibility and always feel a bit gimmicky to me. The SLA065, with its rather indirect inspiration, does not persuade me to change my mind. That said, this is just a preliminary first impression. I am yet to go hands-on with the watch, so there is always the chance of it blowing me away in real life.

Seiko Prospex SLA065

Price and availability of the Seiko Prospex SLA065

Seiko will produce only 1,300 pieces of the SLA065. They will be available through the brand’s boutiques and retail partners starting in February 2023. The price of the Seiko SLA065 is €3,000.

What do you think of this new high-end diver from Seiko? Let us know in the comments section below.

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