Seiko diver’s watch range

A hugely popular watch range amongst recreational and professional divers offering excellent value for money and high standards of Japanese quality assurance. My personal favourite is the Seiko SLA017 – a modern day re-interpretation of the 1965 classic and original Seiko dive watch.

Note – all images courtesy of Seiko Watches

Prospex Range Overview

Seiko’s current range of Prospex diver’s watches is huge – around 30 models in all. It covers budgets from approx £300 to over £3,000. The Prospex range represent the high end of build quality. The name itself stands for “Professional Specification”. In the Japanese market – the Seiko Prospex holds similar status to TAG Heuer, Rolex and Omega.

The Prospex models have options for four movement types – automatic, quartz, solar – and Seiko’s own Kinetic movement. The majority of the Seiko dive watches are certified to a water resistancy of 200m (660ft) – although there are certain models rated down to 1000m (3,300ft). Many conform to the strict standards laid out in ISO 6425 Dive Watch specification

Popular models

With such a large range it can be quite time consumming randomly searching for “seiko dive watch” on eBay and other similar sites. The best advice is to narrow your choice down to a few specific model numbers eg. SRPA21K1 or SRP779K1. Do your research on the Seiko.com website and you’ll soon get to know two or three model’s that appeal to your taste and budget. Seiko frequently produce some highly collectible limited edition commemorative dive watches. These range from just a £300-£400 to well over £5,000.

Chrono Divers have summarised some of the most popular models below including the Seiko Samurai, Seiko SKX007/SKX009, Seiko Tuna and the Seiko Turtle. This is not the entire collection – but these are the models you will most frequently come across.

Seiko Samurai – disctinctive styling

A very popular design from Seiko is commonly referred to as the Seiko Samurai. Named so from it’s distinctive bevelled lugs. The Seiko Samurai is a nickname that covers several Seiko watch models incorporating the case design shown below – the Seiko Prospex PADI – the Seiko SRPB99K1. More information here – Seiko Samurai watch details

The Samurai dive watches have been tested to ISO 6425. It’s an affordable timepiece for everyday use and scuba diving. The Seiko Samurai is available only with an automatic movement – self-winding mechanism. Most models are driven by the Seiko calibre 4R35 movement – with 41 hour power reserve and an accuracy of +45 to -35 seconds per day.

Used / Pre-owned models

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

UK – a selection of Seiko Samurai watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko Samurai watches currently available from USA sellers

>> More information on the Seiko Samurai Dive watch here.

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SKX007 & SKX009 classic divers watch

The Seiko SKX007 and Seiko SKX009 were two of the most popular dive watches the Japanese manufacturer ever produced. First introduced in 1996 they existed in several guises. Older models can be identified by their 150m water resistancy, newer ones were certified to 200m.

Seiko SKX009 – red & blue bezel

A genuine classic – the Seiko SKX009 “Pepsi” with it’s distinctive red and blue bezel. Available with either a steel bracelet or the more popular rubber divers strap.

The SKX007 and SKX009 are two of the most sought after dive watches on the pre-owned market. Maybe because it’s a serious diver’s watch with an ISO 6425 rating to 200m. It also features a uni-directional dive time bezel and a screw in crown. More information on the Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 here

Used / Pre-owned models

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

UK – a selection of Seiko SKX009 dive watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko SKX009 dive watches currently available from USA sellers

Seiko SKX007 – black dial & bezel

Slightly less popular than the SKX009 is the SKX007 but mechanically identical. The single difference between these two models is down to colour of the watch dial and bezel. The Seiko SKX007 has an all black watch face and an all black dial.

The Seiko SKX007 with BLACK face and bezel

Used / Pre-owned models

UK – a selection of Seiko SKX007 dive watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko SKX007 dive watches currently available from USA sellers

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Seiko Tuna

Not a term the marketing team at Seiko probably penned – but a nickname for this style of dive watch case. Many people look at the round, tall, lugless case design and think it resembles a Tuna can … yep, I can see that.

The Seiko Tuna is the professional diver’s watch of choice from the current line up. Suitable for saturation diving (where mixed gases including Helium are used) the Seiko Tuna is certified to depths of 1,000m (3,300 ft). Unlike most saturation dive watches – the Tuna does NOT have a helium release valve. In 1975 Seiko designed these watches with a unique and patented case and gasket that prevented helium ingress.

Seiko SBDX014G – Prospex Marinemaster Automatic – 1000m

More information on the Seiko Tuna dive watch here.

Available online now

Used / Pre-owned models

UK – a selection of Seiko Tuna dive watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko Tuna dive watches currently available from USA sellers

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Seiko Turtle

As Seiko’s entry level dive watches – the SKX007 & SKX009 were two of the most popular models ever produced. The new entry level models attempting to replace the iconic SKX range are often referred to as Turtle cased dive watches. This is due to their smooth rounded “turtle shell” / cushion case design.

Just like the SKX007/009 and their predecessors the 6306 / 6309 the Seiko Turtle dive watches has the winder at the 4 o’clock position. Currently only available with Automatic movements (4R36/4R35).

>> more about the Seiko Turtle dive watch here

Used / Pre-owned models

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

UK – a selection of Seiko Turtle dive watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko Turtle dive watches currently available from USA sellers

Current Seiko Turtle models

Listed below are some of the Seiko dive watches with the smooth lines of the classic “turtle” / cushion shell from ther current range.

  • SRPA21K1
  • SRP775K1
  • SRP777K1
  • SRP779K1

Limited Edition models

Seiko frequently release some highly desirable limited edition dive watches. Genuine low volume production runs of stunning watches.

High Beating Limited Editions

Seiko produce some of the most accurate, high beating watches in the world. By HIGH BEATING we mean that they “tick” up to 10 times per second. All mechanical watches can be categorised by their VPH / BPH. That’s their “vibrations per hour” or “beats per hour”. Dividing the VPH figure by 3,600 will give the “ticks per second”. Most luxury brand Swiss watches have 28,800 VPH movements – 8 ticks per second. Seiko produce some watches with a 36,000 VPH – giving a super smooth 10 beats per second. It’s these 8 and 10 beat per second Calibres that often power Seiko’s most expensive limited edition dive watches.

SLA025J1 – 36,000 vph
SLA019J1 – 28,800 vph

S23626J1 – Quartz

The watches shown above are all from Seiko’s limited edition commemorative lines. The SLA025J1 (Calibre 8L55 / 10 beats per second) limited to 1,500 pieces. The SLA019J1 (Calibre 8L35 / 8 beats per second) limited to 1,968 pieces. And the odd one out – the QUARTZ powered S23626J1 limted to just 1,978 pieces.

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Entry level Limited Editions

What is pleasantly suprising is these limited edition models are not always the most expensive. Recent examples include the Seiko Prospex Black series from 2018 – shown below (sold for approx £370 UK) . These all black dive watches with part codes – SSC673, SRPC49 & SNE493 (solar chronograph, automatic diver & solar diver with date bubble) featured a bright orange minute hand to accurately indicate the precise time. Seiko’s unique LumiBrite ensures reliable visibility even at the darkest depths

SSC673 Chronograph
SRPC49 Automatic
SNE493 Solar

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Seiko Watch Movements

Automatic

A Seiko automatic watch relies on movement of the wrist to keep it ticking. Simply put, every time your wrist moves a semi-circular rotor spins – in effect – winding the watch’s mainspring. The movement does not have to be forced, it works from natural gestures expressed throughout the day. Most Seiko watches also allow for “hacking” – the manual winding of the watch to give it a headstart.

If the watch hasn’t been moved for a day or two it will stop running. To restart the watch simply wave it back and forth for a minute of two, or, if it features the hacking feature, unscrew the crown and give it 10 to 20 winds (back and forth)

Chronodivers.com is an affiliated partner of Amazon.com. Here’s a selection from their range of Seiko Automatic dive watches

Used / Pre-owned models

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

UK – a selection of Seiko Automatic dive watches currently available from UK sellers

USA – a selection of Seiko automatic dive watches currently available from USA sellers

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Accuracy of an Automatic watch

Seiko produce several automatic movements. From the current range a majority of dive watches will be built around one of the following

  • 4R35
    • 4 beats per second | 23 jewels -| 41 hours | +45 to -35 secs/day
  • 6R15
    • 6 beats per second | 23 jewels -| 50 hours | +25 to -15 secs/day
  • 8L55
    • 8 beats per second | 26 jewels -| 55 hours | +15 to -10 secs/day
  • 6R15
    • 6 beats per second | 23 jewels -| 50 hours | +25 to -15 secs/day

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Solar

Solar power was a groundbreaking technology introduced in to Seiko watches in 1977. When fully charged a Seiko solar powered dive watch should give 10 months accurate time keeping.

The time keeping is managed by a quartz crystal. However – this crystal is powered by a rechargable battery – charged by light. This makes the solar watch as accurate as most regular battery powered quartz. The Seiko V157 should provide an accuracy of +/-15 sec/month

Note – a solar powered watch does NOT rely solely on sunlight. Light from electric light bulbs and other light sources will also charge the battery

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Kinetic

Whereas a solar powered watch charges the battery from energy stored within light – a Kinetic watch charges the battery from kinetic energy. It’s basically a combination of an automatic watch and a quartz watch. Kinetic energy is the energy an item possesses due to its’ motion. Motion from the wearer of the watch causes the semi-circular rotor to turn a miniature electrical generator that subsequently charges the battery.

In effect, the watch has turned kinetic energy in to electrical energy – think like a dynamo on a bike – pedalling spins the dynamo which in turn charges the batteries which in turn power the light.

Available online now

Used / Pre-owned models

Counterfeit warning – shoppers must make their own judgement to determine the authenticity of any watch before buying it – avoid buying a fake watch

USA – a selection of Seiko Kinetic dive watches currently available from USA sellers

UK – a selection of Seiko Kinetic dive watches currently available from UK sellers

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My current Seiko is a SKA761P1 (on the right) – one of just 3 x Seiko Kinetic dive watches. I bought this model as it offers me accurate time keeping without the need to replace batteries. I’ve only had it a few months, but I love it …

Quartz

From the current product line-up (2019) there are only a couple of dive watches with a quartz movement. The Limited Edition S23626J1 (with a price tag over £2k) comes equipped with a Seiko Quartz 7C46 movement. This unit will provide an accuracy of +/- 15 sec/month with an approximate battery life of 5 years.