You are currently viewing Watch Review: Seiko Prospex Built For The Ice Divers U.S. Special Edition SPB261, SPB263, And SPB265

Watch Review: Seiko Prospex Built For The Ice Divers U.S. Special Edition SPB261, SPB263, And SPB265

There’s a powerful case to be made that the Seiko Prospex “Captain Willard” collection are probably the most fascinating watches within the Japanese big’s broad and various present diver roster. That includes a daring and immediately recognizable ‘70s-inspired rounded cushion case and a very good stability between refinement and worth, these fashions kind a bridge between Seiko’s inexpensive mass-market dive choices and its really premium high-end dive items. In true Seiko style, the model is decided to supply a wide selection of variations on this theme, however its newest launch within the line could be probably the most interesting of all. A lot of the mystique of the “Captain Willard” collection comes from Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura, whose solo Arctic expeditions within the ‘70s helped to cement the unique Seiko 6105 diver as an especially resilient cold-weather performer. Seiko and sister model Grand Seiko’s penchant for ice-inspired dial ending finds a pure residence on this trendy revival of the arctic exploration design, mixed with one of many marque’s most strong diver platforms. The brand new Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular version collection, together with the Seiko Prospex SPB261, Seiko Prospex SPB263, and Seiko Prospex SPB265, brings an added visible aptitude to an already eye-catching design, creating a few of Seiko’s most hanging trendy mid-range divers within the course of.

Like the remainder of the fashions within the present “Captain Willard” collection, the Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version variants are markedly extra compact on the wrist than the 42.7mm-wide case dimensions may recommend. In observe, this case feels nearer to 40mm whereas nonetheless wanting daring and pleasingly strong, and far of this comes right down to Seiko’s expertise for case geometry. The lugs are the primary ingredient of this, with a brief general size that results in a lug-to-lug measurement of solely 46.6mm, together with a steady sloping downturn that wraps the case across the wrist snugly. Seiko’s sloping undercut case sides are additionally a significant factor right here. These bowl-like, polished surfaces scale back the broad stance on the prime of the principle case physique to a a lot narrower profile that really contacts the wrist, whereas additionally masking a few of the general thickness with a reflective curving end. Seiko’s final size-masking trick is one among its oldest and only, lowering the obvious top of the 13.2mm-thick case on the wrist by slimming down the mid-case as a lot as attainable. A lot of the case’s bulk is shared between the bubbled caseback and Seiko’s trademark tall dive bezel, permitting these watches to sit down flatter on the wrist than a slab-sided case with the identical measurements. That is additionally the uncommon classic watch reissue that really measures in smaller than its forebear, which means this uniquely natural rounded form isn’t solely utilizing intelligent geometry to visually slim itself.

The chrome steel circumstances of all three variations are functionally an identical, and like the remainder of the “Captain Willard” collection, the ending here’s a minimize above Seiko’s already glorious mass-market diver choices. The radial brushing atop the cushion case is clean and impressively even, whereas the coin fringe of the unidirectional dive bezels feels sharper and extra refined than the acquainted entry-level Seiko knurling sample. The 4 o’clock screw-down crowns are additionally a significant enchancment over the unique Seiko 6105’s system, which used a notoriously fiddly pin-alignment system to lock the crown in place. It’s the bezel insert the place this sense of high quality shines by means of clearest, nevertheless. All three fashions are geared up with matte black ceramic inserts, with a calmly grained texture that provides to the sense of tactile high quality. Whereas the complete printed dive scales may need benefited from a light-weight engraving, the easy transfer to ceramic instantly provides these fashions a extra upmarket really feel. In step with ISO requirements, all three fashions are rated for a strong 200 meters of water resistance.

The three fashions within the Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version collection differentiate themselves with a trio of arctic-inspired dial finishes. The general layouts are carried over from the usual “Willard” fashions, with broad pointed baton arms paired to satisfyingly daring utilized sq. indices, however the surfaces themselves showcase Seiko’s very good dial ending capabilities. The model has clearly used a fancy multi-stage course of to attain these seems, and the manufacturing functionality essential to copy this course of at scale at this value level is spectacular in and of itself. Along with a semi-gloss coat and a smoky dégradé impact that easily darkens the hue of every dial because it approaches the sting, there’s a horizontal crosshatch impact meant to seize the look of sled tracks on snow. In observe, this impact might not be as showy as some others in Seiko’s steady however catches mild in engagingly nuanced methods from a wide range of angles. The deep blue-green of the SPB265 is the subtlest and most conventional of the three colorways, however the virtually teal hues that shine by means of nonetheless set this other than extra historically oceanic blue dials. In contrast, the pale blue SPB263 stands out from throughout a room as one thing new, with a glacial colorway that captures a spread of shades from chilly winter skies to the wealthy clear hues on the coronary heart of an iceberg. It’s the SPB261, nevertheless, that establishes the perfect stability between visible affect and flexibility. The cool pale grey gradient runs the gamut from soiled snow to uncovered granite, giving this a extra ruggedly severe really feel than its stablemates and offering a welcome change of tempo from the basic black dial colorway. All three fashions add a pop of vivid yellow by means of the collection’ signature “stoplight” seconds hand, giving the designs some much-needed distinction and reinforcing the practical exploration-gear theme. For all these new dials’ strengths, nevertheless, the cutout date home windows at 3 o’clock stay as notable visible disruptions. A no-date iteration of those designs would doubtless come throughout as a extra cohesive package deal.

Seiko powers the Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version collection with its in-house 6R35 automated motion. The 6R35 is a comparatively new addition to the model’s motion lineup and provides a very trendy 70 hours of energy reserve. How this motion delivers that energy reserve could also be some extent of rivalry for some fanatics, nevertheless, as its slower 21,600 bph beat fee results in a noticeably rougher seconds hand sweep than the 28,800 bph frequencies of lots of its rivals. With that mentioned, in typical Seiko style this motion is robustly constructed and handily outperforms its acknowledged specs, with our examined accuracy of -7 seconds per day far outstripping the 6R35’s -15/+25 second per day acknowledged accuracy score.

All three fashions within the Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version are fitted with three-link oyster-style bracelets in brushed chrome steel. Whereas the totally brushed end and rounded hyperlink do give a extra refined impression than the corresponding bracelets on Seiko’s extra inexpensive Prospex choices, significantly by means of the clasp, this design merely performs solidly. Given the distinctive, uniquely Seiko design language all through the remainder of the watch, these bracelets tend to fade into the background considerably. Whereas this conventional design is snug and versatile, these designs might doubtless help a broad number of strap kinds handsomely.

Pairing strong building, reliable efficiency, and a few of mainline Seiko’s most charismatic dial and case pairings, the brand new arctic-inspired Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version collection provides a succesful and distinctive contender within the extraordinarily aggressive $1,000-$2,000 dive watch market section. Whereas not strictly restricted in quantity, all three fashions within the Seiko Prospex Constructed for the Ice Divers U.S. Particular Version line will probably be accessible solely by means of Seiko Luxe licensed sellers in the USA in November 2021 at an MSRP of $1,400 every. For extra particulars, please go to the model’s web site.

Obligatory Information
>Model: Seiko
>Mannequin: Prospex SPB261, Prospex SPB263, Prospex SPB265
>Worth: $1,400
>Measurement: 42.7mm-wide, 13.2mm-thick, 46.6mm lug-to-lug
>When reviewer would personally put on it: As a day by day put on sports activities watch, or as an accent to a rugged retro-inspired outfit.
>Good friend we’d advocate it to first: Dive watch followers seeking to check out Seiko’s higher-spec choices, or an out of doors adventurer on the lookout for a cold-weather companion.
>Greatest attribute of watch: Very good dial ending, refined really feel on the wrist, really distinctive case presence.
>Worst attribute of watch: Uninspired bracelet, 6R35 motion’s sluggish beat fee could show divisive, sizeable value level pushes the design into an especially aggressive market section.