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Reviewing the Seiko Prospex Black Series 1970 Limited Edition SPB257J1

Limited to 5,500 pieces worldwide, the Seiko Prospex 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretant watch ref. SPB257J1 belongs to the Black Series, with a robust 200-meter water-resistant case crafted from black hard-coated stainless steel and an automatic movement that promises an impressive 70-hour power reserve.


For his memorable portrayal of Captain Willard, Martin Sheen wore the vintage Seiko 6105-8110/9 on his wrist during the filming of the 1979 film, Apocalypse Now. Since then, the watch has remained a heavily sought-after timepiece, spurring the Japanese brand to reimagine the watch back in 2019, with the release of the Prospex 1970 Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SLA033 at Baselworld. Back in the 1970s when the original one was released, the 6105 was the third official dive watch to be released. It followed a significant model back in 1965 – the brand’s first automatic waterproof watch and the 1969 diver’s watch with a sharply bevelled aesthetic. The 62MAS and 6105 models have been reinvented this year by Seiko with the launch of the limited edition Black Series, which takes inspiration from the dark, mysterious yet exciting allure of the ocean at night. We covered the collection’s four new models as a whole here – two of which pay homage to Seiko’s 1970 Mechanical Diver’s watch, the 6105.



Now we’re going under the lens with one of the limited edition Seiko Prospex Black Series 1970s Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watches – the ref. SPB257J1. It echoes the cushion-shaped case of the original Seiko diver’s watch from 1970 but comes equipped with an array of cutting-edge features that bring this robust and sleek-looking Seiko Prospex dive watch into the modern world.


Built for underwater exploration at night


The Seiko Prospex Black Series 1970’s Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch has a distinct cushion-shaped 42.7mm case and features a screw-down crown located at 4 o’clock. Unlike the 1965 and 1968 models released alongside it, the Seiko Prospex SPB257J1 has a crown that is fully protected in a bold and robust crown guard worked into the shape of the case. The watch is crafted from stainless steel with a black hard-coated finish to add to its robust and rugged qualities. After the release of the original Seiko 1970 Mechanical Dive watch, Naomi Uemura wore it between 1974 to 1976 when he completed a 12,500km solo dog-sledge run from Greenland to Alaska. As expected, its hardy and resilient design survived the extreme conditions experienced there.


Inspired by the vast ocean at night


As part of Seiko’s Black Series limited edition range, this new Seiko Prospex 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch ref. SPB257J1 echoes the dramatic blackness of the vast ocean at night with its black-coated steel case and matching black dial. Its punchy orange accents seen throughout the design represents the underwater lighting used to lead the way whilst diving. On top of the model’s cushion-shaped case, water-resistant to 200 meters, is a unidirectional rotating bezel in black. Its clever design moves only in the counter-clockwise direction aiming to keep diver safety at the forefront, enabling elapsed time underwater to be measured accurately whilst eradicating the risk of extending dive time. The first 20 minutes of this 60-minute dive scale are represented in orange, whilst the remaining numerals on the 60-minute scale are finished in a light grey. The same orange hue is repeated on the surface of the central minute hand, whilst the second hand features a lollipop style with a red circular top and a luminous pip.



The rectangular markers around the hour track of this vintage-inspired Seiko dive watch are coated in Lumibrite to match the surface of the central hour hand. A date window is also located at 3 o’clock and is dressed against a white background to enhance readability. The entire surface of the dial is protected by a pane of anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass.


A strap built to last


One key feature of the new Seiko Prospex 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch is its specially woven polyester strap. The bands that have been fitted to all three of the Mechanical Diver’s Black Series watches with orange and black bezels capitalize on traditional Japanese craftsmanship with a special braiding process named Seichu. Although NATO-inspired, these material straps take on a new aesthetic against the vintage-inspired feel of these watches and are particularly resistant.


The straps are crafted in a similar way to “obijime” – a technique used to craft the decorative cord that holds a Kimono sash in place. With their tensile strength, these straps exude a true Japanese style and are nearly four times stronger than standard Seiko fabric straps. What makes them particularly useful on this vintage-inspired 1970 Seiko Prospex watch is the fact that they’re particularly resistant to the degradation caused by saltwater. They’re also fade-resistant, so whether you’re wearing the watch for nighttime diving or not, the appearance of the ultra-strong strap will preserve the youthful look of this blacked-out watch, making it an ideal companion for wearing on vacation. Also, visually striking and thick to the touch, these special Seiko polyester straps are incredibly supple, optimizing comfort on the wrist. The watch is also supplied with an additional black silicone strap that dries easily and quickly when in and out of the water.



Inside this Seiko Prospex Black Series limited edition watch is the Calibre 6R35A. Considered an upgrade from the 6R15, the Calibre 6R35 is a reliable powerhorse for the Japanese brand’s rugged diver’s watches and has featured extensively throughout its range of Presage models too. Featuring in the likes of the Seiko Prospex “Sumo” and the Prospex Alpinist to mention just two examples, the movement belongs to the company’s high-performance 6R series and provides a 70-hour power reserve. It features 24 jewels, performs at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour and is equipped with the bidirectional Magic Lever. It also promises an accuracy of +25 to -15 seconds per day.


If you’d like more information on the new Seiko Prospex Black Series 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation you can call a member of our Jura Watches sales team today on 01335 453453, or check out the new Seiko Black Series range of diver’s watches here.


Technical specifications of the new Seiko Prospex 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch

  • Case: 42.7mm – height: 13.2mm – stainless steel – black hard coating – 200-meter water resistance – specially engraved caseback with limited edition number – cushion-shaped case – anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – unidirectional rotating bezel with grey and orange indexes – screw-down crown and crown guard at 4 o’clock
  • Dial: Black – luminous rectangular-shaped hour markers – hour hand treated with Lumibrite – orange minute hand – date window at 3 o’clock – yellow-tipped lollipop second hand
  • Movement: - Calibre 6R35 - automatic and manual winding – 70-hour power reserve - belonging to the high-performance 6R series – 21,600 vph – 70-hour power reserve – bidirectional Magic Lever
  • Strap: Polyester strap – crafted using the Seichu technique – improved resistance to fading and saltwater damage – tough and thick structure – supple and comfortable design – black hard-coated stainless steel fastening – additional black silicone strap
  • Reference: SPB257J1
  • Price: £1,170
  • Availability: Limited to 5,500 pieces worldwide
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