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Up Close with the Seiko Prospex Black Series 1965 Mechanical Divers

Having forged its notoriety around innovative, robust and high-performing dive watches, Seiko’s reputation for aquatic timepieces continues with an extension to its Prospex watch collection in the form of four new Black Series Limited Edition watches. This time the Japanese watchmaker focuses on resurrecting some important dive watches from its past, namely the Mechanical Diver’s 1965, 1968 and 1970 models. There are four new releases and we covered them in an overview of the collection here. Now we’re going to go under the lens and take a closer look at each of these new Prospex Black Series watches, starting with the Seiko Prospex 1965 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch. It goes by the reference SPB253J1 and is limited to 5,500 pieces, the same as its two siblings - 1968 and 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watches.


Just last year, Seiko released a 1965 and 1970 Re-interpretation dive watch. The watches SPB239J1 and SPB237J1 were based faithfully on designs that had already been well-appreciated amongst dive watch enthusiasts. One was based on Seiko’s first dive watch developed in 1965, the other one was inspired by the watch worn by Sheen in the Apocalypse Now film.



Inspired by Seiko’s first mechanical dive watch


Seiko’s first Mechanical dive watch was born in 1965 during a time when water resistance in a wristwatch was not an easy thing to achieve. The functional dive watch was designed for legibility underwater and maximum reliability, with a 150-meter water resistance that was considered pretty impressive during this era. The watch was used by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition the following year, lasting until 1969, proving its worth a hardy, rugged and durable timekeeping instrument for facing the harsh weather conditions experienced in Antarctica and other equally challenging climates.


Virtually identical to the original, this new Seiko Prospex 1965 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch incorporates an improved water resistance and a new beating heart. It brings the dive tool thoroughly up-to-date, whilst keeping all the important aesthetical elements of this original diving watch intact. The new Seiko Prospex 1965 watch is limited to 5, 500 pieces worldwide and belongs to the Black Series collection. This range of expert diver’s tools is inspired by the darkness of the mysterious ocean and the adventurous spirit of those who explore it during the night. The stealthy black shade of the dial and its hard coated black stainless steel outer shell recalls the blackness of the underwater world during the darkest hours of the night, whilst the punchy orange accents illuminate the dial, representing the lighting equipment used by professional divers to lead the way during exploration.



Seiko has developed this new addition to the Prospex line faithfully. The black unidirectional rotating bezel is designed to rotate only in the counterclockwise direction to ensure the remaining dive time is never accidentally extended. The orange accents on the bezel outline the first 15 minutes of the 60-minute scale, whilst the remaining indexes are finished in a light grey colour. The model’s black dial sports rectangular-shaped hour markers that have been treated with Seiko’s Lumibrite material. The dial also features a black hour hand with a section of luminescent material and a vivid orange coated minute hand for enhanced legibility. The second hand is identified by a yellow rectangular-shaped tip and a date aperture is positioned at 3 o’clock, positioned underneath a curved anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass front.


The new Seiko Prospex 1965 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch features a 200-meter water-resistant case crafted from stainless steel with a black hard coating. The angular lugs re-create the profile of the original dive watch, whilst the surface of the case is brushed, with any original polished sections of the watch replaced with a matte finish. The back of the case and unprotected crown at 3 o’clock are screwed down to uphold the case’s water resistance.


A strap developed by a traditional braiding technique


One key feature of the new Seiko Prospex 1965 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 1965 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.



This Seiko Prospex Black Series 1965 watch ref. SPB253J1 is powered by the Calibre 9R35 which offers a mix of both automatic and manual winding. It produces an impressive 70-hour power reserve and promises an accuracy of +25 and -15 seconds a day. If you would like additional information on the new Black Series Limited Edition Seiko Prospex 1965 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch, you can check out the watch in full here online, or call and speak to a member of our Jura Watches sales team today on 01335 453453


Technical specifications of the Seiko Prospex 1965 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation watch

  • Case: 40.2mm – height: 13.2mm – stainless steel – black hard coating – 200-meter water-resistant – curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass front – screw-down caseback – screw-down unprotected crown at 3 o’clock – caseback engraved with the limited edition number and lettering – black unidirectional rotating bezel with grey and orange 60-minute dive scale
  • Dial: Black – orange minute hand – Lumibrite hands and indexes – date window at 3 o’clock – yellow rectangular tipped second hand
  • Movement: Calibre 9R35 – manual and automatic winding – 70-hour power reserve – 21,600 vph – accuracy of +25 and -15 seconds a day
  • 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 rubber strap supplied
  • Reference: SPB253J1
  • Availability: Limited to 5,500 worldwide
  • Price: £1,080
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