Seiko has a number of talents as a watchmaker, but it’s their solidly built, well-priced diver’s watches that the brand is perhaps most beloved of. In the area of daily divers, Seiko recently released a trio of attractive new models in the Prospex collection, called SPB297, SPB299 and SPB301.
Although their reference numbers are not immediately inspiring, the new collection is part of Seiko’s Save The Ocean initiative, which was created to support various marine conservation efforts. In 2019, James and I were fortunate enough to attend a trip with Seiko to visit a turtle sanctuary with Save The Ocean Ambassador Fabien Cousteau, the first grandson of the one and only Jacques Cousteau.
It was a trip to highlight Seiko’s commitment to healthier oceans around the world, but more specifically, that the funds raised through the Save The Ocean collection actually help organizations make a difference for the environment, even here in Australia. This latest collection is the most recent to contribute some of its proceeds to the initiative, providing not only a beautiful watch, but also a worthy cause.
RELATED: Seiko Save The Ocean Editions With Ambassador Fabien Cousteau
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the three new watches are their intricately textured dials, which remind you of the walls of icebergs or cracks in glacial ice. Likewise, all three watches draw inspiration from Seiko’s impressive diver’s watch archives, which date back to 1965. Without further ado, let’s look at the Seiko SPB297, SPB299 and SPB301.
Seiko Prospex SPB297
First of all it’s the SPB297, which is inspired by Seiko’s very first diver’s watch from the mid-1960s. It features the darkest blue dial in the collection, nicely framed by a black aluminum diver’s bezel. It has an easily portable 40.5mm case, which isn’t small at 13.15mm thick, but still very well proportioned thanks to its solid steel casing. The watch arrives on a matching steel bracelet and is powered by a Seiko caliber 6R35 movement with a 70 hour power reserve.
Seiko Prospex SPB299
Then comes the SPB299, which is a slightly more contemporary design from Seiko, with the iconic crown at the 4 o’clock position to keep it from digging into the back of your wrist. With a slightly more icy shade of blue found on the dial (perfectly matching the dot on the seconds hand), the bezel is also blue, albeit a darker metallic hue. The attractive case is kept clean with brushed and polished finishes, and is a bit larger at 42mm in diameter, but slightly thinner than the previous one at just 12.5mm. In keeping with its aforementioned sibling, it also arrives on a steel bracelet and is powered by the same 6R35 movement inside.
Seiko Prospex SPB301
Finally, we come to the most polar of the peloton in the SPB301. Its somewhat unusual case shape is a direct descendant of the iconic Seiko ref. 6015 diver’s watch (made famous on the wrist of Martin Sheen in Revelation now), with an asymmetrical design to protect the crown from any impact. The icy white dial is also textured compared to the rest of the collection and is framed by a light blue bezel that features its own pattern. It’s the largest watch in the collection, featuring a 42.7mm steel case that sits 13.2mm from your wrist, and certainly offers some wrist presence. In implacable coherence with the rest of the collection, it too arrives on a stainless steel bracelet and contains the 6R35 movement inside.