When it comes to watch brands that have a legitimate history of producing underwater timepieces, Seiko is right up there among the most storied names within the industry. However, when it comes to Seiko’s modern Prospex divers, it seems that the brand loves a good reissue piece almost more than Hollywood loves a remake, and as its latest new release of 2023, Seiko has created a premium rendition of its very first dive watch from 1965. Officially known as the Seiko Prospex 1965 Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE093, this new model is powered by a caliber from the brand’s slimline 6L movement family, and it faithfully reproduces the original design and proportions of the original vintage 62MAS diver, while also benefiting from modern materials and superior specifications.
Crafted from stainless steel, the case of the new Seiko Prospex 1965 Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE093 measures 38mm in diameter by 12.5mm thick, and just like the original vintage model, this new premium limited edition piece features a solid screw-down caseback that is even adorned with the same dolphin emblem engraving. While the overall appearance is near-identical to the vintage 62MAS diver from 1965, a number of subtle modern updates have been made in regard to the materials and functionality of the watch. The crystal is now box-shaped sapphire with an anti-reflective treatment on the underside surface, the timing bezel rotates with unidirectional motion, the black rubber strap is now made from high-strength silicone, and the crown at 3 o’clock screws down to the case in order to help create an increased depth rating of 200 meters, rather than 150 meters like the original model from the 1960s.
Similar to the externals of the watch, the dial of the new limited edition Seiko SJE093 is also a near-exact recreation of what can be found inside the original vintage 62MAS from 1965 (image included in the gallery below for reference), although it features modern luminescent material and slightly updated text to reflect its improved specifications. The dark gray sunburst surface, large rectangular hour markers, baton-style hands, and date window at 3 o’clock have all been faithfully reproduced on the new SJE093, although modern Seiko Lumibrite is used on the hands and hour markers for maximum low-light legibility, while the text on the lower half of the dial has been updated to reflect both the increased the depth rating and the higher number of jewels inside the new Caliber 6L37 movement that powers the watch.
Inside the new Seiko Prospex 1965 Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE093 is the Caliber 6L37 automatic movement, which is part of the brand’s slimline 6L movement family that is often fitted to its more-premium King Seiko models. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 45 hours, the Seiko 6L37 benefits from a higher beat rate compared to Seiko’s various entry-level movement families (which run at 3 Hz), and it is essentially a modified version of the existing Caliber 6L35 movement that has been updated in order to meet the durability and shock resistance standards of Seiko’s Prospex dive watches. Aside from its superior on-paper specs, the thinner design of the Seiko Cal. 6L37 is what allows the new limited edition SJE093 diver to be over half a millimeter thinner than the popular Seiko SPB143, which offers much of this same core design but with a less advanced movement and slightly larger case profile.
As mentioned, this is hardly the first modern Seiko to be based upon the design of the original 62MAS diver, and the various models to feature this fan-favorite aesthetic exist at a surprisingly wide range of prices. While models such as the SPB143 can be purchased for just over the thousand-dollar mark, the limited-edition SLA017 from 2017 was priced higher than many mid-tier Swiss luxury watches, and this latest model is certainly more in-line with that premium approach. Produced as a limited edition of 1,965 examples (a reference to the year that Seiko released its very first dive watch) and packaged in a retro-inspired box, the new Seiko Prospex 1965 Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SJE093 is accompanied by an official retail price of $3,500 USD, which places it right near the top of Seiko’s standard catalog before you start getting into Grand Seiko territory. Additionally, competition for vintage-inspired divers is fierce once you get into this realm, and the new Seiko SJE093 is significantly more expensive than the Oris Divers Sixty-Five and priced right in line with the Tudor Black Bay collection. That said, the similarly priced SLA017 completely sold out back in 2017, so there is clearly a market for this premium Seiko diver watches, despite the numerous other collectors who feel that this type of financial outlay should get them the word “Grand” next to the Seiko logo on the dial. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.