When it comes to design inspiration, Seiko loves the 62MAS almost as much as Grand Seiko loves Mount Iwate, and for the last several years, we have been treated to an absolute barrage of different 62MAS-inspired models. Some are modern recreations of the original from 1965, while others are fully modern re-interpretations that are merely based upon its core design; however, all of the various watches are united by their 62MAS-style case, which offers a noticeably more traditional appearance compared to other famous Seiko divers such as the Turtle, Tuna, or Captain Willard. With that in mind, for its latest new release of 2023, the famous Japanese watch manufacturer hasn’t just created a new version of the 62MAS, but rather it has launched a trio of new Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation models (SJE101, SJE099, and SJE097) that re-imagine the fan-favorite Marinemaster dive watch through the lens of the 62MAS.
The case of the new Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches isn’t an exact carbon-copy of the 62MAS, but rather a more contemporary version that incorporates design elements from the Marinemaster series, such as the large angular facets that appear along the edges of its lugs. Crafted from stainless steel with Seiko’s “super hard” coating, the case of the new models measures 39.5mm in diameter by 12.3mm thick, with 20mm lugs (with drilled lug holes) and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 47.2mm. Box-shaped sapphire crystals are fitted above their dials, although rather than being fitted with solid casebacks, the new Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation models receive screw-down display casebacks, which represent the first time that the brand has included this feature on one of its professional dive watches.
Unlike previous versions of the Seiko Marinemaster that feature their winding crowns at 4 o’clock, the new Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches have their unsigned screw-down crowns placed at the 3 o’clock location, and this ultimately makes them appear far more like the 62MAS than the classic Marinemaster. Water resistance for the new models comes in at a standard 200 meters, instead of 300 meters or 1,000 meters like a number of other models from the Marinemaster collection, and rather than featuring a coin-edge style bezel like the 62MAS, the bezels on the new Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation models offer a noticeably more contemporary design with wide grooves and a prominent chamfered edge.
The new trio of Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches consists of the black SJE101, the blue SJE099, and the silvery white SJE097, which will be produced as a limited-edition of 1,000 examples in celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary. Aside from their dials and bezel inserts, the trio of models are otherwise identical, and all three of them are fitted with the same stainless steel bracelet, which features a completely new design for the brand’s Prospex Diver’s series. Featuring ellipse-shaped links with contrasting brushed and polished finishes, the bracelet receives the same “super hard” coating that is applied to the case, and the clasp includes a push-button release with an integrated extension system. While the bracelet itself appears quite promising, the fit of the end-links looks rather mismatched in the initial images of the watch, so it will be interesting to see how it actually wears in the metal when paired with the thinned down case of the new Marinemaster series.
The dials of the new Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation models offer an overall layout and appearance that is rather similar to the standard 62MAS, although they do include a few notable departures. While the LumiBrite-filled hands and indexes are largely the same as what can be found on the 62MAS, the date window has been relocated to a small circular window at 4:30, while an additional luminous hour marker has been added to the 3 o’clock location. Additionally, the surface of the dial now includes an embossed pattern of horizontal waves, along with the word “Marinemaster” appearing directly below the Seiko logo that sits under the 12 o’clock marker.
Part of how the new Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches are able to achieve their rather svelte profile is due to the slimline Caliber 6L37 automatic movement that powers them. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 46 hours, the Seiko Cal. 6L37 is based upon the Caliber 6L35, although it has been adapted to offer greater shock resistance while still maintaining the same slender profile that characterizes the brand’s 6L movement family. Along with offering a higher frequency than Seiko’s entry-level mechanical movements, the Cal. 6L37 also benefits from an improved accuracy rating of -10/+15 seconds per day, and while most Seiko movements end up running better than their on-paper specifications, this is still a fairly long way away from chronometer standards.
Seiko’s dive watch heritage ranks among the most respected within the industry, and part of why the Japanese brand’s various divers enjoy such a strong following among enthusiasts is because they offer distinct case shapes that are fundamentally different than what you get from their Swiss counterparts. Therefore, I find it somewhat puzzling how heavily Seiko leans on the design of the 62MAS, as it offers what is arguably one of the most conventional appearances among the various dive watches from the brand’s vast archives. Rather than representing a new generation of the Marinemaster, the new trio of Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation models really seem more like modernized versions of the 62MAS, and I can’t help but wish that Seiko had simply kept the Marinemaster as its own separate line of watches.
While some of Seiko’s 62MAS-inspired models cost less than a thousand dollars, the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation series is positioned as a premium offering within the brand’s lineup, and all three models (SJE101, SJE099, and SJE097) are accompanied by the same retail price of $2,800 USD. Although the new slimmed-down case is objectively quite appealing, the Marinemaster has always been one of the more burly and capable Seiko dive watches, and these latest 62MAS-inspired models are easily some of the most refined divers in the brand’s current catalog. Additionally, considering that they are roughly three times the price of the standard 62MAS models, the new Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches aren’t for the collector who simply wants a vintage-themed Seiko dive watch, but rather for the person who specifically wants a contemporary timepiece that draws from two of Seiko’s most famous dive watch models. For more information on the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation watches, please visit the brand’s website.