The ongoing partnership between Seiko and Giugiaro Design isn’t slowing down. But today we see not a fresh design but one created with the Italian design company 30-some years ago, the Prospex Diver Scuba SBEE001 and SBEE002 watches based on models from the 1980s. As many of the Seiko Giugiaro watches have been chronographs, which is fitting as Giugiaro is perhaps best known for its automotive design, dive watches at least offer some welcome variety. And the quirky asymmetrical (G-Shock Frogman-like) design perhaps most associated with the Seiko Giugiaro watches is back again.
The Giugiaro-designed Seiko watches are distinctive and recognizable, to say the least, and you can probably spot most of them from across a room. The Giugiaro watches are exercises in design and have included many affordable models like these as well as higher-end watches like the Astron. Only earlier this month, we were surprised by the release of this Seiko Astron Giugiaro Design Limited Edition SSE121 GPS watch (which is probably the coolest-looking Seiko Astron I’ve seen). While the Astron also had that offset design of the case in relation to the lugs and strap, the new Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design models have more in common with the Seiko x Giugiaro 30th Anniversary Spirit Smart watch – though note that the case is offset in the other direction.
For the SBEE001 and SBEE002 watches Seiko didn’t tone back the ’80s in them at all. The Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design limited editions appear to be faithful to the original reference 7C43-7A00 (above) in about every respect. The Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design reference SBEE001 is steel with a blue dial, and the SBEE002 is gold-toned steel with a gold dial. Both have plastic outer cases with a strange bumpy texture which looks rather, well, plasticky in these official images.
Measuring 43.8mm wide, 48mm lug to lug, and 11.2mm thick, on what looks like a somewhat thin silicone strap, the proportions of the offset case are even more pronounced. Over the dial is “curved glass.” While in the Seiko Prospex collection, the dial does not indicate that but it does indicate the case’s 200m water resistance. Inside the Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba SBEE001 and SBEE002 Giugiaro Design is the 7N36 quartz movement with an accuracy of -/+ 15 seconds per month that indicates the time, date, and day of the week.
Seiko has been prolific recently and pushing the vintage rereleases with models surprisingly faithful to the originals. Some examples this year are rereleases of the first Grand Seiko models as well as the much-discussed 62MAS from 1965. The Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design reference SBEE001 with stainless steel case and blue dial will have a price of JPY 40,000 (about $360 at time of writing) and the SBEE002 with gold-toned case and dial will have a price of JPY 45,000 (about $410). Each is a limited edition of 2,000 pieces, and availability is planned for June 2017 in Japan only. seiko-watch.co.jp