August 24, 2017
by Kenny Yeo
Unless you are Japanese or into Japanese culture and fashion, the name Lowercase might not mean anything significant to you. Lowercase is, in fact, a Japanese design and creative consulting firm that has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world like Nike, Disney, and Lego, to create campaigns in Japan. Now, they have teamed up with Seiko to produce a series of limited edition Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster Lowercase watches.
Seiko’s Prospex watches are essentially tool watches developed specially for professional use, hence the name being a portmanteau of professional + specifications. The entire collection is subdivided into Sea, Land, Sky, and Run. The watches that readers are probably most familiar with are the dive watches from the Sea collection. However, the Land collection has some pretty interesting models also. The Seiko Fieldmaster SBDC011, or “Field Tuna” as Seiko fans like to call it, is a hot favorite. It is an automatic watch that features a compass bezel and a brushed shroud similar to that on the Seiko dive watches that are also nicknamed “Tuna.” The new Prospex Fieldmaster Lowercase watches, however, are markedly different.
There are eight new Fieldmaster watches, and for a start, they are all quartz watches. Solar quartz watches, to be exact, because they can be powered by light. The overall styling of these eight watches is mostly similar, with the main differences being in the dial, case finishing, and strap that they come with.
All eight models will come in 44mm black stainless steel cases with plastic protective shrouds. Water resistance for all models is 200m and all models are also powered by the Caliber V157, a solar-powered quartz movement. Seiko says the movement is accurate to +/- 15 seconds a month and battery life is around 10 months when fully charged.
As befits the name Fieldmaster, these eight watches have a style that is appropriate for a field watch. Large cathedral hands and large hour markers ensure legibility, while a rotatable “countdown” bezel means wearers can use their Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster watches to time events of up to an hour. Some models even have 24-hour markers on the dial, making it easy for their owners to tell military time. All eight Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster Lowercase watches will come with rugged NATO-style fabric straps, except for two – the SBDJ031 and SBDJ032 – which will come with leather NATO-style straps.
Five of the eight models are limited-editions, some limited to 300 pieces and some to 700. And each of the limited editions is specifically for a Japanese retailer, with models for BEAMS (SBDJ031), the hip and fashionable Freemans Sporting Club (SBDJ023, 300 pieces; and SBDJ025, 700 pieces), United Arrows (SBDJ032, 300 pieces), and Journal Standard (SBDJ033, 700 pieces).
The SBDJ027, SBDJ028, and SBDJ029 are not exclusive to any retailer and are not limited by production number. Rather, they are limited in the sense that they will only be produced for a limited time. Seiko doesn’t say for how long they will be available.
Seeing that five out of eight models are exclusive to Japanese retailers, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that these models will be exclusive to Japan. One can only hope that this is only temporary and Seiko will offer some of the models overseas – at least the ones that aren’t exclusive to Japanese retailers. Still, it shouldn’t be hard for readers to source them from their favorite overseas sellers. The Freemans Sporting Club model will go on sale in September with the rest following in October 2017. Prices of the new Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster Lowercase watches will range between ¥37,000 and ¥45,000 (that’s about $340-$410 in USD at time of writing). seikowatches.com