For 2018 Seiko will release this trio of smart-looking “Street Series” models in the Prospex collection that uses the “Baby Tuna” case – as many of us enthusiasts call it. The models are the Seiko Prospex Street Series references SNEE533 (blue), SNE535 (green), and SNE537 (gray). While Seiko Prospex collection watches are all sports watches with a major focus on diving, the goal for the Street Series is to appeal to urbanites seeking fun and durable daily-wear watches that combine practicality with an inspired design.
Seiko didn’t invent too much that is new here, aside from tweaking the existing Baby Tuna watch with new colors, a slightly modified dial and strap, and some in-house parts bin diving for the hands and bezels. The result is a very competent and attractive mini-collection within the Prospex family that offers a quasi-field watch look in colors that you really don’t typically see in the Prospex collection. Deep blue, forest green, and a concrete gray match a lot of today’s hip fashion choices while also asserting a core “Seiko look” which can be contrasted to the rather generic look of a lot of the competition. Wearing these on my wrist I don’t feel as though I am presented with anything highly innovative, but I know that a lot of people who are Seiko fans will appreciate that these are Prospex models that they can now wear to places where many previous Prospex timepieces might have been a bit too colorful or sporty.
The Tuna-style case is named as such because the round, tall case has looked like a tuna can to some collectors. This smaller Tuna case is still 47mm wide (better than 50mm wide or more) but is incredibly wearable. The trick is the extremely short lugs and comfortable strap. Wearing comfort for this timepiece is very high in my opinion, and the new textured silicone straps are effortlessly comfortable and snug on the wrist. Seiko matches the texture of the strap on the dial of the watch – which is something I’ve not seen before in the Prospex collection. Seiko, in general, tends to do very well when it comes to textured dials – just think of the famed and always in demand Grand Seiko Snowflake dial. Seiko is no doubt galvanized by the success of textured dials in their dressy or formal watch collections, and I am sure it will be interesting to see if this trend continues to have appeal in their sports watches such as the Street Series. Seiko playfully suggests that the texture of the dial is meant to suggest the look of pavement – given that these are “Street Series” watches.
The 200m water resistant Tuna-style case has a sort of external shell that here is given a textured matte paint, which looks a bit like Cerakote. Other baby Tuna cases have been given this treatment – albeit in other colors. The steel cases are IP-coated with an attractive gunmetal black and the rotating bezels are given a colored insert to match the overall colors of the case. These bezels are not always my favorite because of the missing section for the first 15 minutes – but after a while, they grew on me given the personality they help give the watches. A little asymmetry can be fun sometimes, and certainly matches a lot of today’s streetwear style.
The dials of the Prospex Street Series are attractive and effortlessly legible with the right amount of visual depth to them. Large amounts of luminant are painted on the hour markers and hands – with the former being raised a bit given the volume of Seiko’s LumiBrite paint that is used. Note that the hands are given a nice matte finishing which helps almost entirely remove any glare that might result from light on the dial. Over the dial is a thick, flat mineral crystal that has AR-coating. Inside of the watch is the Seiko caliber V157 Solar Quartz movement. I like this movement a lot because of its practicality. The light-powered battery means you don’t need to worry about battery changes – which just means the watch is overall less of a headache to own in a larger collection. Though you do of course need to keep the watch in a well-lit space in order to keep it all year (or just wear it a few days a year and you are good).
The Seiko Prospex Solar Diver collection overall is very handsome and offers a lot of good value and durability. With the Street Series, Seiko injects some needed urban fashion personality to the collection which should help them better compete with the dominance of brands like G-Shock in this space. Comparatively speaking these Seiko Street Series models are more mature, classier overall, and certainly help promote a functional as well as fashionable theme. Retail price for each of the Seiko Prospex Street Series watches is $450 USD. Seiko has created the #DiscoverYourCity hashtag for the collection and those who want to see more on social media. Learn more or order at Seiko here.