Covering 70 percent of Earth’s surface and carrying over 78 percent of its total animal biomass, the world’s oceans are perhaps its greatest natural and biological resource. Sadly, the incredible beauty and diversity of the world’s ocean environments are under constant threat from hazards ranging from pollution to ocean acidification, microplastic buildup, and destruction of natural habitats. Among brands in the watch industry, Seiko is at the forefront of efforts to restore and protect these beautiful ecosystems, spearheading multiple efforts around the globe to preserve and better understand these vital resources. A great example of Seiko’s dedicated work in this field is its ongoing partnership with the nonprofit marine conservation group Oceanic Society, helping to support its Global Ocean Cleanup efforts. Seiko’s recently released Prospex Save the Ocean Special Edition dive watch models, including the Seiko Prospex SPB297, Seiko Prospex SPB299, and Seiko Prospex SPB301, which capture the adventurous marine spirit of these ongoing efforts, alongside Seiko’s other global marine conservation partnerships, with dramatic dial designs inspired by the majesty of glacial ice. These three watches join the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean series, a program which delivers financial and other support to Seiko’s chosen marine charities.
On September 17, 2022, Seiko and Oceanic Society hosted Global Ocean Cleanup 2022, along with support from local Seiko retailers including Topper Fine Jewelers, Park Place Jewelers, Aires Jewelers, and Orlando Watch Co., donating their time to support ocean cleaning initiatives in both San Francisco and Miami. Additional Oceanic Society Global Ocean Cleanup sites were present in Hawaii, Palau, Guatemala, Spain, India, and Kenya. Covering environments as diverse as sandy beaches, mangrove forests, sea turtle nesting sites, albatross habitats, marine mammal hotspots, and coastlines bordering vulnerable coral reefs, these ocean cleaning efforts gathered over 400 volunteers and removed a total of 4,598 pounds of trash from these delicate ecosystems.
Outside of this hefty single-day effort, Seiko supports a broad range of vital ocean conservation and research initiatives around the globe. These include the PADI AWARE Foundation Marine Debris Program, which works with over 70,000 divers around the world to create the world’s most comprehensive database on seafloor debris. This data is then used to inform the next generation of oceanic cleanup efforts, allowing environmental groups to pinpoint ecosystems that need help the most. Seiko also supports the National Institute of Polar Research of Japan, helping to deliver greater insight into the mysteries of the Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems. Seiko diver’s watches were chosen by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in the 1960’s for their reliability in harsh conditions. Seiko renewed this tradition in 2021 by providing watches to the 63rd JARE members as they conduct research in Antarctica. Seiko also proudly supports the Fournoi Underwater Survey and Excavation Project in Greece, providing aid to a series of survey expeditions exploring the vast group of fourth-century shipwrecks off the coast of the Greek island of Fournoi in efforts to better understand the history of Mediterranean shipping and trade.
Seiko’s genuine passion and commitment to preserving and understanding the world’s oceans shines through brightly in its trio of Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Special Edition timepieces. The Seiko Prospex SPB297, Seiko Prospex SPB299, and Seiko Prospex SPB301 all share a bespoke dial texture, intricately crafted to echo the crags, fissures, and shimmering surfaces of polar sea ice. The heavily faceted, naturalistic texture is the result of over 100 hours of computer-aided design work and ensures each finished dial contains over 2,000 individual facets of varying sizes, shapes, and angles. The result on the wrist is undeniably striking, creating a dramatic array of highlights, shadows, and glistening metallic forms from nearly any viewing angle or lighting condition. Each model in the trio brings its own unique colorway to this design. The Seiko Prospex SPB297 offers a rich sea blue to this dial pattern to complement its classic “62MAS”-style baton hands and rectangular indices, while the Seiko Prospex SPB299 instead opts for a pale, icy blue tone that captures the look of hard-packed glacial ice. The cold white dial hue of the Seiko Prospex SPB301 completes the collection, evoking the stark beauty of snowy polar environments.
Each model in the trilogy also follows the form of one of Seiko’s most beloved classic dive watches. The Seiko Prospex SPB297’s 40.5mm stainless steel case faithfully recreates the look of the original 1965 Seiko “62MAS” dive watch with its squared-off lugs, slender profile, and a crown at 3 o’clock. While the look may pay homage to Seiko’s past, the Prospex SPB297 offers thoroughly modern refinements, including a brushed and engraved black bezel insert, sharply executed case brushing and polishing, and a dive-ready 200 meters of water resistance. The sharp faceted lugs and broad, brilliantly polished chamfers of the 1968 Seiko Automatic Diver form the basis of the Seiko Prospex SPB299’s 42mm-wide stainless steel case, combining the distinctly Japanese elegance of Seiko’s “Grammar of Design” with an athletic, sporty profile. Like its stablemates, the Prospex SPB299 brings a truly modern level of execution to this classic look, with a polished bezel in midnight blue, a recessed screw-down crown at 4 o’clock, and a 200-meter water resistance rating. For those looking for a more unique form, the Seiko Prospex SPB301’s 42.7mm-wide stainless steel case captures the spirit of the beloved 1970 Seiko 6105 “Willard” dive watch. Its rounded, cushion shaped silhouette, 4 o’clock crown heavily guarded by the iconic case shape, and softly curving, mirror-polished case sides should be instantly recognizable to Seiko aficionados, but Seiko elevates this distinctive vintage form with an intriguing grooved bezel insert in blue, alongside a thoroughly modern 200-meter water resistance rating.
Within each model in the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Special Edition line beats the brand’s dependable in-house 6R35 automatic movement. With a hefty 70-hour power reserve, this movement forms the backbone of many of Seiko’s more upscale sports watch offerings, and provides reliable accuracy even in extreme oceanic conditions. To complete these evocative designs, Seiko fits each model in the series with a classically sporty three-link bracelet in stainless steel featuring Seiko’s super hard coating, which is nearly twice as hard as normal stainless steel.
With its deeply involved, global approach to ocean conservation and research, Seiko stands as one of the most environmentally dedicated brands in the watch industry. Each model in the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Special Edition line reflects this deep and genuine dedication with a mix of evocative detail and technical excellence that only Seiko can bring. The Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean Special Editions are available now through select authorized dealers. Both the Seiko Prospex SPB297 and the Seiko Prospex SPB299 are priced at $1,250 USD each, while the Seiko Prospex SPB301 carries an MSRP of $1,350 USD. To learn more about Seiko, its product lines, and its ongoing commitment to preserving ocean ecosystems, please visit Seiko’s website.
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