At Baselworld 2019, Seiko quietly released two reissues of the legendary reference H558 “Arnie” analog/digital dive watch. The Seiko Prospex SNJ025P1 features a black dial with a black rotating bezel and the SNJ027P1 is the PADI version with a black dial and Pepsi bezel. Both references measure a whopping 47.8mm in diameter. In typical Seiko fashion, details of these new watches are scarce but this is what I’ve gathered from the limited sources I’ve found.
The original reference H558 was released in 1982 and became famous after Arnold Schwarzenegger wore it in several 1980’s action movies including Commando and Predator. It measured 45mm in diameter and only 11.3mm thick because of its thin quartz movement. When it debuted, Seiko claimed it was the world’s first digital dive chronograph with digital alarm and an analog display. That’s a mouthful of features that just mean it was a very unique watch for the 1980’s.
Luckily all of those unique characteristics carry over into the new 2019 reissues. The new references feature the solar powered H851 movement and they have a traditional black analog dial with a thin LCD digital display that spans from the 11 o’clock to 1 o’clock position. The dial appears to be matte black with luminous painted hour markers. The 12 o’clock marker is an inverted triangle while the 3, 6 and 9 markers are rectangular/ oval shaped. The remaining hour markers are circular shaped.
All of the hour markers have a printed white outline which gives a nice finished look to the dial. A chapter ring has the 24 hour scale along with the minute track printed in white. The contentious Prospex “X” logo is printed on both dials along with “SOLAR” and “DIVER’S 200m” in either orange (SNJ025P1) or red (SNJ027P1). There is no analog date window which gives the dial a more symmetrical look. A Hardlex mineral crystal provides protection from most everyday scratches and wear.
The hour hand is a basic sword shape while the minute hand is an arrow, similar to the SKX and SRP minus the extended needle tip. The minute hand appears to reach roughly halfway across the hour markers while leaving a large gap from the 24 hour/ minute track on the chapter ring. The second hand is nearly identical to the SKX with the SNJ025P1’s painted white and the SNJ027P1 PADI’s painted red. Both models feature a lumed lollipop counterweight. As with most Seiko divers, these new models appear to have great legibility in most lighting conditions.
The unidirectional rotating bezel is similar to the SKX and SRP with slightly different font on the number “10”. It appears to be the same anodized aluminum insert we’ve become use to on other divers from Seiko with a recessed lume dot inside the 12 o’clock arrow mark. The SNJ025P1 has a solid black bezel while the SNJ027P1 PADI has a red scale from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock and the remaining in blue. A plastic shroud, similar to the Tuna’s, protects the bezel from accidental rotation. Three bolts secure the shroud to the stainless steel watch case.
The digital LCD display is used for the 1/100 second chronograph (up to 100 minutes), alarm, dual time zones and calendar functions. Three identical crowns are located at the 3 o’clock, 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions. It is not known at this time if all three crowns are screw down and which ones operate which functions. The original reference H558 had the digital display pushers at the 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions so we’ll have to see if that carries over to these reissues in the form of crown covered pushers. Seiko has made no mention whether the LCD has a light like the original reference did.
Both the SNJ025P1 and SNJ027P1 come on a black rubber dive strap however their lug widths are not known at this time. Both models are expected to be on sale in September 2019 at an MSRP of around $600 USD.
Andrew has been interested in watches since his college years after casually reading about them online. After learning about the attention to detail and engineering put into mechanical movements, he was hooked and has been a self confessed enthusiast ever since. His main interests are automatic stainless steel sport watches that he can wear everyday and will survive his active lifestyle. When he’s not reading or writing about watches, Andrew enjoys hiking, exploring and traveling with his family.