With all the recent GMT talk in our latest podcast episode and the killer GMT watch guide Kaz put together, travel-ready watches are clearly on our minds. It’s no surprise then to find myself awestruck by a new Seiko Prospex GMT release, with what appears to be a new movement as well. We’ve been hard on Seiko lately. Really hard. But something about this new set of Prospex models has left me satisfied. Not a total home run (we’ll talk about that pricing) but a good effort nonetheless. Here’s a look at the new Seiko Prospex GMT SPB381, SPB383, and SPB385 GMT watches.

I spent way too much of my early collecting dismissing the beauty of a Marine Master case. It seemed too bulky and Brutalist. But now that we’ve started to see some different sizes and applications, it’s really grown on me. This case looks like such an excellent starting point for a GMT diver—the perfect combination of travel-focused functionality and everyday practicality. Unlike the legend that is the SBDX017, these new GMT models come in at 42mm in diameter and 48.6mm lug to lug. That was kind of a surprise, as I was prepared to quickly dismiss these as unreasonably big. Thickness is around 13mm.

There are still some issues I’m noticing. While it’s hard to tell, I believe these models still feature outdated Seiko clasp and bracelet tech with pin and collar adjustment. Additionally, the pricing ($1,500 to $1,700) may not be the biggest hit with Seiko fans. This is especially significant now that we’re seeing so many different GMT offerings across the spectrum with affordable movements like the Miyota 9075 (“true” GMT), Ronda 515.24H, and others.

Some might also be bummed to see that this new 6R54 GMT movement does not feature local jumping hour technology. But as we’ve said before, the jumping 24-hour hand is probably fine for most people and wouldn’t even bother me, thanks to the added functionality of a dive bezel. It’s got 72 hours of power reserve too. Either way, I’m glad to see Seiko experimenting with the practice of expanding their GMT movement offerings. This, combined with the recent solar GMT movement we saw in the in the new Sumo GMTs (SFK001 and SFK003) makes me feel like they’re on the right track.

Seiko Prospex GMT SPB381, SPB383, and SPB385 Specs

  • Case diameter: 42mm
  • Case thickness: 12.9mm
  • Lug-to-lug: 48.6
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Movement: Seiko 6R54
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel (20mm lugs)
  • Price: $1,500 (SPB381 and SPB383) $1,700 (SPB385)

In addition to the black and green dial variants, Seiko has also announced a limited “Seiko Watchmaking 110th Anniversary Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean” *gasp* edition with a textured light blue dial. It seems … fine. And don’t worry, you won’t have to move too fast if it’s your thing, seeing as how Seiko will be making 4,000 of them. All in all, I think these look like solid watches and I’d love to try one on in person. Still, you’ll see me holding out for a sub-40mm GMT diver from Seiko. Maybe one day.


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