After Seiko’s* press “leak” earlier this year, watch fans were able to catch a glimpse at what sort of direction the brand might be taking in 2020. One of the watches we saw in the moderately affordable space was the Seiko SPB149, another recreation of the classic 62MAS. Among others was the set of new, standard production “Captain Willard” Prospex models available with a black or olive green dial. Officially named the Seiko Prospex SPB151 and SPB153, these two new models offer a more attainable alternative to the limited 6105 reproduction—the Seiko SLA033.
If you’re anything like us, you might’ve been bummed out about the price tag on the older SLA033. It’s an incredible re-edition but just not practical for most collectors looking for something reasonable outside of the SKX or SRP lines. The Seiko Prospex SPB151/153 seems to be filling a gap in the new catalog along with the newer collection of 62MAS models. This is something collectors have been craving for quite some time. But, there’s something special about these new watches that even the SLA033 does not offer.
We were surprised to find out that the Seiko Prospex SPB151 and SPB153 dive watches come with a 42.7mm stainless steel case. Not only is that smaller than the SLA033—that’s smaller than an original 6105 and the other standard production SRP “Turtles” that you can buy today. There is nothing in the watch world like a 6105 case. It looks almost, alien in its nature, with a genius, morphing crown-guard built into the asymmetrical design.
Like the original, these watches come with a legible dive-ready dial, slim uni-directional bezel, and a screw-down crown (200m water-resistance on these new Prospex models). Oh, and let’s not forget about the new 6R35 movement, which is starting to look like a new standard in the Prospex line with its gnarly 70-hour power reserve.
Seiko SPB151 & SPB153 Specs
- Case Diameter: 42.7mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 200m
- Movement: Seiko 6R35 with 70-hour power reserve
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Strap: Stainless steel or rubber
- Price: $1,100 (SPB153), $1,300 (SPB151)
I might get some heat for this, but I think Seiko went in the right direction with this release. I still don’t agree with new Prospex pricing, but collectors can at least get themselves a little closer to the sexier, vintage-inspired reissue look without spending Oyster Perpetual money. One thing I would’ve hoped for is the complimentary inclusion of the rubber strap and stainless steel bracelet with both of the dial color options. This would at least sweeten the deal. Apparently, these watches will be available June – July 2020. Seiko
Follow TBWS On Instagram
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.