Seiko Returns to the Antarctic with the Prospex SLA055

This article was originally published in the March/April 2022 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine.

When Seiko launched the first Japanese dive watch in 1965, not only underwater professionals quickly turned to the brand’s robust models, but also explorers and, for years to come, also members of Japanese Antarctic Research teams (JARE). Today, Seiko dedicates its latest interpretation of its first high-beat dive watch from 1968 to Polar exploration and has equipped members of the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition with this timepiece.

The case, bezel and crown of the “Prospex 1968 Divers Modern-Interpretation Save the Ocean” are all made of Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel, a grade of stainless steel, which, according to Seiko, “is more corrosion resistant than that which is commonly used in watches today.” To further ensure the 42.6-mm watch’s durability, the crown is not screwed directly into the case but locked into a separate component that is built into the case and so can be more easily replaced.

The watch is powered by Seiko’s Caliber 8L35 and is hand assembled by the craftsmen and women at the Skizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. Power reserve is 50 hours, the case is equipped with a screw-in caseback, and water resistance is 200 meters.

The patterned “dégradé” dial of the SLA055 is inspired by the Antarctic landscape; the bezel comes with ice-blue numerals and markers. The design and texture of the “Chocolate Bar” strap pays homage to the 1968 original, but it is not produced in silicone for greater durability, strength, and comfort. The SLA055 is also offered with a fabric strap, which incorporates a traditional braiding technique from Japan called Seichu.


The Prospex diver’s watch SLA055 and the black dial version (SLA057) with the same specifications will be part of the Save the Ocean Series as limited editions: 1,300 for the blue dial, and 600 for the black dial version. Both retail for $4,600.

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