Seiko Introduces Trio Of New Prospex Divers Right In The Sweet Spot

Among Seiko’s releases today are a set of cushion cased divers that fall within their Prospex family, and you might view them as a perfect balance between the SPB149 and the SPB153 (and their ilk). They are the SPB313, 315, and 317, and if past is precedent, we’ll likely see more built on this platform in the coming year. The three launch colorways (white, black, and gilt) won’t surprise you, and if you’re a fan of the classic Seiko diver aesthetic, you’ll find these watches to be right at home, and just in time for summer. 

These three watches will live in the upper-middle ground of Prospex watches, priced around the $1,000 mark, further building Seiko’s arsenal of premium divers that use the 6R35 movement. These new references make a lot of sense between the skin-diver type case of the SPB149 watches, and the full-on asymmetrical case of the Willard watches. Here, we find a symmetrical cushion case that measures 41mm in diameter, and will lay a bit flatter on the wrist at a touch over 12mm in thickness. The crown is integrated into the case just beyond the 4 o’clock marker, and the case as a whole tucks in toward the lug for a tidy appearance.

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The dial design here is in line with what we’ve seen on the Willard references, with a few small changes that make a notable difference. The hour markers are a bit smaller all around to account for the slightly smaller size of the watch, and the date window, which is now circular, has been moved to 4:30. The disc is color matched to the dial, and it blends in rather nicely for that pleasing dateless appearance. A slightly domed sapphire crystal also does away with the hard angle seen on the Willard, which may or may not be a welcome change for some. The hand-set looks to be identical, right down to the stop sign seconds hand detailing. 

The aluminum bezel insert reads a bit thinner than either of the other watches referenced above, with a cut off triangle at 12, and a squat numerals throughout. It’s still fully indexed, and the gilt option is color matched to the markers on the dial. Taken together, the watch is a fitting nod to the reference 6105 from which it takes inspiration. Read about our own Jon Gaffney’s journey to find a 6105 here.

Inside, Seiko is using their 6R35 automatic movement. Its accuracy is nothing to write home about, but it serves more than adequately in many other hugely popular references, including last year’s SPB divers we’re all fond of. If it didn’t hold you back there, it shouldn’t here. However, if you had a hard time bonding with those releases, you likely won’t find anything to convince you here. These stick to the formula for better or worse. 

The SPB313 (matte white), and SPB315 (black and gold) will be offered in a 5-link steel bracelet priced at £990, while the SPB317 (black and silver) will come on a Seiko rubber unit at £810. These will be a part of the permanent Prospex collection, and are available now from Seiko retailers.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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