Introducing A Double Shot Of Limited-Edition Seiko
A hundred and forty years ago, Kintaro Hattori opened up a clock manufacturing facility that would eventually become the Seiko we know today. To respect almost a century and a half of presence, the Japanese watchmaker has released two restricted version models, SLA047 and SPB207, in the Prospex range. Their dark green dials mirror the verdant wildernesses and mangrove swamps on Iriomote island in Japan’s southern Okinawa prefecture – an island with a tropical climate that sustains, among different creatures, the lone 100 Iriomote cats on the planet.
These two jump watches underscore Seiko’s knack for discovering inspiration in the natural world, and then translating those abstract ideas into the plan of a mechanical watch. It’s a pattern prevalent in the plan conceptualization of Grand Seiko models, and an increasing number of restricted release Seiko models are following suit.
This plan reasoning separates Seiko from the enormous European houses. In traditional Japanese culture, even inanimate items have spirits – and these watches appear to find a way into a conviction framework where the natural and spiritual realms are associated with the man-made world. While it can here and there feel heavy-handed, Seiko is leaning into what makes their items not at all like any others.
A scene from Iriomote island.
Both models can trace their underlying foundations to a solitary 1968 model, the 6159-7000, the primary Seiko plunge watch to utilize a monobloc case – a plan component that’s addressed in the Iriomote-enlivened SLA047. The other Iriomote-enlivened watch, the SPB207, also riffs on the notable 6159. Yet, instead of retreading the classic extents of the original, Seiko modernized by managing 2mm.
Just like the original 6159, this cutting edge iteration boasts technical specs that put it at the highest point of Seiko’s range. Before the consolidation of Seiko jump models into the Prospex family, the Marine Master carried on the monobloc case-cum-uprated development formula, and now models in the SLA family carry on the tradition.
An 8L35 development beats at 28,000 vibrations each hour inside in the SLA047, which Seiko makes and assembles at its Shizukuishi Watch Studio in the Iwate Prefecture – a facility zeroed in on the creation of selective models that require broad hand assembly by a team of Seiko’s top watchmakers .
In 1968, Seiko’s monobloc case was meant to reinforce water resistance and combat the impacts of saturation jumping, which had first been utilized in a commercial application only three years prior. Today, the case of the SLA047 produces 300m of water resistance. The case is a heavy 44m and 15.4 thick – maintaining similar measurements to its predecessors.
The SPB range openings in under the SLA range in the Seiko hierarchy, and the lower cost – along with the technical specifications – certainly mirrors that. (The SPB207 goes for $1,350, whereas the SLA047 sits at $3,200.) This model is also conceived from the same 1968 6159 jumper, yet whereas the SLA047 tries to accurately capture the soul of the original directly down to case measurements, the SPB207 is intentionally planned with current estimating inclinations in mind.
The case is 42mm (2mm smaller than the SLA047), and it’s 12.5mm tall (2.9mm not exactly the SLA047). While the overall case shape is a scaled-down form of the SLA047’s, the SPB207 doesn’t use monobloc case development – and that’s the reason it achieves a 200m water resistance rating.
Underneath the screw-in caseback featuring Seiko’s tsunami logo, you’ll locate the 6R35, Seiko’s mid-range workhorse that boasts a 70-hour power hold. That’s an astounding 20-hour increase over the 8L35’s 50-hour power hold. (Superfans of this development should realize that the 6R35 forces various watches across the whole SPB line, similar to the SPB143 and SPB153 .) Seiko will make a total of 6,000 examples of the SPB207, and 3,000 of the SLA047, and both restricted versions will be available in April, a fitting release to match the green shades of Spring.
Okay, But…What Should You Call Them?
Seiko’s nomenclature can be very confounding (the watch names will in general seem like second-level Star Wars droids), however the enthusiast fanbase makes it easier to understand by presenting nicknames. The SPB207, for instance, falls under the “MM200” moniker because it’s a “baby” variant of the MM300. (The “200” and “300” come from the water resistance rating.)
To make matters significantly really befuddling, the SLA047 is based on the MM300, which carried on the lineage of the 6159 preceding it was swallowed up into the Prospex family, and the name “Marine Master” (that’s what MM stands for) was dropped from the dial.
I’ll toss one out there for the SLA047, enlivened by the brilliant green dial framed by a black bezel: ao shingo, Japanese for “green light.”
Model: SPB207 and SLA047
Diameter: 42mm (SPB207) and 44mm (SLA047)
Thickness: 12.5mm (SPB207) 15.4mm (SLA047)
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: Green
Indexes: Luminous applied markers
Water Resistance: 200m (SPB207) and 300m (SLA047)
Strap/Bracelet: Bracelet on both models
Caliber: 6R35 (SPB207) and 8L35 (SLA047)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date (both models)
Power Reserve: 70 hours (SPB207) and 50 hours (SLA047)
Frequency: 21,600 vph (SPB207) and 28,800 vph (SLA047)
Jewels: 24 (SPB207) and 26 (SLA047)
Valuing & Availability
Price: $1,350 (SPB207) and $3,200(SLA047)
Availability: Seiko Authorized Dealers and boutiques
Limited Edition: Yes: 6,000 (SPB207) and 3,000 (SLA047)
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