The new Seiko Prospex Diver SPB301

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Seiko Prospex SPB301 is the latest addition to the popular diver’s line, now with an attractive blue bezel and white dial colorway.

Review: Seiko Prospex Diver SPB301

The Case and Dial

The stainless steel case of the Seiko SPB031 is based on the shaped 1970 classic worn by the Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura in the years 1974 to 1976 when he completed a 12,500km solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska. It was brought back recently with the SPB151 which was famously worn in the movie Apocalypse Now.

Measuring 13.2 mm thick, and 42.7 mm wide, the watch is moderately sized for a diver’s watch and has the favorite features of Seiko dive watches. A uni-directional bezel in blue can be used to mark time spent submerged and the screwdown crown at the 4 o’clock position aids in the watch’s pressure rating. Water resistant to 200m, the dive watch is fit on a matching steel bracelet.

As with most other Seiko dive watches, with the exception of the 42 MAS, the watch uses a crown at 4 instead of the regular 3 o’clock position. This displacement reduces the chance of the crown digging into the wrist when the wrist is flexed. The turtle shaped case also serves as a ‘natural crown guard’, which prevents the crown from being unintentionally hit or loosened underwater.

On the dial side, the watch features large lume applied hour markers with large minute markers at the periphery. An arrow shaped hour hand is used with a contrasting light blue seconds hand. The white dial is representative of glacial ice, alluding to Seiko’s involvement with explorers and expeditions to the arctic and antarctic.

The watch joins the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean series. This program delivers financial and other support to Seiko’s chosen marine charities. Evidence of this involvement can be seen engraved on the case back, with a special edition marking.

The Movement

Powered by Seiko’s caliber, 6R35, the self-winding movement beats at 21,600 BPH and is equipped with hacking and hand winding capabilities. The 24 jewels movement contains a power reserve of 70 hours and is armed with a Diashock absorber. The Diashock absorber is designed to make the movement less susceptible to damage from shock or impact.

Concluding Thoughts

The dive watch is well made and is aesthetically pleasing. The case and bracelet is the same as the previous SPB editions, with the main difference this time with the dial color and pattern. While we do enjoy this iteration, with a dial reminiscent of the Grand Seiko snowflake, the main qualm with the watch is the relatively inaccurate 6R35 movement. The watches can be found wanting with an accuracy of +/- 20~40 seconds per day. The unregulated variance is sufficiently high and defeats the purpose of a high power reserve movement.


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for your honesty about the movement. I’ve owned a couple of the 6r15 movement, which preceded the 6r35, and found them both irritatingly poor performers. Our local watch maker replaced them with a nicely regulated 4r movement. Now I see about -40 seconds in 3 weeks. Very acceptable!