Seiko has remade its high-end dive watch with a new, slimmer movement and consequently more compact watch. Still known as the Prospex Marinemaster, the new model is available in three variants (SJE097, SJE099, and SJE101), all sharing a design heavily influenced by the brand’s first-ever dive watch, the “62MAS” from 1965.
Marinemaster models long been solid but chunky watches, with examples including the Hi-Beat 36,000 limited edition or the forest green model from 2021. A more compact iteration enhances its appeal, especially with the recent popularity of smaller, vintage-inspired dive watches.
The design still echoes the original 62MAS, particularly in the dial and bezel layout. However, the new model, especially the light blue variant, gains a more contemporary feel with the horizontally striped dial along and the engraved markings on the bezel.
The patterned dial easily brings to mind other sports watches, so it does seem a bit derivative, but Seiko’s position as a maker of dive watches is strong enough that this still looks and feels like a Seiko.
The latest Marinemaster is priced at US$2,800, reflecting Seiko’s gradual upmarket move over recent years. This places it squarely within the mid-tier dive watch segment also occupied by brands such as such as Doxa or Longines. While it remains a compelling option at this price, it is no longer such a clear value proposition relative to the competition since the price gap has more or less closed.
A slimmer diver
The new Marinemaster is (yet another) reinterpretation of Seiko’s very first dive watch, the “62MAS” from 1965. Though based on the original, the new Marinemaster includes design tweaks that make it modern, including a discreet date window positioned between four and five and engraved markings on the bezel.
The model is being launched with three variations: a pair of standard models in black (SJE101) and light blue (SJE099), along with a limited edition featuring a silvery white dial with a steel bezel insert (SJE097). The SJE097 limited edition is a part of the brand’s year-long celebration commemorating the 110th anniversary of the first Seiko wristwatch.
All variations of the new Marinemaster feature a horizontally striped patterned dial and a unidirectional bezel with an engraved insert.
But the key feature of the Marinemaster is the scaled-down case that is 39.5 mm wide and 12.3 mm high. It is marginally slimmer than previous remakes of the 62MAS with the case being smaller by 1 mm and thinner by 0.9 mm.
Moreover, the new model is accompanied by a new bracelet featuring elliptical links that are both mirror polished and brushed, complementing the finish of the steel case. And as it has done with past dive models, Seiko applied a “super-hard coating” to the case, which enhances scratch resistance according to the brand.
A notable departure from the customary closed case back found on past Seiko divers, the Marinemaster has a display back showing the cal. 6L37, a new variant of the cal. 6L35. Compared to the calibres in past Marinemaster models, the 6L37 is is slimmer and runs at a higher frequency of 4 Hz.
Key facts and price
Seiko Prospex Marinemaster 1965 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation
Ref. SJE097 (silvery-white)
Ref. SJE099 (light blue)
Ref. SJE101 (black)
Diameter: 39.5 mm
Height: 12.3 mm
Water resistance: 200 m
Movement: Cal. 6L37
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 46 hours
Strap: Matching bracelet
Limited edition: Regular production, except for the SJE097 (1,000 pieces)
Availability: At Seiko boutiques starting December 2023, and select retailers starting in January 2024
For more information, visit Seikowatches.com.
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