iW Fall 2020 - Page 41

BY CORDWAINER BYRD

SEIKO PROSPEX : ICE , ICE , BABY

SEIKO ’ S RICH LEGACY OF PRODUCTS THAT REPRESENT ABSOLUTE REAL ESTATE in the rich tapestry of wristwatch history lend themselves to re-creations and homages , with 2020 delivering a singular treat in the release of a three-watch edition that charts the story of Seiko ’ s indelible mark on adventure , diving and outdoor sports .
Released this September , Seiko ’ s Prospex “ Built for the Ice Diver ” collection represents a material homage to Seiko ’ s 55-year history of producing sports diving watches , beginning in 1965 with the release of the 62MAS , Japan ’ s first dive watch . The new collection is comprised of recreations of highly desirable classics that represent modern technology brought to bear on a vintage subject .
“ Built for the Ice Diver ” is a reference to Seiko ’ s position as Japan ’ s watch for the adventurer , tested in extreme conditions both underwater and as a companion to high mountaineers . The 62MAS set the standard for many subsequent Seiko dive watches , with an automatic movement , quick-set date and 37 mm stainless steel case capped with a plexiglass crystal and rectangular luminous minute markers , ratcheted bezel and broad hands . Vintage examples sell for more than $ 4,000 .
Seiko ’ s iconic watches including the 1965 first diver ’ s watch and later the 1970 Diver ’ s model grew to prominence because of two men , one real and one fictional . The first , acclaimed Japanese Adventurer Naomi Uemura , chose the original Seiko 62MAS because it was a robust , waterproof watch , and made in Japan to boot . Sure , he could have picked a Rolex Explorer or Blancpain Fifty Fathoms , like any other
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