OEM quality mods & upgrades.. home of the signed everything..
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Zelos (use the code DWFB to view) are currently taking pre-orders for what looks to be a very interesting 70s styled retro diver. What may interest Seiko aficionados is the case and crown of this particular watch. It’s uncannily close in shape to the new 62MAS re-issue. With case dimensions listed as 41mm bezel, 45.50mm including crown, 50mm lug-to-lug, 13.60mm height, 22mm lugs it’s a similar size to the $4k SLA017.. At $479 I wonder if this watch could prove popular in the future as a base for a 62MAS mod?
Case Material: 316L S/S, brushed top, polished sides and back
Water Resistance: 500m/1,500ft, Helium Release Valve at 9h
Movement: SELLITA [Swiss] Automatic Cal. SW200-1
Crystal: Domed Sapphire crystal
Crown: Screw down with lumed logo
Outer Bezel: Lumed, 120-click, elapsed time, uni-directional, rotating bezel
Inner Bezel: Fixed pulsations bezel, graduated to 30 pulsations
Main Strap: Tropic Style Rubber
Luminous Material: C3 SL
Packaging: Canvas watch roll, strap-changing tool, extra canvas strap
At 23–59 we’re all about top quality upgrades so when a customer asks us to custom sign a crown we don’t look at how cheaply we can do it, we look at how well we can do it. This art work was sent to us just over a week ago and our engraver carefully set up and absolutely nailed the result! I watched him today as he hand engraved an exchange crown that another customer had sent in and it was a real joy to watch him work and witness the pride he takes in each and every item he deep engraves for us. These signed crowns may not be cheap but you really do get exactly what you pay for. The image above was taken with a Nikon D700 full-frame DSLR and 105mm f=2.8 Macro-Nikkor close-up lens at f=22. At this magnification you can see every intricate detail of just how good our hand deep engraving process really is. Click on the image for a full size hi-res version. Please note that this particular artwork is similar to the symbol used by Dagaz and out of respect to Jake we would direct any future enquiries to him directly.
A Facebook user has just posted what he claims to be a picture from the Seiko 2017 catalogue showing two further re-issued models, this time a Limited Edition asymmetrical diver ref. SBEE001/2 by Giugiaro Design. KianHong Khoo translated the page to show the new models will house a quartz movement with day/date and be limited to a JDM run of 2000 pieces.
Watch Critics have posted some much better video of the new Seiko SLA017 62MAS re-issue and Professional 600m Hi-Beat Divers SBGH255 & SBGH257.
These are high quality 3 ring and 5 ring nylon G10 military-type straps that have been hand faded (hence the “F” for “Faded” = Foxtrot). These are not mass produce straps but instead are hand-faded to produce a unique finish. I personally don’t like the look of a brand new strap but by the time a nylon strap looks “spot on” aesthetically it’s normally time to throw it away. These straps are brand new but faded to look like they’ve already been used for a couple of seasons for the best of both worlds. We use only the absolute top grade straps as the base for these, as we do with every product at 23–59.
Each strap fades slightly differently, even if the base colour is the same. The fade will be dependent on the original dye, the concentration of chemicals used to fade the straps, the temperature they’re faded at and the length of time they’re faded for.
The process of fading a single batch of straps takes several hours and 5 painstaking steps. The result, however, is a totally individual strap. For more information and to purchase please click here.
If the SLA017 price had you reaching for a bottle of anti-depressants maybe one of these two might improve your mood. These more reasonably priced “proletariat” versions are also in steel with 200m ratings and a hardened coating. Case dimensions are a slightly less “faithful” 42.6mm x 13.8mm. Inside ticks Seiko’s workhorse caliber 6R15 at 21,600 vph, a 50 hour power reserve and antimagnetic to 4,800 A/m (amperes per meter). Pricing is slightly less bottom clenching €1,100 (circa $1186 USD) for SPB051 and €900 ($971) for the SPB053 with rubber strap only.
Personally I change the hands to something closer to the originals or maybe source a set of SLA017 re-issue hands. Once done, if you can live with a totally redundant “X” in the middle of your dial, you’d have a very decent looking watch for a quarter of the price of the true re-issue.
With all the fervour surround the Seiko 62MAS re-issue, many have completely missed what I think is an even more interesting release, especially for dive watch enthusiasts, although get ready to gulp at the price again.. From Seiko’s press release:
For many years, the Grand Seiko Diver’s watches have been in great demand from recreational divers. Today, the meticulous standards of Grand Seiko are expressed in a professional diver’s watch for the first time. With a titanium case, an exclusive 9S hi-beat caliber and exceptional anti-magnetism, this new creation, with the Grand Seiko logo at the twelve o’clock position, pushes back the boundaries and takes Grand Seiko into an entirely new realm.
All the characteristics of Grand Seiko are here. Outstanding precision of -3 to +5 seconds a day, superb legibility, high durability, thanks to the high-intensity titanium case and bracelet and the distinctive clean edges that only Zaratsu polishing can achieve. This is unmistakably a Grand Seiko and yet no compromise is made in satisfying the needs of the professional diver. The case is designed for saturation diving, with the valve-free helium resistance that results from Seiko’s innovative technologies, including the heavy duty construction and the L-shaped gasket. The grooves on the rotating bezel are extended for secure use, even with thick gloves. The bracelet has a sliding extension setting to accommodate pressure changes. Even the dial is purpose built for this specialist use. It is made of iron to protect the movement from the harmful effects of magnetism and delivers magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m. The whole watch and all its components are built for long-term use; the case, stem and crown are designed for secure servicing and even the bezel has a four-part design that makes for easy disassembly and re-assembly.
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s is offered in two variations. The first is a limited edition that is offered with an extra-strength silicone strap alongside the high-intensity titanium bracelet. The strap is in the deep Grand Seiko blue to match the dial. Just five hundred of this limited edition will be made. The second version has a black dial and will be a permanent part of the Grand Seiko collection. Both versions will be available from August 2017.
So the Seiko SLA017 (62MAS Re-Issue) has finally been officially announced with pricing set at 3800 Euros or $4095 USDs. So who will be running to put their name down with their local AD and what will you be getting for your money? Well, it’s obviously being marketed as an “historical” edition and appears to be limited to 2000 pieces. That’s certainly a limited edition but some will argue it’s not very limited, all things considered.
The good news is that Seiko appear to have been faithful to the original design and unlike recent re-issues like the Omega PloProf 600m it’s not been “modernised” or “dolled up”. The dial is certainly a thing of beauty and the bezel looks spot on but at the end of the day it’s still a 200m rated diver with an 8L35 movement. Now that basic Grand Seiko movement is highly respected and not to be smirked at but it’s the same movement found in the SBDX001 MM300 and it’s various later incarnations which currently sell for $1800 and is 300m rated. The SLA017 also appears to be rubber strap only so we’re not even getting a bracelet with it. If the case and lugs are identical to the vintage 6217-8000/1 that the SLA017 pays homage to then hopefully it will be possible to fit a bracelet with aftermarket 6217 end links but at $4095 I wouldn’t really have expected to have to lay out a further $150-200 on a bracelet.
As nice as this watch appears to be it seems a bit sad that most of those who’ve eagerly awaited it’s arrival will be well and truly priced out of purchasing one.
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