Vintage timepieces are getting a fresh coat of paint these days, and while it's exciting to witness a deserving piece come back to life in flawless condition, it also makes us wonder what else the brands have up their sleeves. Having high expectations is a marvelous thing, especially when you know that a legendary vintage watch is about to make a comeback, giving more collectors the chance to own a piece of history. But when reality surpasses those expectations, the thrill can be downright overwhelming. Enter the Seiko 62MAS reissue, my friends, a timepiece that has not only filled some big shoes but has exceeded every single one of our expectations.
The Seiko 62MAS reissue, known as the SLA017, or SBDX019 JDM for the Japan Domestic Model, has been the talk of the town among Seikoholics worldwide for the past few weeks. The joyous cries of Seiko enthusiasts celebrating the arrival of their SLA017 have reverberated across the globe. This reissue was officially announced during Baselworld in March 2017, with leaked photographs circulating on forums and Facebook groups since January of that year. But let me tell you, the hype and excitement surrounding this reissue have not diminished one bit over time. Why, you ask? Well, because this is the first time Seiko is bringing back its very first diver's watch after a staggering 50 years. And let me assure you, my dear readers, it has become the most highly anticipated Seiko release this year. Although the vintage and reissue models bear an uncanny aesthetic resemblance, the design of the reissue is even more relevant for today's discerning watch enthusiasts. Its clean, straight-cut case, stunning sunburst dial, and sleek narrow bezel scream elegance and sophistication.
Seiko diver watches hold a special place in the hearts of Seiko fans, and it's no surprise why. They offer exceptional value for money across various price ranges. The Seiko 62MAS, the very first diver's watch from Seiko, made its debut in 1965. It was designed to withstand the harshest conditions while providing optimal legibility. The Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition relied on this timepiece from 1966 to 1969, and let me tell you, it surpassed the rigorous standards set by the expedition. But its significance goes beyond that. The 62MAS garnered immense popularity among recreational divers and even the general public, solidifying Seiko's position as the crème de la crème of diving watches.
Owning a pristine vintage 62MAS today is a badge of honor for watch aficionados, and let me assure you, the SLA017 is no different. It's a remarkable timepiece in its own right. The case has been treated with a super-hard coating, making it more durable than ever. The dome-shaped sapphire crystal offers superior scratch resistance, a significant upgrade from the standard Seiko hardlex sapphire. And let's not forget the improved movement, which now features the robust 8L35 caliber and a screw-down crown.
Let's talk about the case, dial, and hands of this beauty. The SLA017 boasts a case size that is nearly identical to the original 62MAS, with a slight increase in diameter, now measuring 39.9mm. The circular brushed finishing on the lugs seems to be a deliberate choice to make the face of the watch stand out, especially with its glossy appearance thanks to the reflective bezel and dome-shaped crystal. At the back of the case, the original dolphin motif makes its triumphant return, now with an improved, flat laser engraving. You'll also find the serial number (out of 2,000 pieces) and the mention of "Made in Japan" and "Air Diver's 200m" on the caseback.
The dial sports a dark charcoal-grey hue, with a subtle yet captivating sunburst effect that sets it apart from other Seiko divers, particularly the ones from the "Blue Lagoon" series. Fortunately, the dial remains true to the original, free from any additional "X" Prospex logos.
The SLA017 flaunts a large crown at the 3 o'clock position, drawing inspiration from the second version of the 62MAS, the big-crown 6217-8001. The hour markers retain their original round corners, creating a striking contrast against the dark dial while ensuring legibility at all times.
When it comes to straps, the SLA017 offers a choice between a silicon rubber-style waffle strap and a stainless steel bracelet. The silicon strap has a slightly glossy and softer feel compared to the usual Seiko straps, perfectly complementing the watch's elegant appearance. As for the stainless steel bracelet, it boasts a vintage charm with its matte polish, and interestingly, the somewhat-loose links produce a subtle rattling sound when worn on the wrist. It's worth noting that the lug width of 19mm might pose a challenge for those who prefer to pair the watch with a jubilee bracelet, which has become a beloved choice among Seiko diver fashion enthusiasts.
Now, let's dive into the heart of this timepiece—the movement. The SLA017 is powered by the Caliber 8L35, a movement specifically designed for divers and crafted by Seiko themselves at the esteemed Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio in Morioka, Japan. With a 50-hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,000 beats per hour, this movement offers both hacking and hand-winding functions, setting it apart from the original 62MAS.
The Caliber 8L35 also finds its home in other mid-range Seiko divers like the MM300 and Emperor Tuna models. While it may lack the intricate decoration found in Grand Seiko movements, it serves as a robust and reliable workhorse for closed caseback tool watches. The 8L35 doesn't demand the same level of strict adjustment as its Grand Seiko counterparts, making it a fitting choice for this remarkable reissue.
In conclusion, when comparing the original 62MAS to this long-awaited reissue, it's safe to say that the reissue reigns supreme. Every aspect of the watch has been improved, with the exception of that enchanting patina that only time can create. With a limited production of just 2,000 pieces worldwide, the hunt for the SLA017 will undoubtedly add an extra layer of excitement for all you Seiko watch "otakus" out there. So, my fellow enthusiasts, get ready to embark on an adventure in pursuit of this extraordinary timepiece.
For more information and to explore a wide range of exceptional timepieces, join us at WatchOutz.com. Our knowledgeable team is eager to assist you in finding the perfect watch that aligns with your unique style and preferences. Watchoutz.com, is an online retailer and physical store dedicated to Japanese watches and accessories. Our team is passionate about the creativity, style, and craftsmanship of Japanese watchmaking, and we're especially drawn to brands like Grand Seiko, Seiko, Casio, G-Shock, Citizen, Orient Star, and Epson. For us, "MADE IN JAPAN is embedded in our HEARTS~" and we're committed to sharing our love of these timepieces with you. Subscribe to our email newsletter and get the USD15off discount code.