Seiko Prospex – Watches for Pros
The sports watches in the Seiko Prospex collection are the ideal companions for an extreme lifestyle. Thanks to their robust cases and reliable movements, these timepieces will never let you down. Top models can dive down to 1,000 m (3,280 ft).
Professional Sports Watches for Extreme Conditions
The Prospex sports watch collection (the name stands for "professional specifications") is one of the most popular series from the Japanese watch giant Seiko. Watch fans the world over have come to know the typical Seiko quality, reliability, and outstanding value for money this series delivers.
The wide selection of diving watches are particularly popular among the Seiko fan community, who have given these timepieces nicknames like the "Sumo," "Tuna," "Samurai," or "Turtle." Along with their unique designs, these watches also deliver features such as professional-level water resistance. Top models can be taken to depths of 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,280 ft.).
The Prospex line, however, offers more than just diving watches. One example includes watches from the Alpinist series, whose designs are inspired by timepieces Seiko specifically developed in the 1960s for mountaineers. This collection also includes pilot's watches, chronographs, and GMT watches, all of which Seiko claims are the perfect companions for the "urban safari."
The Japanese watchmaker primarily uses automatic in-house calibers for these timepieces. You'll find solar and quartz-powered movements as well. The premium Prospex LX line uses Seiko's high-tech Spring Drive technology.
Reasons to Buy a Seiko Prospex
- Professional sports watches with outstanding value for money
- A unique design
- Automatic, quartz, solar, and Spring Drive movements
- Top models are water-resistant to 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft)
Seiko Prospex Prices
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|Prospex LX Sea, SNR029||6,000 USD||Titanium case, Spring Drive, 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) of water resistance, date complication|
|Prospex LX Land, SNR027||5,000 USD||Titanium case, black coating, Spring Drive, 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) of water resistance, GMT, date complication|
|1959 Alpinist Re-creation, SJE085J1||3,000 USD||Limited edition of 1,959 pieces, 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) of water resistance|
|Tuna Quartz, S23631J1||2,500 USD||Titanium case, 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,280 ft) of water resistance, day-date complication|
|Turtle 1970 Diver's Modern Re-interpretation, SPB237||1,300 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, date complication|
|Automatic Diver's, SPB143||1,200 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, date complication|
|Automatic Diver's, SPB101||850 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, date complication|
|Speedtimer Solar, SSC817P1||750 USD||Chronograph, solar caliber, date complication, 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance|
|Alpinist, SPB119||725 USD||Date complication, rotating inner compass ring, 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance|
|Automatic Diver's PADI, SRPG21||595 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, date complication|
|Prospex Land Tortoise, SRPG13||525 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, date complication, rotating compass bezel|
|Prospex Solar Arnie, SNJ025||525 USD||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, chronograph, alarm, perpetual calendar, solar movement|
What does a Seiko Prospex cost?
Watches from the Prospex collection are available on Chrono24 starting at around 320 USD. Timepieces in this price range are powered by Seiko's quartz or solar calibers, some of which even have a chronograph or GMT function.
Most Prospex models with automatic calibers, however, cost somewhere between 500 and 1,100 USD. In some cases, limited edition models can go for around 3,200 USD or more.
You'll find the most expensive models in the Prospex LX line. Be sure to have between 4,300 and 5,400 USD on hand if you'd like to purchase a Prospex Spring Drive timepiece.
Turtles and Tunas – Prospex Diving Watches
Prospex diving watches have enjoyed an enormous fan base for years. The unique designs of these watches are based on Seiko classics from the 1960s and 70s.
Tuna: One-of-a-kind Design With Up to 1,000 m of Water Resistance
Tuna models from the current Prospex line trace their origins to the ref. 6159-7010, which was marketed outside of Japan under the reference numbers 6159-7009 and 6159-7019. Probably the most eye-catching feature of every Seiko Tuna is its round titanium case, which itself is seated within an additional ceramic-coated outer case to protect the watch and diving bezel against impacts. This gives the Tuna its unmistakable appearance reminiscent of a can of tuna fish.
An example of a modern descendant of the original Tuna is the Marinemaster ref. SBDX014G, which is 52.4 mm in diameter, has a water resistance of 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,280 ft), and is powered by the automatic 8L35 caliber. The golden accents on its bezel, hands, and crown have caused the brand's fans to place it in the "Golden Tuna" family of Seiko timepieces. Prices for this watch start at around 3,800 USD.
The ref. S23631J1, a more affordable alternative, is somewhat smaller at 49.4 mm in diameter. It runs on the 7C46 quartz caliber, and also has 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,280 ft) of water resistance. Its case, outer case, and dial are black, which contrasts nicely with the hands and indices coated in a light lume to give them good legibility. Have around 2,500 USD on hand if you'd like to purchase this timepiece.
A close relative of the Tuna is the "Arnie," which takes its nickname from the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger wore this timepiece in the action films Commando and Predator. The Arnie also has a round case that sits inside an outer case. For this watch, however, Seiko uses stainless steel and plastic for the inner and outer cases, respectively. At 47.8 mm in diameter, the Arnie is somewhat smaller than the Tuna, and has "only" 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance. It runs on a quartz movement, which powers its analog hands and LCD digital display. The current Arnie version is the ref. SNJ025, which runs on the H851 solar caliber featuring a perpetual calendar, chronograph, and alarm function. You'll find this watch on Chrono24 for around 420 USD.
The Seiko Prospex "Turtle" – A Recognizable and Popular Diving Watch
Upon hearing the "Turtle" name, Seiko fans are instantly reminded of the legendary diving watch with the rounded case reminiscent of a turtle's shell. This is a very recognizable design, and a major reason for the success of the current model. Martin Sheen also did his part to make the timepiece famous, donning a Seiko ref. 6105 in his role as Captain Willard in the legendary film Apocalypse Now. The 6105 was produced from the late 1960s well into the 1970s, and at the time had a water resistance of 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft). You can find well-maintained vintage models on Chrono24 starting at around 2,000 USD.
You'll also find the Turtle in the current Prospex collection. A model that comes very close to the original is the 1970 Diver's Modern Re-interpretation ref. SPB237. Introduced in 2021, this 42.7-mm stainless steel watch comes on a NATO strap. Its 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance even give it a leg up on its historical predecessor. You'll find the modern 6R35 caliber ticking away inside the watch, which delivers 70 hours of power reserve. This retro diving watch can be yours for around 1,300 USD.
Additional models from the Turtle family include the references SRPF77, SPB153, and SLA051, which vary slightly in their size, hands and dials, and calibers. Their prices range from 550 USD for entry-level models, up to 2,700 USD for watches with more premium-level calibers.
Retro Divers in the 62MAS Style
The Prospex collection also includes a number of watches inspired by Seiko's first diving watch, the 62MAS reference 6217-8000/1 from the year 1965. The Prospex Automatic First Diver's Re-creation Limited Edition ref. SLA017 is one of them. Its stainless steel case has a hardened coating and is 40 mm in diameter, making it 3 mm larger than its historical predecessor. Its water resistance of 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) is also more than the original Japanese diving watch, which had 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft). The case, dial, bezel, and silicone strap are very similar to those found on the original timepiece, although the modern 8L35 automatic caliber ticking away inside is a welcome modern upgrade. It features 50 hours of power reserve and a date complication. As a limited edition of just 2,000 pieces, the SLA017 is a very sought-after collectible, and costs around 5,700 USD.
Seiko has expanded this collection to include an entire line of additional 62MAS-style models. Depending on the specific model, prices range from between 1,000 USD for the SPB239, and 4,200 USD for the 55th Anniversary SLA043J1.
The Sumo, Monster, and Samurai
The Sumo, Monster, and Samurai are three more popular Seiko Prospex diving watches. The Sumo and Samurai stand out with their large, beefy cases and angular lugs. The Monster is instantly recognizable due to its wide, jagged diving bezel. Case sizes between 42.5 and 45 mm give all of these watches a very noticeable wrist presence. They are also very affordable timepieces, and can be had starting at around 430 USD. Special editions with extra features cost upwards of 1,500 USD.
The Highly-Coveted PADI Special Editions
Since 2016, Seiko has included special editions in its Prospex collection. These watches were the product of a cooperation with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI. PADI is the world's largest diver training organization, offering instruction across the globe. Seiko PADI watches are easy to recognize with their "PADI" logo above 6 o'clock. Watches with red and blue accents are particularly popular. These include the Sumo SPB181J1, the Monster SRPE27, and the Arnie SNJ027, each of which use a combination of blue and red for their bezels.
Be sure to have anywhere between 420 USD and 780 USD ready if you'd like to buy one of these watches, depending on the Prospex PADI you're looking for.
The Speedtimer – Chronographs With 1960s Flair
The watches in the Prospex Speedtimer collection pay homage to Seiko's legendary Speedtimer chronographs from the year 1964. These were powered by the 6139 caliber, one of the world's first automatic chronograph calibers, which even back then boasted a column wheel and a vertical clutch.
The new versions, such as 2021's ref. SRQ037, are powered by the modern 8R46 caliber. This watch features a small seconds subdial at 3 o'clock, a date window at 6 o'clock, and a 30-minute subdial at the 9 o'clock position. Fully wound, this timepiece has a power reserve of approximately 45 hours. The chamfered hour markers and lumed dauphine hands are reminiscent of the original 1960s model. However, one difference is the Prospex Speedtimer's tachymeter scale on its rehaut. The SRQ037 can be yours for around 2,600 USD.
The Prospex Speedtimer Solar offers a more affordable alternative. These watches are inspired by a Speedtimer from the year 1969, and have a more modern feel than their automatic sister models, thanks to their black tachymeter bezel, and tricompax subdial layout. You'll find the 24-hour counter at 3 o'clock, the 60-minute counter at 6, and the small seconds dial at 9. Seiko places the date window between 4 and 5 o'clock. The solar caliber V192 ensures that this timepiece keeps very accurate time, and can go for up to six months without a charge. You can purchase the Speedtimer Solar with a white, black, blue, or beige dial for prices between 650 and 850 USD.
Prospex Land – Outdoor Watches With a Retro Design
As you might guess from the name, the Prospex Land collection features watches designed for activity on land. Thanks to their 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) of water resistance, they're also more than equipped for use near and in the water.
The Seiko Laurel Alpinist With a Modern Look
The inspiration for these watches were timepieces that Seiko developed for mountaineers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation is a modern rendition of the Seiko Laurel Alpinist from the year 1959. It has the same characteristic triangular hour markers and narrow dauphine hands of the original. Unlike the original, the Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation has a date complication at 3 o'clock. The dials, available in champagne, black, and green, feature an elegant sunburst pattern rather than the traditional gloss. The 6R35 caliber ensures that the modern Alpinist delivers precise timekeeping. You can purchase this 38-mm stainless steel watch on Chrono24 for around 700 USD.
Presented in 2021, the 1959 Alpinist Re-creation is limited to 1,959 pieces. Like the original, this watch comes on a leather cuff band, and features a glossy black dial. In keeping with the look of the original Laurel Alpinist, Seiko refrained from including the Prospex logo on its dial and placed the date window at the 4:30 position. This watch is powered by the 6L35 caliber. Have around 3,000 USD on hand if you'd like to call this collectible timepiece your own.
Additional Alpinist Models
The Prospex Land collection also contains a number of additional models inspired by 1960s Alpinists. One example is the Alpinist ref. SPB119. This 39.5-mm stainless steel watch is characterized by its triangular hour markers, cathedral hands, and internal rotating compass bezel, the latter of which is operated by the additional crown at the 4 o'clock position. The 6R35 caliber provides this watch with a date complication at 3 o'clock, which is enhanced by a date magnifier. In mint condition, this watch can be yours for the very affordable price of 650 USD.
If you don't mind doing without the compass bezel, the so-called Baby Alpinist might be an interesting alternative. At 38 mm in size, this timepiece is a bit smaller, while still maintaining the same classic dial design as its larger sister models. You'll find this watch in blue, green, brown, and anthracite at a price of around 600 USD.
The Tortoise – The Turtle for Those Who Love the Land
In 2021, Seiko expanded the Land series to include a few models featuring a Turtle design; these were quickly given the nickname "Tortoise" by fans. The most noticeable difference between the Turtle and Tortoise is found on the bezel: while a Turtle has a dive timing scale, the rotatable bezel on the Tortoise has a compass ring. You can find a Tortoise in unworn condition on Chrono24 for approximately 500 USD.
Prospex LX – Flagships With Spring Drive
The Prospex LX collection features top-notch sports watches. Seiko brings together the look of popular Prospex diving watches with high-tech Spring Drive calibers, not to mention a finishing quality that is on par with high-end Grand Seiko timepieces.
This watch lineup offers a selection of three models. The Sea models are equipped with a diving bezel, while the Sky models have a GMT function and 24-hour bezel. The Land watches, on the other hand, also display a second time zone. This is read using the 24-hour scale on the watch's rehaut. The bezel on these timepieces serves as a compass.
These watches have a 44.8-mm titanium case. Seiko offers all of versions with either high-grade Zaratsu polishing, or in a black coating.
The Land models with a compass bezel cost an average of 4,400 USD in unworn condition, making them the most affordable watches in this series. The Sky models with a GMT bezel can be purchased for an average of 4,900 USD, while the diving watches can be had for between 5,500 and 6,200 USD.