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The Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m is the new edition of Seiko’s legendary Scuba Diver’s from 1965. Besides the well-known silhouette of the diving classic, Seiko also pays off as a manufacturer and equips the diving watch with a modern automatic movement. Find out everything important in this review!
Seiko in the Uhrenlounge
For this review, the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m was kindly provided to me by the online portal uhrenlounge.de. The Uhrenlounge of Aika Jewelers from Dresden is specialized in the online sale of watches from well-known manufacturers such as Oris, Tissot, Hamilton or even Seiko. For example, we have already successfully cooperated on the review of the Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPF79K1. At the end of this review you will find links to the store, where you will see this Seiko watch, as well as many other timepieces! If you have any questions about watches, the competent customer service of Uhrenlounge is at your disposal.
Seiko’s first diving watch returns
New editions of iconic classics are currently very trendy. The reasons are obvious. The awareness of traditional values among companies and customers, good and timeless designs and the longing for a carefree and better time, to name just three reasons. Seiko is no exception, harking back to its own beginnings as a manufacturer of diving watches – that was in 1965. Japan’s first diving watch had the name Scuba Diver’s and quickly developed into a timeless icon whose introduction was to significantly shape Seiko’s development in the years and decades to come.
In 2020, the Japanese manufacture celebrated the 55th birthday of the classic. Enough reason to reissue the model once again. And while “the modern re-interpretation,” as the watch is affectionately called by fans and retailers, is the spitting image of the great model, the most modern technology from Japan ticks away in the compact case. The automatic caliber 6R35 from Seiko’s own manufacture promises a lot of power. The remake is priced in the low four-digit range, making it interesting for the masses. For the market launch, Seiko has released two model variants. Today’s review is about the model with the reference number SPB143J1.
The Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m on the wrist
I free the diver’s watch from its white box and remove the protective foil. The Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m is a classic diver’s watch, as it belongs in every watch collection. The anthracite dial is adorned by a sunray design and comes across as unexciting and functional. It is framed by the likewise black diver’s bezel, which is indispensable for a real diver’s watch. In addition, there is a lot of classic stainless steel in the case and the bracelet, whose folding clasp is equipped with a diver’s extension. The box contains a warranty card from Uhrenlounge as well as instruction manuals.
On the wrist, the moderate size of the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m is striking. Clearly, in the 1960s, the trend towards ever larger cases was not yet an issue. And so, with a diameter of 40 millimeters, the diver’s watch also fits narrower wrists. By contrast, 13 millimeters in height are strikingly slim for a timepiece with an automatic caliber. I like the sporty proportions very much. Thanks to the functional, timeless and noble design, you can wear the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m on your wrist on any occasion. In addition to its qualities as a diver, the watch also goes well with a shirt and jacket thanks to its chic three-link stainless steel bracelet. Therefore, with this timepiece you will be stylish in any situation.
The case – with extra-hard stainless steel on a dive
The slightly hexagonal case silhouette is slightly reminiscent of the great diving classic Rolex Submariner. Here, too, it does not merge seamlessly into the bracelet at the lugs, but tapers abruptly. In production, so-called hard-coated stainless steel is used for the construction of the case, which is also used for the bracelet. This stainless steel guarantees the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m longevity and resistance to sharp edges, which can be encountered on dives in coral reefs, for example. Compared to conventional stainless steel, it is even higher quality.
To protect its dial, the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m has sapphire crystal, whose curved shape is emblematic of the classic diving watches of the 20th century. To my delight, Seiko has made it anti-reflective. Not only does it look much higher quality, it also improves readability outdoors and underwater noticeably. For case as well as watch glass, the workmanship is on a very high level. After all, that’s what you can expect from Seiko.
You can set countdowns on dives with the unidirectional rotating black bezel, whose clicks snap cleanly into place. The 0/60 marker is triangular and coated with LumiBrite luminous material. Seiko promises 200 meters of maximum diving depth (20 bar) on the spec sheet, which is more than solid and should be absolutely sufficient for most of us. This is achieved by the six-fold screwed caseback, which is adorned by a stylized engraving of the painting “the great wave off Kanagawa”, typical for Seiko. What could be more fitting for a Japanese diver’s watch?
Seiko’s 6R35 automatic caliber and its functions
While the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m still remains the old-fashioned retro diver’s watch on the outside, a closer look at the movement at the latest reveals that time has literally not stood still here. The modern automatic caliber 6R35 comes directly from Seiko’s own manufacture and is therefore perfectly adapted to the requirements of the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1. Most amazing is the power reserve, which is 70 hours. In everyday life, it makes the watch a particularly uncomplicated companion, since you almost never have to wind it!
The functions are quickly explained: hour, minute, second and a date window at 3 o’clock. So what more does it need? All functions are set via the screw-down crown, which is very easy to operate due to its fluted sides.
Dial and bracelet of the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m
When exposed to light, the elegant sunray design of the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m comes to life. It peppers the anthracite dial additionally and gives the watch shine. Despite the rather small dial, the dash-shaped indices are very large and can be read even from a distance. For use in lower-light conditions, Seiko relies on LumiBrite luminous coating, which makes a strong and high-quality impression. The three hands are also coated with LumiBrite.
Aside from the date window, you’ll otherwise find the neatly printed name lettering on the dial.
The stainless steel bracelet sits extra tight thanks to the folding clasp with safety bar. If you need a bit more bracelet length due to the thicker wetsuit, the bracelet of the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m offers an uncomplicated diver’s extension. Like the case, the stainless steel bracelet is hard-coated. The fact that a less expensive alternative has not been chosen here should be positively emphasized.
My final conclusion about the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m
If you are looking for a very solid diver’s watch, which you as a daily rocker also want to wear on your wrist, I can only warmly recommend the Seiko Prospex SPB143J1 Automatic 200m. The timepiece manages to score with its functional, understated design and good quality. Seiko has revived a watch here that appeals to the masses. Because it’s not too special. Because it fits not only an occasion, but in every situation in life. And because, thanks to good quality, it becomes a real collector’s item that you can still wear years later. This watch is simply timeless.
Seiko’s recommended retail price is 1250,- Euro, a more than fair price in my opinion. You can buy the watch even cheaper in the store of Uhrenlounge. Here it is worthwhile to stop by every now and then and take advantage of attractive offers! Finally, my thanks go to the Uhrenlounge itself, who made this test possible for me.
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