Seiko is known for presenting many new models throughout the year, often in special or limited series. Part of the Prospex collection of watches, this new watch honours Naomi Uemura, the highly regarded Japanese mountaineer and adventurer. It’s not the first model dedicated to his achievements, as the Tribute to Naomi Uemura SLA049 and SLA051 were introduced in 2021, all based on the diver from 1970 worn by the man that lends his name to these watches. Now, Seiko returns to this theme with the Prospex 1970 Diver’s SLA069.
Naomi Uemura famously climbed Mont Blanc, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Aconcagua, Mt Everest and Denali (also known as Mt McKinley) within a span of four years, becoming the first mountaineer to reach the top of these five summits. He also made a solo dog sledge run from Greenland to Alaska, which took 18 months to complete. He wore a 1970s diver watch by Seiko during this adventure. Mr Uemura tragically disappeared on the descent of the Denali climb in the winter of 1984 and was never found.
The 44mm wide and 13mm thick stainless steel case of the SLA069 has the familiar Turtle design of the previous models, with its signature crown guard protruding from the bottom right lug. The bezel and off-centred crown are blue, giving it a very distinct look. The metallic insert is finished in black to add yet more contrast against the blue and silver tones of the rest of the case.
The snow-white dial is constructed using different etching techniques to create a unique texture and imagery. The silhouette of the Mont Blanc mountain range can be seen coming through the snow-like texture. The large applied numerals and sword-shaped hands are finished with LumiBrite, with the seconds hand showing the familiar paddle-shaped tip. A window at 04:30 reveals the date underneath.
Inside the case, we again find the calibre 8L35 automatic, also used in previous 1970 Modern Re-Interpretation references. This has a frequency of 28,800vph, uses 26 jewels and has a running time of 50 hours. It is regulated to run within +15 to -10 seconds of deviation per day. It is hidden from view behind a solid caseback, which along with the screw-down crown, ensures the water-resistance of 200m.
The new Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation Naomi Uemura SLA069 comes on a five-link stainless steel bracelet with brushed big links and polished slender links in between. It’s fitted with a triple-folding buckle that includes a diver’s extension. It is limited to 500 pieces and will be available from May 2023 onwards at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers for EUR 3,000.
For more information, please visit SeikoWatches.com.
Technical specifications – Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation The Naomi Uemura Limited Edition SLA069
Case: 44mm diameter x 13mm height – stainless steel with super-hard coating, brushed and polished – blued unidirectional bezel in steel with metallic insert with super-hard coating and 60-minute scale – sapphire crystal with AR coating – blued screw-down crown – screw-down caseback – 200m water-resistant
Dial: textured snow-white dial with Mont Blanc silhouette – applied markers and hands with LumiBrite – date window at 04:30
Movement: calibre 8L35 – in-house – automatic – 26 jewels – 28,800 vibrations/hour – 50h power reserve – +15 to -10 seconds per day – hours, minutes, seconds (stop-seconds) and date
Strap: three-link stainless steel bracelet (brushed & polished) with triple folding buckle and diver’s extension
Availability: limited edition of 500 pieces – available from May 2023 at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers