Top Selling Replica Seiko Prospex SPB077 and SPB079

20131105-A13356-6

Seiko has released a pair of non-limited Prospex divers which provide a look based on their vintage replica watch. Working from a basic idea similar to last year’s SBP051/53, these new Prospex models are meant to split the difference between the loosely-similar and limited edition re-issue piece, and the general look of a replica Seiko dive watch.
“The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB077 and SPB079” is the full name of the Seiko watch, seeing as coffee breaks are only so long, let’s go with SPB077/79. The SPB077 has a black bezel and a steel bracelet, while the SPB079 has a steely blue bezel and comes on a silicone strap. Aside from these differences, the two versions are the same. At 44mm wide, 13.1mm thick, and 51mm lug to lug, the SPB077/79 wears not unlike a longer version of the much loved Prospex SRP777. The cases are made of stainless steel and feature screw-down casebacks, instead of the monoblock construction of the SLA025 reissue.
Tucked safely behind a flat and anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the dial design is likely the most considerable departure from the original model. While the basic layout for the markers and the date at three o’clock are almost the same, the SPB077/79 both do without the original’s gilt treatment and make use of a flat black dial. Maybe most noticeable, like last year’s 62MAS-inspired SPB051/53, the SPB077/79 use a distinctive handset with a huge arrow-style (mouse pointer?) hour hand, and a sword-style minute hand. The seconds hand design is different from the reference material, with the lume on the counterbalance similar to what you’d see on the SRP77X “Turtle” divers.
Being a Prospex, we wouldn’t expect to find a top-end or high-beat movement inside; the SPB077/79 uses Seiko’s famous and popular 6R15 automatic movement. Common to this price point, the 6R15 is a 3 Hz movement with a power reserve of some 50 hours, providing hacking, hand-winding, and in this application, magnetic protection to 4800 A/m. For those just getting into the fake Seiko, the 6R15 is a step up over both the entry-level and non-handwound 7S26 found in models like the SKX007, and the newer 4R36 found in the SRP77X line and some other models.
At 44mm wide, this is not a small watch and, different form the SRP777, the SPB077/79 does not benefit from a shorter-than-normal lug to lug measurement in proportion to its case width. Checked on the rubber band, the fake SPB079 wears well and doesn’t feel especially thick if you’re used to wearing a Seiko diver. Like the SPB051/053 before it, the hour hand will possibly be either a love-or-hate design element for many interested parties. Perfect made, dive-ready, and carrying a blend of Seiko both old and new, the 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB077 and SPB079 replicas are refreshing and outstanding takes on Seiko’s continuing legacy of dive watch design.