The Achievements Of Naomi Uemura Are Remembered In A Classic 1970 Seiko Design.
Five years after making Japan’s first diver’s watch in 1965, Seiko introduced a new diver’s watch with a flowing case design and an asymmetrical extension that protected the crown at the four o’clock position. With its solid construction, 150-meter water resistance, and luminous hands and indexes, it was perfect for those who needed a timepiece with exceptional strength and legibility.
This 1970 diver’s watch proved its reliability in extreme conditions when it was worn by Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura in the Arctic region in the years 1974 to 1976. Born in 1941, Naomi Uemura was a university student when he took on the challenge of his first mountain climb. By the age of 29, he had climbed Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Mt. Aconcagua, and, in 1970, he became the first Japanese mountaineer to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Just three months later, he reached the top of Alaska’s Denali (then known as Mt. McKinley) and thus became the first mountaineer in the world to reach the summits of all these five peaks.
Naomi Uemura, 1941-1984
The original 1970 diver’s watch
Today, Uemura’s ascents of these five mountains are commemorated with a modern re-interpretation of the 1970 diver’s watch whose dial depicts Mont Blanc, the first of these climbs.
The crown and surface around the bezel display evoke the blue shadows
that surround Mont Blanc.
This commemorative watch echoes the design of the 1970 original but is thoroughly modern in execution. The textured dial features an image of the distinctive silhouette and contours of Mont Blanc over a patterned backdrop that echoes the mountain’s rocky and snowy surface. Pressing and etching techniques are used to give the dial depth and bring the 4,807-meter peak to life. Mont Blanc is presented at the very same angle from which Uemura began his ascent.
The case sides are carefully polished, and the watch is presented on a five-row steel bracelet to create a sharp, modern profile. Thanks to the positioning of the date window between four and five o’clock, all 12 of the hour markers are visible and all have a generous coating of Lumibrite, as do the hands, to maximize legibility in the dark.
The timepiece is powered by Caliber 8L35, developed especially for diver’s watches and hand-assembled by Seiko’s most skilled craftsmen and women. The case has a super-hard coating to protect it from scratches, and the crystal is a curved sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface to ensure high legibility from every angle. The watch is presented in a special box featuring a saying of Naomi Uemura’s: “When one dream is realized, other dreams will follow.“ The watch is water resistant to 200 meters.
This new watch joins the Seiko Prospex collection and will be available as a limited edition of 500 from May/June 2023 at select retailers nationwide.
Seiko Prospex 1970 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation
The Naomi Uemura Limited Edition:SLA069
Driving system: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Number of jewels: 26
Stainless steel case and bracelet with super-hard coating
Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Screw case back. Screw-down crown
Water resistance: 200m diver’s
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 44.0mm, Thickness: 13.0mm
Three-fold clasp with push button release, secure lock and extender
Approximate recommended retail price: $2,900
Limited edition of 500
Born in 1941 in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, Naomi Uemura entered Meiji University in 1960 where he joined the alpine club and began his career as an adventurer. In a span of just four years, Uemura climbed Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Everest, and Denali. Between the years 1974 and 1976, Uemura wore the 1970 diver’s watch during his solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska, a journey of 12,000 kilometers that took 18 months. In the winter of 1984, he succeeded in climbing Denali but disappeared forever on the descent. Uemura was given the National Honor award shortly after his disappearance.
For further information
Seiko Prospex web page: