The Super PADI Seiko SPBO71
PADI Dive Watches before the SPB071
What other name could I give this watch? There now have been several Seiko PADI models, from automatics to kinetics to solar powered. Basically the PADI dive line has a watch for you if you are into dive watches. The most popular of all the PADI Seiko watches is the SRPA21 or the PADI turtle. This was the one that started it all along with the kinetic SUN065. The PADI turtle rode a wave of renewed fun for the coveted vintage model and became the most successful PADI model. The turtle boasts a 4R36 movement a carefully crafted movement that is both wind and hack. So, it seems that everything was firing on all cylinders when the PADI models come into being.
The Super PADI SPB071
You have the PADI turtle, samurai, tuna, baby tuna and solar? watch. Now after stamping the PADI name on all of the most popular dive watches, Seiko has made something inspiring. The SPB071 is the love child of the PADI dive line and the ultra popular but almost unattainable redone 1965 Seiko first dive watch. Yes, it has the same basic head of the SLA017. While that watch is on the pricy side the PADI version falls right in line with other PADI watches, being only $850 retail.
The Movement 6R15
The Seiko SPB071 houses a 6R15 movement. The movement competes with the Swiss workhorse movement ETA 2824. Considering the pricing of Swiss watches with this ETA movement, the new SPB071 is a lot of watch for the price. The movement has a beat frequency of 21,600 VPH. The watch can be hand wound and has 23 jewels. The reserve for the movement is 50 hours.
The Watch Head
The watch head is based on the classic 1965 Seiko watch reissue. But the colors have been changed to fit with the PADI branding. The bezel is black with a trim of bright blue. The watch head measures 42.6mm, a size that will get noticed, but not large enough to be vulgar. The crystal is a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. When diving it is important to have the anti-reflective coating. It makes it much easier to read. The watch of course, comes with a screw down crown and case back.
The watch face is really what makes this watch stand out. It is blue, like most of the Seiko PADI models, but it gives you the feeling of being underwater with a blue gradient. The face is bright rich blue around the 12 o'clock marker and goes darker as you approach the "deeper" 6 o'clock marker. Besides the brilliant gradient the watch face has waves going horizontally across the watch. These waves again help tell us a story that the watch is built for the water.
Seiko can have a beautiful watch but then have a boring or down right crappy watch band. Someone really needs to talk to the person in charge of watch bands. The Super PADI has a blue silicone band. The blue band matches the blue in the head so it looks rather good together. My regret about this is that the band is super soft for sure, but it really doesn't totally compliment the watch. A flatter style silicone band, like the reissued 1965 dive watch would have been better. The springy style dive watch band is great, but the curves just take away from the watch head when you are wearing it. I do have to compliment Seiko for actually being bold enough to use a bright blue strap. I'm sure they had the urge to put on a Plain Jane black dive strap on the watch. At least the blue is a step in the right direction.
Yes, it is a Dive watch, it says PADI right on the dial!
Okay, so I often get this question from people who are new to Seiko dive watches and are divers. Yes, it is a real dive watch and yes it is to ISO standards. It is a real dive watch that is suitable for scuba diving. Like all other Seiko dive watches, it has lumi-bright hands and markers.
The SPB071 is a fantastic watch at a great price point. For a price of $850 you are getting a Swiss quality watch. Even if you are not a serious diver this watch is a must have. The blues and the case are different from most other watches out there. For those of you that already own luxury swiss watches, it is a great everyday watch that will be your workhorse. If you are just getting into watches, this will be a great starter watch because is packs in so much watch for the price. My biggest complaint is the watch band. Luckily you can easily switch the band to something more your style.
The watch is scheduled to be release here in the United States sometime in the next few weeks. Please e-mail us if you are interested and keep visiting our website.