This time we are going to do a review on the new Seiko SPB297J1. Watch comes as Limited Edition from the famous brand and offers several changes in the well-known design. Yes, this is a divers watch, but now we can get it with beautiful textured dial. It is part of “Save the Ocean” series which features those special dials. You can recognize also the “62MAS” diver styling here, which commemorates original diver from Japanese brand.
Let’s first take a look in the video-review, and then talk about parts of this watch.
By the way, here you can read review with another Seiko watch.
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It won’t be overestimation to say that main feature here is the dial. As I mentioned already, today’s special edition gets textured blue dial which should remind of icebergs and water around. The shade varies between cold blue and white in order to get such effect. Note that whole surface is matte, so it looks even more interesting in person.
Whole layout is classic for Seiko – you will find large white rectangular indices with double mark at 12″ position. Manufacturer logo is not that big, but they could have got rid of X-mark and automatic below. Those changes would make whole dial even more beautiful to look at. Note that between indices we still get a scale for fine measurement.
Handset includes three parts – two large hours and minutes hands, and also thin seconds hand with luminous rectangle on the end. Such design makes it easier to find the thin part, but yet it doesn’t distract you from whole dial. Date window sits proudly at 3″ position together with reduced index rectangle. White background color looks fine here because all other indices are also white. As usual, it could be good to have “cyclops” over date window. 🙂
Whole dial is covered with sapphire antireflex glass. Note that it features slightly beveled edge, which adds visual interest to the design. This cue visually separates the glass from the bezel and makes it a bit more prominent here.
Just like any other diver from this brand, Seiko SPB297J1 features luminous indices, hands and bezel point. Those parts glow with green color and easy to find in the night thanks to large size. You can see it here on the photos and in the video as well.
Seiko SPB297J1 comes with stainless steel case. Its size is 40.5mm, what makes watch reasonably-sized for man’s wrist. Case thickness is 13.2mm. One part combines several finishes on it. Top section features brushed finish, while edges are mirror-polished. All this looks fine, but you will have to be extra careful in order not to have any scratches on those smooth sides.
Note that screwdown crown doesn’t have any extra protection around it. Parts sits proudly on the right side, and its size is just right. I didn’t have any issues with setting the time or screwing/unscrewing with this crown.
Bezel features brushed metal insert and large numbers. 12″ mark comes with luminous insert which will help in dark conditions. Part fitment is really tight, but ratchetting helps with operating. Rear caseback is solid metal here, so you won’t be able to see the movement.
Inside you will find 6R35 which offers 70 hours power reserve and hacking. This movement is used in other Seiko watches and has a good reputation. As you remember, we have date indication as well, so all classic features are here.
Seiko SPB297J1 features metal bracelet out of the box. I wouldn’t say that this is the best thing I have ever seen, but it looks fine with the watch. There are no alternative options in the box, but I would recommend to check some aftermarket in case you would like a bit better bracelet quality on your wrist.
First of all important disclaimer – I didn’t use the watch on photos, but I have some experience with “simple” version. The main change here is the dial style, so I guess overall impression will stay the same.
In my opinion it is quite good that this watch offers small size and weight. This makes it easier to wear, and you can even hide watch under your sleeve. Of course, you will have to be careful with polished elements, but this is something you can’t avoid here. Other diver watches also feature polished cases, and at this point I wonder who will be the first to break this trend.
Dial legibility is good, even in this size. Large indices are pleasure to look at, and if we talk about today’s version I like the blue color and texture here. Those effects don’t overcomplicate the whole styling, and keep things in reasonable borders. Seiko managed to avoid cheap look with this dial, what is very important in my opinion.
Seiko SPB297J1 – Price and Availability
Price is set at 1500EUR, what looks okay with “standard” version of this watch. Keep in mind that this is not a Limited Edition, but still should be considered as something not of a “fixed offer”. In my opinion this is a great choice for those who would like something special in their collection, but don’t want to go for some expensive types.
I like how this watch manages to keep low profile and yet offer a lot of things in one package. Yes, there are plenty of rivals in this price range, but this one would serve you for a long time and stay relevant in terms of looks. Some might say that this is just reincarnation of the old watch, yet it is not as easy as it might sound. I am glad Seiko managed to keep all the main features and reimagine them with modern approach. “Save The Ocean” series just adds a bit more to this combo, and who knows, maybe it will be the right thing for you?