It’s hard to think of many activities that sound more hardcore than ice diving, which is what a new series in Seiko’s line of professionally oriented Prospex sport watches purports to be designed for. Three models with different-colored dials and bezels have the bold presence and tough build of the brand’s “Sumo” dive watches, but feature upgrades and refinements for these special editions made for the US.
Though Seiko itself doesn’t use the name, the new SPB175, SPB177 and SPB179 watches belong to the model family fans have nicknamed the “Sumo.” The new Ice Diver versions feature waffle-textured dials, “cyclops” magnifiers over the date, sapphire crystals and the 6R35 automatic movement with 70 hours of power reserve. This is a similar treatment to what the brand’s popular “Turtle” and “Samurai” got, earning them the nicknames “King Turtle” and “King Samurai,” respectively — so you could also think of the new Ice Diver watches as “King Sumo.”
The Sumo perhaps earned its name from its 45mm case and fat bezel, and those features remain unchanged, along with 200m of water resistance. It’s also got the signature 4 o’clock crown of many of the brand’s dive watches, as well as the traditional look that’s made the Sumo attractive to those who aren’t ready for the quirkiness of many other Seiko Divers. Of the three new references, the SPB179 is the most obviously “icy,” with it light blue dial and darker blue bezel. The theme, however, carries over to the green SPB177 and gray SPB175 with generally pale tones Seiko says are inspired by glaciers.
All versions come on steel bracelets and include (while supplies last) a Prospex-branded Mini Maglite GWP flashlight. Though they’re “special editions” for the US, the Prospex Ice Diver watches are not limited in production and each has a price of $900 and is available directly from the brand online or through its US retailers.
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