Introducing The Seiko Prospex SLA065 Save The Ocean Limited Edition

What We Know

If you're not in the market for a new Seiko dive watch, go read something else because Seiko is kicking off the new year with something special for the dive watch nerds among us. It's the new SLA065 and it's part of the upper tier of the Prospex lineup, offering an appealing blend of vintage styling, a few special elements, and an upgraded movement that is saved for Seiko's best mechanical dive watches. Its full name is the Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition 1965 Modern Re-Interpretation, so I think you'll cut me some slack if I just called it the SLA065, from here on out. Regardless of the name, the "SLA" part is a clue that this latest Seiko is something special. 

Let's get some specs out of the way. The SLA065 is a steel dive watch that measures 41.3 mm wide and 13.1mm thick (Seiko does not provide a lug-to-lug length). The water resistance is 200 meters, and it has drilled lugs, an anti-reflective double-domed sapphire crystal, a "super-hard" coating for the steel case, and a screw-down crown.  

If you're anything like me, you saw a skin diver-style case and the SLA-range reference and figured that the new SLA065 is a special version of something like the SLA017, which Seiko released at Baselworld 2017. But the 017 was 39.9mm x 14.1 mm and attempted to best capture the proportions of Seiko's original dive watch, the 62MAS. 

For the SLA065, the proportions are closer to what we've come to expect from the SPB models with a skin diver-style case (like the SPB143 or similar, aka. the 20MAS). The bezel is a bit wider, as are the markers and hands, and we see a small marker next to the date to ensure ISO compliance and a Zaratsu-polished bevel on the lug edge. For those keeping score, the SLA065 is not only larger than the SLA017, but also 0.8mm wider than the 20MAS models, while at the same time a good bit thinner (13.1 vs 13.7 for the SPB143). 

Tucked inside those case dimensions we find two noteworthy elements. First is the metallic blue dial that carries an engraved design inspired by an astrolabe, which is a navigational tool used to help sailors determine their location based on the position of the sun and other stars. It's entirely old-world but Seiko says the direct inspiration comes from a charity they support that is conducting underwater archeology near the Greek island of Fournoi. Seiko does not specifically name the charity/research outfit, but the project is working to better understand navigation and sailing in the Mediterranean as far back as the fourth century. 

The second element of note is the movement as the SLA range often gets a higher-spec movement and the 065 gets Seiko's 8L35 automatic, which is among the best movements Seiko uses in dive watches. Based on the Grand Seiko 9S55, the 8L35 ticks at 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 50 hours. 

The SLA065 is limited to 1,300 pieces, each with a price tag of $2,900. That is a good bit less than the $3,400 that the original SLA017 commanded and a good bit more than the roughly $1,200 that a 20MAS will likely set you back. 

What We Think

For me, from the first glance to the hundredth, the SLA065 looks a lot more like a sibling to the SPB143 than it does a continuation of the same format established by the SLA017 – and I think that makes sense. The SPB143 (and its many siblings) have been a huge win for Seiko and the SLA065 takes a largely similar look but tweaks it for enthusiast appeal and better performance. 

seiko sla065

Also, it's not as though 41.3mm is bad, or in any way "too big" at a general level and, from my perspective, I'd rather have a watch that was half a centimeter thinner rather than half a centimeter smaller in width (if we can't have both, I guess). I think the dial looks incredible, as does the metallic blue bezel insert (the bezel edge is also Zaratsu polished). But ultimately, with the 20MAs models being as good as they are, who is this limited edition for? 

seiko sla065

In my eyes, it's for the type of Seiko fan that found the 20MAS formula close but not close enough. They want the vintage styling, but in the most special format possible and they don't want to deal with a 4 or 6-series movement that may not keep great time (anecdotally, my SPB143 has been a-ok on this front). Fulfilling the need for specialness, the SLA065 is an LE, and it has a unique dial (very Seiko), and it has a higher-spec and very well-respected movement. It's a spend more, get more scenario for a collector who likes the '60s-derived looks of the SPB143 (or similar), but is willing to pay more for... well, more. 

When the SLA017 first came out I was sure that, someday, I would need to have one. Then, in 2020, the SPB143 wiped that need away for me as it offered a less expensive watch that nailed the specific aesthetic and wrist presence in a way that the SKX007 or SRP777 never could for my wrist. Now, we find a further blending of the concepts with the SLA065 representing the latest top-spec offering for a specific niche within the wide world of Seiko dive watches. I do hope I can get my hands on a loaner for the SLA065 and that this new release marks the start of another great year for Prospex. Stay tuned. 

The Basics

Brand: Seiko
Model: Prospex Save the Ocean Limited Edition 1965 Modern Re-Interpretation
Reference Number: SLA065

Diameter: 41.3mm
Thickness: 13.1mm
Case Material: Steel with hardened surface treatment
Dial Color: Blue
Indexes: Applied
Lume: Yes, LumiBrite hands and markers
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Blue silicone dive strap with matching steel hardware. 

The Movement

Caliber: Seiko 8L35
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Jewels: 26

Pricing & Availability

Price: $2,900
Availability: Seiko boutiques and select retailers worldwide.  
Limited Edition: 1,300 units



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