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First introduced in 2020, the Seiko MM Reduced has garnered widespread recognition as one of the best Seiko divers available for relatively little money. Fitted with a new movement, a sapphire crystal, and the high ISO standards of their Prospex models, it is not hard to see why.
|Seiko Prospex MM Reduced "Save the Ocean Special Edition" Glacier Dial Ref. SBDC167 / SPB299
The MM Reduced draws inspiration from a 1968 diver - the Seiko 6159-7001. While the original 62MAS can be dubbed the “OG” of Seiko dive watches, the 6159 released 3 years later laid the foundation for the brand’s design ethos. Today, these ethe are still found on modern Seiko watches - angular lugs, the 4 o’clock crown, and the typical applied indices and hands. The 6159, beating at 36,000 BPH, was also the first hi-beat diver’s watch on the market. Its 43.6mm size, signature design, and iconic gilt accents resulted in the 6159 becoming a valuable collector’s item today.
The new MM Reduced release from Seiko is part of their Save the Ocean (STO) Series. First started in 2018, the STO series is part of Seiko’s mission to help protect the world’s oceans now and for future generations and secure this legacy for divers everywhere. Seiko donates a portion of all STO proceeds to organisations that study and preserve the seas - you’d directly contribute to saving the oceans (literally) by purchasing any Seiko STO timepiece.
|New Seiko Calibre 6R35 With 70 Hours Power Reserve|
The MM Reduced Ref. SBDC167 is made of high-quality 316L stainless steel and has finely-brushed finishing on the top of the lugs and case, with high-polished finishing at the sides. The deft mixture of brushed and polished finishing makes the watch a joy to look at from multiple angles and will also help it to look smaller on the wrist. Coming in at 42mm in diameter and a lug-to-lug of 48.8mm, the watch is 12.5mm thick. Do not panic seeing the 42mm diameter! The watch wears like a 40mm on the wrist - thanks to the relatively short lug-to-lug and, as mentioned earlier, the mixed finishing of the case.
Seiko fans are known for giving their watches cool nicknames like the Turtle, Samurai, and Monster watches that we all love. They have aptly coined the name “Glacier Dial” for this year’s STO series, and it is obvious why. The SBDC167 features a dark blue, 120-click unidirectional dive time bezel with a lume pip at 12. The dial is a beautiful shade of blue with textures that remind one of the Arctic glaciers. The textures on the dial give it an added dimension, helping it avoid becoming too flat and muted. Applied circular indices are used here, with a shield-like index at 12 for easy orientation. The 6 and 9 indices are baton-style, while a date wheel is at 3 - a useful daily complication that does not mess up the dial's proportions as it blends in like a regular index. Affixed atop the dial is a piece of flat sapphire crystal offering superb protection against scratches and great legibility thanks to its anti-reflective coating on the underside.
|Tribute to the historic Seiko Ref. 6159-7001 case shape and dial design|
As part of Seiko’s Prospex collection, this is an ISO 6425 certified dive watch. The screw-down crown and caseback combine to give the watch a solid 200m water resistance. The hands and indices are generously coated with Seiko’s proprietary Lumibrite, which provides the watch with a flawless glow in the dark.
Underneath the Seiko Tsunami engraved caseback lies the in-house Seiko 6R35 movement. It has 24 jewels, beats at 21,600 BPH, and has a power reserve of 70 hours. It's an upgrade from the old 6R15 movement and is reliable and robust. The improved power reserve is welcomed. You can put this watch down on a Friday evening and find it still ticking on Monday.
The watch comes on a 20mm oyster-style stainless steel bracelet. The bracelet tapers to a signed buckle with a diver’s extension, allowing you to wear the timepiece over a wetsuit if needed. It is a no-frills bracelet that offers great comfort and durability.
The MM Reduced STO Special Edition Glacier Dial Ref. SBDC167 is part of a brilliant 2022 STO series from Seiko. The textured blue dial is a joy to look at, setting the watch apart from other dive watches that could get a tad boring after a while. Also, purchasing this timepiece contributes to the endeavors of scientists trying to preserve the oceans for generations to come. This way, you’ll be doing something good for our planet while simultaneously getting a hell of a watch - what’s not to love?