Rediscovering a Legend: The Seiko 62MAS
The world of watches is a vast cosmos filled with dazzling stars, each with its unique luminosity. Among these, the Seiko 62MAS has shone consistently bright, cementing its legacy as one of Seiko’s greatest creations. It's more than just a timekeeping device; it's a testament to Seiko's commitment to perfection and innovation. So, let's set our clocks back and rewind the history of this iconic timepiece, exploring its nuanced features and why it has won the heart of horologists worldwide.
A Diving Into History
Rewind to 1965, a momentous year in Seiko's history. The company decided to delve into the uncharted waters of professional diving watches with the launch of the 62MAS. Officially named the Seiko 150m Diver, the model's reference number 6217-8000/1 started the acronym "62MAS," meaning "autoMAtic Selfdater." 62MAS is a lot less clunky to say than 6217-8000/1 Automatic Selfdater, so the moniker stuck.
Source: Fratello Watches
The 62MAS, Seiko's first professional dive watch, marked the start of a long and successful lineage of diving watches. It was engineered as a response to the growing demand for such watches in the 1960s and targeted professional divers who needed reliable water resistance and legibility under the ocean's depths.
Design & Specifications
The Seiko 62MAS embodied a simplistic and functional design that still resonates today. It came with a moderate 37mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 14mm, and a lug-to-lug measurement of 46mm. This size ensured that the watch had enough presence on the wrist without being overbearing, a feature much appreciated by divers and watch enthusiasts alike.
The watch initially featured a non-rotating, simple black dial with large lume-filled hour markers and hands. This ensured maximum legibility under water. The dial layout was straightforward, with a date window at 3 o'clock, contributing to the watch's overall symmetry. It was designed to be a simple, no-nonsense professional dive watch, and the 62MAS is a beautiful example of form following function.
A crucial aspect of the 62MAS was its water resistance. With a 150m depth rating, the 62MAS was a substantial tool for professional divers. The screw-down case back and crown provided the necessary protection against water ingress. It should be noted that in the 1960s, a 150m water resistance rating was considered quite an achievement, further underscoring Seiko's commitment to pushing the boundaries of what was possible.
The Legacy of the 62MAS, and Modern Reinterpretations
The 62MAS was more than just a watch; it was a pioneering attempt that blazed the trail for Seiko's dive watches. After the 62MAS, Seiko went on to create the revered 6105, 6306/9, 7002, and the modern SKX series that we all know and love, all owing a debt to the original 62MAS.
One of the most distinctive legacies of the 62MAS is its profound impact on Seiko's design language for dive watches. The functional simplicity, robustness, and reliability exhibited by the 62MAS became the blueprint for Seiko's future dive watches, leading to the creation of some of the most respected and well-loved pieces in the horological world.
Source: Time and Tide Watches
Over the years, Seiko has also released various reissues and reinterpretations of the 62MAS, such as the SLA017 and the more accessible SPB051/53, keeping the spirit of the original alive in the modern era. Most recently, Seiko launched the SJE093 in a limited run of 1,965, an obvious nod to the birth year of its iconic ancestor. The design remains very similar to the original - with only some technological advances if you peek under the hood. It's slimmer which lends itself to more modern proportions, thanks to the new slimmer 6L37 caliber. Its water resistance has also been updated to 200m.
By and large, Seiko has decided to keep the SJE093 very similar to the original 62MAS from all those years ago. Which is a great thing, in our opinion! The price, however, is a little more "modern" - as a limited edition piece, naturally one would expect it to cost a pretty penny. It's going to be retailing at USD$3500 at select Seiko retail locations.
Looking to Build Your Own Interpretation of the 62MAS?
Here at namokiMODS, you already know we love Seiko dive watches. It's what our brand was built upon. The 62MAS is one of our favorites in the Seiko dive watch lineup, and we have some components that can help you build your own personal interpretation of the 62MAS.
Our NMK927 38MM 62MAS case has very similar dimensions and proportions to Seiko's new SJE093, and would be a great alternative if you're looking for something that's slightly more affordable and customisable. At 38mm, it's quite a friendly size for those with smaller wrists, or those who prefer more classic proportions. It's also compatible with a whole range of SKX013 watch modding parts, so customisation options are pretty much limitless.
If you're looking for something a little larger, the NMK911 62MAS SKX007/SRPD Watch Case sits pretty at 41mm. If you prefer something that carries itself with a little more heft and wrist presence, this watch case is definitely worth considering. The NMK911 is also compatible with many of our SKX007/SRPD parts.
Don't want to build your own watch? That's fine. Our NMK06 watch is ready to wear out of the box, and is a good choice for those who are slightly more DIY-averse.
The 62MAS is a MUST HAVE for Seiko Fans
The Seiko 62MAS is a milestone in Seiko's history and a testament to its prowess in watchmaking. This classic dive watch combines aesthetics, durability, and functionality in a way that has continued to captivate watch enthusiasts for decades. If you're a fan of Seiko watches - how do you not already have a 62MAS (or a version of it) in your collection?!
It stands testament to Seiko's ingenuity and dedication to excellence, and a we truly believe that it's a classic piece that every watch lover should experience. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned collector or just developing an appreciation for timepieces, the 62MAS is a significant chapter in watch history that deserves acknowledgement.