A VERY specific wish for a watch had been fulfilled with the release of a new line of Seiko’s Prospex diver’s watches. We’re talking about a limited Philippine edition.
The watch was launched early this month via Facebook Live, in an event hosted by athlete and host Marc Nelson. It was launched alongside a 55th anniversary edition (the first Seiko diver’s watch was released in 1965).
The Philippine-edition Prospex watch was codenamed SRPF33K1 and limited to only 1,000 pieces. It has a 42.4mm stainless steel case, with Seiko’s caliber 4R36 automatic movement with manual winding capacity. The power reserve is approximately 41 hours and it is water resistant up to 200 meters. It comes with a Day/Date display, stop second hand function, glowing Lumibrite on the hands and indexes; all sitting atop a blue IP dial and yellow gradation dial. It comes with a two-tone stainless steel band with an extra silicone blue band that will be placed inside a special box engraved with limited edition numbers and the words “Philippine Limited Edition).”
As a diver’s watch, of course it would have a touch of marine influence, but as Yoshikatsu Kawada, Director and Senior Vice-President for Seiko Japan, noted, “Seiko Corp. recognizes the Philippines as one of the best diving destinations in the world. It is for this reason that we have created the first Philippine Prospex Limited Edition, inspired by the Philippines’ beautiful treasure, Tubbataha Reef.” The coral reef has indeed been rated many times by magazines as one of the world’s best, and also has the distinction of being considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
As such, Karl Dy, President of Timeplus Corp. (which distributes Seiko watches in the country) pledged that a certain amount from the proceeds from the sales of the limited edition Prospex will go towards protecting the reef. “The design is a collaboration between Seiko Watch Corp. of Japan and Seiko Philippines,” said Mr. Dy.
“Seiko Watch Corp. and Seiko Philippines had met several times to discuss the design of the watch. It took about a month to finalize but it was well worth it,” said Mr. Dy in an e-mail to BusinessWorld, asked about how long it took to plan the watch’s release. “Seiko Philippines was always hoping for a limited edition since other countries already released their own years ago. Seiko Watch Corp. also acknowledges the Philippines as one of its important markets; that is why the idea was quickly implemented and prioritized.
“I think the Philippines is overdue in having its own Philippine limited edition. Seiko Watch Corp. was thinking of the perfect time to launch it and thought that it would do well to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. Obviously, the situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) was unexpected but we are so thankful to the Filipino community for embracing our very first Seiko limited edition,” said Mr. Dy.
Seiko is not averse to fulfilling wishes. Mr. Kawada discussed a letter the company received in 1968, three years after the release of the first Prospex. In it, a diver said that no diver’s watch in the market could withstand a saturated diving system in depths greater than 300m. “Answering the request, Seiko established a new development team,” said Mr. Kawada. Of course, he was very proud to say that in 1975, they managed to go above and beyond the diver’s request, and released a watch that could work in depths of 600m.
“‘Keep moving forward’ is exactly the expression that explains both the will of the people who have been wearing Prospex, and who keep making Prospex watches,” he said.
The Philippine-edition Prospex watch is priced at P29,000 and will only be available at Official Seiko Boutiques and Authorized Dealers. For more details, visit seikowatches.com/ph-en or Seiko Philippines on Facebook and @seikophilippines on Instagram. You may also shop directly at shop.seikoboutique.com.ph. — Joseph L. Garcia