Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1 Review – Expert opinion

If you are looking for a thorough review of Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1 then in this article you shall find everything in detail about this beautiful automatic diving watch from Seiko.

If you want to raise a bit of quality compared to Seiko’s diving watches between 200 and 500 dollars, you’ll have to go to their Prospex SPB watches, such as this Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1, the reincarnation of a classic, from Seiko’s first diver from 1965.

You are going to get a better finish, better details, and a scandalous caliber with Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1.

Has Seiko managed to justify the price increase against its other most popular divers? The truth is that it looks like it does. They have finally made it so that spending more than 1000 dollars on a diver from the Japanese brand does not hurt your pocket.

It is undoubtedly one of the best presentations of the year 2020 by Seiko and even in 2022, it’s going strong after two years of release. 

This automatic watch is available in several versions (SPB14X) with different dial colors (143, 145, 147, 149). We have tested the model with a gray dial, the one that most respects the original. Let’s see how it behaves in the review.

Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1: features and design

Seiko Prospex 1965 62MAS Reissue Diver's Recreation Grey Dial Sapphire Automatic Watch SPB143J1

Seiko

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  • Automatic with manual loading capability
  • Accuracy from +25 to -15 seconds per day
  • caliber 6R35
  • Case with stainless steel (super hard coating)
  • Curved Sapphire crystal and anti-reflective coating on the inner surface
  • Lumibrite on hands, indices, and bezel
  • Tri-fold closure with secure lock, button release with extender
  • 200m diver’s water resistance
  • Thickness: 13.2mm
  • Diameter: 40.5mm
  • 20mm strap
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • Screw down crown
  • 180 grams of weight

The SPB143 is the standard model of the series, the one that most respects the original version. But if you want variety, you’ll get it: SPB145 (with a brown/green dial), SPB147 (brown dial with gold accents), or SPB149, which is a limited edition of 5,500 units and has a blue dial with gold accents.

The first thing that will catch your attention about this diver is that its case is only 40.5mm, a relatively small size that will fit very well on almost all wrists. Welcome to watches with a “small” face.

And then you realize that you have gone up a notch in terms of finishing the watch: sapphire crystal (a bit curved and protrudes from the case a bit), a stainless steel bezel with a lot of detail, well aligned with the minutes on the dial (something that is appreciated compared to other models) and that can be rotated perfectly (120 clicks), a solid back and a case treated with Seiko’s special “Dia-Shield” procedure to harden it. To all this, you add a high-quality bracelet and a good weight to feel a powerful watch on your wrist.

  • The gray dial stands out, especially in sunlight, the indices are large and highly visible, as are the hands. The blank date window is too.
  • The 120-click unidirectional bezel is made of brushed steel and coated with a scratch-resistant coating. Nothing ceramic in this case. The 12 o’clock triangle looks perfect.

The polish on the stainless steel is quite striking and the whole thing has a tremendous premium look thanks to the special hardening that Seiko has applied. She may get scratches, but so far we haven’t noticed anything.

And the back has a nice relief of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, possibly one of the icons of Japanese culture.

Caliber? It has the 6R35 movement. The 6R35 caliber is an update to the 6R15. It’s still running at 21,600 BPH and has the manual winding capability, but there’s a jewel increase to 24 and a 70-hour power reserve from 50 hours on previous versions. It has a secondhand stop.

Its precision oscillates between -15 and +25 seconds… it depends on the watch that touches you… but it is a fairly reliable diving watch.

light? Spectacular. Applied to the hands, indices, and bezel. Perfect. One of the best we have seen in a Seiko. It lasts pretty well all night.

Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1: Bracelet and how it fits on the wrist

The steel bracelet perfectly matches the steel case and is highly polished. The quality is very good, but we probably want to put a silicone bracelet on the watch to make the whole thing more comfortable when wearing the watch underwater.

For day-to-day use, the steel bracelet and steel case set look great… but it’s a bit heavy.

Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143J1 – Review and opinion of this automatic diving watch

The sphere of this watch in gray stands out especially with the sun’s rays, giving it a tremendous change in tone and offering quite striking reflections. The sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective treatment on the inside, so the time is perfectly legible in any situation.

The links can be removed quite easily with the right tools and it has micro-adjustments. You know. Buy it with the bracelet and then buy a cheaper strap.

All kinds of straps will look great on this watch. You just have to choose the best one for each situation: leather, Milanese, silicone, rubber…

The gray color of the sphere is timeless. The metallic shine of the box is like a spaceship.

  • The SPB143 looks good in all kinds of situations, with all kinds of clothes… on almost all wrists. Mine is 18cm.

Operation of the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143

This model is an automatic mechanical watch with a manual winding mechanism (the spring will not be broken by turning the crown further). So it works by winding it yourself or with the movement of your wrist. It has a charge reserve of up to 70 hours, so it’s not bad at all.

You can take it off for a couple of days without losing the time setting.

Do not adjust the date between 9:00 pm and 1:00 am If the hour hand is in that range when you adjust the date, you may load the mechanism.

To set the time you have to pull the crown out to the second click when the second hand is at the 12 o’clock position. You then turn the crown to advance the hands until the date changes to the next. The time is already set for the am period. You then advance the hands to set the correct time. The date is set at the first click of the crown.

Can magnetism affect this watch? Yes, like all mechanical watches. We recommend keeping it at least 5 cm away from any source of magnetism. You will notice it because your watch works quickly and will not correctly tell the time.

Can you put it in the water? Of course. You just have to be careful to screw the crown down well. It is a diver 200M. The bracelet has an extension. You may like it or not, but it is practical if you practice diving.

Conclusion: Is the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143 worth buying?

Surprised by this watch? Its price is above 1200 dollars. You can find it in a range of 1200 and 1500 dollars. But it is a piece that you will want to keep in your box. And given its good qualities, in the end, it does not seem so expensive. The price is fair.

It is a perfect watch for all kinds of situations, for any wrist. It’s stylish, it’s well made, and it’s reliable. Everything works as it should with this Beautiful design.

Might you want a cheaper Seiko diver? It may be, like the Seiko Prospex SRPE39K1 KING TURTLE or the classic Seiko Prospex SPB151 “Captain Willard”  in the same price range catches your eye, but rest assured that you will fall in love with this model.

In favor:

  • Premium manufacturing quality
  • Very comfortable and elegant: perfect for daily use
  • Excellent dial
  • Perfect for small wrists
  • Classic and retro design: perfect for everyday wear
  • Good power reserve for up to 70 hours
  • Excellent readability
  • Diving extension on the bracelet

Against:

  • The price may be high, but it’s worth it.

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