Watches | January 11, 2023 10:27 am

Stuff We Swear By: A Seiko Prospex Watch That Just Won’t Quit

There may not be a better value proposition when it comes to a timepiece

A Seiko Watch on an abstract blue water color background
Getty Images / InsideHook

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This is Stuff We Swear By, a series in which our editors and writers expound on an item they use (and love) on a daily (or near-daily) basis.

In late 2018, I decided I was going to “invest” in my first watch. I was looking for something with a price tag around $350, and I searched far and wide. I had read some reviews about the renewed quality of Japanese brand Seiko, and I eventually opted for the SRPB53 of the Prospex series — a 44mm dive watch in a classic red/blue “Pepsi” dial. It is an automatic watch, meaning it requires motion to be wound, either through regular wear or through a watch winder. 

How I use it: Let’s be real – I am not a diver, nor do I have plans to be. Like many others, I simply enjoy the utilitarian look of a dive watch. Popularized by much more expensive watch brands, the “Pepsi” dial remains timeless and classic. I wear this watch to lunch, I wear it to business meetings, I wear it to dinner, I wear it to weddings. It’s just so easy to match to a variety of outfits, and its smooth winding mechanism means it’s easy to adjust to whatever time zone I’m in. It also has luminous hands, which glow in the dark making it much easier to read in most low-light situations. 

Why I swear by it: I have literally taken this thing around the world. Yes, it’s a little large at 44mm, but its bold dial is easy to read, and it keeps excellent time. I have bumped this against walls more times than I can count, and it still barely has a scratch. The included silicone band feels and looks better than a plastic or pleather band, and I’ve never felt the need to upgrade it or keep a second band around for more formal events. It also doesn’t have a ton of extra functionality, like a GMT or chronograph, and that’s exactly why I like it. I get the time and the date and that’s it. The face is simple enough that I can take a quick glance, get the essential info I need and move on with my day.

I have several other watches in my rotation, including some in the same price and quality range as my Seiko, but none maintain the emotional appeal and connection that this Prospex does. This specific watch is an older style that Seiko is phasing out, but a variety of Prospex models with similar specs in different colors and styles are also available below.