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Seiko 62MAS - The 5 Best Affordable Alternative Dive Watches

Posted on April 29 2021

Seiko 62MAS Affordable Alternatives

Where is the best place to start a story?

At the end? Halfway through?

Of course not. You go to the beginning.

And like all great stories, the tale of Seiko dive watches has a beginning.

It begins in 1965 with the release of their first dive watch, the 62MAS. This is where Seiko dive watch enthusiasts start. With the father of all Seiko dive watches.

It's an iconic watch that represents the optimism and fashions of the time. And like any great ancestor, its style and influence can be seen today.

It's a pricey watch - and so are Seiko's modern recreations. So I want to show you the best affordable alternatives.

But first, a little about this influential timepiece.

What is the Seiko 62MAS Divers Watch?


The Seiko 62MAS represents the birth of the Seiko dive watch. It's the Japanese manufacturers equivalent of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or Zodiac's Seawolf.

It's a distinctive and functional piece that has the appearance of a classic Skin Diver's watch. That means a slim case, with prominent lugs and a simple black bezel.

First released in the mid-1960s, this watch went on to influence most future Seiko divers.

The original was a straightforward automatic watch with 150M of water resistance. A significant improvement on the 50M of previous Seiko watches.

The name 62MAS comes from the watches features - an autoMAtic Selfdater.

At the time of the watches release, manufacturers were breaking new dive records. Diver's were going ever deeper - for both work and recreation.

But watch companies spotted a gap and began to release lighter, slimmer dive watches. These were aimed more at fans of the dive watch aesthetic who wouldn't need the features of a professional dive watch.

It was at this point that Seiko built their debut dive watch.

If you're familiar with Skin Diver watches you'll recognise that DNA in the Seiko. The case is like the generic ones built for watch brands by Squale. It's angular, with pronounced lugs and is complemented by a simple rotating bezel.

The dial is also familiar - having rectangular markers and straight hands. Despite the common features, it's a beautiful design that encapsulates the dive watch chic of the time.



It's proven so popular that Seiko has recreated the design more than once. However, most of their modern interpretations are relatively expensive.

Of course, it's only fair that I start my list of alternatives with a Seiko. So let's see their modern release. Then we'll explore the world of affordable watches influenced by this Japanese icon.

Seiko SPB051 62MAS Watch

Seiko has already recreated the 62MAS, with the Limited Edition SLA017. A quick eBay search brings up used examples for nearly £4k. It's not an affordable watch.

This newer release isn't a 62MAS homage. Instead, it's a modern interpretation of the classic Seiko, with updated specs and styling.

It's the closest budget watch that you're going to get from the brand. And as a part of the Prospex line, it's a well-made professional diver. So you can be confident that it's a very functional dive watch.

And the style? It's the least like the 62MAS on the list. Some elements are there, but if the 62MAS is the father of Seiko dive watches, this kid could have been adopted.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great watch. It's just not the faithful recreation that the SLA017 is.

I'd start here if you're a big Seiko fan and specifically want a watch inspired by the 62MAS rather than a tribute.

Seiko SPB051

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 13.8mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 


Citizen Brycen Skin Diver Watch

The Citizen Brycen is also a modern interpretation of the 62MAS. It takes the same template - a retro dive watch - and adds cutting edge watchmaking technology.

It has the distinctive Skin Diver style. This includes an angular case, clear markers and a functional bezel. But Citizen has added a modern eco-drive movement.

This watch is charged by light, and it doesn't have to be sunlight. That's very practical and eco-friendly. This watch doesn't need replacement batteries throughout its life.

So if ethical watchmaking is important to you, then Citizen's Eco-drive watches are a great starting point. And the resemblance to the Seiko is obvious.

It's a stunning fusion of classic styling and innovative Japanese technology.

It's also more affordable than the SPB051.

Citizen Brycen AW1590-55E

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 12mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Eco-Drive movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance


Armida A12 Seiko 62MAS Homage Watch

Hong Kong-based Armida has created an authentic 62MAS homage, with a Seiko automatic movement.

It's all here. The grey sunburst dial, the large crown and the bold rectangle markers.

It's not the cheapest watch on the list, but it's still very accessible. Particularly, given the specs. They're impressive and include substantial water resistance and a vintage-inspired domed sapphire crystal.

At 38mm the A12 is comfortably sized, more in keeping with vintage sizing than modern dive monsters.

The bracelet is chunky, but the watch itself is mid-sized.

If you want authenticity, this is the watch for you.

Armida A12

  • 38mm Diameter
  • 13.8mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance


San Martin 62MAS Homage Watch

San Martin is a Chinese brand that specialises in producing homage watches. They've gained quite a reputation for their bronze watches, and they do a 62MAS homage in bronze.

I prefer this stainless steel model that is faithful to the original.

Like the Armida, this watch aims to recreate the Seiko. And again, it uses a Seiko automatic movement.

At 40mm it's a little larger than the original Seiko and the Armida. But, depending on your wrist size this could be a bonus.

It's an inexpensive watch and comes in at around £200. That's good value for money, considering it's a legitimate dive watch and has a dependable Japanese movement.

San Martin SN007-G V3

  • 40mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Steeldive SD1962 62MAS homage watch

There is little to differentiate Steeldive from San Martin. They're similar Chinese brands producing similar homage watches.

But the 62MAS from Steeldive does offer some variation. Not in styling, but in size.

The SD1962 has a 42mm wide case. That's quite a jump from Seiko's 37mm and a movement away from the ethos of a Skin Diver watch. Remember, the original concept was to offer an alternative to bulky professional divers.

The Steeldive is also over 15mm thick. Compare that to the Citizen at 12mm.

Again, this nod to modernity could be exactly what you're after. I get that - vintage styling, updated for current tastes.

If that's you, then this could be the best of the bunch. It's inexpensive and once again has pretty good specs.

Steeldive SD1962

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 15.6mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance

 


Conclusion


The 62MAS was Seiko's first dive watch.

That's significant, given the cult-like following that many of their divers now have. For collectors, that 1960s Skin Diver watch is the holy grail.

It's where the story begins.

Of course, over the years, Seiko has delivered what 62MAS fans want - modern reissues. Unfortunately, they've not been very affordable.

The best of these, the SLA017, is more expensive than many Swiss luxury watches.

The market doesn't like a vacuum and other brands have released their own tributes to this wonderful watch.

I've shown you the best five. From Seiko's most affordable offering to a Citizen priced at a little over £100. There is something on this list for each of you.

Are there any better 62MAS influenced watches? If so, let me know in the comments.


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