Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Quick Look: Seiko Prospex Shogun SPB189J1

If I were to choose a click-baity kind of title this would have been something like, “You would be shocked at the price of this Seiko!” but this is not that kind of a website, and as much as I would like to just poke fun and use that title, I won’t.

I came across images of this new release and I was intrigued. It looked fantastic! As a fan and owner of numerous Seiko pieces I thought this was another piece I wouldn’t hesitate to add to the collection. It hits all the marks for me… until I saw the price.

Seiko Prospex SPB189J1

Now it is true and for those who known me well, knows that I am a sucker for nostalgia and I do tend to dwell in the past more than I do in the present… Yes I’m one of those that talks about the good ol’ days (well that goes for all you Rolex-heads as well. You know who you are.) When I first began in retail in the industry, almost 2 decades ago, an Omega Seamaster Professional 300m automatic (better known as the Bond watch) went for RRP of $3100 Aussie dollarbucks. The most expensive Seiko we had in the store was a $750 Seiko kinetic perpetual of sorts (not the funky one with the 4 separate dials.) That watch sat because the vast majority of the Seikos sold in the store was around $150-$200.

My Seiko Prospex Shogun Zimbe Limited Edtion.

How times have changed.   

What’s the point? I’m getting to it. 

The watch in question is the updated Seiko Shogun (Reference SPB189J1 – remember Seiko doesn’t deal in nicknames. The enthusiasts christen watches with names but… officially…) This seems like the same case and bracelet as the previous generations, with an updated movement and longer power reserve, new dial and hands. Oh, and a big fuss made about the matched date disc colour.

I really like the look. I think the refined hands matches the new triangular indices, and the case is nicely designed and produced. It has gone from a Rolex-esque styling to having an identity of its own. A definitely improvement but I can’t help feel that it might be a little too similar to its sibling now - the “Samurai”. The bracelet still looks and feels like it belongs more on a $100 watch than something with 4 figures, but I guess you are paying for the titanium, the hard coating and the finishing on the case. Judging from the images it certainly won’t look out of place next to a Seamaster or a Tudor. Now if only they would put a bit more effort into the bracelet…

Long gone are the days when the Shogun could be had for around $1000 (before the re-branding to become part of the Prospex line) and even then, one could be had for around $1500, but at that price point it really was only for the Seiko enthusiasts and not the general public. However, credit where it’s due – Seiko has done wonders moving the brand image up the price point. And whether or not you feel it is justified, it’s where they are now positioning the brand.

Seiko SBDC007 - the OG Shogun, with the cursive "Automatic" text and SCUBA at 6:00

Head over to Fratello Watches for some really fantastic pics of the watch. Unless of course, Seiko Australia, you're willing to send me one for some more lifestyle photoshoots? 

Seiko Prospex SPB189J1
RRP: 1550 Euro (Approx $2500 AUD)
Case: Titanium 42mm diameter, 13.3mm height, titanium bracelet
Movement: 6R35, 70 hours power reserve
Water Resistance 200m

No comments: