When stock photos of the SBDC-series divers first appeared on the Internet in early 2007, it created huge ripples in the watch forum communities. It caused widespread excitement and speculation among the Seiko diver watch fans. This was the watch that Seiko enthusiasts had been eagerly anticipating for a very long time. It wasn’t just the fact that these were entirely new models, they were also the first Seiko divers based on the relatively new manual winding and hacking 6R15 automatic caliber.
This nice looking watch actually fulfilled two of my personal watch collecting criteria. Firstly, I was looking for a military look Seiko and secondly, I decided to have a representative from the 7T62 alarm chronograph family. I was aware of the various military-styled Seiko 5 watches available, such as the SNK427K model and its cousins but they were non-chronograph watches.
It took some mulling about for several months before I decided to buy the SNA141P. This model wasn’t found at the local watch stores in Kuala Lumpur so I had to resort to buying from Pokemonyu on eBay. I knew that Seiko is notorious for discontinuing models that they feel are not their best-sellers (whether you really like the watch or not) so I made up my mind to get one before the SNA141P was pulled off the market.
It’s a diver’s watch. It’s big. It’s blue. It’s very affordable.
It’s a very interesting offering from Alba, Seiko’s sub-company specializing in lower end quartz and automatic timepieces at down-to-earth prices.
What is it? It’s the Alba AL-4005X and when I first saw it at my watchmaker’s store back in 2005, I was intrigued by Alba’s surprising foray into dive watches based on Seiko’s highly successful entry level, 7s26 caliber.
A couple of years ago, someone proudly posted his proud acquisition on SCWF – a strange looking 7s26-0020 diver’s watch that none of the forum members had ever seen. Nobody was able to identify the odd model from Seiko and a few suggested that it may be a fake Seiko watch.
I scrutinized the photos carefully and couldn’t put my finger on it. Appearance-wise, it looked like the garden variety SKX173 model for North America – except that there were differences enough to suggest that it wasn’t a SKX173 at all. The second hand was indisputably borrowed from the SKX007K model as the lumed dot (or some call it “meatball") was on the opposite end of the hand. It was as though this model was a “Franken Seiko", i.e. cobbled out of parts from different Seiko models.
Forum members nevertheless congratulated the owner for his strange find. This watch was never seen again on the forum nor was it discussed after that. It was largely forgotten. Until recently. 🙂
The Sky Professional is a sub-range of the Seiko Prospex line of watches that are meant for the Japan Domestic Market (JDM). As the name suggests, the Sky Pro was designed with aviators and pilots in mind. Apart from having a world time capability, alarm and 100-hour chronograph, they are also equipped with a rotating analog E6B flight computer or slide rule.
The SBDX005 was the last 600m automatic dive watch that Seiko produced. Limited to just 1,000 pieces it represents a tribute to the classic 6159-7010 shrouded diver that was made between 1975 and 1978. Some say that its sheer rarity puts its desirability well above above its predecessor, the 6159-7010.
Released in in the year 2000, this watch is part of Seiko’s Prospex line of professional diver’s watches and is marketed as the Historical Collection The Year 2000 with only 1,000 pieces to be shared amongst serious diver’s watch collectors worldwide. Before getting to know the SBDX005, it would be beneficial to understand its ancestry so that we can appreciate this phenomenal industrial grade diver’s watch.