Dime, a Japanese Fashion Magazine, recently commissioned Seiko to make a special edition 300M diver. The controversial result is pictured above. While some collectors are appalled that someone dared to dress up such an iconic sports watch, others appreciate the whimsical changes imparted upon this classic Seiko design.
The marketing blurb for this watch explains that this piece was created to allow the wearer to transition from their high paying coporate position in the big city to a dive on a reef; all while wearing the same watch. I’m not sure if anyone who bought this watch will fall into either category, but I guess I can understand the intent.
For me, this is a fun spin on a great watch. In addition to the rose gold plating on the case, the other major change is the thatched checkerboard dial. I’m a sucker for cool dials and this one scratches my itch.
The gold case doesn’t bother me. Seiko has been highlighting divers with gold accents since the 1960’s. We’ve seen it on numerous classic Seikos; primarily in marker, hand and bezel designs. This also isn’t the first time I’ve read about people heavily criticizing a gold Seiko diver. Ten years ago, I remember many watch collectors criticizing the use of a gold case in the SSBS018 as ridiculous.
Seiko has also used gold in dive gauges too. In 1990 Seiko released a ion gold plated version of their M725 dive computer and in 1995 they released the SBCP001 which is a dressed up version of the SLD005 analog depth gauge.
Although the shiny shroud certainly dominates your vision, there are actually multiple shades of gold and brown occurring throughout the watch. The case under the shroud is a darker more subdued color while the bezel itself starts to cross over into a metallic brown color.
I find the milk chocolate colored Seiko diver band to be outrageous. This could quite possibly be the rarest Seiko dive band ever produced. The buckle and keeper are a burnished bronze color.
The watch was reportedly made in an edition of 50. However, the serial number on the case back seems to contradict this claim. I have not been able to confirm what the correct number is. I bought mine on the secondhand market on a Yahoo! Japan auction. The watch was delivered in a fairly standard Prospex like Seiko box without any other specialized packaging.
No question that there is a significant amount of shine to this watch. The designers certainly went all out in trying to convey a sense of elegance to what is otherwise a brutish design.
I suppose that if they really wanted to go all out, they could have inset the markers into little red gold surrounds, but I’m sure that would have raised the price of an already expensive watch considerably. The red seconds hand is the only difference made to the Dime MD edition handset.
The watch certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who can appreciate the juxtaposition of design and philosophy elements that went into this watch, it is worth searching for.