Seiko Diver

Seiko decided to enter into the dive watch market in the early 1960′s. The main reason for this was that creating a diver watch was considered an excellent test for Seiko engineers, diver watches having to fulfil very strict requirements of water resistance to great depths, shockproof and powerful luminescence for underwater readability.The SEIKO Diver series provides great functions for outdoor sports like fishing, camping, hiking and scuba diving. Development of the Seiko Professional Diver's Watch In 1968, following the release of the 300m automatic Hi-Beat movement diver's watch, Seiko engineers received a letter from a professional saturation (SAT) diver from Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. This diver worked at depths of 350m using SAT diving techniques. In his letter, he complained that the crystals on Seiko diver's watches often broke upon ascent because they filled with helium gas used in SAT diving. He also complained that Seiko diver's watches were not shockproof, and often failed if hit hard against rocks underwater. He concluded his letter by saying these watches were totally unacceptable for professional divers. Seiko management, stunned and taking this letter very seriously, quickly assigned a team to create a whole new Seiko design, one that would be created specifically for the professional diver. And times were changing. When Seiko introduced its first dive watch in 1965, the market for these watches was relatively small. But during the late 1960's thru mid-70's, the popularity of outdoor sports such as fishing, camping, hiking, not to mention scuba diving, greatly increased the market for diver's watches. Despite this fact, Seiko didn't release a new model for seven long years, from 1968 to 1975. Instead, it's Seiko Sports division concentrated on developing the Professional Diver series. The Professional 600m Watch In 1975, Seiko unveiled the Seiko Professional 600m diver's watch (6159-022). At 89,000 yen it wasn't cheap, but it took seven years to develop and contained many firsts, which are considered standard features of many dive watches today. It was the first diver's watch that had a titanium case, and also the first with a rubber strap with three ribbed vents on each side. The reasoning behind making the case of titanium was that the space-age metal is extremely lightweight, and highly corrosion resistant. As for the strap, at high pressure (great depths) wet suits tend to shrink, so a ribbed strap can be worn tightly to compensate for this fact and put less pressure on the pins that hold the band to the watchcase. In addition, the watch was anti-magnetic, highly shockproof, and highly luminous. And, Seiko engineers had again doubled the depth at which a Seiko could be used, this time from 300m to 600m. However, the biggest breakthrough the design team made was perhaps the development of the case itself. Using 'buchiru' rubber packing and a special waterproof structure, Seiko created a watchcase which helium gas could not penetrate during SAT diving. This eliminated the need for a helium relief value, which some Swiss watch companies had developed in order to vent helium gases that entered their watches during SAT dives.

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