Seiko announced a special ice dive watch last week, engineered for those who explore the planet’s coldest places — such as the North Pole and Mt. Everest.

The Special Edition Prospex “Ice Diver” comes in a 45 mm diameter stainless steel case (often referred to as the Seiko “Sumo” style), with a screw-down crown at 4 o’clock, screw-in caseback, and a unique stamped honeycomb dial, available in three colors.

“Built from the start for superior operation in the most hostile environments, Seiko diver’s watches were an immediate favorite for high-intensity exploration, becoming essential equipment for the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) within a year of their 1965 introduction. As an active supporter of JARE, Seiko donated diver’s watches for four of the group’s winter research projects during the 1960s — and it was in these frigid waters that these remarkable timepieces became legendary for reliability in extreme conditions.

Seiko Prospex Ice Diver
(Ref. SBP175 – gray, SPB177 – green,  SPB179 -ice blue)

Unsurprisingly, Seiko’s diver’s watches were soon adopted as the watch of choice for generations of polar explorers and mountaineers, such as Naomi Uemura, the first person to complete a solo dog-sled run to the North Pole, and Yuichiro Miura, the oldest man to scale Mt. Everest.”

Each Prospex Ice Divers feature a thick sapphire crystal, uni-directional dive bezel with anodized aluminum bezel insert matching the dial theme, and a “Special Edition” caseback. Water-resistance is rated to 200 meters and a steel bracelet with tri-fold push-button release, secure lock, and extension is standard.

Seiko’s 3Hz automatic caliber 6R35 with 24 jewels, stop seconds, manual winding, and provides power to the hands and date for up to 70-hours when the mainspring is fully wound.

Seiko Prospex Ice Diver packaging
2020 Seiko Prospex Ice Diver packaging

Seiko says that each dial color tone was inspired by the colors that are cast from natural light reflecting off glacial ice, although it’s unclear if the ISO6425 compliant dive watches have any additional technical design elements that enhance usage in freezing conditions.

The U.S. Special Edition is exclusively available in the U.S. market — at Seiko Luxe retailers — for a retail price of $900. Comes with a special edition presentation box, including a Prospex Mini Maglite flashlight.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, product photography, and digital marketing.