Doubling Down: Seiko’s Stunning Matched Dial And Cufflink Prospex “Seigaiha” Editions
Elegant matching cufflinks for a tough-but-beautiful dive watch? Seiko knows that after you surface and stow your tanks, you still want to look good.
Historically and traditionally, men have suffered from a relative lack of adornment options compared to women. Pocket square popularity may come and go, along with other fashionable flourishes for men, but wristwatches and cufflinks – those have stood the test of time. And if they can play nice together, you have a potent one-two sartorial punch that will never go out of style.
Seiko’s choice to pair co-designed cufflinks with two special versions of its masterfully functional Prospex diver wristwatch, exclusively for the U.S. market, may at first seem like a disconnect. But, in fact, the pairings extend the definition of the watches themselves and go a long way to proving that what is profoundly rugged can also be undeniably handsome.
The Great Wave
If you’ve ever driven a Lexus or sipped Yamazaki Whisky, you know that Japanese industry has an uncanny flair for deconstructing traditionally Western luxury products and adding some of its own cultural filters and dedication to craftsmanship into the reconstruction process. The Seiko Prospex “Seigaiha” is no exception to this modus operandi.
Meaning “blue ocean wave,” the seigaiha pattern chosen by the Seiko designers, with its layered concentric circles representing surges of good fortune, became prominent in Japanese art during the 6th century and quickly found its way to fabrics, ceramics, and lacquer work.
In any case, the design obviously pre-dates both the introduction of the wristwatch and the cufflink by many centuries. But one look at how well the age-old pattern deftly works in the shared circular presentation, in vivid blue or deep burgundy, and you’ll become a believer.
The Deep Blue Sea of Style
Let me start by saying that if you never thought you’d be tempted to wear a rubber-strapped dive watch with a French-cuffed shirt, prepare to be wrong.
The specs and heft of the 44.3mm Seiko SLA053 Prospex “Seigaiha” Limited Edition are perfectly in keeping with the legacy of the diver-popular line.
Beyond the automatic Caliber 8L35 movement with manual wind capability and enhanced torque for deeper diving accuracy, it has a 50-hour power reserve, lumed rotating black ceramic bezel and hands, date indicator at 3 o’clock, screw-down crown. Plus, it has a monobloc stainless steel case (nicknamed the “turtle” case as opposed to the Prospex’s other more circular “tuna” case executions), ISO-approved saturation diving rating, and water resistance to 1,000 feet...you know the drill.
The impact of the fine seigaiha pattern on the dial, however, is especially profound in blue. An apt result, considering the design was originally inspired by ocean waves. In this case, the paired cufflinks pick up the pattern and hue, and the utilitarian-seeming black silicone strap is not only dressed up but also presents a tasteful and neutral separation between the two shows of color popping on your wrist.
Code Red, Knock’em Dead
The Seiko SLA059 Prospex “Seigaiha” U.S. Special Edition carries the identical performance capabilities of its blue-face sister timepiece. But the shimmering hard-coated stainless steel bracelet adds a dose of oomph to the seigaiha pattern and tone, this time in a deep crimson (an additional black silicone strap is also included).
Like the SLA053, the SLA059 is crafted at Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio in the north of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Here, a team of 60 highly trained master craftsmen marries the technical prowess of the Prospexes’ movements to the time-honored style of the seigaiha dials. Moreover, the gleaming stainless steel link bracelet injects a dose of bolder eye-appeal to the watch/cufflink combo and works in concert with the more daring choice of the red hue, which shows off the circular waves of the ancient pattern perfectly.
Overall, the visual influence of the seigaiha design tends to read a bit more understated on the watches than on the cufflinks, despite which color you choose. But, in each case, the relationship between the two accessories is unmistakable, without veering into an overly “match-y, match-y” statement in any way. The double wrist action combo of the dial and the cufflinks essentially turns both these dive watches into “double agents,” equally at home in the ocean depths and among the perhaps even more challenging rigors of your evening social calendar.
Pricing & Availability
The SLA053 and SLA059 are presented in a special collector’s box that includes the color-matched cufflinks and the additional black silicone strap for the SLA059.
The blue-themed SLA053 is limited to 500 editions and is available now at U.S.-only Seiko stores and retailers for $3,200.
The red-themed SLA059 will also only be produced as a special edition for the U.S. market; however, an exact number was unavailable at press time. The SLA059 will become available in U.S. stores and retailers in November for $3,300.