Alan Dang, Author at Exquisite Timepieces - Page 2 of 2


Author: Alan Dang

dr. strange watch

On the surface, esteemed neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange seemed to have it all. He had fabulous wealth, a highly successful career, respect from his peers, and a blooming romance with fellow neurosurgeon Dr. Christine Palmer. 

Little did he know that his life was totally about to change, moving away from the concrete jungle of New York to a mystical world of magic and marvels. Strange eventually becomes something almost supernatural, but the one thing that does ground him to reality is his wristwatch.

About the Dr. Strange Watch

Accompanying Dr. Strange on his psychedelic journey that takes him everywhere from the slums of Nepal to a dimension parallel to our own is his Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual. For Strange, this watch is the only thing he has left to remind himself of his past life after his spectacular fall from grace. 

Strange took immense pride in his work as a neurosurgeon, and this turned him into quite an arrogant person. While driving to a conference, Strange becomes distracted while driving and crashes his Lamborghini Huracán, sending him tumbling down the cliffside. He miraculously survives, but at an enormous cost: the use of his hands.

It is because of his desperation to heal his hands that Strange goes through numerous treatments to no avail. He eventually learns about a treatment that goes beyond medical science and travels far to seek the truth. The Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is not only an amazing part of Strange’s attire but also an enormous significance in the film.

Strange cherishes this watch so much because it is a gift from his love, Christine. Engraved on the watch’s caseback is the sweet quote, “Time will tell how much I love you”. These words comfort Strange when times are difficult, and as a future Sorcerer Supreme and Master of the Mystic Arts, life can only be complicated.  

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar Review

Of course, the most interesting thing about the movie for watch enthusiasts is perhaps the stunning Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar. This watch is prominently featured in scenes throughout the film, and its gorgeous moonphase complication is easily seen from afar. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre is sometimes referred to as “the watchmaker of watchmakers” for a good reason. The brand earns its reputation with classic, timeless designs and a staunch dedication to creating incredible timepieces.

JLC is known for various iconic designs, such as the Reverso and the Master Ultra-Thin. The watch featured in the movie is a pinnacle of watchmaking skill, with a perpetual calendar complication and a gorgeous, starry moonphase at the 12 o’clock position.

True to its name, the mechanics behind the watch are housed in a razor-thin case that is just another display of impressive watchmaking. One of the most attractive features of the watch is the paper-thin case width of just over 9mm.

Achieving this level of thinness is something only the most trained watchmakers can achieve. Much thinking must go into the design before such thinness becomes possible. This is a tough task because every part of the watch must be scrutinized even more than normal.

Unnecessary thickness is shaved off until all that is left is a movement that breathes life into the timepiece. Due to its thinness, the watch will easily fit under any suit jacket or shirt cuff. The Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is 39mm in case diameter, which is suitable for any wrist size.

It is the perfect size for any gentleman fortunate enough to enjoy this horological masterpiece. The dial is truly a showstopper and will immediately draw attention to it. The perpetual calendar elegantly displays everything a person needs, magical superhero or not.

Perpetual calendars are named because they will keep track of various details like month and day of the week extremely accurately as long as the watch is running. They will provide accurate information on the day of the week, date, year, leap year, and phase of the moon.

Perpetual calendars don’t need to be adjusted by a watchmaker until the end of the century due to their complicated mechanics. It takes into account the number of days a month has and even tracks leap years. The watch on Strange’s wrist has a silvery-white dial and sharply cut silver hour markers.

The deep blue, starry moonphase is located at the 12 o’clock position, cut inside of an elegant crescent shape. At the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions are the date and day of the week, respectively. At the bottom of the watch at the 6 o’clock position is the month, and next to it is a small rectangle for the year.

Hidden behind the hands is a small day and night indicator. With just one glance, a wealth of information can be learned. The movement for the Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is JLC’s Calibre 868. This automatic winding movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour, has a power reserve of 38 hours, 46 jewels, is water resistant up to 50 meters, and is carefully assembled out of 336 parts. 

This movement manages to power the perpetual calendar and the watch while being an astonishing 4.72mm in thickness. The beauty of this mechanical movement can be viewed through an open sapphire caseback. Of course, the timepiece in the movie is customized, with Christine’s special message for Strange etched into the caseback.

The strap is inky jet-black leather with careful stitching on the side and large rectangular alligator scales. The lug width is 21mm and is interchangeable for personal customization. Keeping the watch secured to the wrist is a double folding, stainless steel clasp. Both the strap and the clasp can be swapped out quickly due to its quick-release feature.

What Other Dr. Strange Watches Are Out There?

Before Strange’s unfortunate brush with fate, he was seen confidently preparing for his night out. After tidying his bowtie, he opens up his drawer and reveals a breathtaking watch collection. Audiences can only gasp as they view the opulent collection. All of his watches are on winders that will keep their movements functioning.

He has some truly stunning (and expensive) watches that suit his lucrative career as a successful New York neurosurgeon. We only get a glimpse of his luxurious collection for a few seconds, but below are a few others that he owns besides his Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Q397846J

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Q397846J

What’s better than one JLC watch? How about two JLC watches? JLC evidently ensured that their watches were featured prominently in the superhero movie. In addition to the Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, Strange also owns another iconic watch from JLC, the Reverso. 

The Reverso was originally designed to protect watches during polo matches. The solution was to have a case that could be flipped over, covering the watch face and revealing a smooth, stainless steel shield instead.

This reference number comes in various colors, from a classic dark black to a subdued burgundy. The timepiece is an attractive and exciting rectangular shape, with 45.6 x 27.4mm dimensions. There is no date on the dial, which helps preserve the watch’s delicate symmetry. 

At the 6 o’clock position is the expertly placed small seconds. The silvery hour marks and surgically cut dauphine hands shine in the sunlight. The strap snugly fits between the 20mm lugs and seamlessly wraps around the wrist. The movement is the JLC Calibre 822, featuring a 42 hours power reserve, 21,600 vibrations per hour, and 19 jewels. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 12 Final Edition CAW211J.FC6476

TAG Heuer Monaco Caliber 12 Final Edition CAW211J.FC6476

A Tag Heuer Monaco has its place in any luxury collection, and this limited edition Monaco is no exception. The Monaco is one of Tag Heuer’s most famous watches, being worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and Chris Hemsworth.

The masculine square shape is bold on the wrist and a voluminous 39 x 39mm. This 39mm looks even larger with the watch’s square shape. Limited to only 1,000 pieces worldwide, the Caliber 12 Final Edition is a granite grey color with a vertically brushed ruthenium dial. Engraved on the caseback is each watch’s unique limited edition number.

The strap is a classy black alligator leather with a bright red underbelly. Powering this racing-inspired watch is the Calibre 12 Automatic. This chronograph movement has a 40-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Rolex Daytona 116520 White Dial

Rolex Daytona 116520 White Dial

Rolex is, for many, the peak of luxury watches. Ask someone to name a luxury timepiece, and Rolex will probably be the first brand that comes to mind. In Strange’s collection is the Rolex Daytona with a white dial. Also known as the Cosmograph Daytona, a word of Rolex’s creation, this chronograph is one of Rolex’s most desirable models.

There is simply no mistaking this watch, with its chunky chronograph pushers, red Daytona lettering, and tachymeter etched into the bezel. Originally used to help racecar drivers track elapsed time and average speed, the watch is now one of Rolex’s most luxurious and expensive models.

The Daytona is 40mm in diameter, which makes it a modern-sized watch for any wrist. The sub-dials feature the 30-minute and 12-hour markers, with the seconds located at 6 o’clock. 

The chronograph works in conjunction with the etched tachymeter on the bezel to help track driving speeds. Powering the Daytona is Rolex’s caliber 4130 movement, which is easier to service than previous Rolex chronograph movements due to using fewer parts. It has a considerable 72-hour power reserve and has 100 meters of water resistance.


Although he eventually became a superhero that protects the Earth from cosmic threats, Dr. Strange’s watches are still very much an important part of his extraordinary life. Watches mean a lot to different people, and for Strange, they represent a memory in the distant past. 

They are what ground him in the everyday worries of ordinary people and remind him about a time of lost love. Strange certainly has an impressive watch collection, and it is a treat and privilege for all of us to enjoy it with him.

15 gmt watches under 1000

Having the opportunity to travel and see the world is one of the best feelings ever. Imagine, after spending so much time at home and work, you have the time to sit down, relax, and plan your next trip. One of those essential things that you are going to take with you is, no doubt, a trusty timepiece. 

Watches accent everyone’s look and are a customizable part of our wardrobe. Numerous features can be on a watch, like date windows and chronographs. But a good GMT hand is one of the most useful and loved features. Whether you are about to hop on a plane to Bali or an Uber to a local shopping mall, anyone can enjoy a GMT.

GMT hands are greatly coveted due to their functionality and interest. This also used to come with a hefty price tag. GMT functionality used to be reserved for more expensive pieces, and only recently have affordable GMTs surfaced into the market. How affordable, you might ask? 

A quality GMT timepiece could be yours if you’ve got anywhere between five to ten Benjamin Franklins in your wallet. $500 to $1000 is plenty to have a reliable and interesting watch by your side. There are many tempting choices out there, and we’re here to give you a taste of what’s available.

What is a GMT Watch?

Really, what is all the fuss about having a GMT watch? What does GMT even mean? Does it mean something like “Great Modern Timepiece”? Actually, “GMT” is short for Greenwich Mean Time and is a way to calculate when the “zero hour” of time is. This makes it easier to tell the time all around the world by adding or subtracting hours compared to the zero hour. 

For example, here in sunny Florida, the time is 11:00 am. Most of Florida operates under Eastern Standard Time (EST), five hours behind the GMT. Our friends on the West Coast in California operate under Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is eight hours behind the GMT. So, there is a three-hour time difference between us, and it would be 8:00 am in California. 

GMT watches usually have a rotating 24-hour bezel around the watch and another hand that points to a different time zone. With this handy feature, you can know the time in two different places simultaneously.

Brief History of GMT Watches

GMT watches were born out of necessity. With the advancement of the aviation industry, people were more frequently going to different time zones. For pilots especially, keeping track of the time in multiple time zones became important. 

One of the first watches to appear with a GMT hand was the Airman from Glycine, featuring a rotating 24-hour bezel. Rolex followed this with their own GMT-Master offering soon after, and the GMT watch became an invaluable tool.

What to Look For in GMT Watches Under $1000?

One of the most important things to look for in a GMT watch under $1000 is to determine if it actually has a GMT feature. It is very easy for watches to mimic the looks of a true GMT watch with a bi-colored bezel. While visually attractive, it does not perform the same function. 

Another thing to remember is that an authentic GMT watch will have a hand that can be independently set. They will move in one-hour increments independently instead of moving with the normal hour hand when setting the time.

This independent hand is the most ideal for a GMT watch, but being able to track a second time zone is a fantastic feature for any timepiece. These things are crucial to remember in more affordable GMT options.

The Best GMT Watches Under $1000

Since the Airman’s release in 1953, many brands have stepped up to the plate and have designed their own GMT watches. Here are 15 of the best GMT watches ranging from $500 to $1000, including some much-loved brands and a few that might be completely new to you. A few might be just a hair above $1000, but for this kind of quality, it’s worth it! 

Hold on to your pilot hats; we’re in for an exciting ride!

1. Seiko 5 Sports Style GMT SSK001

Seiko 5 Sports Style GMT SSK001

No list is complete without something from Seiko, and their rugged, affordable GMT from the Seiko 5 collection starts off our journey. The Seiko 5 line is much loved in the watch community for its affordability and handsome looks. 

It’s wondrous how Seiko is able to pack a functional, genuine GMT into a 42.5mm case at a very reasonable price of around $475. Many of the watches in the Seiko 5 line echo other historical Seiko designs, and this watch is no exception. Enthusiasts will definitely appreciate the inspiration from the beloved SKX series

At the heart of the SSK001 is a robust and reliable Seiko movement, the 4R34. This movement has hacking and hand-winding, a good-sized 42-hour power reserve, and of course, the main feature, the GMT. The bracelet is the same as most other SKX watches, expertly finished and with solid end links. 

Instead of a diamond-hard sapphire crystal, the SSK001 uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal. Although less scratch-resistant than its sapphire cousin, its use brings the price of the very functional GMT watch down and into the $500 category. This watch is an amazing piece for curious travelers and seasoned veterans to experience a GMT for themselves.

Find it on Seiko’s website here.

2. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT H77932560

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT H77932560

Hamilton is a legendary watch company in its own right, starting in America and now headquartered in the land of great watches, Switzerland. In general, one way to bring the price of a timepiece down is by using a quartz movement.

This battery-powered warrior from Hamilton keeps extremely accurate time and is packed with features that will delight any potential buyer. The dial is very large at 46mm, and you’ll definitely be able to feel the weight of the watch on your wrist.

In addition to the GMT hand, the timepiece also has a handy chronograph for measuring elapsed time and a crosswind feature for all the pilots out there. 

Priced at $995 on the brand’s website, this adventurous, extra-large gadget will fit into any budget looking for an excellent timepiece under $1000. This is the perfect companion, whether in the skies or on the ground.

3. Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward, the daring British watchmaking brand, offers a sleek, sharp, and suave GMT with the C63 Sealander. Christopher Ward is known for its amazing price value proposition, packing extreme quality for very reasonable prices. 

And for just slightly above $1000 at Christopher Ward, you’re getting a tough 316L stainless steel case with a bright orange GMT hand that pops against the shiny dial. Printed on the dial is Christopher Ward’s new cross-shaped logo, marking this watch as a modern and stylish piece in the collection. 

Inside the perfectly sized 39mm case is a beautifully finished Sellita SW330-2 on display with a see-through exhibition caseback. The time is very easy to see whether it is pitch dark outside or bright and sunny, with Super-Luminova coating illuminating the watch. 

This British bruiser can be found on Christopher Ward’s website.

4. Glycine Airman No. 1 Black GMT 36 GL0370

Glycine Airman No. 1 Black GMT 36 GL0370

For around $1000, you can own a piece of wearable history. The legendary Glycine Airman, the first of its class, is still available today with upgraded materials. The Airman was a pivotal point in watchmaking history, and this timepiece reliably served pilots in the golden days of flying. 

By today’s standards, the 36mm case runs slightly small, but this is made to the exact specifications of the original. The watch emphasizes legibility above all else, with snow-white printing against a matte black dial. 

The modern upgrades to the watch include a crystal clear sapphire crystal and a GL293 Swiss automatic movement. This is a proven, workhorse movement and has a healthy 42-hour power reserve. The GMT works just as well as it did in the past, and everything about this watch screams heritage and history. 

Find this stunner here on Glycine’s website.

5. Squale 30 Atmos GMT Ceramica

Squale 30 Atmos GMT Ceramica

Squale had its start over fifty years ago when only the best watchmakers could survive. Squale watches can handle any situation they’re thrown into. Famous for their dive watches and amazing value, this ceramic version of Squale’s GMT has a vintage feel with very modern features.

Of course, the main highlight of this watch is the stunning ceramic bezel. This ceramic bezel is going to look clean and fresh for many years to come. The watch’s somewhat large but manageable 42mm case is hefty and feels amazing on the wrist.

Owing to their history for divers, Squale also makes sure the watch is also just as comfortable in the depths of the ocean. Rated at 30 atm, or 1000 feet, there are very few places where this watch won’t be able to accompany you. With a variety of colors, a great price at around $800, GMT features, and rock-solid construction, this timepiece is a worthy addition to the list.

See here for more information.

6. Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

For collectors who want a brand that isn’t on everyone’s radar, Baltic has the answer. Baltic is a micro brand, smaller than more mainstream brands like Seiko and Rolex. This certainly doesn’t affect the quality, however. The French brand Baltic has made waves with its unambiguous manufacturing techniques and designs that speak to modern consumers.

The Aquascaphe GMT is perfectly priced at $1000. The design is very original but still has vintage elements, like the hour markers and classic 24-hour bezel. The bold GMT hand comes in a variety of colors, pointing wherever the user needs it to. The bidirectional rotating bezel is satisfying to use and hear.

Behind the engraved case back, which is a map of different time zones, is Baltic’s version of a Swiss-made movement. The Soprod C125 GMT is self-winding, robust, and precise.

The watch is available on Baltic’s website.

7. Mido Ocean Star GMT

Mido Ocean Star GMT

Some watches are just too good not to include. Even though it is ever so slightly above $1000, the extra money that goes towards a Mido Ocean Star GMT is well worth it. Mido is a part of the Swatch Group and is somewhat lowkey compared to its brothers like Hamilton and Tissot. However, Mido is truly challenging what it means to have an affordable GMT.

The Ocean Star GMT is a true GMT watch, with an independently set hand and a 24-hour rotating bezel, and is a statement piece. It is big, bold, daring, and can easily compete with watches much more expensive than it.

True to its name, this watch is water resistant to 200 meters and has a titanic power reserve at 80 hours. This massive power reserve comes from Mido’s modified Caliber 80 movement and is officially COSC certified. The movement even features a new Nivachron balance spring which helps to keep more accurate time.

The watch is available for pre-order on Mido’s website.

8. Certina DS Action GMT

Certina DS Action GMT

Certina has been the go-to brand for affordable, high-quality Swiss timepieces. Occupying a similar position in the Swatch Group as Mido, Certina brings a very competitive GMT at this price point. The DS Action GMT can be found for around $900 and features Certina’s signature DS design.

DS, or Double Security, refers to Certina’s belief in creating watches with maximum resistance to forces. Movements are encased in protective material, warding off the effects of shock and magnetism.

The watch has a 43mm case diameter and a reasonable case thickness of 12.60mm. The true GMT is the real star of the show, however. The timepiece’s independently set jumping hour is complicated and a wonder to behold. Powering this excellently priced GMT is the Powermatic 80, with an outstanding 80 hours of power reserve.

Discover the wonders of the DS Action GMT on Certina’s website.

9. Lorier Hyperion

Lorier Hyperion

Few microbrands are more exciting than Lorier. This brand is a newcomer; it only just recently started in 2017. However, their impact with outstanding and sharp pieces like the Lorier Hyperion makes them a contender in the competitive watch market. With a price fitting comfortably within the range of this list, $800 gets you a clean and unique travel companion.

Vintage is the name of the game for the Hyperion, with dual-colored bezels, a 38mm case, gilt writing, and a long and slender true GMT hand. Keeping with the vintage inspiration of the watch, the Hyperion has a Hesalite crystal.

Found in other famous watches like the original Omega Moonwatch, the Hesalite crystal protects against glare and smudges. Scratches can be washed away with a quick treatment of Polywatch. Powering the watch is the affordable but strong Soprod C125.

Find this vintage-inspired beauty here on Lorier’s website.

10. Bulova Wilton GMT

Bulova Wilton GMT

Bulova are kings in the affordable category. Bulova and Seiko have truly remarkable GMT options that won’t break the bank. The $700 Wilton is Bulova’s answer to the much-loved Seiko 5 GMT and has a few features that can put it in serious contention. 

First, the automatic Miyota 9075 is a self-winding 24-jewel movement capable of giving the Wilton the true independently set GMT hand. Next, the dial also has some fine details on it, nicely etched and textured with a picture of the globe. 

The 43mm case and 22 mm lug width make this a sizable option, suitable for larger wrists and also bold adventures with a smaller wrist. Buyers will appreciate how easy it is to set the GMT hand and the boldly colored 24-hour ring. It’s incredible how Bulova can offer so much value for money with the Wilton. 

This detailed model can be found on Bulova’s website.

11. Traska Venturer GMT

The Venturer is microbrand Traska’s first bold step into the world of GMT watches. This is also one of the newest watches on the list, being released just this year. Traska has steadily improved its selection of excellent timepieces ever since it debuted in the world of microbrands.

Traska has built up the excitement for their newest release with early models that have definitely impressed. At $695 for an independent GMT hand powered by the Miyota 9075, this timepiece is a true value for money. 

Modern dimensions make the watch even more attractive and wearable for every adventurer lucky enough to grab one for themselves. 38.5mm case size, 46mm lug-to-lug, and 10mm case thickness make this a watch for a modern soul. Learn more about this model here.

12. Le Jour Hammerhead GMT

Le Jour Hammerhead GMT

Le Jour is a historic brand that has been revived and is now better than ever. Most famous for being a distributor of expert chronograph movements, Le Jour bursts into the GMT scene with their imposing Hammerhead GMT. Capable of being found for under $1000, this is a large 42 mm-sized watch with a very subtle, fabric-like dial. 

The dial is a big contrast to the bold and sharp hour, minute, and GMT hands. The powerful and respectable Sellita SW330 is the heart and soul of the watch. The independently set GMT hand is a great tool, reliable in the harshest conditions. Learn more about this shark here on Le Jour’s website.

13. Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and experienced watch enthusiasts will see design choices from the Steinhart Ocean One GMT that pay homage to many great watches before it. The Ocean One can be customized to your liking, with a vast range of color and dial options. 

The Vintage model is very affordable at $550, is built like a tank, and is a proper tribute to the fantastic watches of the 1960s. The colored hour markers are an attractive, vintage yellow-brown, and the orange GMT hand gives a pop of vibrant color. 

With a large 300-meter water resistance, hardy ETA 2893-2, and 42mm case, this watch demands presence. Sturdy and with specs that go above and beyond its price point, Steinhart makes the ultimate affordable GMT.

This watch can be purchased on Steinhart’s website.

14. Victorinox FieldForce GMT

Victorinox FieldForce GMT

Victorinox is the epitome of Swiss design and engineering. The same impeccable quality found in their famous Swiss knives is found in the affordable FieldForce GMT. Victorinox pushes the boundary of quality and value by offering this cutting-edge GMT for only $525. 

Any traveler who is looking for 42mm of expert Swiss engineering will find it here. The quartz movement brings the watch down to a price that many will find attainable. 

Everything from the Swiss-army shaped second hand, to the lively red cross and shield on the dial, to the amazing practicality makes this watch hard to resist. Discover this Swiss marvel at Victornix’s website.

15. Nodus Sector GMT

One of the cleanest-looking pieces on this list, the Nodus Sector GMT is one of the first to utilize Seiko’s new GMT movement, 4R34. Buyers can feel confident in their purchase with known Seiko quality backing this exciting watch up. 

The Sector GMT is also at an extremely similar price point to the SSK001, at just $450. This rise of new, affordable GMTs is thanks to Seiko’s movement innovation, and I can’t wait to see what else comes out as a result of it.

The dial is highly legible, and the case is sleek and stylish. The 38mm case size is comfortable to wear, and the watch speaks for itself. Nodus is challenging what it means to be an affordable GMT, and enthusiastic buyers can only benefit from Nodus’ innovation. 

At such a fantastic price on the Nodus website, you’ll definitely want to check it out. 


GMTs are bold and exciting. Their functionality and practicality make them worthy additions to any collection. An amazing quality GMT can be yours for under $1000 or ever so slightly above that. There are so many choices out there, and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. 

However, armed with this knowledge, you too can find the perfect travel companion. This new companion will be able to accompany you to any location, from the highest mountains to the comforts of your own home. The GMT feature is convenient and gives everyone an interesting new feature to admire their watch over.

Seiko Marinemaster

Seiko is a familiar brand name to watch enthusiasts and is much loved for its reliability, rich history, and versatility. Buying a Seiko watch means being a part of a community that knows quality when they see it. One of Seiko’s biggest selling points is its seemingly endless catalog of fantastic watches that can impress even the most dedicated critic.

The brand is highly collectible, and owners might start with one of Seiko’s many fantastic and robust dive watches before diving into more of their collections, like their dress and field watches. Seiko’s dive watches, in particular, are held in high regard, with many sporting nicknames affectionately given to them by enthusiastic fans, such as “Samurai” and “Tuna.”

One dive watch line that Seiko offers is the legendary Marinemaster collection. Many watches are a part of this collection, and taking the leap to buy one may be a challenging experience. We’re here today to provide you with a look into the storied history of the legendary dive watches that professional divers trust to help them explore the fierce ocean waters and a guide that highlights some of the many references in the Marinemaster collection.

What is the Seiko Marinemaster?

As the name implies, the Seiko Marinemaster is a watch born to be in the water and survive in the murky and mysterious depths of the ocean. It is a watch that will faithfully serve its purpose with excellent reliability. The Marinemaster line falls under the extensive Prospex collection of Seiko watches.

Prospex, short for “professional specifications,” is Seiko’s answer to the rigorous demands of professional diving and exploration. Many watches under the Prospex line can be considered a Marinemaster. Since the release of the first Marinemaster, Seiko has expanded this line with several different timepieces. However, it is important to note that some are not explicitly labeled as Marinemaster.

Generally, the Marinemaster line consists of watches with very high depth ratings of over 200 meters of water resistance, a crown located at the 4 o’clock position, and is classified under the Prospex range. Following this general rule makes identifying a member of the Marinemaster family a simple and painless process.

Seiko Marinemaster History

The 1960s was a tumultuous era of social upheaval that included major wars and periods of social unrest. In the world of diving, however, the 1960s is when exploration and diving achieved some of its greatest innovations and changes.

Right at the start of the decade, two intrepid explorers named Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh made history as the first people to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean. They did so on their submersible vessel, the Trieste. This momentous event set the tone for the rest of the decade and made exploring one of the Earth’s final frontiers an exciting adventure for the brave and curious.

During this period, watches were prized as reliable workhorses instead of status symbols. They were expected to perform and keep their wearer safe because diving was a demanding profession. Divers who spend too long underwater risked endangering their life or suffering from physiological conditions like the bends.

There was a great need for accurate timepieces that could survive the oceans with their wearer and accompany them as they descended into the waters below. For the Swiss watchmaking industry, they answered with offerings from respected brands like Rolex, Omega, and Blancpain. On the other side of the world, the Japanese watchmaking industry needed to respond in turn.

Seiko answered that call in 1965 with the extremely robust Seiko 6217-8001/62MAS. This watch is the earliest ancestor of the Marinemaster. The 6217-8001 started the Seiko trend of creating timepieces that would keep divers alive in depths that would make most people shiver thinking about it.

This watch was designed to be functional at up to 150 meters underwater. Although it was only produced for a few years, its importance cannot be understated, as it is Seiko’s first serious professional dive watch and attempt to challenge Swiss watchmakers.

Two years after the 6217-8001, Seiko followed that up with the 6215-7000. The water resistance doubled from 150 meters to a staggering 300 meters. This watch featured the crown at the 4 o’clock position, a feature that continues to be seen in nearly every member of the modern Marinemaster family.

In addition to being an interesting conversation starter, the 4 o’clock crown serves a practical purpose. It provides easier access to the crown instead of the usual 3 o’clock position, especially when diving. In the perilous situations that divers can find themselves in, any advantage or comfort the equipment can offer is much appreciated.

Seiko continued its success with the release of the 6159-7001, which looked extremely similar to its predecessor but featured an interesting hi-beat movement that offered extreme precision and accuracy. In the 1990s, Seiko released the now hard-to-find SBCN005, a quartz-powered titanium watch that is the predecessor of the much more famous SBDX001.

Much later on, in the year 2000, Seiko released the Marinemaster 300 SBDX001 to a delighted Japanese exclusive market. Despite its success in the Japanese market, Seiko was slow to release Marinemasters outside of Japan. However, now that Seiko has released more Marinemaster models into the global market, everyone can get their hands on one of these coveted pieces.

Is the Seiko Marinemaster worth buying?

The Seiko Marinemaster 300 appeals to a wide range of people, ranging from professional divers to casual collectors. Its handsome looks, rich history, practicality, and accuracy are sure to delight anyone who has the chance to see a Marinemaster for themselves.

Undoubtedly, the Marinemaster 300 holds a special place in history as one of Seiko’s best contributions to the world of diving. Collectors will appreciate the historic nature of the watch while casual wearers will enjoy its rugged appearance with a touch of luxury mixed in. This classically designed tool watch fulfills its duties as a professional diving companion and looks good while doing it. The case is expertly finished, and the piece is comfortable to wear.

Marinemasters, at minimum, boast a water resistance of 200 meters, with many having 300 meters. Such watches will be perfect for water activities, ranging from a dip in the pool to coral reef snorkeling. The Marinemaster is also more than prepared for any adventures on land, with a tough stainless steel construction that will last a lifetime.

The time will be pinpoint accurate, with Seiko’s marvelous mechanical movements providing accuracy that matches and exceeds certified chronometers. Finally, Marinemasters feature a highly legible dial that makes telling the time easy with just a glance. The bold markers, generous lume, and large font contribute to this ease.

Every watch has its cons, and the Seiko Marinemaster 300 is no exception. Achieving the behemoth 300 meters of water resistance comes with a cost. The case is thick, with most Marinemasters being around 15 mm thick. Therefore, the watch sits tall on the wrist, which may bother some people who want a more sleek and understated timepiece.

Potential buyers can also consider other lesser known watches at the Marinemaster’s price point. The range varies, but other Swiss-made divers are also available at these prices. Marinemaster buyers will be lovers of Japanese watches, enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a large, rugged, practical watch that can handle any situation. The Marinemaster is a hefty piece, and anyone who is able to put one on their wrist will feel the weight. Wearers will definitely be aware of the watch’s presence.

The Best Seiko Marinemaster References

Many watches are in the Marinemaster line, but this guide will list several references in chronological order. If the word “Marinemaster” is on the watch, it will either be on the face of the watch, the caseback, or the tag that comes with the watch.

Seiko SBCN005

Seiko SBCN005

Also called the Transocean, the SBCN005 is one of the most unique models in the Marinemaster lineup. The watch was released in the 1990s. It looks completely different from later models and does not even use a mechanical movement.

Instead, the SBCN005 was a lightweight, titanium watch powered by the Seiko 7k32 quartz movement. The watch features a gorgeous dark blue dial with streaks of striking yellow accenting various parts of the watch. The watch also had a barometer scale, second time zone, and sapphire crystal lens.

Seiko SBDX001

Seiko SBDX001

The SBDX001 is the watch most people will immediately think of when they hear the word “Marinemaster.” For many enthusiasts, this is the definitive Marinemaster. Released at the turn of the century in 2000, the SBDX001 was a Japanese domestic market (JDM) exclusive watch for many years and was difficult for global audiences to find.

Instead of using a quartz movement, Seiko opted for a robust 8L35 mechanical movement for this watch. The design of this watch echoes back to its early ancestors from the 1960s and has a slick black dial. Measuring at nearly 16 mm thick and 44 mm in diameter, the watch is not subtle. Additionally, the watch features a unidirectional bezel, lumed hands, and a screw-down crown.

Seiko SBDX003 & SBDX005

Seiko released a collection of seven watches in 2000 as a part of their Seiko Historical Collection. The collection featured dive watches, dress watches, quartz watches, and pocket watches. The SBDX003 and SBDX005 are both highly prized collector items.

They were limited edition releases of only 500 SBDX003s and 1,000 SBDX005s. The SBDX003 has gilded yellow indices and golden text on a deep black dial. The SBDX003 also only came on a rubber strap.

The SBDX005 is in the “Tuna” style of Seiko cases, named affectionately by fans because it resembles, appropriately enough, a can of tuna. Both watches did not have the word “Marinemaster” on them, unlike the SBDX001. However, given their extreme water resistance, they certainly are Marinemasters.

Seiko SBBN027

Seiko SBBN027

The SBBN027 is a massive watch housed in a Tuna-style case and features a vibrant yellow bezel that makes the watch stand out. The 2015 release “Yellow Tuna” is a fun addition to the Marinemaster family. The bright colors don’t compromise the build quality of the watch, however.

It is very much a serious dive watch, water resistant to a titanic depth of 1,000 meters. Despite its massive 49 mm case, this piece is not very heavy because of the titanium build. The silicone strap is expertly finished and is flexible and strong. A new SBBN027 is around $2,100.

Seiko SBDX017

Seiko SBDX017

Released in 2015, the SBDX017 is the successor to the SBDX001. They are nearly identical in design and even share the same 8L35 automatic movement, but the SBDX017 features several upgrades over the older model. Notably, the SBDX017 features Diashield coating on the bracelet, which protects the stainless steel from scratches.

The Diashield coating also gives the stainless steel a slightly darker color. The watch features upgraded lume compared to the original and a Seiko Prospex logo etched onto the crown, which is normally unsigned. The SBDX017 was discontinued by Seiko in 2018.

Seiko SBDX021/SLA019

Seiko SBDX021/SLA019

After the SBDX017’s discontinuation, the SBDX021 was the next successor to the Marinemaster name. Instead of the deep black dials that most Marinemasters have, the SBDX021 has a luscious, mossy green dial. The SBDX021 was a limited release of 1,968 pieces, referencing one of Seiko’s most important years for making watches. With an upgraded ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal lens, and reliable 8L35 movement, this watch was a treat for Seiko fans.

Seiko SLA025

Seiko SLA025

Many of Seiko’s releases reference older models, and the SLA025 is no different. The SLA025 was a limited release in 2018, with only 1,500 models available. Vintage-inspired watches are extremely popular, and the SLA025 closely resembles Seiko’s 1968 diver watch with modern upgrades. The SLA025 was so beloved and well-received that it was even named by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) as the year’s best sports watch.

The GPHG is one of the world’s most prestigious watch organizations that recognizes the year’s best innovations and creations in the watch world. The SLA025 completely updates the movement and features the luxurious 8L55 high-beat movement, a movement that is a variant of a movement used by Seiko’s ultra-luxury line, Grand Seiko.

Seiko SPB077

Seiko SPB077

The intent for these watches is apparent with Seiko’s official full name for them: “Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation.” This 2018 release watch is only a sample of the larger selection from Seiko. Interested buyers can choose from different colors and upgrades, but the watch itself maintains the spirit of Seiko’s dive watches from 1968 and transports it to the modern world. Like many of Seiko’s watches, the SPB077 and a few similar pieces have a nickname: the “Baby Marinemaster.”

The SPB077 features a classic black dial and slimmer dimensions than most other Marinemasters. The case diameter is 44 mm, and the thickness is 12.7 mm. The watch is powered by the 6R15 automatic movement, which is found in many other modern Seikos. As the “baby” in the family, the SPB077 has a respectable water resistance of 200 meters. A new SPB077 can be yours for around $1,050.

Seiko SBDX023/SLA021

Seiko SBDX023/SLA021

This handsome 2019 release from Seiko is one of the latest iterations of the modernized Marinemaster 300. The watch has numerous upgrades that make it even tougher and more resistant to any challenge the ocean can throw at it. Instead of an aluminum bezel, Seiko has opted for an extremely scratch-resistant ceramic bezel.

The bracelet has a flexible diver extension that makes wearing the watch even easier. The build quality is impeccable, and the timepiece is completely sealed shut, thanks to its sturdy monobloc case design. The 8l35 automatic movement powers the watch, another variant of a luxurious Grand Seiko movement. A new Seiko SBDX023/SLA021 is around $3,100.

Seiko SBDC167/SPB299

Seiko SBDC167/SPB299

One of the newest watches on the list, the SBDC167/SPB299, is a Marinemaster with a mesmerizing icy blue dial. This 2022 release is a part of the “Save the Ocean” special editions released by Seiko, commemorating Seiko’s dedication to protecting the world’s oceans.

New watches are constantly added to the “Save the Ocean” line, all of which feature an exciting special edition colorway. It is beautifully sized at 42 mm and is thinner than most other Marinemasters, with a case thickness of 12.5 mm. A new SBDC167/SPB299 is around $1,250.


The Seiko Marinemaster is an extensive collection that embodies Seiko’s dedication to creating excellent Japanese products that are built to last. Buyers will be able to enjoy the watch’s rich history and marvelous engineering. Marinemasters will be a fine addition to any collection and will easily be able to compete with watches much more expensive than it.

The practicality, legibility, accuracy, history, and construction of the Marinemaster makes it a staple in the Seiko catalog, and Marinemasters will continue to be on the wrists of eager wearers for a long time.

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