15 BEST Seiko Sumo Watches Recommended by Experts (2024)
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Best Seiko Sumo Watches

15 BEST Seiko Sumo Watches Recommended by Experts (2024)

Seiko has a rich history in the development and manufacturing of world-class diver watches that are hugely popular and highly sought after by professionals and amateurs alike. To understand Sumo’s place in the pantheon of Seiko diver watches, I will provide a brief history and evolution of the diver watch.

1965- Seiko produces the very first Japanese self-winding diving watch that is water resistant to 150meters.

1968-Release of the 300-meter diver with a high beat self-winding automatic movement operating at 10 vibrations per second. By this time, Seiko has acquired twenty patents for the exterior of the diver watch alone.

1975– With the impetus of a letter that Seiko received from a professional diver, Seiko assembles a team to address the requests made in the letter. The diver explained that at depths greater than 300 meters, when using a diving capsule and saturation diving techniques, most watches sustained some degree of damage. This led to the creation of a diver watch made with a titanium case and water resistant to 600 meters.

1978– World’s first saturation diver watch with a quartz movement and water resistance to 600 meters.

1982- World’s first hybrid movement diver watch with alarm and chronograph functions and with a bilingual display. Water resistance of 150 meters.

1985– Improvement of the previous diver watch released in 1982, now water resistant to 200 meters.

1986– Development of a diver watch that is water resistant to 1000 meters. This is achieved through the use of a titanium case and a ceramic outside shell.

1990- The world’s first computerized diver watch is named the “Scuba Master.” This watch was equipped with a water and depth sensor and displayed both diving time and depth.

1992– Introduction of the world’s first kinetic diver watch. Power is derived by an automatic generating quartz movement. 200-meter water resistant.

1995– The creation of three distinct watches that are released during the year.

  • The “Diver Scuba” 200 meters. This timepiece calculates the depth of water and dive time. It also displays log data memory and air pressure.
  • 200-meter water resistant 24-hour hand kinetic “Scuba Master” with a titanium case and its battery does not need to be replaced.
  • The world’s first “Scuba Master” with an automatic calculating analog depth gauge and water resistance to 200 meters.

2000– Introduced a diving computer watch that displays the dive profile by recording the current depth of the dive and can also be used for nitrox diving.

2005– World’s first spring drive diver watch featuring a titanium case, 600-meter water resistance, and accurate to one second per day.

2007– The first Prospex Sumo watches are introduced.

The Seiko Sumo

The Seiko Sumo watch models are part of the Prospex collection of divers and sports watches. The Prospex name is a combination of the words professional and specifications and reflects the quality and design that are the earmark of the entire collection. These watches are inspired and manufactured in response to the requirements and desires of diving professionals worldwide.

They are surprisingly affordable given their quality and therefore are widely popular with both the diving community and those that enjoy larger case sporty timepieces. The Sumo collection is positioned as the middle tier of Seiko’s diver watch offerings, as reflected in its price.

The Sumo timepieces, as mentioned, are a subset of the Prospex divers watches and earned their nickname due to certain details reflected in the watch’s design. Some believe the Sumo name was given to the models because of the shape of the marker at the twelve o’clock position. The marker resembles an “oicho” which is the top knot worn by a sumo wrestler.

Others believe that the bezel reflects the shape of the “dohyo” which is the ring in which sumo wrestlers hold their bouts. Whatever the reason, the Sumo is one of the most popular and sought-after diver models in the Seiko collection.

The Sumo was first introduced in 2007 and quickly became popular for divers and sportsmen alike. The first three models were the SBDC001 in black, the SPDC003 in blue (also nicknamed “Blumo,” and the SBDC005 with an orange dial.

These initial models have been outfitted with an in-house manufactured 6R15 caliber mechanical automatic movement and as all Sumos water resistant to 200m. An additional earmark of a Sumo watch, and what makes it recognizable, is that the crown is at the four o’clock position.

The Sumo collection is also popular for its impeccable finishes and smooth lines which are uncommon for an otherwise large sports watch. The design team hit a home run in the marriage of the bracelet to the case and also the design of the case itself. The latest bracelet resembles the “oyster” style with a three-link pattern and again nicely finished lines. The watch has a very polished feel as you run your fingers over both the case and the bracelet.

Details of the latest generation of Sumo watches include the following:

  1. A 45 mm. Case with a measurement of 53 mm. From lug to lug.
  2. Stainless steel case (and bracelet) with a special hard coating to increase durability and appearance. 
  3. Unidirectional ceramic bezel allowing for 120 clicks per hour.
  4. Inhouse-produced 6R35 caliber mechanical automatic movement vibrating at 21,600 A/h and incorporating twenty-four jewels.
  5. Power reserve of 70 hours.
  6. Hacking function (Wearer can stop the second hand while adjusting the time, allowing for accuracy down to seconds}.
  7. Dial featuring large rhomboid markers and hands treated in lumibrite (luminous pigment).
  8. Sapphire crystal.
  9. 200-meter water resistance.
  10. Screw down stainless steel crown located at the four o’clock position.
  11. Three-year international warranty.

15 of the best Sumo Watches

1. SBJ101 The original classic with a black bezel and dial.

Seiko SBJ101

Retail $850.00

2. SBJ103 The original classic with a green dial and bezel.

Seiko SBJ103

Retail $850.00

3. SPB240 Seiko Boutique Exclusive Model

Seiko SPB240

Copper brown dial with a copper brown accented black bezel (Distinctly beautiful and unique color design).

Retail $1200.00

4. SPB125 Black Ninja Limited (7000 pieces)

Seiko SPB125

Features a black PVD case with a black dial and a combination of orange and lumibrite minutes hand. The markers have traces of orange outlining the lumibrite-treated markers and nicely accenting the minute hand.

Retail $850.00

5. SPB297 Modern Reinterpretation Save the Ocean (Deep blue colored dial)

Seiko SPB297

Retail $1250.00

6. SPB255 Black Series Limited Edition 1968 Mechanical Divers Modern Reinterpretation (5500 pieces)

Seiko SPB255

Retail $1200.00

7. SPB175 Sumo USA Special Edition Ice Diver Gray

Seiko SPB175

Retail $900.00

8. SPB177 Sumo USA Special Edition Ice Diver Blue

Retail $900.00

9. SPB179 Sumo USA Special Edition Ice Diver Green

Retail $900.00

10. SPB207 Limited Edition Green Sumo Automatic

Seiko SPB207

Retail $1350.00

11. SPB194 Sumo Zimbe- Limited edition of 1500 pieces.

Seiko Sumo SPB194

12. SPB187 Reinterpretation Diver

Seiko SPB187

Retail $1200.00

13. SPB321 The Latest generation Sumo

Seiko SPB321

Retail $1200.00

14. SPB323 The Latest generation Sumo

Seiko SPB323

Retail $1200.00

15. SPB325 The latest generation Sumo Padi Line

Seiko SPB325

Features a black global texture dial and a black and light blue bezel. Outfitted with a blue rubber strap.

Retail $1050.00

Note: All prices listed are at suggested retail as set by Seiko watch corporation.

Seiko Sumo Chronograph

The Seiko Sumo Chronograph is a timepiece that celebrates the 140-year-plus existence of the Seiko watch corporation and all of its accomplishments in the area of timekeeping and time measuring. Four distinct events that contributed to the evolution of the present-day chronograph are the following:

  1. As the recognized official timekeeper of the 1964 Olympic Games, Seiko unveils the first Japanese watch that incorporates a stopwatch function.
  2. Seiko introduces the first automatic chronograph in 1969 that features a vertical clutch and column wheel.
  3. 1969 also sees Seiko manufacture the world’s first quartz watch movement which is a pivotal moment for the entire watchmaking industry and a revolutionary game-changer.
  4. With the advent of the quartz movement, sets the stage for the first solar-powered watch released in 1977 and the foundation for the present-day Sumo Chronograph.

The two models that are referred to as Sumo Chronographs, the SSC757 and SSC807 aren’t classic Sumo collection models but have been referred to as part of the collection due to the similar twelve o’clock marker as the regular Sumo models. The Sumo timepieces have manual automatic movements whereas these chronograph models are powered by the in-house V192 solar quartz movement produced exclusively by Seiko.

The Sumo Chronograph model SSC757

Details of the SSC757:

  • Stainless Steel case 44.5 mm. wide and 13.7 mm. thick.
  • Stainless steel screw-down crown, pushers, case back with a unidirectional bezel. Pushers are at the two o’clock and the four o’clock positions.
  • Sapphire crystal.
  • V192 caliber Seiko solar quartz movement (Remains charged for at least six months if charged by a direct light source).
  • Numberless dial with three subdials, one also showing the power reserve capacity of the charged movement. Each subdial has an independent motor and can be adjusted independently. Timing to 60 minutes in ⅕ second increments.
  • Numberless dial with Lumibrite hands, markers, bezel markings, and date display.
  • Date display between the four and five o’clock markers.
  • Water resistant to 200 meters.

The suggested retail price is $675.00

Details of the SSC807

The SSC807 is a 140th-anniversary limited edition watch that was introduced in March of 2021. This edition has all the components of the SSC757 but differs in the following:

  • Limited production of 4000 pieces.
  • Has a green dial
  • Comes with an additional silicone strap.

The Suggested retail price is $780.00

Seiko Prospex Sumo Green

This particular watch was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Seiko’s collection of divers watches and is available exclusively in Thailand. The Thai market is very important and strategic to Japanese manufacturing from both an expansionary aspect and in their worldwide marketing plans.

Every year some models are introduced only to the Thai community and make the country a treasure trove for watch collectors. The Sumo Green is one of these commemorative watches and is limited to 820 pieces. 

The watch has all of the characteristics and components of that generation of Sumo watches but has some unique aesthetic embellishments. At the heart of this timepiece is the Seiko in-house-produced 6R15 caliber automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve.

The uniqueness of the anniversary model is found in the crafting of the dial. The green color lies upon a wave pattern that creates a three-dimensional effect. The green fades into a smoky gray towards the edges of the dial where it meets the bezel. There are also gold accents on the bezel and the crown and the sapphire crystal features a cyclops window magnifying the date. 50th is also reflected in gold below the hand pinion.

Seiko Sumo vs. Samurai

The Seiko King Samurai was originally manufactured from 2004-2008 and reintroduced in 2017. The watch got its nickname “King Samurai” because the hours and seconds hands supposedly resembled a Samurai sword.

The new model SRPE35K1 is outfitted with an in-house 4R35 caliber automatic movement with 23 jewels. The movement operates at 21,600 A/h and has a power reserve of 41 hours. The Stainless steel case is 44mm. and is completed with a sapphire crystal with a cyclops window over the date ceramic bezel, and a stainless steel bracelet. The watch is also water resistant to 200m.

In comparing the King Samurai with the similar Sumo model, I have chosen the SPD101. The features of the Sumo are listed in the Sumo description in this article. Where the two depart is in appearance and the feel on the wearer’s wrist. Though the Sumo is the larger of the two watches, the King Samurai can feel larger. 

The case and bracelet of the King Samurai are also different in that they are not as smoothly finished as the Sumo diver. The case and bracelet are blockier and edgier. The Sumo is smoother in appearance and feels very balanced on the wrist. The King Samurai also differs in the finish below the ceramic bezel. Instead of vertical grooves, it has a diamond etched surface as well as a milled stainless steel crown.

The crown is also at the three o’clock position as opposed to the four o’clock position on the Sumo watch. The one feature that does stand out on the King Samurai is the block-styled dial. It is attractive and really sets the watch apart in side-by-side comparisons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Seiko Sumo made in Japan?

The Seiko collection is manufactured and assembled in Japan. The watch may contain components manufactured in other Asian countries, but the watch is ultimately a product of Japan.

What is a Sumo watch?

As mentioned earlier in this article, Sumos became a nickname for the line of Prospex diver watches that had a particularly shaped twelve o’clock hour marker that resembled the top knot worn by a sumo wrestler. Technically the name refers to a subset of the Prospex collection of competitively priced high-quality diving timepieces.

These watches are manufactured to the specific requirements of professional divers using superior materials and the latest technology. They are also painstakingly fitted and finished and sit comfortably on the wearer’s wrist for their size and mass.

Why is Seiko Sumo popular?

The Seiko Sumo is popular for both its quality and reasonable price. There are many professional divers watches on the market that sells for much higher prices due to their brand names but offers similar features. There is a tremendous amount of value offered in the Sumo models.

Additionally, the Sumo offerings are quite diverse and there is a style for almost every taste. Attractive dial colors and color combinations contribute to their allure amongst sports enthusiasts.

What is Lumibrite?

Lumibrite is a luminous paint that absorbs light energy from either the sun or another light source, and stores it to be used and seen in the dark. The luminous properties do degrade over time.

What does “Padi” represent on the various Seiko “Padi” models?

Padi stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. This is the world’s leading scuba diving training organization. Part of their mission is to bring unity to divers around the world who share a passion for the ocean. The Seiko “Padi” models are an excellent choice for divers who desire that added sense of certification to their diving instruments.

What differentiates a Seiko Sumo Ice Diver?

The Ice Diver gets its name from the colors that are reflected off of a glacier. The series sports a beautiful block pattern dial in either gray, green, or ice blue.

Are there Sumo Limited Editions?

The answer to this question is a definite yes. If you refer back to the list of Sumo models earlier in this article you will see that there are four limited edition models featured. There are more and also several special edition models that are not limited in their production numbers.

Seiko is also renowned for releasing exclusive editions for particular markets that are not available worldwide. The Prospex Sumo Green mentioned in this article is an example of such an offering. These watches tend to retain and even increase in value due to their exclusivity and limited availability.

Is a Seiko Sumo a worthwhile purchase?

When compared to all of the professional grade diver watches in the marketplace, the Sumo is both an affordable watch and one whose purchase reflects great value.

What is the warranty on a Seiko Sumo?

The Seiko Sumo as well as most of the Seiko line are warranted for three years.


In conclusion, I hope I have provided ample information to encourage your interest in either purchasing your first Seiko Sumo diver watch or assistance in choosing your next Sumo for your collection. This article should encourage anyone looking to purchase a professional quality diver watch for either professional diving needs or merely for the weekend sportsman or diver. 

The diversity in dial colors and variety of limited editions offer a timepiece for almost every taste. The affordable pricing and superior construction of the Sumo collection should make these watches a consideration for anyone who loves the sea.

Despite the large case measurement, the Sumo sits surprisingly comfortably on even smaller wrists that otherwise would not carry a larger watch well. This is a testimony to the smooth finishes and seamless incorporation of all the materials used in the construction of the timepiece as well as the union of the case and bracelet.

140 years of watchmaking knowledge and success are evident in the Sumo models as well as over 50 years of diver watch expertise. In the history of the Seiko diver watch, there is little that the company has not addressed to answer the requests of the diving community. Thus the “Prospex” Professional specifications reputation.

Any diver can wear a Sumo with confidence and know they have a watch that is water resistant to 200 meters, is easily readable in the darkness of the ocean depth, and has a unidirectional bezel that is an essential tool for diving.

Though there are fifteen diverse styles of Sumo watches listed in this article, there are many more models to choose from. If you are looking for a diver watch or just an attractive sports watch that is durable and an eyecatcher, I suggest you visit a Seiko dealer and try on a Sumo for yourself.

Nothing speaks louder than experiencing the feel, quality, and look of these watches on your own wrist. I will confidently say that you will neither be disappointed nor regret the purchase of your new Sumo watch.

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