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a diver seikomatic of the birth silverwave

The Seikomatic Silverwave: birth of a diver
The first fully fledged waterproof Seiko watch appeared in 1959 in the form of the Seiko Cronos Sea horse fitted with the 21 jewel manual wind Cronos 54/54A movement. That watch was equipped with a two part screw down case back and was rated water proof to 50m. Although it was actively marketed in some sense as a divers watch, in reality its use would have been limited at best to swimming or snorkeling.


The first automatic waterproof Seiko watches appeared in 1961 as part of the Seikomatic line. Those earliest Seikomatic Water Proof 30 watches bore the now iconic dolphin symbol on their press fit case backs, there to guarantee their ability to withstand water pressure to a depth of 30 m. As with the earlier Cronos, the marketing of these watches featured images of men and women in scuba gear and although a nominal 30m water resistance would appear ample for recreational diving, in reality you would have to be pretty brave to actually use these watches in such an environment.
Although Seiko were clearly guilty of over-egging the capabilities of these early watches, their longer term intent was clear in the release the same year of the Seikomatic Silver Wave, a striking watch equipped with the same two-part screw down case back as the Cronos Seahorse and good for the same 50m water resistance rating. Here was a watch whose credentials as a diver’s watch were much more evidently on display in its beefy exterior design and in the presence of an internal count-up rotating bezel.
I’ve written before about the position this watch holds in the history of the Seiko diver’s watch and so won’t revisit too much of that again now. However, if the Cronos Seahorse was the twinkle in the eye of Seiko’s future aspirations as the producer of professional diver’s watches, the Silver Wave marks the point of Seiko not only dipping their toe in the water, but slipping beneath the surface.


The Seikomatic Silver Wave 50m came in four flavours, distinguished by the colour combinations and styles of the dial and bezel. These were:
  • silver dial with silver bezel (as seen in the photo above);
  • silver dial and black bezel;
  • star burst silver dial with silver bezel;
  • star burst silver dial with black bezel.

The plain silver-dialed watches included the Water 50 Proof text on the dial with Diashock 20 Jewels appearing immediately beneath the Seikomatic logo. The star burst dials omitted the Water 50 Proof markings with the Diashock 20 jewels text shifting down to below the SilverWave script. I have the sense that the star burst-dialed watches are the rarer and consequently more sought after but all combinations are beautiful and highly desirable. Incidentally, there have been some suggestions of black/black 50m combination but the only example I’ve seen looked like a cobble job with a redial. 
This is one of those watches whose pedigree shines through, whose immaculate design marks it as a proper classic. In particular the star burst dialed versions are truly special, although truth be told, those radial lines render the watch face all but illegible unless your near sight is perfect and the light plentiful. I can forgive it that flaw though because in this watch we have the grand daddy of all Seiko divers’ and a beautiful and remarkable watch in its own right. Bravo Seiko.

An extended version of this article, which includes all the restoration details can be read here
Ah, I know that site - he writes very nice blogs..
He does, but he does get into lot of detail! I do not always have the wherewithal to finish the article.

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