Besides the somewhat extravagant quartz-powered Prospex Marinemaster Golgo 13, Seiko has also recently revealed another “collaboration” model based on the same series of manga comic books: a rugged and grim Seiko Land Golgo 13 Automatic Limited Edition (Ref. SBDC021) equipped with a self-winding movement. Although not as dramatic as the Marinemaster, this one is a nice improvement on the original Prospex Fieldmaster (Ref. SBDC013), which it seems to be based upon.
As the base model, the new watch is animated by a high-quality Seiko caliber 6R15 self-winding movement, a caliber that powers a lot of their higher-priced mechanical watches including the (almost) legendary Seiko Prospecs Scuba automatic diver. According to official specs, the movement gains or loses 25 and 15 seconds per day respectively, which makes it stay on par with the standard grade Swiss-made movements like, say, the good old ETA 2824.
Compared to the original, the watch is now attached to the wrist with a broad, mean-looking leather strap.
However, the most visible difference between the two is, of course, the dial. For this iteration, the watch drops its Scuba-style hands in favor of more impressive, arrow-shaped hands that are wholly covered with LumiBrite luminescent substance in light green and bright orange.
Measuring whole 47 millimeters in diameter and almost 14 millimeters in thickness, the case is still defiantly huge, but not ridiculously so. In fact, when paired with camo, a Glock and some tactical gear, this Japanese baby looks more than adequate.
By the way, the high-contrast scale on the bezel is a simple compass that may become useful if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a dead GPS tracker and no one to ask for directions.
The watch went on sale this last Saturday at a recommended price of ¥115,500 (around $1460, and the pricing initially set in yens means that Seiko still doesn’t plan to introduce this rugged monster to other parts of the world), but if you are reading this review (thank you, by the way) it means that you are ready to do some digging and will be able to find one of these on eBay (the last time I checked, the SBDC021 was offered for around $1350 as “buy it now” deal). But again, the fact that the watch is offered as a JDM model only probably means there may be some problems with international warranty although the caliber 6R15 that powers this timepiece is known for its robustness and reliability and powers a great number of their “international” models so at least parts and skilled labor availability won’t be an issue here.
By the way, its total production run will be limited to just 500 pieces, so there is a good chance that it will keep its resale value relatively well due to relatively low supply.
Seiko Land Golgo 13 (Ref. SBDC021) specification
Price: Around $1350 (JDM model)
Movement: Automatic, Seiko caliber 6R15, Made in Japan
Number of jewels: 23
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 50 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, compass
Case: Stainless steel, scratch-resistant black coating
Size: 47.00 mm
Case height: 13.70 mm
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel flange)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective on the inside