We all know the typical scene in the cult classic movies Commando and Predator. Arnold Schwarzenneger is lurking in the shadows, his face painted in camouflage. He’s towing an obnoxiously big weapon, waiting for the perfect time to carry out a surprise attack. As watch enthusiasts (and movie nerds), we already know what watch is accompanying him; the iconic Seiko H558-5009 or appropriately nicknamed the “Arnie”. Yesterday morning, and in John Matrix or Alan Schaefer fashion, Seiko caught us all off guard with several unexpected releases including a trio of new Arnies. The recognizable Ani-Digi divers get a refreshed look and a couple of new features. Forgive me, but this is way too obvious not to say, Arnie is back.
At first glance, there are a few changes within the case and dial layout. Starting with the case, you’ll notice that the right side now has a set of three crowns and a lone crown at eight o’clock. The crown positioning has changed, but the functions remain the same. The singular crown at eight, as well as the crown now positioned at two, still manages the digital display and functions. The crown at four controls the new dive mode feature (more on that in a bit). For those uninitiated to the Arnie, each of these crowns are also equipped with a built-in button to assist with initiating and stopping the different timing functions. The case leans out a tad when compared to previous iterations, coming in at 46.9 mm wide (a millimeter smaller) and still a substantial 14.2 mm thick.
The dial now displays the digital screen at the bottom as opposed to the top. In my opinion, this placement makes for a more cohesive dial, allowing the triangle marker, as well as the rest of the dial, to breathe a bit more. The Seiko branding and inscriptions on the dial are also placed in a way where they are more balanced visually. The change is subtle, but for those that pay attention to those types of details, especially with a watch like this that has a lot going on, it goes a long way.
The new trio of Ani-Digi Seiko Prospex divers are powered by a new solar movement dubbed the H855. We still get some of the same utility features including a chronograph with a digital readout, alarm functionality, dual time and a power reserve indicator through the digital display. The new feature here (although I do believe references have had a similar feature) is Seiko’s “Dive Mode” which allows the user to maintain a dive log up to 100 dives. The “Dive Mode” is also equipped with a depth reading up to 80 meters, rapid ascent notification and the ability to switch temperature and depth units. Accompanying the swiss army digital functionality is a WR rating up to 200 meters, LumiBrite lumed hands and markers, hardlex crystal and an LED backlight for the digital display.
The three references here for the new divers are the SNJ033, SNJ035 and the SNJ037. The SNJ033 is the traditional looking of the bunch, sporting a black dial with a stainless steel case and bracelet. The SNJ035 is a PADI special edition that features the distinct PADI indigo blue accents and will come on a rubber strap. Last, but certainly not least, is the SNJ037 which celebrates 40 years of the hybrid diver line, and comes in a PVD coated steel case and bracelet.
Approximate pricing are as follows; SNJ033 for $761, SNJ035 for $708 and the SNJ037 which will be limited to 4,000 pieces and will retail for $814. Look out for the release of these new Arnie divers, as well as the new Seiko 5 Sports GMT and their thinnest-to-date Prospex Heritage Turtle divers next month. Seiko