Seiko Tuna is the name given to Seiko’s range of watches designed for scuba and professional diving. In particular, Seiko made these watches with saturation diving or greater depth diving in mind. All of the watches in the Seiko Tuna range are characterized by protective screwed-on shrouds that have earned them the nickname of “Tuna”.
The Seiko Tuna collection boasts of many firsts. The collection was the first to feature a titanium/stainless steel shroud, a monocoque case, an L-shaped gasket, and a vented rubber strap. Primarily built for functionality, the Seiko Tuna watches can withstand great depths as tools for professional divers.
|Seiko Prospex Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049
Built in 1975, the first Seiko Tuna watch was created in response to a letter the company received in 1968. A saturation diver from Kure City in Hiroshima, Japan sent a complaint regarding Seiko divers watches, which the company had been making since 1965. These pre-Tuna models were not robust to impact and could not withstand exposure to deep underwater pressure for prolonged periods.
Seiko engineers took on the challenge to create the “ultimate professional diver’s watch”. These engineers, led by Ikuo Tokunaga, decided to develop the new Seiko Tuna watches for saturation diving from the start. Tokunaga and his team began development in 1968 and released the first Seiko Tuna watch seven years later with more than 20 patents.
Up until today, the Seiko Tuna has been one of Seiko’s most well-received and distinguished line ups, being a historic saturation dive watch built almost to perfection. Perhaps this is what made the Tuna such an icon over the years that didn’t need a design change ever since its first release back in 1975 – the Tuna was already ahead of their time. Today, Seiko introduced their latest generation of Tunas bringing back many visual aspects of the original Tuna.
|Seiko’s iconic high tech quartz movement, 7C46
Taking a closer look at this year’s latest iteration of the Tuna, the Seiko Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049 comes in the highly recognizable hockey puck shaped case we Seiko fans are all too familiar with. Measuring in with a case diameter of 46.7mm, a lug to lug distance of 47.7mm and case thickness of 14.1mm, it may seem rather overwhelming on paper with its fairly large diameter. However, it would be no exaggeration to say the Tuna is known to be one of the smallest-wearing large watches on the market since it’s practically lug-less. Fret not, even small to medium sized wrists will be able to pull this off just fine with a comfortable fit on the wrist, secured by the supplied 22mm stainless steel bracelet.
As Seiko’s most tough-looking offerings, the Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049 features a hefty stainless steel case construction and protective steel shroud treated with Seiko’s Super-Hard coating for an extra layer of durability. Throughout the case, the fully satin brush finish adds a rugged character, further emphasizing the fact it is a tool watch built for purpose. The 120-click unidirectional steel diving bezel amplifies the overall wrist presence with a strong bold flair while blending harmoniously with the rest of the case.
|Stainless steel shroud with super hard coating
The deep black dial of the Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049 sure is fitting for a true dive watch, featuring large prominent hour indexes and broad hands that are generously treated with Seiko’s Lumibrite for a potent glow in the dark. The dial layout of the Tuna has remained relatively unchanged throughout the years. Well, as the saying goes; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, the core strength of the Tuna rests in its incredible performance as a dive watch, which is evident in the highly legible dial. Speaking of legibility, it is refreshing to see Seiko implement an upgraded sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating this time around for superior scratch resistance.
The Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049 is driven by Seiko’s high-torque cal. 7C46 quartz movement. This is no ordinary quartz movement, running with extreme accuracy, this masterpiece in-house 7 jewelled quartz caliber was designed specifically for the Tuna series. The 7C46 is made to be resistant to magnetism and incredibly energy efficient with a battery life of approximately 5 years, a movement seriously packed full of innovative technologies with utmost performance in mind. Housed in a screw-in case back and operated by its screw-down crown, the SBBN049 carries an ISO certified water resistance of 300m, ready to take a dip.
|Seiko’s Lumibrite needs no introduction
Overall, the latest Tuna 300m is a premium upgraded addition to the Prospex collection. This Seiko timepiece has won me over with its vintage design and superior tuna-can case, I can’t get my Impeccable diving prowess has always been the hallmark of Seiko Tunas since the beginning, the Professional 300M Tuna Ref. SBBN049 upholds its founding values with performance-driven specifications and enticing new upgrades. It goes to show why many diving professionals and watch enthusiasts hold the illustrious Seiko Tuna in such a high regard. In any case, this latest generation of the Tuna is pretty much the ultimate dive watch, embodying Seiko’s strong passion and respectable dive watch pedigree. off it! This exquisite watch presents a compelling set of specs and as quantities aren’t limited, it is less difficult to get in on the action.