The Dials it comes in or so many other things make the Seiko Sumo watch a fan favorite.
What do you want to call this type of watch dial? Gradient dial? Graduated dial or smoked dial? Whatever you want to refer a dial with color as is on you but this style introduced by Zenith as far back as 1969 with the El primero A385 has become a trend in the watch-making industry that has grown in leaps and bounds and one that is most definitely here to stay. Let's tour some remarkable watches that are famous for their gradient dials, so you will know why the trend is on now.
There are certain brands that you just can’t help but love, but when they opt to place certain dials on some of their latest releases, you just can’t help but drool almost. So let’s kick things off with one of the very true luxury steel sports watch - The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reference 16202 Jumbo. To celebrate it’s 50 years anniversary this year, the brand rolled out four new references of the 16202 and has similarly treated us with four exquisite dial colors, the blue dial, gray dial, and two unique gradient dials, brown and green sunburst.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reference 16202 Jumbo gradient Brown Dial
We think about the trend of Blue lagoon fumé dials and we can’t help but mention The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds MEGA Cool watch. The sunray brushed pattern of this time piece makes it an exquisite summer watch but if you are more of the retro type of guy who absolutely admires vintage things and loves rocking them, one would think you would be satisfied with watches that have glossy black dials, and in that case you should look up the Longines Legend Diver.
H Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds MEGA Cool watch smoked blue dial
The latest model of this Longines Legend Diver also comes with an ash grey, sand beige, vivid burgundy, or royal blue, all color-gradient dials which leave you having to select between all excellent colors model (you could possibly get them all!) and also giving you a lot of satisfaction that is worth for your money.
Longines Cool Gradient Dials from their Legend Diver Collection
At Strapcode, we love funky. And the Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385 has everything funky there is to love on. It has a bold dial where there’s a strong color dégradé, ranging from almost white in the centre, to a beautiful honey brown hue, down to a shade of black at the periphery. This A385 almost feels like a blast from the past as it’s compact tonneau-shaped case embodies the El Primero Movement from the late 60’s that all kick started this massive dial movement we have today
Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385, ranging from almost white in the centre, to a beautiful honey brown hue, down to a shade of black at the periphery
Certain watches endear people to them with their dial colors but some basically possess all round qualities that give them an underrated value proposition. This is one of them; here we are looking at a model that returns in style, resurgence if we are being accurate. You think of Sumo and you won’t be wrong if you think of heavyweight wrestlers trying to outwit each other out of a circular ring. You thinking this way won’t be entirely wrong because it helps explain how it got it’s name. Your line of thought could have been further stimulated by the fact that the bezel’s shape resembles the Dohyo or ring where Sumo takes place.
But for a name that wasn’t official at first (kind of the trend with Seiko’s dive watches), it has become a fan favorite and now that it returns with these two new major models, you can almost anticipate the massive frenzy it would receive from the watch community in the forthcoming months.
The SEIKO Sumo was introduced in 2007 under the reference Prospex diver 200m SBDC031, this watch made its entry into the market as a mid-range offer and it made its way above other emblematic watches of SEIKO like the Turtle and Samurai And while the watch did possess decent qualities like a better movement than the other two pieces, certain shortcomings like not having a sapphire crystal like the MarineMaster 300m meant that it didn’t evolve in the 11 years spanning 2007-2018. Then came 2019 and the Sumo model had slight tweaks under the new references - The SPB101J1 and The SPB103J1. The tweaks included a more discreet scale, the use of a sapphire crystal and a new calibre- the 6R35.
Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver 200m SPB321J1 Gradient Blue with Unique aftermarket Hexad Watch Band
Then came 2022 and we witnessed three new models that just about ticked the boxes we wanted to be ticked. They now have classical three-link designs with entirely brushed 3-link bracelets, super-hard coating and a brand new ceramic bezel just to mention a few. While there are three new models - the Seiko Sumo SPB321J1, SPB323J1, and the sister model SPB325J1, our focus would be on the first two.
Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver 200m SPB323J1 Gradient Grey with the streamlined and sturdy Angus-J Louis watch band
The SPB321J1 has a blue bezel to match its blue vignette dial with the SPB323J1 coming with a black bezel and while boldness is never a downside, the bold scale of the past models has paved the way to a flat and very glossy insert.
While these new models are in with the new, they are not entirely out with the old as certain features remain intact. The emblematic markers and hands remain, same as the signature ‘Sumo belt’ index at 12 o’clock with the handset still shaped the same way.
Seiko Sumo Prospex Diver 200m SPB321J1 Gradient Blue with the double-lock Super-O Boyer watch band
Written by Victor, images by Toni and others as noted
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