Seiko Prospex Zimbe Limited Edition represents one of the most successful collections in the past 7 years. It’s sold only in Thailand, which attracts collectors from all over the world to this part of the world.
Here's a table view on all the Zimbe models released by now:
|Model / Group||Zimbe No.||QTY||Dial / Accent||Model No.||Caliber||Issue Time||Issue Price (Thai ฿)|
|Turtle||Zimbe 1||1299||Silver Grey||SRPA19K1||4R36||7/2016||62,200|
|MM300||Zimbe 2||222||Sky Blue||SLA013||8L35||8/2016||115,700|
|Baby Tuna||Zimbe 3||1286||White||SRPA47J1||4R36||12/2016||32,800|
|Baby Tuna||Zimbe 8||1234||Blue / Gold||SRPC96K||4R36||8/2018||25,800|
|Samurai||Zimbe 9||1300||Grey / Red||SRPD13K||4R35||12/2018||27,400|
|Mini Turtle||Zimbe 10||999 each||Yellow & Green||SRPD17K & SRPD19K||4R35||3/2019||19,800|
|Baby MM||Zimbe 12||1200||Green / Gold||SPB109J||6R15||9/2019||44,900|
|Baby Tuna||Zimbe 13||999||Gold / Silver||SRPE14K||4R36||2/2020||26,000|
|Monster||Zimbe 14||1500||Gold / Black||SRPF34K1||4R36||10/2020||23,800|
|Sumo||Zimbe 15||1500||Gold / Black||SPB194J||6R35||11/2020||39,800|
|Mini Tuna||Zimbe 16||1000||Red / White||SRPJ55K||4R35||9/2022||26,800|
|Sumo||Zimbe 18||1500||Green / Blue||SPB425J1||6R35||8/2023||42,800|
First Zimbe Limited Edition watch was introduced in 2016. Since then, 11 Zimbe editions have been released. The term "Zimbe" comes from the Japanese name "Jinbe Zame", meaning "whale shark". Therefore, on one side, Zimbe series is all about protection of whale sharks. The other side of the game follows their nature - which brings us to the short lesson about sharks:
Some species of sharks have to swim all the time in order to stay alive. As well as other fishes, sharks take oxygen from the water that passes through their gills. Small blood vessels extract the oxygen from the passing water and carbon dioxide is excreted the same way. What differs in different species is how the water is forced through the gills. The fishes that are not active swimmers, for example bullhead sharks, use buccal (mouth) muscles to draw the water into their mouths and through their gills, which allows them to breathe while they are still. Additionally, they have small respiratory openings behind their eyes that help them draw the water in when they are buried in the sand. Some other species, for example tiger sharks, have the ability to switch between buccal pumping and "ram ventilation", which is a way of pumping water through the gills by swimming fast with their mouths open. The third group of sharks are called "obligate ram ventilators" and those have lost the ability to pump the water through their gills while remaining still. They can only breathe when they are swimming, therefore they have to move constantly. This group includes great white, mako and whale sharks, among others.
That's how Zimbe campaign connects this shark story with the people: Zimbe watches are made under concept "Move your adventurous mind further", motivating us to never stop the adventure and implying that we're one with nature at the same time.
Seiko Zimbe 1
All of the models from Zimbe edition are from Seiko Prospex series. The first watch that has been released under Zimbe concept was Seiko Prospex Silver Grey Turtle SRPA19K1 Zimbe No. 1 (1299 Limited edition).
Zimbe no.1 comes with gray dial and silver bezel, carrying 4R36 movement inside and Zimbe engraving on the back of his case (all of the Zimbe models have the same engraving).
Seiko Zimbe 2
Zimbe no.2 was also released in 2016, in even smaller batch, marked as Seiko Prospex Sky Blue MM300 SLA013 Zimbe No.2 (222 Limited Edition), which means it's even rarer to find than its predecessor. Equiped with 8L35 movement and magnificent blue dial, so it's no wonder its price often goes double comparing it with the previous model, that in case if you're lucky enough to find it.
Seiko Zimbe 3
The third Zimbe model was Seiko Prospex White Monster Baby Tuna SRPA47J1 Zimbe No.3 (1286 Limited Edition), also released in 2016. This model is the most affordable Zimbe model from this year, but no less worthy or handsome than previous two, with its 4R36 movement, white dial and gray rotating bezel.
Seiko Zimbe 4
When it comes to Zimbe editions released in 2017, Seiko Prospex Purple PVD Sumo SPB055J Zimbe No.4 (1639 Limited Edition) is the first one, marking the 4th generation. Carrying 6R15 movement inside and tidal wave pattern on its blue dial, its additionally charming with its purple rotating bezel. Despite its charm, its price is still in lower range among Zimbe models and a specimen is not as hard to find as for the previous models.
Seiko Zimbe 5
Another model released in 2017 as 5th generation of Zimbe is Seiko Prospex Blue Shogun Titanium SPB057J Zimbe No.5 (456 Limited Edition). It is also equipped with 6R15 caliber inside, but its blue dial goes from light blue to deep marine color, with bezel following its color gradients. Due to very limited batch, its price is often going double than that of the previous generation from the same year.
Seiko Zimbe 6
Seiko Prospex Black PVD Samurai SRPC43K1 Zimbe No.6 (1500 Limited Edition) is the third model released in 2017. Its dial and bezel are colored black with gold tone and it carries 4R35 movement inside. These pieces are quite easy to find and their price is on the lower end.
Seiko Zimbe 7
Seiko Prospex Blue MM300 SLA027 Zimbe No.7 (428 Limited Edition) is the first Zimbe watch released in 2018. This mighty fella is all about navy colors, additionally decorated with coral details and with 8L35 ticking inside. No wonder its price is on the higher end, especially taking in mind its limited batch.
Seiko Zimbe 8
The second Zimbe watch released in 2018 is Seiko Prospex Blue Gold Baby Tuna SRPC96K Zimbe No.8 (1234 Limited Edition) as a wonderful Tuna piece with Rose gold coating on its outer case and distinctive sunray blue dial. It is powered by 4R36 movement and its price may be among the most affordable in this series, despite the fact that it is one of the most stylish Zimbe in the series.
Seiko Zimbe 9
Seiko Prospex Grey Red Samurai SRPD13K Zimbe No.9 (1300 Limited Edition) is the third watch released in 2018. Powered by 4R35 movement, it has a dark gray dial and light gray bezel with a touch of red, that gives him a distinctive look, despite the fact that its price is on the lower end of Zimbe edition.
Seiko Zimbe 10
When it comes to Zimbe 2019 editions, Seiko Prospex Yellow & Green Mini Turtle SRPD17K & SRPD19K Zimbe No.10 (Each 999 Limited Edition) models are the first release. Both models carry 4R35 movement but come in somewhat different styles than the previous Zimbe models with their green and yellow dials and similar touches on their bezels, representing the abundance of the colors in the ocean world. These fellas are not too hard to find and may just be the most affordable Zimbe watches out there.
Seiko Zimbe 11
The second Zimbe release in 2019 is Seiko Prospex Red Shogun Titanium SPB099J Zimbe No.11 (500 pieces Limited Edition). Driven by 6R15, this magnificent piece, made on the Shogun base, has a dark red dial with black bezel with gold tone. That shoots him straight into the top stylish pieces among Zimbe models so it's no wonder its price isn't on the lower end, but rather in the middle range.
Seiko Zimbe 12
The third Zimbe release in 2019, Seiko Prospex Zimbe Limited Edition No.12 Phytoplankton SPB109J. The 12th Seiko Zimbe that marks the third edition this year saw the light of day this September. This magnificent watch is no less charming than its predecessors (history overview available lower below).
Specifically, the new model – Seiko Prospex Zimbe Limited Edition No.12 is named Prospex Zimbe Phytoplankton and is marked with the code SPB109J. Like its cousins, Baby Marinemaster (baby MM), it is a 200 m diving watch packed into stainless steel case of 44 m diameter (thickness 13.1 mm).
As the whole collection is devoted to Zimbe sharks (more info below), this models green dial and bezel color represents their main food – phytoplankton (green plankton). But the name also has a deeper meaning. The word plankton is derived from Greek “Fiton”, meaning traveler, which fits the idea behind the whole collection. Golden details on its rotating bezel add luxurious touch to it and Lumi Bright is in its full shine here.
This Phytoplankton model is run by automatic 6R15 caliber with over 50 hour power reserve. The watch moves +25 to -15 seconds per day, which will satisfy even the most picky collectors.
The 12th Zimbe is produced in limited number of 1,200 and can be shipped from Thailand worldwide (which wasn’t the case for earlier models). For the price of 44,900 baht (around $1473) you also get 1 year warranty included.
Aside from the watch wonderfully displayed on the green cloth, the box set includes a rubber watch strap, which may be a bit more comfortable for those who prefer outdoor activities. Pre-orders of Seiko Zimbe 12 also included a nice set of 13 coasters, marking each model so far, as Zimbe 10 includes two watches.
The most special - the number 1 watch from 1200 was auctioned on September 17, 2019 and all proceeds were used for mangrove planting activity in Kaohman, Rayong province.
Which brings us to the background, as Seiko has the tradition of raising awareness on natural causes with its watch series and models, especially when it comes to its limited editions. Good examples are Save the ocean and Ginza limited edition series, but those are merely a tip of the iceberg. Seiko’s history goes deep in connection with nature, but that’s the topic for another post. Now we want to dive into the specific, Thailand limited series, named Zimbe, as this year brought its 12th generation described above.
Seiko Zimbe 13
The concept and color used on the Zimbe no.13, is based on the sun shining on the surface of the sea to sparkle gold, making it a fairy-tail sea-like beauty for lone travelers like the whale shark to get the opportunity to discover the beautiful land nearby. Issue price : 26,000 baht and driven by the 4R36 movement.
Seiko Zimbe 14
The second Zimbe release in 2020 was a "Monster", driven by the 4R36 movement. The design of this Zimbe 14 is based on the Prospex 200 meter diving watch family known as the 'Monster', which become the first "Monster” in the Zimbe family. Seiko's designers have taken inspiration from the beauty of the Indonesian island and the local character, the giant dragon 'Komodo. The setting of colors on the watch was brought from the gold sparkle, the fierce and beautiful black eyes of the Komodo dragon to the core of the design. Seiko SRPF34 is another Thailand domestic market limited edition with only 1,500 pieces for Whale shark conservation.
Seiko Zimbe 15
Seiko Prospex Sumo Zimbe no. 15 SPB194J1 with limited of 1500pcs. This Seiko Zimbe 15 is the second Sumo in the family but the first one driven by the new 6R35 movement. The design was inspired by the color of the famous Cape Manzamo, Okinawa's famous elephant trunk cliff located on the seafront in Onna village. Issue price : 39,800 baht.
Seiko Zimbe 16
New usage of a combination of red and white contrasting colors makes the Zimbe 16 SRPJ55K stand out more. The round case measured 43.2mm, housing a 4R35 caliber, is a neutral sizing that is suitable to be worn by both men and women. This16th edition of Zimbe is based on the design of Mini Tuna under the concept Zimbe Spirit with a limited edition of 1,000 pcs. Issue price : 26,800 baht.
Seiko Zimbe 17
Seiko Prospex Samurai Zimbe no. 17 SRPJ29K with a limited of 1000pcs. This Zimbe no.17 was developed based on the latest issue of King Samurai and was the first time being added to the Zimbe series. Zimbe no. 17 SRPJ29K was driven by the 4R35 movement. Issue price: 29,800 baht.
Seiko Zimbe 18
The Seiko Prospex Zimbe Limited Edition No. 18 watch took its inspiration from the whale shark, known in Japanese as "Jinbei Zame". The watch model SPB425, SPB425J or SPB425J1, was available for sale on August 10, 2023 for a label price of 42,800 Thai baht. Whale sharks can travel over 1 million kilometers in their lifetime, which is equivalent to circling the globe 25 times. Despite their enormous size, whale sharks have no natural predators due to their slow swimming speed of only 5 kilometers per hour. This watch drew inspiration from the whale shark's ability to dive to depths of over 1000 meters at once, Zimbe 18 showcasing the beautiful gradient of colors at these depths. The Seiko Prospex Zimbe 18 Limited Edition SPB425J, had a case design based on the new 2019 redesigned Seiko Sumo with a 45mm diameter, 12.85mm thickness and a rotating unidirectional bezel. The blue bezel featured a white minute scale and yellow gold 20 minute scale for timing dives.
The dial had a beautiful gradient from clear blue-green darkening to a deep green almost black color, inspired by the extreme depths dove by whale sharks into the ocean. The hands and gold hour markers were coated with Lumibrite lume. It was powered by the 6R35 automatic calibre at 21,600bph, with a 70-hour power reserve wound both manually and automatically. The watch was water resistant to 200 meters and came with a 3-row stainless steel bracelet and additional dark blue silicone strap. Only 1500 pieces were produced for distribution solely in Thailand. It was packaged in a specially designed recycled plastic box to reduce ocean plastic pollution.
All Zimbe watches are targeted towards the younger generations within the age range from 16 - 35, as the managing director of Seiko (Thailand) co, Harumitsu Akashi states. The face of Zimbe series is therefore actor Ananda Everingham. You can find pictures of his campaign for Zimbe by following Ananda on Instagram or following a hashtag: #followzimbespirit
Source: Ananda Everingham Instagram
Written by M.H., images from other sources as noted