Seiko in its storied history has sparingly teamed up with other retailers on special limited-edition projects – like this new-in-box & new-old stock (NOS) Seiko SZSB006 TiCTAC 35th Anniversary Limited Edition automatic field watch here, with its original boxes & papers.
Japanese retailer TiCTAC is a watch specialty shop that carries everything from popular brands to mechanical watches, like the SZSB006 limited edition here. TiCTAC, which opened its first store in Ikebukuro Parco, Japan, in 1984 and celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2019.
On the face of it, there is much to like about the Seiko+TiCTAC SZSB006, given it blends a few different watch designed into one cohesive package – its case geometry and design borrow from the Seiko SARB line, and pair it well with the storied Seiko Alpinist’s cathedral-style hands similar to that used on its Alpinist and Baby Alpinist models.
While this is technically not a Seiko Alpinist, the case can be made that it visually belongs to that same family of watches - and those that know Seiko history know this is a family with a history strongly associated with Seiko dive watches. And this is more than sufficient for a field watch like the SZSB006
Also present? Some heavy Omega Railmaster and Rolex 1016 design cues, without being too on the nose. In summary, a fun throwback for those in the know without feeling too derivative. All together, it works, with a Worn&Wound reviewer offering, “You ever see a watch and know you have to have it? That was me with the Seiko SZSB006”
The SZSB006features a matte black dial, which in some lighting conditions appears a very dark grey; it features two Arabic indices at the 12 and 6 o’clock position, a date wheel at three, and printed rectangular plots of aged lume for the rest of the hour markers. All render themselves along vintage-inspired lines, in particular the 12 and the “open six”.
On the dial, each hash mark is uniform and crisp with a clean appearance overall, and the outstanding cathedral hands are large, legible, and possess an intriguing design that stands out on the dial – speaking of those in the know, cathedral-style hands were used primarily on military and pocket watches, and with their vintage-colored lume very much lend a vintage look to the SZSB006.
The SZSB006’s intelligent design extends to its bracelet, allowing the watch a vintage look and feel, complementing the dial and case design nicely. It features a brushed three-link oyster style bracelet featuring a gentle taper from lug to clasp; bracelet brushing is medium-grained, with enough texture to play with the light while not overdoing it.
The bracelet underside features a small clasp to keep the bracelet secured. Even at the point the bracelet secures itself to the case, little details like the slim polished chamfer on the inside of each lug blending into the line of the lug jump out.
The final verdict? Per a recent article in watch periodical Fratello, “When I first laid my eyes on the Seiko SZSB006, I was conflicted. Did somebody make a Seiko mod as an Explorer tribute? I soon found myself intrigued. Upon closer inspection, the Seiko SZSB006 visually works. It works incredibly well, to be honest. Sure, all credit to Rolex for creating the iconic 3-6-9 dial."
"But I quickly started loving the SZSB006 for what it is. And to me, this is not a Rolex Explorer copycat. Rather, it’s a clever combination of design elements that reflect Seiko’s roots. That’s why I wrote about it before in a list of the best Seiko JDM releases…The watch is a perfect combination of factors that result in a great explorer’s watch. As such, the link to the Alpinist line is very evident.”
This Seiko SZSB006 TiCTACC comes on its original Seiko-signed bracelet, and with a nylon strap, springbar tool, and rugged travel case.
New-Old Stock Seiko SZSB006 TiCTAC 35th Anniversary Automatic, Full Set
DIAL: Flawless Seiko-signed silver dial with patina’ed hour indices and dial (by design), date at 3 o’clock position works nicely. Matching cathedral-style hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 40mm (44w/crown) x 48mm, with a svelte thickness of 11mm. Caselines remain razor sharp and the brushed finish remains on the case to, which features atypical drilled lugs. Original Seiko caseback sticker remains intact.
CRYSTAL: Lightly domed mineral crystal.
BAND: This Seiko SZSB006 comes on its original stainless-steel Seiko bracelet – still in its protective plastic (!) – which will accommodate up to an approx. 8.5 inch wrist; this TicTAC Anniversary automatic also comes with a black, red, and grey nylon strap.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 4R35 23-jewel automatic movement, which beats at 21,600 bph, is the Japanese company’s replacement for its long-running 7S26 movement; the 4R35 allows hand-winding – in addition to its automatic winding – and a hacking seconds hand.
CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown.
Of note, this 35th Anniversary Seiko SZSB006 comes with original inner/outer boxes, instructions manual, and warranty paperwork.