Watches

The Smart, Stylish Diver That'll Withstand Anything

Seiko's cult-classic, solar-powered Arnie watch is built to last.
IMAGE Allie Holloway
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One of Seiko's most sought-after timepieces was originally made to solve a diving problem. On saturation dives, helium buildup inside watches would blow the crystal off and wreck the watch. Seiko prevented this with the Ref. 6159- 7010, featuring an outer case that protected the timepiece underwater from insidious gases. It was dubbed "the Tuna Can" for its resemblance to a five-ounce tin of Bumble Bee. What a nickname.

To top that, when Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a model in the '80s, this edition earned the moniker "the Arnie." Seiko’s 2019 solar "Arnie" is an inspired reissue that tops off its battery using sunlight absorbed through the dial, and with a 47.8mm diameter, it’s even beefier. Which should please Arnie, too. 

Photo by ALLIE HOLLOWAY.
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It's Bulky in a Good Way

At 47.8mm, you might expect the Arnie—or the SNJ025, as Seiko calls it—to sit uncomfortably on all but the biggest wrists. But whatever the reason, that's not the case. Even for our tester—whose two go-to watches are 38mm and 39mm—the Arnie was unexpectedly easy to wear. Is it noticeably bigger than those other watches? No doubt. But the bulk never really weighs you down. Plus, it's fun to change things up from time to time.

Photo by ALLIE HOLLOWAY.
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It's Got Some History

About that nickname: The Arnie featured in both Predator and Commando. It was, if such a thing can exist, the quintessential action-hero watch of the '80s. And even if those movies aren't your thing, the watch has since gained a cult following. Which, as it happens, was more than likely the reason it's back out in the world today; Seiko has been listening to the fans. Good move. 

Photo by ALLIE HOLLOWAY.
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It's Damn Tough

The Arnie can dive to depths of 200 meters, and was made specifically because the rigors of that kind of diving would occasionally blow the top off other watches. This is a very tough timepiece. And seeing as most folks won't get 200 meters down in their entire lives, you can rest assured that it's more than capable of handling whatever you can throw at it at sea level. Charge it up—did we mention its solar power reserve lasts six months?—and do your thing.

Prop styling by Miako Katoh. Photography by Allie Holloway

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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