IN-DEPTH: The Seiko Prospex ‘Turtle’ Diver

IN-DEPTH: The Seiko Prospex ‘Turtle’ Diver

Posted in Blog, dive-watch-reviews, Featured

The story in a second: The Seiko Turtle offers a winning combination of heritage and quality at a supremely wallet-friendly price. Seiko dive watches have a massive – at times fanatical – following. It’s these guys and gals who are responsible for giving the brand’s cryptically coded watches their colourful nicknames – the Tuna, Monster, Sumo and, in this case, the Turtle. Officially, the Turtles we’re looking at here are known as SRP775 (black gilt dial on bracelet), SRP773 (blue dial on bracelet) and SRP777 (black dial on silicone). From now on, collectively, we’ll just call them Turtles. But wait, there’s more. These SRP77 divers are actually reissues of the original Turtles – historic divers from the 6309 family, produced from 1976 until 1988. Not only is this new version a faithful homage to the original, it also represents nigh-on-unbeatable value for money. It was the broad, cushion-shaped case that inspired the watch’s nickname, because if you look at it from a distance and squint a little it resembles the shell of a turtle. Of course, the broad sides have a functional purpose as well, the ample flanks serving to protect the case, as well as the crown. As you might expect from a diver, overall it’s quite hefty, coming in at 44.3mm across and 14mm high, though the curves make it quite comfortable to wear. The bezel, which protects the Hardlex crystal, adds a lot of height as well as some contrasting texture, thanks to the double row of polished grips. The bezel is unidirectional, with quite a firm action, though it’s not in the same league as you’d see on higher priced divers. The dial I had a look at three different dial versions of the Turtle. Of these, the black dial/bezel SRP777 is the safest choice, while the SRP773 adds a discreet navy blue to the equation. But the most interesting option is the SRP775, with its gilt details, and gold bezel, dial text and hands. Colours aside, the dials all play from the same book, with a handset and large round indices  that are instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with Seiko Divers – much like the ample luminous material that’s also reassuringly in attendance. you can also find other combinations such as the SRP787 and the SRP789 , coke and bat man versions Text-wise, the Turtle has a lot going on, with brand up top, Prospex logo and ‘automatic diver’s 200m’ text down below. It’s a fairly busy layout but it seems to work, adding to the overall Seiko-ness of the watch. I particularly like the ‘Suwa sword’ detail – the sword-like shape that’s part of the 12 marker – which is a nice nod to vintage models, and ties in well to the lines coming out of the six and nine numerals. The movement One of the quirks of the older Seiko divers was that they couldn’t be hand-wound, and the seconds didn’t ‘hack’ (stop) when...

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An honest review of the new seiko turtles – reference SRP775 , SRP777 , SRP779

An honest review of the new seiko turtles – reference SRP775 , SRP777 , SRP779

Posted in Blog, dive-watch-reviews

The New Seiko Prospex SRP series – sea turtles references srp773 , srp775 , srp777 srp779 ( seiko turtles srp773 , srp775 review ) The new SRP Prospex series is probably one of the most accurate re-issues, up to now. It’s probably an indication of how right Seiko’s designers were in the 1970s, when designing the original 63XX series. The new Seiko Prospex SRP series looks as purposeful as when it first entered the market, 39 years ago. The cushion-shaped case (so-called turtle case) of these models is the central vintage element that defines them – and tends to make them so attractive, especially among Seiko aficionados. This cushion-shaped case measures 44.3mm wide with a lug-to-lug height of approximately 46mm. The watch is 14mm thick, and it has a lug-width of 22mm. It’s a large watch, for sure, but it’s not oversized. Cushion-shaped cases tend to wear a lot smaller on the wrist than their dimensions suggest .  ‘Seiko turtles srp773 srp775 review’  The new Seiko Prospex SRP series retains the same bezel font and layout as the original right down to the subtle concaving of the insert, as it meets the flat Hardlex crystal. The case is slightly taller than the original and this is mostly due to the taller bezel. At 4 o’clock we find the oversized screw-down crown, offering a 200m water resistance (note that the bezel is partially recessed into the case, for extra protection). Flipping the watch around we find the screw down stainless steel case-back, with Seiko’s iconic Tsunami logo, while in addition we can see the specs of the watch and the words “Air Diver” – which are here to remind its user that this Seiko Prospex SRP is not intended for saturation diving. Last but not least, one of the biggest improvements to the original design is the inclusion of drilled lugs. It’s a shame that most manufacturers shy away from incorporating hollowed-lugs on their sport models. ( seiko turtles srp773 , srp775 review )     Accordingly to the authenticity of the case, the dial of the SRPs’ neatly reproduces the dial of the 63XX, with some subtle modern touches. The dial reintroduces the characteristic 63XX 12 o’clock marker and we can also see the wedge-shaped markers at 6 and 9. The day-date feature at 3 sits in a gently angled aperture. The markers are applied with a slightly raised white ring, which approximates the printed white ring on the 6309. The lime is applied in a domed pillow, which gives the dials a vary neat and subtle 3D appearance. The Seiko logo at the top of the dial is larger than the original and printed in white rather than silver. Moving down the dial we next find the somewhat controversial Prospex logo. Some like it, most aficionados do not, but I personally don’t think that this is potential deal-breaker. ( seiko turtles...

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The Legendary Seiko BFK SKA371Kinetic Diver Watch

Posted in Blog, dive-watch-reviews

The Legendary Seiko BFK SKA371 Watch It is no secret that when foks are talking about fine watch brands, the mention of Seiko is almost predictable. In the world of rugged (or bad*ss) watches, Seiko may not be the first name that comes to mind but that does not mean they are incapable of producing some of the world’s toughest watches. Truth be told, the Seiko BFK SKA371 watch stands tall among the most legendary timepieces ever made. This review is going to bring to light the kind of extreme (abusive!) testing that owners of SKA371 have put it under (and it survived!). The Seiko BFK SKA371 Don’t be deceived by its calm appearance First of all, Seiko BFK SKA371 is an analog watch. At one glance, no one can tell for sure the real ruggedness that this watch has been made with. It does not boast the flashy bulky features that make Casio G-Shock watches so intimidating to other ordinary wristwatch wearers. Combination of the fact that Seiko is not particularly best known for producing monster watches and this model being an analog watch it is, most folks would doubt the real toughness of the SKA371. But based on the various stories and tests shared by some owners, SKA371 may not have the most fearsome look but it has a fearless heart that will see it through any extreme treatments thrown at it. The most sadistic test that I’ve seen endured by SKA371 is found here. There is a dozen of tests that were carried out and you could head on there if you want the detailed set-up that goes into every test cases. It is one long thread and for the benefits of those whose time is precious, here is a summary of what I deemed as more interesting test cases and results. Let the Wheel Roll Over It! This is better known as load bearing test. During the test, the BFK SKA371 was placed on the floor and it was rolled over by a Honda Odyssey. The test is equivalent to exerting 1200 pounds of load into this pity watch. Surprise, surprise! The glass showed no sign of crack and it doesn’t crumble under that much pressure. Let It Freeze to Death and Heat It Up! Yes, you heard it right. In one test, the BFK SKA371 was put right inside a freezer (and next to a German sausage). It was left to freeze for close to 24 hours. If the sound of leaving your Seiko inside the freezer sounds crazy enough, what was done to thaw the ice around the watch would be lunatic. After the watch is taken out, hot water was poured to defrost the ice and the watch was dropped from chest-height to complete the ice defrosting. In another round of tests, the frozen watch was placed straight to the hot and...

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BASIC REVIEW OF THE SEIKO MARINE MASTER 300 SBDX001

BASIC REVIEW OF THE SEIKO MARINE MASTER 300 SBDX001

Posted in Blog, dive-watch-reviews, Featured

Seiko Marine Master 300 ( SBDX001 ) The Seiko Marine Master 300 SBDX001 is Seiko’s high-end alternative for Rolex sport swatches. This might sound like a bold statement, but those who know this Seiko, will agree. Let us give you some more information about the Seiko Marine Master 300 or MM300 as it’s nicknamed by collectors. This is no ordinary Seiko; this Marine Master 300 is part of the ‘Prospex’ line of watches, Seiko’s upscale diver line that is only sold and marketed in Japan. There is another Marine Master in the Prospex line, but that one has a depth rating of 600 meters and has a spring drive movement. This Seiko Marine Master 300 is reference number SBDX001. Most dive watches designed for depths of 300 meters, like the Rolex Sea-Dweller or Omega Seamaster, are equipped with a helium/gas escape valve. Due to the superior seal this Seiko doesn’t need a helium/gas escape valve. The design is based on a more than 30-year old design, however everything is bigger and more robust compared to older (and most other) Seiko dive watches. With a height of 14.6 mm and a diameter of 44 mm, and weighing 209 gr on the bracelet (136 gr on the rubber strap), the monocoque case still wears comfortable. The movement is caliber 8L35, which is an undecorated and unadjusted version of the high-end Grand Seiko caliber 9S55. It’s rhodium-plated, has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800 vph (or 4 Hz), has 50 hours of power reserve, has a hacking function and has automatic winding. Compared to caliber 9S55 this caliber 8L35 has an increased balance wheel. Although Seiko says it’s regulated to -10 and +15 seconds, most owners report a daily deviation of well within COSC specifications. This Seiko movement does not seem to be hand-finished, so no beveled edges but machine finishing. The dial is matt black and features applied indices and Seiko’s magnificent Lumibrite fill on markers and hands. Lumibrite is Seiko’s own variant of Super Luminova....

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An honest review of the Seiko SKX007 Diving Watch

An honest review of the Seiko SKX007 Diving Watch

Posted in dive-watch-reviews

  A Comprehensive Seiko SKX007 Dive Watch Review In this review, I try to provide a full reference for anyone who would consider acquiring this classic diver. Seiko Diver’s 200m SKX007 & Variations ( bracelet and strap options )   Watch Specifications 200 M Water Resistance • 7s26 21 Jewels Japanese Automatic Movement • Hardlex Crystal • Diver’s Bezel (Unidirectional) • Stainless Steel Case (42mm diameter, 13mm thickness, 22mm lugs) • Day/Date Display • Sweep Second Hand SKX007 History The SKX007 is unmistakably Seiko, but as a classic diving timepiece it is often compared to the likes of the much costlier Rolex Submariner. Seiko prides itself on the consistent development of innovative and durable timepieces. In that spirit, this humble watch is a classic albeit much-refined descendant of the earliest Seiko divers, which dated back to the 1960s. Utility The SKX007 is very readable. All features of the watch face are geared for a simple engagement. The one-way bezel, the batons, and the hands are the most important parts of this watch for the purposes of diving. Seiko therefore highlighted these specific elements, utilizing sizes, shapes, and contrast in a way that is unified and straightforward. There are no numbers on the dial, only discrete circular hour markers that are begging to be noticed with the pronounced, arrow-like hour hand. The circle of the ‘sweep’ second hand, when it is luminous, is meant to indicate to a diver that the watch is working. The day and date display is care-free but naturally tucked away to emphasize diving components. Under lit conditions, the day/date display beautifully takes the role of a baton on the dial. The compromise, however, is that the display has no lume and therefore leaves a gap in the pattern of luminous markers when conditions are darker. This is a relatively trivial hindrance for divers; with the faintest light, the watch face looks very uniform. The day/date display has a second small disadvantage. It rolls over very slowly, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., alternating between the date, the day in an alternate language, and then in the primary language. It would be nice to have it swift and clear, but such a feature is unneeded in a diving tool. Wearers must get used to it early and respect the mechanism. Hidden from plain view is the provocative double-grooved design of the bezel. The bezel is hefty enough to be operated easily by covered hands, and yet does not dominate the watch. In the dark of the ocean, the watch is honest and effortless. The luminance is superb. Looks While the SKX007 is undoubtedly built for purpose, it is a very handsome watch. It is simple and rugged. As outlined above, its looks are perfectly complementary to its practical use as a diver. The sexy bezel and crown impart sleekness to this robust classic. The crown is...

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Seiko SKX779 Dive Watch Review

Seiko SKX779 Dive Watch Review

Posted in dive-watch-reviews

    Seiko SKX779 Divers Watch The Seiko SKX779 Dive Watch is not just simply a watch. Watches are machines. While some of them may also be works of art, they cannot escape their machineness. There is undoubtedly something fascinating about those examples of the watchmaker’s craft, but there is also something to be learned from the droves of micro-machines that are designed and constructed with only performance and economy in mind. There is craft involved in the ability to engineer a movement for production runs in the tens of thousands that is wholly other than the craft involved in manufacturing a movement by hand. It is a skill that I respect and admire, while having even lessP understanding of its intricacies than I do of traditional watchmaking skills. Being a fan of Seiko’s watches though, I won’t let my ignorance get in the way of taking apart the 7S26 in an attempt to discover its hows and guess at its whys. The 7S26 automatic movement is a logical step in Seiko’s entry level mechanical movement line. Replacing the 7002 in their popular Diver’s watches, it incorporates quickset day and date displays (the 7002 was date only), automatic bi-directional winding via Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system and the lack of manual winding capability that has become a signature of sorts in entry level automatics from Asia. The watch I will be dismantling for this exercise is the SKX779, a 200 Meter Diver’s watch   The Case, Dial and Hands The Seiko SKX779 is a large watch. Its case is 41.5 millimeters across without the crown and approximately 12.5 millimeters thick including the domed crystal. It has a very pronounced, scalloped bezel with circular graining that is protected by an equally pronounced bezel-guard that extends upwards from the lugs. While there are those that rightly question the functionality of this design (arguing that sand and dirt get into the space between them and cause the bezel to jam), it is undeniably this curious feature that attracted me to this watch. The bezel guard extends into the crown guard thanks to the location of the crown at the 4 o’clock position. This crown position is more comfortable for such a large watch and is a bit of a trademaPrk with Seiko Diver’s through the decades. The dial of the SKX779 has an upward curving minutes chapter that gives it a wonderful depth. This effect is further enhanced by the domed crystal, which lamentably protrudes just slightly beyond the bezel (making it susceptible to scratches). A domed crystal is advantageous on a diver’s watch as flat crystals can sometimes have a mirror effect under water. Each of the three hands has a slightly different interpretation of a rocket-ship shape and when the hour and minute hand line up, the resemblance is pronounced. They are painted with an ecru color that matches the...

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