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Watch of The Warrior: Seiko Prospex Samurai Review
Seiko recently released the Seiko Prospex Divers line-up that is heavily inspired by the 2004 Seiko “Samurai”. The collection marks the return of non-limited editions from arguably Seiko's most sought-after dive watch styles. The chubby yet handsome Seiko Prospex Samurai features several call options and brings back some of the features Seiko collectors find most attractive of brand divers - and it packs a lot of features considering its relative affordability.
Let's find out below if this dive watch conforms to the Samurai Code.
History of the Samurai Seiko
Back in 2004, Seiko introduced the first generation of Samurai. It was well received by the audience because of its modern design. At that time, Samurai was available in titanium in addition to stainless steel. However, Seiko stopped production of a newer version. This is why we were left with a stainless steel version for this review. But don't worry! Stainless steel is just as good as titanium.
As time has passed, its popularity has increased and the Seiko Samurai has grown to become one of Seiko's most sought-after dive watches.
Why Called Seiko Samurai?
If Seiko is to get another award, it has to be for their creativity in terms of the nickname of their watch. The case of Seiko Tuna, for example, resembles the shape of a tuna can. Another example is the Ice Monster which has a white and blue hue that will remind you of the Abominable Snowman or Yeti. If you need another example, consider the Seiko Turtle, which has a case that resembles a turtle shell.
Seiko Samurai is no exception to that rule. If you look closely at the pointer, the hour and second hands resemble a sword. And in honor of Seiko's Japanese origins, they decided to name him after a name that became an icon in Japan. This is why they chose the Samurai over the adventurous, sword-wielding knights or paladins.
Comparing it to other Seiko dive watches, Samurai displays the perfect balance between traditional and modern. It doesn't look dated like the SKX series. But it's also not as avant-garde as Monster. And as others have said, it's neither too much nor too little - like Goldilocks.
Another thing that you notice right away is how easy it is to read the time. The hour markers, as well as the hour hands, are thick enough for easy reading.
Lastly, the two-tone bezels add an eye-catching hue. Thus, the Seiko Samurai will appear in a shirt and shorts, as well as a scuba diving suit.
Seiko Samurai Specifications
We're done with first impressions. Now, let's dig deeper into what this watch has to offer. Here are some important details you should know about Samurai.
First, let's critique the first thing we see - the case. According to the specification sheet, it is made with Stainless Steel. It is important for a dive watch, or any watch, to have a durable case. That's why Seiko got it right.
You'll also appreciate Seiko's attention to detail when looking at the case from the side. It has a fine diamond shaped pattern that surrounds it.
Just looking at the specs sheet, you might think that the 43.8mm case is bigger than average. Yes, it is true. However, the lugs are made small and thin, thus making the watch more compact than it looks. This is considered an advantage because the watch feels light on the wrist but still sturdy.
In the case of bezel, the Samurai was equipped with a unidirectional bezel. You can only turn it counterclockwise. This is in order to meet the requirements of a diver's watch.
For the uninitiated, the bezel is used by divers to track their dive times. However, you can still find these features useful on land. Some people use it for other daily activities such as time commuting or baking cookies when the kitchen timer is broken.
Another thing that's impressive about the bezels is that Seiko doesn't detract from the design. As mentioned earlier, it has a two-tone color scheme. The first quarter of the watch features a matte gray finish and is slightly brown. Meanwhile, the positions 3 to 12 o'clock are black.
Most of the dials consist of watch designs. Visually, this timepiece is very pleasing to the eye. The index, as well as the hour and second hands, are thick enough to read from afar. They even make the 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock, and 12 o'clock markers thicker than usual, so it will be easier for you to know which time the dial is pointing.
In addition, the dial's functionality goes hand in hand with a fine design. As previously mentioned, we call them Samurai because their hands resemble swords. When the two hands overlapped each other, they magically turned into powerful swords. The blade is on the minute hand, while the guard or cross is on the hour hand. Too bad you only get to watch it for a few minutes each day.
From afar, you would think that the dial has a plain black background. But if you take a closer look, you'll see that it has a subtle square pattern. These simple additions make the watch much more attractive.
4. Hardlex crystals
Apart from readability, durability is also an important aspect of a diver's watch. And Seiko is proud to say that their Hardlex Crystal protects the Samurai dial. For those who don't know, Hardlex Crystal is a trademark for mineral materials that are produced.
This gives the watch high resistance to scratches and impact while keeping the price tag low. With this in mind, Samurai users won't have to worry about their watch hitting a rock underwater.
Inside, the Samurai is powered by a self-winding motion called caliber 4R35. This gesture ticks at 21,600 vibrations per hour and supports several useful functions. Among those functions are hand wind and second hacking functions. In addition, this caliber can power your diver for approximately 41 hours while the wound is full.
Hacking Functions: We have already mentioned that caliber 4R35 consists of hacking functions. What it does is stop the second hand while you adjust the time. This allows the user to set the time accurately down to seconds because knowing the correct time is essential for some activities.
Hand-Wind Function: Caliber 4R35 is an automatic movement. However, you can choose to play it manually whenever you want. To increase the power reserve, all you have to do is turn the crown.
This is very useful for keeping your watch powered without having to wear it every day. Plus, you don't need to keep it on your watch when you're not using it. Overall, this movement was widely considered to be reliable, accurate and durable.
As mentioned earlier, readability is very important for a dive watch. In fact, ISO requires that the dive watch be visible at 25cm in total darkness. And when it comes to lume, Seiko Samurai doesn't disappoint.
The watch index, as well as the hour hands, are applied with LumiBrite. For those who don't know it, LumiBrite is Seiko's luminous paint that is bright, durable, and completely free of radioactive substances to ensure safety for humans and the environment. LumiBrite usually lasts 3 to 5 hours. It is ten times longer than ordinary luminous paint.
The great thing about lume Samurai is that LumiBrite is applied across all markers. Other Seikos models only have a lume above 80% of their mark.
7. Diving Ability
As mentioned above, Seiko Samurai belongs to Seiko's Prospex lineup. For those who don't know, the name Prospex is a combination of the word "professional specs". This means that the watch is built to withstand extreme conditions.
Now, what are the requirements to become a dive watch, and does the Samurai live up to the standards?
It must be at least 100m water resistant. The Seiko Samurai passed this test brilliantly. In fact, it is water resistant up to 200m, double the minimum requirement!
It must have unidirectional bezels. As previously mentioned, the Seiko Samurai has a clockwise bezel that rotates counterclockwise. In short, the watch bezel has 120 clicks, which is the standard of dive watch bezels.
Readability should not suffer in the dark. Many people swear by Seiko's LumiBrite. In fact, it is one of the brightest and most durable feathers in its price range.
It must be shock resistant. Thanks to the Hardlex crystals protecting it, the Samurai can face a few obstacles here and there. In fact, Hardlex crystals are even advertised as being scratch resistant.
Another Seiko Samurai Edition you might be interested in.
Seiko Prospex Samurai 200M Automatic Hulk Green Ref. SBDY043
The Seiko Prospex Hulk Green Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY043 is the newest addition to the "Samurai" collection. Prospex for Seiko means "Professional Specs" that their watches in this category are manufactured to a very high standard for use by professionals. One of the most popular releases in recent years is probably the remake of OG Seiko Samurai which was launched in 2004 to 2008 (short production period). Real Samurai divers are quite rare given their short production life of four years, furthermore by the few examples circulating in the market. It's no wonder the new Prospex SBDY019 is so popular with Seiko and dive watch collectors, that the giant has been reviving this fantastic line since 2017.
With many requests since we introduced Seiko JDM, we decided to carry the MADE IN JAPAN Tortoise which is meant for the Japanese Domestic Market, denoted by "J" on the reference number and "MADE IN JAPAN" at number 6 on the dial. The prospex SBDY039 is similar to its siblings, Turtle (SBDY039) and Sumo (SZSC004), but is now clad in "Samurai Armor". SBDY043 is a JDM model only available in Japan. The difference may not be that obvious, but it means a lot to Seiko collectors.
Powered by Seiko's automatic caliber, 4R35, operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertzs) with hacking and hand turning capability. It has 23 gems with a power reserve of 41 hours.
The waterproof 200m stainless steel case measures 43.8mm without a crown, with a 22mm lug width. The highlight has been on the iconic Samurai side case design. Angle lugs allow the watch to wrap around the wrist on all wrist sizes, large or small. Another feature of the Seiko Samurai is the bezel and crown, they have a unique knurling that allows the user to function with ease. It rotates the smooth butter to 120 positions and has little or no free play clockwise. Sitting on top of the bezel is Seiko's Hardlex.
Seiko's satin brush and high-polish finish can be seen all over the watch, giving it a slightly premium yet sturdy feel. Moving to the rear, the back case features a recognizable tsunami emblem, which other Seiko divers are a mainstay of. The case even features a lug hole that allows easy strap exchange.
Seiko Samurai's greatest evolution is probably from the facelift dial. The index and needle set have been redesigned to be larger for easier reading time. Unlike the previous Samurai, the new arrow hands made confusion with the minute hands impossible. Also, a small but useful marker appears next to the date window that was not present in the previous Samurai. Perhaps the biggest change is the choice of color on the dial. The new dial has a nice sunburst hulk green color, capable of dancing and playing with different lighting when it hits the surface. The index is largely the same, as is the classic Seiko hour and minute hands. Perfect hour markers and hands are coated with Seiko's LumiBrite so that they glow brightly in the dark for hours on end. Second hand done in bright yellow to aid legibility. Furthermore, Seiko has also done 12, 3, 6 and 9 markers on the practice minutes with the same yellow color as the second hand to keep the measure a little.
The Seiko Prospex Hulk Green Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. The SBDY043 comes with a stainless steel bracelet with three fold clasps with a safety lock and push-button release with an extender.
TheSeiko Prospex Hulk Green Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. The SBDY043 is perhaps one of the more interesting dive watch remakes of Seiko in recent years. And one of the few watches worthy of inclusion in any dive watch collection. With an excellent price point and good value for money, this is the watch that will probably fit the wrists of most Seiko buyers.