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Hands On: Seiko Prospex Turtle - The Power of Crystal
Released in 2016, Seiko's modern SRP Turtles made major breakthroughs with their good retro looks, high-quality feel, and very affordable prices. Have the "new" Seiko Turtles survived? What does Seiko's watches history tell us about his present and future?
The story goes, the SRP Turtles is a modern example of the Seiko padded 6306/9 dive watch from the 70s and 80s. The external dimensions are very similar to those of antiques, measuring 44 mm in diameter and 14 mm thick.
The SRP 775 has a black face with gold hands and indicators, and it comes with one of Seiko's excellent stainless steel bracelets as usual. Various colors and strap combinations are available.
For a watch of that size, the SRP 775's wrist comfort is incredible. Give credit to the pillowcase. The design may be retro but it works for much more than just style.
The turtle sits square and flat on the table on the wrist. Once the bracelet is properly tuned, it just stays there and doesn't become a distraction shifting. Even better - the casing curves soft and organic, never biting, digging or leaving marks.
The legibility of this Seiko turtle watch is outstanding, as one might expect from a dive watch. The dial is deep black with gold details, right down to the round hour marking bezel containing Lumibrite.
Lumibrite is also present in the syringe and arrow-shaped handset, as well as a pip in the bezel. Lume fans and murky water divers will be delighted by the Turtle. Fully charged it illuminates your wrist like a full moon.
The gold detail found on our SRP 775 adds a lot of interest to the more ordinary Turtles, both on and off the wrist. The added color makes the leather or fabric strap pop if you get tired of the bracelet. Gold also visually ties Turtle back to beloved Swiss dive watches from the 50s and 60s, many of which feature gold details.
More than that, it looks good. The sun catches the edge of the hand and markers and plays with the matte dial in a really playful way; on the right day, the watch emits a warm light. I didn't expect this on a tool watch, but I love it.
Inside the pillowcase it beats the 4R36 automatic movement like Seiko's pack horse. Self-produced in Japan by Seiko (of course), the moves are hacking and turning by hand as you activate the screw-down knob.
The Seiko Turtle watch also has a day and date window that can be quickly set; True Seiko nerds will be looking for the JDM version with the Kanji day wheel. Seiko claims 40 hours of power reserve, and I've seen at least that when worn as part of three watch rotations.
The remainder of the SRP 775 is standard Seiko diver fare. The Seiko Turtle watch carried the bezel rotating in the direction of the edge of the tactile coin to help rotate it with wet hands. The crown, found at the 4 o'clock position, is screwed down. The case is water resistant to 200 meters and the watch is fully ISO 6425 compliant. The H-link bracelet is made of stainless steel and has an extension to help it slip into a wetsuit.
The Turtle bracelet deserves extra attention. It fits snugly into the case, and the links feel tight and snug. The link edges are polished for comfort and smoothness, although they don't match the level of the exceptional bracelet found on the Grand Seiko watches we have reviewed.
The folding clasp feels sturdy without the slightest bit of flex or play and includes a folding lock to ensure it is secure. It is a simple design but executed with an unusual level of precision and care even at the higher price point. Seiko cared about the details and it showed.
Seiko Turtle SRP 775 User Story
The so-called "Turtle" Seiko diver's watch - a newer and larger version, of the famous pillowcase 6306/9 diver's watch, made from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s - was released earlier this year, and we got their hands on it. at the end of February. I've been a huge Seiko fan for a long time, and the watch looks great to me, and to many others, but as with any watch, liking the idea of a certain type of watch is one thing, and being able to live with it for days, weeks and weeks. Weeks, and months is another thing - sometimes completely different things. We all wish we could know before buying a watch how we feel about it weeks, or months, in the future, and any Seiko dive watch should have the potential to become a watch you can literally live with.
At the first score, the SRP 775 completely outdid itself. I have always thought, in general, that a dive watch with a one-way bezel has a better chance of satisfying or better in most real-life situations than almost any other category of generic watch. They are as a rule built to tolerate some use occasionally, or even more than once in a while; usually very easy to read; of all the classes of watches, they were the ones that found it easiest to find something that was truly sturdy, very handsome, and very affordable. Time frames will generally handle almost any real-world time problem you might have as well (my SRP 775 counts more laundry times than I can remember). Incidentally, there were some initial complaints about bezel alignment issues. Neither of our tortoises showed signs of trouble in this regard. The bezel turns smoothly if it is a little stiff and my bezel hits the holder sharply, along the dial. It doesn't taste exactly like the bezels at Tudor Black Bay (for example), but you don't pay the Tudor price either.
On the second score, there were a few watches that I found missing when I wore the SRP 775, as time went on - I have a habit of winding, like most of us do. But overall, the SRP 775 is quite good, even if you have other watch options, and even if you've spent a lot of time around the watch, it's not only quite but also very satisfying, 99% of the time watch.
So the SRP 775 passed the adequacy test - its functionality and design can handle just about anything. And, it passes the craving test - it's versatile and functional enough, and it has a cool enough factor to it that you don't find yourself wanting to take it off your wrist and have something else all too often. However, a reasonable question that someone in the Seiko dive watch market might ask is why would you buy one of the new dive watches with pillowcases from Prospex.
But I found myself wearing the SRP 775 with a much calmer mind, only because if I picked it up after a few days and it found that it had stopped I could actually put a full charge into the barrel, setting it to a time signal (thanks to the seconds feature stopper) and get on with life. Yes, it is true that the absence of provisions for hand-spinning is a good quality entry-level Seikos trademark feature; yes, it is true that in and of itself it is not a fatal flaw (you can't use Jaeger-LeCoultre Futurematics after all). But give it the choice to do with or without, I will take the ability to circle around at any time.
It's been three months, more or less, since I first used the SRP 775, and for the most part, it's been a lot of fun to wear; for $495, I doubt there is much out there that could offer significantly more and most dive watches at this price point will probably challenge to match what the Black and Gold Turtle has to offer. It's just one of those watches that for various reasons seems to naturally find its way onto the wrist every day, and as long as you can manage the 44mm case (and again, the one that wears less than you'd expect just from the numbers) you can do well. good for using one of the best Value Propositions I've seen in a very long time.
So what makes Seiko's Turtle updated?
Seiko continues to drive its product market on Prospex, further enhancing its materials and finishes while mixing in details that were once Grand Seiko's sole domain.
Been around for a while, these Turtles are a bit of a throwback that delivers incredible quality for an MSRP that immediately makes sense. Given Seiko's new strategy, it makes sense to see this affordable gem disappear from the stairs one day.
I don't see a day when anyone who appreciates a good watch would dislike the SRP 775 Turtle. Much like their ancestors, this is a true watch forever and as good as it is for $420.
Another Seiko Prospex Turtle:
Seiko Prospex Turtle 200M Automatic Blue Ref. SRP773J1
Prospex for Seiko basically means "Professional Specs" that their watches in this category are manufactured to a very high standard for use by professionals. The remake of the Seiko 6309 (circa 1976-1988), also known as the turtle, is possibly one of the most successful releases in recent years. The original 6309 divers are quite rare given their short production life of 12 years. While there are many examples on the market, there are only less than a dozen originals. It's no wonder the new Prospex SRP77X is so popular with Seiko and dive watch collectors. With many requests since we introduced Seiko JDM, we decided to carry MADE IN JAPAN Turtles, denoted by "J" on the reference number and "MADE IN JAPAN" at number 6 on the dial.
The Seiko Turtle watch 200M Automatic Blue Ref. The SRP773J1 was first released in 2015. The overall appearance of the Turtle is unique, unique and unique considering its unusual casing silhouette. Powered by Seiko's automatic caliber, 4R36, operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertzs) with hacking and hand turning capability. It has 24 gems with a power reserve of 40 hours.
The 200m waterproof stainless steel case measures 44.3mm box without knob, but has a lug to lug length of only 47mm, and a height of about 13mm, with a lug width of 22mm. Short lugs to long lugs mean the watch wraps around the wrist on all wrist sizes (small or large) like a glove making it very comfortable. The bezel is made of aluminum and has a large printed mark on it. It rotates the smooth butter into 120 positions having 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 feel. The downward screw knob at four o'clock is easy for timing. The screw-in case back, which is also polished and features the familiar tsunami symbol that has become a favorite of other Seiko divers, allows for 200 meters of water resistance. The case is equipped with lug holes that allow easy strap exchange.
The matte blue dial stays true to a watch that pays homage with lots of classic cues. The index is largely the same, as is the classic Seiko hour and minute hands. The hour markers and hands are coated with Seiko's LumiBrite which allows it to glow brightly in the dark for hours.
SeikoTurtle watch 200M Automatic Blue Ref. The SRP773J1 comes with a matching satin stainless steel bracelet with a polished link.
Seiko Turtle watch 200M Automatic Blue Ref. The SRP773J1 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.