Prospex Turtle Mini 200M Automatic "Ice Frost" Ref. SBDY109
The Mini Turtle swims into frosty waters — Embrace Seiko’s latest icy-cold iteration of their latest JDM (Japanese Domestic Model) Mini Turtle with a brilliant new textured dial revealing the accomplished Japanese craftsmanship from the well-loved brand.
For many years, Seiko has provided us with countless incredible tool watches with unbeatable value. Ever since the introduction of the first ever Seiko diver in 1975, Seiko embarked on their unfaltering endeavour to produce capable dive watches with numerous remarkable releases in subsequent years that has grown to be modern classics well-regarded by recreational divers and watch enthusiasts alike. The Prospex, or “Professional Specifications” range of watches are a line up of solidly built timepieces intended for use in the professional world.
Seiko Prospex Turtle Mini 200M Automatic "Ice Frost" Ref. SBDY109
Like many of us Seiko lovers, quirky nicknames and new interpretations of past references undeniably evoke excitement to the hobby. The Turtle is widely recognized as one of Seiko’s most iconic professional dive watches, presenting a historic design dating back to more than 4 decades ago in 1977 with the release of the venerable Seiko Ref. 6309, the original 150m cushion case dive watch that was dubbed the “Turtle”. This timeless design certainly is well appreciated by the masses for its strong historic significance, emitting a warm retro vibe that many enjoy. While it enjoyed most of the limelight, its little brother - the Mini Turtle offered many distinctive characteristics of the Turtle in a smaller, more compact form factor.
Like its predecessors, the Seiko Prospex 200M Automatic ‘Ice Frost’ Mini Turtle Ref. SBDY109 features a 42mm stainless steel cushion case with a lug to lug distance of 43mm and a thickness of 13mm. Those with smaller wrists will definitely rejoice with the excellent wearability of this piece. Due to its unique case shape and short lug to lug distance, the SBDY109 fits vastly comfortably on most wrist sizes, working perfectly as a daily driver. Finishing is executed skilfully with fine satin brushing on the top of the lugs that transitions to a high polish at the side of the case. Despite having rather simple finishes, it is done to a high level of precision with Seiko’s watchmaking proficiency.
MADE IN JAPAN with 4R35 automatic movement
At the 3 o’clock position, the screw-down crown effectively equips this piece with a capable 200m of ISO-rated water resistance, making it a perfect companion to bring with you for diving adventures. This level of water resistance is also achieved as a result of the screw-in case back, revealing Seiko’s signature Tsunami logo, a mark signifying the watch’s competency as a professional ISO-rated Prospex diver. The watch is supplied with Seiko’s 20mm stainless steel bracelet with a fold-over clasp that holds the piece firmly on the wrist.
Being a true dive watch, the Prospex 200M Automatic ‘Ice Frost’ Mini Turtle Ref. SBDY109 houses a white 120-click unidirectional rotating aluminium bezel presented with deep black markers for a beautiful contrast. Operation of the bezel is exceptionally pleasing with deep grooves that provide a firm grip, accompanied with a buttery smooth bezel action with little to no backplay. For measuring elapsed time diving expeditions, the bezel features a prominent lume pip at the 12 o’clock position, providing great orientation even in the dark.
Mixture of case finishing for a premium feel
Seiko indisputably makes one of the best-looking dials in its class. While the dial layout remains relatively unchanged from previous iterations of the Mini Turtle, the Prospex 200M Automatic ‘Ice Frost’ Mini Turtle Ref. SBDY109 brings a silvery icy-blue textured dial reminiscent of the Grand Seiko “Kira Zuri” editions Ref. SBGA384/387 that presents a similar dial texture inspired by Japanese painting.
Needless to say, the large indexes and broad hands are generously treated with Seiko’s famed proprietary LumiBrite lume, exhibiting a bright and vibrant glow in dark lighting conditions. The dial is protected by Seiko’s proprietary impact-resistant Hardlex crystal that offers considerably higher scratch resistance compared to mineral crystals. At the 3 o’clock position, the crystal features a circular date cyclops for ease of reading the date.
The Prospex 200M Automatic ‘Ice Frost’ Mini Turtle Ref. SBDY109 is driven by the Seiko in-house caliber 4R35 automatic movement, a notable upgrade from the previous caliber 7S family of movements that were lacking in handwinding and hacking capabilities. This 23 jewel movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 40 hours and beats at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour. Widely recognized as one of a ‘workhorse’ movement, the 4R35 boasts remarkable robustness from the proprietary Diashock anti-shock system and has a reputation to run reliably for an extended period of time without a service.
As expected from Seiko, the Prospex 200M Automatic ‘Ice Frost’ Mini Turtle Ref. SBDY109 delivers incredible value for money as a fully in-house professional dive watch with capable specifications. Although it bears the nickname of Mini Turtle, performance and robustness is unrivalled with the classic full-size Turtle. This new iteration of the Mini Turtle is a great offering for those seeking a reliable midsize diver bearing the iconic look of one of Seiko’s most historic models.
Fantastic - constantly changing color, texture and brilliance.
This watch is all about the face. And it is fantastic - constantly changing color, texture and brilliance. I’ve never had such an “active” watch face before. It’s incredibly and... view moresubtly varied and continually plays off the light with each movement of the wrist - even has a bit of Grand Seiko about it - at times. In all publicity photos the face of the watch is shown as an unmistakable baby-blue, but it actually only looks like that sometimes: at certain angles and in certain lights.
Mostly it looks like a bright, frosty silver. Anyone who’s ever lived in cold weather and awoken to heavy frost on the window will know this look, texture and color. And at certain angles the face can actually look totally snowy white as well. See photos. If you’re hoping for (or dreading) baby-blue all the time, keep this I mind. You won’t get it. But what you do get is a lot better than that.
The silver bezel goes nicely with the color of the face, though in certain lights the face is not easy to read.
This is my second mini turtle from Gnomon, which continues to impress me with their knowledge and willingness to communicate and help. view less