Hands-on

The New Seiko ‘Monster’ PADI Edition SRPE27K1

The return of the Monster case, with the cool PADI colour scheme.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 6 min read |
Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

Launched at Baselworld 2016, the association between PADI and Seiko has resulted in some of the brand’s coolest models. Think Turtle SRPA21 or Samurai SRPB99. Behind these special edition watches, with blue and red accents, often hide well-established models… And the latest in line to become a PADI is the ‘Monster’, one of the most recognizable designs of Seiko. So let’s have a look at the new PADI reference SRPE27K1.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1
Even though accessible and quite fashionable, these watches are built to last and to dive.

The Seiko Monster

Seiko fans love to give nicknames to their favourite models – some of them have even been accepted officially by the brand. Turtle, Captain Willard, Samurai, 62MAS, Sumo, Tuna… Among them is a watch that has been granted the name ‘Monster’, and if this might not be the sexiest patronym, it actually fits the watch quite well. If this name was certainly nothing but official when the watch was introduced in 2001 – with the references SKX779 (Black Monster) and SKX781 (Orange Monster) – it almost immediately became the way to name this watch among the collecting community.

The watch earned this name due to its sharp, unusual, almost integrated shape with a bold and aggressive design. Back in the days, it was certainly not a watch for the faint-hearted. Almost 180 grams, a diameter of 42mm, an oversized crown and a lot of exposed metal with its steel bezel over a steel case and bracelet. The watch was equipped with the relatively basic calibre 7S26 or 7R36 – which once equipped the reference of all accessible diver’s watches, the SKX007. It was followed by multiple limited/special editions, in blue, green, yellow or, as seen here, in white and blue.

Seiko Snow Monster - Thailand Limited Edition
The SKZ331, Seiko ‘Snow Monster’, limited to 2,555 pieces and launched in 2011.

Late 2012, Seiko updated its diver’s watch with a new generation of Monster models, with light visual evolutions and the integration of the more modern calibre 4R36, with stop-seconds and hand-wound capacity. If the overall look remained identical, most of the elements were differently shaped – crown, bezel, indexes, dial, hands…

The second-generation Monster, here a Seiko Diver’s 200m ‘Orange Monster’ SRP309.

In 2015, Seiko launched a new series of watches, this time under the ‘Prospex’ umbrella (see the X logo on the dial). The third-generation Monster plays in a different league, with more advanced features and an upgraded movement, the calibre 6R15, which was found in the Sumo models for example. Sadly, these models (also available in Orange and Blue) would remain Japanese Domestic Market watches. The dial also returned to the indexes found in the first generation, replacing the shark-tooth markers of the second generation.

The third-generation Seiko Monster, here a reference SBDC025 ‘Black Monster’.

Finally, in 2019 Seiko launched the fourth-generation Monster, which is now available worldwide and marked a strong evolution of the model, with a contrasting bezel, a return to the more accessible calibre 4R36 as well as the day-date complication. And this is the model used for the new PADI Edition SRPE27K1 that we’ll be looking at today.

The Seiko ‘Monster’ PADI Edition SRPE27K1

Rest assured that even though the Seiko Monster has been updated, it remains faithful to the original 2001 concept and doesn’t lose its aggressive, bold design. However, the overall watch feels more modern and a bit more compact than before, and looses its exaggerated ‘metallic’ aspect – a personal take, of course, as I’ve never been a huge fan of the steel bezel of the three previous generations.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

What doesn’t change is the shape of the watch, with its integrated, ultra-robust case and bracelet with the typical lug modules that extend up to the bezel and serve as a protection device between 10:30-1:30 and 3:30-7:30 (the crown is also partially protected). The profile of the bezel itself is also identical, deeply notched with a complex profile. All in all, the new Seiko Monster is still a fully-fledged member of the Monster family.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

If not a discreet or lightweight model, the fourth-generation Seiko Monster remains a very comfortable watch with relatively compact dimensions – it is smaller than a Turtle or a Samurai, for instance. The case is 42.4mm in diameter and 13.4mm in height, the latter being totally acceptable for an automatic diver. The case is well designed and ergonomic, with sloped lugs that sit nicely around the wrist. Another advantage of the Monster is its almost “integrated” shape where the case and bracelet can almost be seen as a whole, creating a uniform and pleasant feeling of robustness and quality.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

The Seiko ‘Monster’ PADI Edition SRPE27K1 is almost entirely brushed with several discreet polished accents on the case and the bracelet, giving the watch some depth and contrast. The crown is classically positioned at 4 o’clock and has a new, notched profile that integrates better with the rest of the watch – and recalls the profile of the bezel. On top is a Hardlex mineral crystal, with a magnifier over the day-date window. Its presence will probably create debates in the collecting community but I personally like it. The caseback is solid steel and screwed, which combined with the screw-down crown allows for a comfortable 200m water-resistance – more than sufficient for most recreational divers.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

One of the main novelty in this fourth-generation Seiko Monster is the presence of a contrasting bezel. It is still executed in circular-brushed metal but it has received a dark coating to make these models look more contemporary and visually lighter. The present PADI edition gets a metallic blue-grey coating, in line with the usual PADI theme and also coherent with the recent introductions of the brand that rely on this pleasant colour. The 60-minute scale on this 120-click unidirectional bezel is engraved and filled in white, making it easy to read.

Following previous PADI models, the SRPE27K1 features multiple red accents – the 12 o’clock triangle on the bezel with a luminous pearl and the minutes and seconds hands. The dial is matte black with oversized angular indexes, all filled with the super-efficient Lumibrite material. As such, the legibility of the SRPE27K1, day or night, is flawless.

Seiko Prospex Diver Monster PADI Edition - SRPE27K1

Inside this robust block of stainless steel is Seiko’s entry-level automatic movement, the calibre 4R36. This 3Hz engine provides 41 hours of power reserve and drives central hours, minutes, seconds and a day-date complication. It has a stop-seconds and can be manually-wound.

The SRPE27K1 is worn on a stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with secure lock, push-button release and diving extension.

Price and availability

This very cool Seiko ‘Monster’ PADI Edition SRPE27K1, bearing the attractive blue and red colour scheme of the PADI editions, is now available in most markets (gradually coming to boutiques and retailers). This is a special (non-limited) edition and it will be priced at EUR 530 or USD 525.

More details at seikowatches.com.

3 responses

  1. The monster without the characteristic teeth on the bezel is no longer a monster, in my humble opinion. The color scheme were extreme with typically 2 main color and then get. This edition packs at least 4 colors. Then the mix of 7 fonts is also a ‘monstrous’ design.

    I wish this had gone back to original design guidelines, with blue and red color, and a more uniform choice of fonts, limiting it to 2 , max 3.

    I hope the smoothness of the click of the rotating bezel has been kept the very same. It is simply the nicest bezel to manipulate at any price range, imho.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. The monster has lost its claws(teeth) it’s more fashion than function. Yeah it’s a Seiko but it’s not a monster.
    Bring back the burger Seiko.

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