The Seiko Prospex Black Series 2021 Samurai SRPH11K1 & Monster SRPH13K1 (Live Pics & Price)
Seiko's blacked-out dive watches are back for 2021.
Seiko’s portfolio is a rather comprehensive collection of watches, to say the least. Especially under the Prospex range, the Japanese brand has a multitude of dive watches, ranging from accessible to higher-end, from recreation to professionally-oriented models. But besides the models themselves, the brand also has so-called “Series” of special or limited editions, which are coming back on a regular basis. Think about the PADI models or the “Save the Ocean” collections. Another of these sub-collections was born in 2018 and showed a modern and bold blacked-out theme. The next step in the Seiko Prospex Black Series has just been presented, with the new 2021 Samurai SRPH11K1 Monster SRPH13K1.
The “Black Series” concept was first introduced in 2018 with three watches, two Solar models and an automatic Turtle, the SRPC49. Since then, the brand has introduced yet another blacked-out collection in 2020, including these two models, the SLA035J1 and SPB125J1. The recipe is relatively simple but efficient. Take some of the most emblematic models in the Prospex collection and apply the “Black Series” theme, meaning a black-coated case, bezel and crown, a silicone strap, a two-tone bezel insert in black and grey, a matte black dial with beige-coloured luminescent material and a bold orange minute hand.
Following these two collections, Seiko comes back this year with 3 new models under the Prospex Black Series 2021, including a Solar Tuna (the ref. SNE577P1, not covered here), the Samurai SRPH11K1 and the Monster SRPH13K1 – two of the brand’s most praised accessible dive watches, which have never been done in such a black attire.
Seiko Prospex Black Series 2021 Samurai SRPH11K1
First in line in this Black Series 2021 collection is a model based on the Samurai, one of the most iconic modern dive watches of the brand. If the Turtle is the vintage-inspired and softly shaped model in the Prospex range, the Samurai is its more aggressive, more angular brother. First launched in 2004, then discontinued in 2008, the Samurai came back in the collection in 2017, and has been one of Prospex’s pillars since then. Recently, the brand showed an evolution of this watch with the so-called King models, featuring uprated materials – sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel – as well as light design upgrades. But for the Black Series 2021, Seiko still relies on its classic Samurai.
This reference SRPH11K1 is, in most technical points, identical to previous Samurai models and only differs thanks to its distinctive colour scheme. As such, we find back the sharp, angular case that is so specific to this model, with a 43.8mm diameter and 13.4mm height. As always with this watch, the proportions announced on paper can be deceptive, since the lug-to-lug measurement is on the restrained side, at 48.4mm. Still equipped with a screw-down crown and a Hardlex crystal, the case is entirely blacked-out, to the exception of the caseback, and retains its 200m water-resistance.
Other changes concern the unidirectional rotating bezel, which is also black coated and receives a specific aluminium insert, with a black and grey colour scheme. This sporty, rather bold look is here complemented by a silicone strap in black, closed by a blackened pin buckle. As for the dial, the Samurai Black Series 2021 ref. SRPH11K1 has a matte black background, with the usual combination of oversized applied markers and arrow-shaped hands. Like all models in the Series, these are filled with beige-coloured Lumibrite and the minute hand is painted in bright orange.
As all Samurai watches, this new SRPH11K1 is powered by the brand’s tried-and-tested automatic calibre 4R35, with a 3Hz frequency, an HMS and date display and 41h of power reserve. This model is now available from retailers and is limited to 8,000 pieces. It is priced at EUR 490.
Quick facts: 43.8mm x 13.4mm x 48.4mm – black-coated stainless steel case – Hardlex crystal – 200m water-resistance – black dial with beige Lumibrite – Calibre 4R35, automatic, 3Hz, 41h power reserve – silicon strap – limited to 8,000 pieces – EUR 490
Seiko Prospex Black Series 2021 Monster SRPH13K1
The second automatic watch in this Black Series 2021 is based on yet another important Prospex model, a watch nicknamed “Monster” by the fans. Just like the Samurai, the Monster is a watch with a quite complex history and multiple generations. Introduced in 2001, and immediately gaining a nickname explained by its bold, slightly frightening look, the Monster made an impression with its sharp, almost integrated shape with a bold and aggressive design. In 2019 Seiko launched the fourth-generation Monster, now available worldwide. It 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. For more details about the Monster, you can read this more in-depth article here.
Based on these specifications, and identical to the PADI edition of last year, the new Monster Black Series SRPH13K1 retains all elements of design, including its partially protected/shrouded case with signature lug modules, its deeply notched bezel with oversized markers and the updated dial, slightly more consensual than the previous editions of this model. Here too, the case is entirely black coated and is paired with a black silicone strap closed by a pin buckle – making it less of a beast on the wrist. The generous dimensions make it a watch with great presence, measuring 42.4mm in diameter, 13.4mm in height and close to 50mm lug-to-lug. With its screw-down crown and caseback, it is water-resistant to 200m and the dial is protected by a Hardlex crystal.
The dial follows the same design principle of all members of the fourth generation Monster watches, with a dial that features markers more in line with the first generation watches – not the pointy markers found on the second generation. The base of this SRPH13K1 is matte black, with oversized applied indexes and hands that are filled with beige-coloured Lumibrite. The arrow-shaped hands are easy to read and the minute hand is coated in orange. And being a Monster, it features a day-date display, which is here positioned under a magnifier. The unidirectional bezel is black-coated too and has a brushed metallic finishing.
Under the caseback is the same base movement as the Samurai above, however in its 4R36 version, with one additional jewel (24 in total) and the day of the week indication next to the date. Otherwise, the frequency and power reserve are the same. This Seiko Prospex Black Series 2021 Monster SRPH13K1 is now available and is limited to 7,000 pieces. Price is EUR 480.
Quick facts: 42.4mm x 13.4mm x 49.4mm – black-coated stainless steel case – Hardlex crystal – 200m water-resistance – black dial with beige Lumibrite – Calibre 4R35, automatic, 3Hz, 41h power reserve – silicon strap – limited to 8,000 pieces – EUR 490
For more details, please visit www.seikowatches.com.
the Samurai looks very nice , unsure if I like it better than the prior blue dial version .
Its totally bizarre that pretty much the cheapest Chinese watch comes with a sapphire crystal but Seiko still insist of using Hardlex (which isnt hard at all and scratches very easily). They should be using either sapphire or acrylic (which you can at least polish the scratches out of) on everything
I totally agree with you, Phil…
Great looking watches, I would love to try them on. On Hardlex vs sapphire, I disagree with Phil and Marco. In my experience, Hardlex is the best choice for watches if you use them for diving and rough outdoor sports. I have never had problems with hardlex, no serious scratches and, most importantly, no broken crystals despite years of unintentionally knocking my Hardlex turtle and SKX
against rock and metal above and below water. Being slightly less hard than sapphire, Hardlex is less likely to break than the stiffer, more scratch resistant sapphire. In my view, Seiko should stick to Hardlex, although I realize most desk-divers prefer sapphire…
I’m with Bart! I’ve never had any problem with my numerous Seiko’s with Hardlex crystals…