If you have to name two of the most recognized and acclaimed Seiko watches, chances are you will call out “Turtle” and “Samurai”. While obviously Seiko is known for a lot more than just two divers (Tuna, 62Mas, SKX, Sumo, and many more!), these two divers offer incredible value for money. Two of the best tool watches offered by the Japanese manufacturer, Seiko now introduces a limited collection just for Europe: the Seiko Prospex SRPD01KI Turtle and SRPD03K1 Samurai “Dawn Grey”.
Obviously, these watches are not revolutionary in technology, or materials, but are adaptations of two very well-known models by Seiko. It is no secret that we are fans of the brand. It is hard to argue with just how good these watches are. We are talking about in-house movements, cases, bracelets, dials… in-house everything, but at an accessible price point.
And while Seiko offers more complex watches, or even more advanced materials or technology in some of its dive watches, the Seiko “Turtle” and “Samurai” remain some of the most popular models, mostly due to their high quality and affordable price. One thing about these new models is very important though, one that has nothing to do with either quality or price, but about exclusivity. It might seem a bit odd to talk about exclusivity with watches retailing around the 500 Euros point, and it’s, of course, a relative term with just over 2,000 units produced each, but it’s important you know this.
These watches are the very first watches ONLY available in Europe, through European retailers. Previous models that might have been dedicated to the European continent (whether it is the continent as a whole or a single country) have always been available on the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) too. Now, this is a bit debatable for sure, especially since the 6309 this SRP-collection is based on was available worldwide EXCEPT in Japan in 1977. But, these two models will not be offered through official retailers outside of Europe.
The beauty about the Seiko Prospex Turtle and Samurai ranges is that they are proper beater watches. You can throw them around, wear them all year, go scuba and desk-diving with them, take them fishing, for a hike in the desert, or go mountain climbing with them; they will keep doing what they have to do! And these new “Dawn Grey” follow that same path.
From a mechanical or technical standpoint, these watches are no different from other Turtle or Samurai iterations. It is just a colour update, similar to the Lagoon or PADI (Turtle and Samurai) versions. Same case, same bracelet, same movement. Just a different colour combination for the bezel and dial, inspired by the colour of dawn over the ocean.
Seiko Prospex Turtle Dawn Grey SRPD01K1
The Seiko Prospex Turtle, a name that stuck with the vintage 63XX-series which this SRP-collection is inspired by, is perhaps the most familiar of the two and is instantly recognizable, with its trademark crown at 4 o’clock and its bi-colour bezel. But the most important identity marker is the cushion-shaped case, a shape that became known as the turtle case with the aforementioned Seiko 6309, which has stuck with it since its introduction (as explained in our hands-on review here).
The technical specifications are similar to the Seiko Prospex SRPA21 PADI Turtle, which we reviewed two years ago, and made a big splash when launched. A 45mm wide case and 13.42mm height make it a rather large – but very compact – watch. It’s equipped with the Seiko Caliber 4R36 automatic movement, which displays time, date and day of the week. It’s a sturdy, reliable movement with a solid 41-hour power reserve.
The “Dawn Grey” theme, inspired by the subtle colours of dawn rising over the ocean, has been translated into a bezel with a third of the area highlighted in orange and two-thirds in a medium grey colour, paired with a subtle sunburst grey dial. This dial is fitted with white large hour markers and a large set of hands for great legibility. The thin central seconds hand is done in orange with a lollipop counterweight. The case has both brushed and polished surfaces and comes on a multi-link bracelet, also with polished and brushed finishing. Changing the length of the bracelet can be fiddly due to the collar and pin construction but can be done with a bit of patience and the right tools.
- Case: 45mm diameter x 13.42mm height – stainless steel case, polished and brushed – blackened unidirectional diving bezel (120 clicks) with blue 60-minute aluminium insert – Hardlex hardened mineral crystal – screwed steel caseback – screwed crown – 200m water-resistant
- Dial: sunburst grey dial, luminous hands and indices
- Movement: Seiko calibre 4R36, in-house – automatic winding – 3Hz frequency – 41h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, day-date indication
- Strap: stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and diving extension – grey silicon strap with steel pin buckle and steel keeper
- Reference: SRPD01K1
- Limitation: 2,018 pieces
- Price: EUR 530
Seiko Prospex Samurai Dawn Grey SRPD03K1
Originally launched in 2004, the Samurai collection lay dormant for a few years and was resurrected in 2016. Re-introduced with the limited “Lagoon” edition in 2016, along with a similar coloured Turtle, the Samurai is a more contemporary take on Seiko’s dive watch. A large, squared-off case with sharp angled lugs and a solid rotating bezel on top make it a proper modern diver.
The Seiko Prospex SRPD03K1 Samurai “Dawn Grey” follows the same path as its Turtle brother. Again a large steel case, this time measuring 43.8mm across and 13.4mm thick. The difference is in some of the coloured details. The hands are different, but again white on black with an orange-tipped seconds hand, and a grey dial with a Clou de Paris decoration. The dive bezel picks out the first 15 minutes in orange and the remaining area in grey.
Once again, technically things are no different from previous Samurai models, and the model is fitted with the automatic Seiko calibre 4R35. This indicates time and date only, but other than that it’s similar to the Turtle, which means hacking seconds, a 41-hour power reserve, a 3Hz frequency to name just a few specs.
- Case: 43.8mm diameter x 13.4mm height – stainless steel, polished and brushed – 60-minute unidirectional diving bezel – Hardlex crystal on the dial side – screwed caseback and screw-down crown – 200m water-resistant
- Dial: “Clou de Paris” grey dial, luminous hands and indices
- Movement: Calibre 4R35; in-house – automatic – 3Hz / 21,600vph frequency – 41h power reserve – 23 jewels – hacking seconds and hand-winding capacity – hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Bracelet: stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and diving extension
- Reference: SRPD03K1
- Limitation: 2,018 pieces
- Price: EUR 470
Availability and Price
Both the Seiko Prospex Turtle “Dawn Grey” and the Seiko Prospex Samurai “Dawn Grey” come in a production run of 2,018 pieces and are available through Seiko dealers throughout Europe. The Prospex Turtle SRPD01K1 comes at a price of EUR 530, including a rubber strap with steel keeper and pin buckle clasp and in a special matching grey-and-orange box. The Prospex Samurai SRPD03K1 does not come with the extra strap and is slightly cheaper at EUR 470.
More details on www.seikowatches.com.