A few weeks ago, Seiko announced the launch of upgraded versions of one of its most emblematic and accessible diver’s watches, the new King Turtle – equipped with more resistant materials for enhanced quality. In the same vein, the brand is now upgrading its other entry-level Prospex Diver’s watch, the sharper brother of the Turtle, with the same sort of updates on the case and the dial. Meet the new Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver’s 200m SRPE35K1 and SRPE37K1, a.k.a King Samurai.
No surprises here, the recipe is well-known but nevertheless pretty efficient. Take one of the most acclaimed accessible dive watches of the Seiko Prospex collection, keep what’s loved – meaning the design, the overall performance and the reasonable price – and upgrade some of the parts with high-quality and wear-free materials to bring better-perceived quality and more resistance to external aggressions. Already tried and tested on the Turtle watch, with the SRPE03, SRPE05 and SRPE07, it is time for the other, similar yet different Prospex diver’s watch to undergo the same treatment.
What hasn’t changed is the overall design of the Seiko Samurai. While the Turtle is vintage-inspired and plays on curves, the Samurai is all about sharpness and angular shapes – hence its nickname. Seiko retains the 44mm case in stainless steel, with short faceted lugs, polished and brushed surfaces, crown positioned at 3 with an efficient crown guard device, screwed caseback and screw-down crown (both guaranteeing a 200m water-resistance).
In the same vein, the movement of the standard Samurai, the workhorse calibre 4R35, has also been kept in these upgraded editions offering the same 40h power reserve, the 3Hz frequency, the hand-wound capacity and stop-seconds function. The more modern 6R35 is reserved for watches in a higher price range. Finally, the overall dial layout is also retained.
So, what’s changed on these new King Samurai SRPE35K1 and SRPE37K1? The updates concern the materials used for the most exposed parts of the watch, in order to offer better protection to shocks and scratches. In this instance, the unidirectional diving bezel, with 60-minute scale, now features a glossy black ceramic insert. Also, the dial is protected by a sapphire crystal (replacing the mineral crystal of the classic Samurai), with a magnifying glass on top of the date.
The new King Samurai will be available in two versions, differentiated by their colours and straps. The first one, the SRPE35K1, comes with a classic black dial with yellow accents, white lume and silver hands/indexes. It is worn on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet with secure lock, push-button release and diving extension. The second model, the SRPE37K1, comes with a white dial, darker hands and markers and a black “accordion” silicone strap with steel pin buckle. Another novelty for the King Samurai series is the presence of a textured dial – just like the King Turtle – offering a grid-like pattern.
The new Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver’s 200m “King Samurai” will be available in August 2020. The Black SRPE35K1 will be priced at USD 625 and the white SRPE37K1 at USD 595 – which makes then USD 100 more than a standard Samurai. More details at seikowatches.com.