Monochrome Watches
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The Warrior is Back – The Seiko Prospex Samurai Collection for 2017 (and it’s not limited…)

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |
Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB49K1

Few brands can claim to have watches that are so iconic that they are actually known after monikers. Rolex and Omega are amongst them – think “Paul Newman”, “Bart Simpson” or “Deep Blue” – but Seiko is also on par in this “nickname game”. Many of their watches have been dubbed with funky sobriquets, as for instance the “Turtle” or the “62Mas”. Another one, more modern, is the “Samurai”, known to be a sporty watch with a high quality-to-value ratio. After a discreet comeback with the (sold-out) Lagoon Limited Edition, aficionados will be pleased to see that the Seiko Prospex Samurai is back in the 2017 collection, and now in non-limited editions.

As a reminder, the Seiko Samurai (you can see an old example below) was launched in 2004 and was produced for a few years, until being removed from the catalogue. Already at that time, it was a rather large, sturdy, 200m water resistant and modernly-designed watch, with no vintage inspiration – yet it features some unmistakable signs it was a Seiko diver’s watch. This watch existed in various editions, including versions with titanium case (discontinued in 2008, and reserved for the Japanese market) or steel case with “Clou de Paris” textured dial.

2004 Seiko Samurai Titanium

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An old version of the Samurai, here with Titanium case – Source:

After almost 10 years of absence, the Samurai was back, at least for a short period of time, and for the few collectors that were fast enough to get their hands on it. Indeed, the comeback of the Seiko Prospex Samurai was somehow announced with a teaser, the Lagoon limited edition – 6,000 pieces produced, which sounds like a large amount, however knowing the interest of collectors for Seiko dive watches and the 489 Euro price tag, it’s no surprise that this model went sold-out relatively quickly. Happily you don’t have to worry anymore, as the Samurai is well and truly back, and is about to make its return for 2017, with an entire collection of 4 watches – references SRPB49K1, SRPB51K1, SRPB53K1 and SRPB55K1.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB51K1

The evolutions that appeared on the Blue Lagoon edition are also present on these standard Seiko Prospex Samurai models for 2017. It means that overall, we’re perfectly in front of a Samurai, yet many details have been updated compared to the 2004 watches. Shape, style and specifications are the same, although there are notable evolutions. First, the case… That very sharp, bold, modern, masculine, sturdy case of the Samurai (choose the right mention). This sobriquet is totally understandable when handling the watch; it is a proper warrior.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB53K1

Compared to the 2004 version, the main evolution is that Seiko only proposes the Prospex Samurai in stainless steel and no titanium case is offered (yet). However, the typical shape of the case remains, with a 43.8mm diameter – no drama as it wears much smaller than expected, even if it remains, of course, quite a watch on the wrist. The facetted case, with the lugs and the end-link of the bracelet going down just at the edge of the bezel, makes this Samurai rather compact. Other details that were present on the previous version, including the knurled texture of the bezel and the crown, are still present. Overall, make no mistake, the Samurai is back, and it’s as good as it ever was.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB53K1

The overall quality of the case and bracelet has also been improved compared to the older version, with a cleaner finishing of the parts, as well as slightly smoother angles on the case. The Seiko Prospex Samurai is fully brushed, for a nice tool styling. While appearing similar, the bezel insert has also been updated, with more precise printings, thinner and more angular numerals. The bezel is as it should be on a diving instrument, with sharp clicks, unidirectional rotation and the first 15-minute of the scale enlightened in a different colour and with sharp markers.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB49K1

The second and probably largest evolution concerns the facelifted dial of the Seiko Prospex Samurai. Both the indexes and the hand set have been redesigned to be large, easier to read and overall more modern. The distinction between the quarters and the other indexes is easier to make, and the new arrow hour hand makes confusion with the minute hand impossible. Also, a small but useful marker appears next to the date window (absent on the 2004 version). Finally, and most importantly, the dial now has a nice and thin “Clou de Paris” texture, as well as the “X” logo, common to all Prospex watches.

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB51K1

Inside the case is the Calibre 4R35 – a movement introduced in 2011, as a replacement for the 7S family, which had powered, among other watches, the previous Samurai. This movement is shared with the Turtle collection, yet with a sole date display (and not the day-date indication). The 4R3x family brought several updates, including a hacking function and a manual winding capacity. This calibre 4R35 beats at 21,600vph, features 24 jewels and boasts a power reserve of approximately 41 hours. Seiko indicates an accuracy of -35/+45 seconds per day, which is extremely pessimistic (from my own experience, I can tell that my PADI Turtle, with the same base movement, is close to being chronometer rated…)

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB49K1

For 2017, the new Seiko Prospex Samurai will include 4 watches:

  • SRPB49K1 – Blue dial, blue and grey bezel, steel bracelet
  • SRPB51K1 – Black dial, black and grey bezel, steel bracelet
  • SRPB53K1 – Blue dial, blue and red “Pepsi” bezel, rubber strap
  • SRPB55K1 – Black coated case, black dial with golden hands, black and gold bezel, rubber strap

Seiko Prospex Samurai Diver - SRPB55K1

The Seiko Prospex Samurai Collection for 2017 is a standard collection, not limited in production and available all around the world. Prices range from 419 Euro for the SRPB53K1 (Pepsi bezel) to 459 Euro for the 3 other versions. More details on

Technical Specifications – Seiko Prospex Samurai 2017 Collection

  • Case: 43.8mm diameter – stainless steel case, brushed – Hardlex crystal on the dial side – plain steel back – 200m water resistant
  • Movement: calibre 4R35, in-house – automatic winding – 3Hz frequency – 41h power reserve – 23 jewels – hours, minutes, central second, date
  • Strap/bracelet: rubber strap or steel bracelet
  • References: SRPB49K1, SRPB51K1, SRPB53K1, SRPB55K1
  • Availability: now in stores
  • Price: from 419 Euro to 459 Euro

15 responses

  1. I bought one of these from Island Watch a few weeks ago and it’s has become one of my favorites. I can’t say what, exactly, makes me like it so much. The watch just pops!

  2. Ditto for me
    Bought the blue dial version Samurai and haven’t taken it off.
    Keeps very good time also for under $400
    Now my favorite

  3. I really don’t understand this. The main function of a watch is giving time. So more for a tool watch. It can be see as a man jewel as well and that I kind of understand. Now, I’m a professional diver diving 4x a day 6 days a week, loving watches, I have a pelagos that I wear 24/7. It can be used as a backup time device but the main function is giving me time. Unfortunately I have to track time (and date) several times a day as we do have schedules like everyone else. So I mainly use a dive watch, guess what; to tell time! but I still need to dive with it to keep track of guess what, time. Bottom time is very important for us divers, but almost every dive professional will rely on a dive computer or two. Most dive watches don’t give you depth so is just simpler to use a spare dive computer than use a mechanical depth gage with a watch, but several people do use the watch/depth gage as a bottom timer, or they desk dive.
    So my dive watch as to stand for all dive roughness to give me TIME all moment at the surface, not under water.
    Now going back to what I don’t understand, why, WHYYYY would I need a watch that doesn’t give me time? well it gives me time, but not precise enough to be useful. Seiko only garante -35 +45 sec a day. It doesn’t matter if the reviewer as a feeling that seiko is being a very pessimistic (what kind of objectiveness is that?!) because he has other watch based on a same movement that is more precise (thats why seiko only garante -35 , +45 because of variance laking of tolerance making the movement, so one being precise means that statistically others will not be) which we readers don’t know anything else about it(was it recalibrated? is it precise wile desk diving, doing sport, standing on a winder,…?); at the end of the interval of the given precision, +45 sec/day it means almost +24 min a month… or will it be 18 minutes less? I guess I need other watch to know that!
    I feel insulted by a watch that costs 450 usd and it doesn’t even do the very basic function it was design for in a useful way, so it is a very ugly jewel! like having a car to go to work that you know for sure it will live you stranded twice a week but you never know precisely when, but at least using this seiko, I can garante after one year running without intervention that your car broke around morning or afternoon, or night…

  4. Reckon! Boring!!! Its a beautiful watch that is far more accurate than the manufacturers guaranteed accurateness. Take a breath dude!!! Or maube hold on to it!

  5. These watches are closer to 0-15 secs/ day. I own 4 and 3 of them are 0-5secs/ day and one is 10 sec/ day (all fast)… none have ever been regulated and they’re not kept on a winder.

    These are fantastic automatic watches. And to the diver above, anyone ever get into trouble on a 30min dive if their watch was 1 sec fast?…

  6. Tackleberry, something tells me Rodrigo’s story is bull and he hasn’t dove past 10 ft in his life.

  7. Rodrigo wondered into the wrong forum. Quartz is what he’s looking for.

  8. I know I’m a little late putting in my 2 cents worth here, but… I think Martin is on the right track. Rodrigo has wandered into the wrong forum, but he’s stated he wears a Pelagos 24/7. Last I checked they are, an order of magnitude more expensive, Swiss certified chronometer, time pieces. That my friend is NOT what we’re talking about here. You can get a very good value for a sub $500 watch (I found a synth band model -55k1 for $301.55 on Amazon) No, it won’t be chronometer accurate, but being an automatic, you never have to change a battery. And for the well over three thousand dollars I saved, I’m willing to put up with moving my minute hand a few minutes withers way at the beginning of my work week. Assuming it’s at the worst accuracy possible. I myself like watches, and would rather (if given a choice) have a dozen very nice watches than only one, rather expensive, possibly spectacular watch. Just my personal choice, given the choice. And I may not be a professional diver, and I may have less than a thousand dives under my belt, but I must agree with Tackleberry here, we are talking about maybe a second or so during a dive. I’m sure you a have a much greater safety margin than that to compensate for any errors in timing equipment. I usually an extra minute or more any decos just for safety. But that’s me. To each their own. Thanks for letting me ramble :-} Cheers!

  9. Okay, okay… I do/did have an OMEGA Seamaster diving watch (pre-coaxial) laying about somewhere, but I got that very cheaply and some years ago. So I guess I did treat myself once… but I was still frugal about it. I almost lost it on a dive once (should not have trusted the deployment style band for diving) and that was the last time I wore anything of higher value on a dive. Again, just me… personal preference. A $300 watch (Seiko), a $200 bottom timer and my old Oceanic HUD dive mask/computer…& I’m good to go!

  10. He didn’t want to compare his watch to the accuracy of a premium Seiko Spring Drive Diver…because that would sure be embarrassing. I love watches. I have new and old Swiss, German, Japan, and Asian watches…Quartz, automatic, tuning fork, hand wind, and some day soon I’ll treat myself to the best of the best, the Seiko Spring Drive.

  11. Several people displaying their ignorance on these comments. Rodrigo is obviously a most unusual “professional diver” as he doesn’t know the first thing about Seiko.
    It won’ t matter. These will sell in their droves- for good reason.

  12. Having had one on the wrist now since about the time this article was written, I can also confirm its accuracy to very near chronometer standards.

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