The comeback of the “Seiko Turtle” was certainly one of the best moves the Japenese brand has pulled off recently. Affordable, cool-looking, solid and reliable, it is one of the best dive watches in the sub-1k category. After the inaugural versions, Seiko played on the success of these watches by launching multiple limited/special editions (PADI, Lagoon, Black…). Another one has just been presented, the ref. SRPC91K1, the result of Seiko’s partnership with Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s grandson… And once again, it’s another very cool, affordable dive watch.
The result of a partnership with Fabien Cousteau
Before we look at this new Seiko Prospex Turtle “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 Special Edition, a short introduction about the “Save The Ocean” project and its initiator, Fabien Cousteau, is necessary. Seiko isn’t known for giving its laurels to many “ambassadors” and those that are under contract with the brand have been there for quite some years already (Novak Djokovic, for example).
For its latest partnership, Seiko teams up with ocean explorer and marine conservationist Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Like his grandfather, Fabien Cousteau has dedicated his life to exploring the oceans and to promoting their health and conservation. Seiko will contribute to the work of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center. For the occasion, the brand has created a dedicated series of watches, which includes the new Prospex Turtle “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 Special Edition. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Centre… no reason anymore not to be tempted.
Let’s get it straight…This new Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 is technically identical to all other Turtle watches. It is “just” a colour/dial update, just like the PADI and Lagoon versions were back when introduced. It will come as no surprise then to find back the same movement and an identical case, as well as equivalent technical specifications. Don’t be put off by the similarities because this new “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 of the Turtle is quite a stunner in terms of look.
This SRPC91K1 is part of a series of three watches (including a Samurai ref. SRPC93K1 and a Solar Dive Chronograph ref. SSC675P1) that all share the same visual codes. Compared to previous editions of the Turtle, the main update is to be seen on the dial. As suggested by the name of this special edition (not limited, as often with Seiko’s Turtle or Samurai watches), the nautical/oceanic theme is at centre stage. Thus, Seiko has created a new dial pattern on this watch recalling the movement of waves, combined with a new gradient blue colour, going from bright blue on top to almost abyss-blue/black at 6 o’clock – again, a reference to the sea, which appears almost black when reaching certain depths. It seems that Seiko is playing more and more with gradient colours and patterns, as we’ve seen for instance on the PADI Samurai, making the collections even more desirable. This also distinguishes these special editions from the rest of the collection.
This new dial, easily one of the boldest created by Seiko on the recent Prospex Divers, is combined for the occasion with restrained, low-key silver hands and indices. No red accents, no fake patina, just simple, efficient silver hands and white luminescent material – better for contrast. The second update on this Turtle “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 is the bezel’s insert, which is coloured in bright blue (first 20 minutes of the scale) and abyss blue (rest of the scale), thus matching the dial. Finally, the crown and the bezel itself are coated in black – another distinctive feature to make this special edition unique in the collection.
For the rest, the Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 remains the “Turtle” we all know and love. Its shell-like case is solid and well protected. While announced on paper as a large watch (45mm in diameter and 13.42mm in height), the Turtle is one of those watches that has to be tested on the wrist. It is actually more compact than what you could expect and wears easily. This “Save The Ocean” Edition is worn on a supple black silicon bracelet – or any kind of NATO/leather/fabric strap you want to add (that’s one of the advantages of this watch, its versatility).
The case is still water-resistant to 200 metres, thanks to a screwed case back and a screwed crown. The display is both functional and user-friendly on a daily basis – the combination of classical diving needs with the day-date complication makes the Turtle practical offshore and onshore. Powering this SRPC91K1 is the well-known and reliable calibre 4R36, Seiko’s vision of a workhorse engine. Nothing fancy about this utilitarian movement but believe us, it will do the job perfectly.
Once again, Seiko hasn’t revolutionised its Prospex Turtle concept, yet with some minor but well-thought updates, the brand achieves another cool-looking watch – and a watch that some hardcore collectors won’t be ashamed to add to their collection of Turtle watches, simply because it is different enough. And of course, once again, there’s this super-attractive price of EUR 450 – one of the best quality-price-pleasure ratios we can think of. More details on www.seikowatches.com.