I’m not sure if it’s sheer coincidence or a marketing strategy adopted by Seiko. In 2018, Brice covered the Turtle version of the first “Save The Ocean” Special Edition. In February 2019, Seiko presented a black version, which was basically the same watch with a black PVD coating and blue and grey bezels. It is only June and here is yet another Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition; does this mean we might be getting another iteration in another colour before the end of the year? Let’s have a look at the Turtle SRPD21K1, the Samurai SRPD23K1 and the Solar Chrono SSC741P1 Seiko “Save the Ocean”.
The concept of this collection has been the same throughout the three instalments: a Turtle, a Samurai (both automatic) and a solar-powered chrono. The variation resides in the strap (no rubber on this edition) and the dial decoration. In the previous editions, the gradient blue dial was decorated with thick wavy lines to evoke the ocean. In this 2019 Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition series, the dial is also blue but does not have the light-to-dark gradient effect. Also, it seems like the dial is going through a patch of bad weather and the waves are rougher, choppier, forming acute angles. At 8 o’clock (7h30 on the chrono) you’ll also spot the dorsal fin of a shark (chipped, as it is often the case with adult Selachii) while the counterweight of the seconds hand adopts the shape of the caudal fin of this magnificent predator.
Of course, in the chrono version, all these details are somewhat obscured because there’s a lot of action on the dial. The caudal fin moves with the small seconds hand at 9 hours, so it is much smaller. What we can clearly appreciate is the transparent material of the three registers, necessary to let light through to feed the V175 quartz movement. When fully charged, the movement can sail merrily for 6 months without needing to recharge.
The shark inspiration (with the first 15-min of the countdown bezel picked out in a shark-grey colour) comes from the collaboration of Seiko with Fabien Cousteau’s Ocean Learning Centre, specialized in the study of sharks. In fact, part of the benefits obtained through this series will be donated to the Centre.
LumiBrite is regarded as one of the best luminous materials on the market, and Seiko uses it throughout its different watch families, from the cheapest to the most expensive. Its brightness is immediate, intense and lasting, and the use of it in this Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition 2019 is flawless.
The three watches are certified divers, with a common water-resistance of 200 metres. They differ in size: The Turtle (SRPD21K1) is 45mm in diameter and 13.4mm in height. The Samurai (SRPD23K1) is 43.8mm by 12.8mm, and the Solar Chrono (SSC741P1) is 43.5mm by 13.8mm. As always with Seiko divers, rather large watches on paper, however, due to short lugs and comprehensive designs, all of them are more pleasant on the wrist than one would expect. Entry-level obliges, no sapphire on these watches; it’s Hardlex (Seiko’s hardened mineral glass).
One detail I really liked that was not present in previous editions is that the bezel on the Samurai is not a full ring, but rather small sections of the bezel placed on top. May not seem like much, but it gives the watch an extra depth and sense of quality.
Of course, none of the movements are visible. The automatic versions include the 4R35 date only for the Samurai SRPD23K1 and the 4R36 day-date for the Turtle SRPD21K1. They tick at 21,600 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 40 hours. The 4R is one of the successors of the 7 series and was conceived to withstand anything and last forever, not to be the most precise of the lot… On paper! In fact, Seiko says that the precision is in the field of -35/+45, which seems unbelievable when you hear (from owners) about the remarkable precision these watches offer (editor’s note: some of our team members own Turtles and Samurais and all experienced around -10/+10 accuracy).
All three watches are worn on stainless steel bracelets, known to be solid and comfortable. Again, entry-level obliges, the folding clasps are simple stamped metal. Still, they do the job.
Availability and Price
The Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition 2019 Collection is already available, and the prices are EUR 450 for the Solar Chrono SSC741P1, EUR 490 for the Turtle SRPD21K1 and EUR 520 for the Samurai SRPD23K1. Unbeatable, as usual. More information on Seiko.com.