For many people, watches are more than just a tool to tell time, they want them to look good too. For others, they need their watch to form multiple functions, such as clock speed, or remain waterproof during scuba dives or other water sports. Whatever you want in a watch, Seiko makes. Seiko has a long and reliable history in watch making and it’s a name people trust. Whether you are a watch enthusiast or just looking for a watch for practicality, Seiko has everything from simple, practical and affordable to more luxurious looks with a heftier price tag. One line of watches that has become very popular over the years is the Prospex dive watch line, which in recent times, has been dubbed, the 'Turtle' watches. We’ll take a look into the Prospex 'Turtle' diver to find out more about them.
What is a 'Turtle' diver?
There is a watch that the new Prospex models are designed most like, the vintage Seiko cushion-cased 6306/9, 150m, water-resistant watches from about the 1970’s – mid 1980’s. Although they weren’t very pressure resistant, they were however the first titanium cased watch and very durable as well as reliable and affordable. Today, they have become known as ‘Turtles’ which irritates many watch enthusiasts. But the nickname took hold and they are now being referred to as SRP775/7 ‘Turtle’ reissues. Despite the name, collectors say they are still fun to collect, and watch wearers are still being drawn to the ‘Turtle’ diver watches for everything that about them; the look, functions and price.
Changes for the SRP777
The two watches, the SRP775 and SRP777 are similar, yet there are some slight changes that made that make them two notably different watches. The SRP775 was designed with gilded bezel markers as well as gilt surrounds the lume plots that do glow brightly, and the 777 has polished steel hands. Besides these two things, these two watches are identical. One thing that remains the same is the classic sword hours and minute hands. Seiko has stuck with the classic awesome hilted sword at 12 and kept the cool bevel window for the date window.
The ‘Turtles’ have a stainless steel, cushion cases and both with screw-down crowns and case backs. The bezel is unidirectional and the casing for the wrist measures 44.3mm x 14 mm which is a good size for the average wrist, if you don't want a watch that consumes your wrist yet is big enough to read easily. The dial is blue, which is a nice, complimentary color that goes with anything. As a dive watch, you'd expect it to be water resistant and it is. The ‘Turtle’ dive watch is water resistant up to 200 meters. 'Turtle' watches are fully ISO 6425 compliant. This means it is in sync with the international standards set, for all ISO member countries that define what is allowed and not allowed to be considered a diver’s watch.
Because it is a dive watch, then of course the 777 is fitted with a nicely polished bracelet and an easy-to-fold clasp with solid end links. The bracelet is comfortable and adjustable to fit many different sized wrists. If you prefer, the lugs are pierced so that you can easily switch out the bracelet for a rubber strap for versatility to make it the perfect watch for your wrist. You'll also like the durability of the hardlex crystal that is virtually unbreakable.
One thing about Seiko is their desire to keep things simple. The ‘Turtle’ dive watch is also simple in its functionality. It is an automatic watch with a hand-wind function that many appreciate so that you know always know about how much time you’ve got going behind each wind. The movement they use is a Seiko in-house manufacture caliber 4R36 movement. It features stop-seconds running in 24 jewels and at 21,600 vph.
The price of the dive watches are very reasonable and affordable for most people. The average price is $495 which most people consider to be very practical for the functions of this watch. When you want to keep things simple, that includes price for most people. Why pay more for functions you don't really need or want?
The 'Turtle' dive watches have always and will remain some of the most popular and desired watches made by Seiko. They exemplify everything Seiko stands for in terms of quality, durability, looks and appeal, functionality and price. When a dive watch is used for its intention, as a tool, divers want simplicity and don't want a lot of added functions that they have to deal with under water. This watch gives them everything they need without all the complications of too much drama and unneeded clutter around the bevel or dial. Sleek and classy, this watch can be worn casually or for more dressy events. It compliments any look.
Seiko will continue to reissue new 'Turtle' dive watches in the future because there is a continual demand from both watch wearers and collectors. Keep looking to find your favorite your version of the 'Turtle' dive watch or own more than one.
Seiko was founded in 1881 by Kintarō Hattori when he opened a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo, Japan. The first watches to emerge under the Seiko name were introduced in 1924 and later, in 1969, the first Quartz watch appeared and cost as much as a medium-sized automobile. This watch was then followed by the first Quartz chronograph, and in the late 1980’s came the first Kinetic watch. The Kinetic watch combined the accuracy of a Quartz with the self-energizing characteristics of an automatic watch.
Seiko has several product lines. It produces mechanical watches, watches with Quartz, kinetic and solar of all varying price ranges that can start around $45 US dollars to $554,000 US. Seiko has been a leader of new and innovative technology for watches all through the years that other watch companies have mimicked and followed suit. They have mastered the mechanical movement as well as the Quartz movement. Their line of ‘Turtle’ watches have been popular for many reasons and Seiko has continued to make them the most practical, durable, and affordable watches which makes them attainable by anyone who’s interested in mechanical watches.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker