Seiko set out to reissue a favorite from the 1970s and ’80s and their efforts culminated in the release of the Seiko Turtle Prospex Automatic Dive Watch. The Turtle became a much-loved watch among divers, water sports enthusiasts of all kinds and guys that simply liked it for what it was, and that is a remarkably great watch. The reissue gives enthusiasts of the model a new lease in an updated version that bears the DNA of its ancestor with an affordable price. The Turtle Prospex Automatic has been observed in the past but the latest edition requires a closer inspection.
The history and inspiration
The original Seiko 6309, or Turtle Prospex was first released to the public in 1976 and it enjoyed a long twelve-year run with the final production year ending its reign in 1988. Although rarity is not one of its attributes, the watch is nonetheless, special. While finding an affordable dive watch during the ’70s and ’80s eras were not difficult, times have changed. Rising prices in horological retailers, both high end and entry level have made it more of a challenge. The lower priced watches proclaiming to be divers in many cases fall a bit short of the mark. Don’t blame the manufacturers because high-quality parts are more difficult for them to source. This isn’t the case for Seiko, nor does the above apply to the new Turtle Prospex. It’s every bit a quality production with the functions expected from a Seiko product. It has just been recently that Seiko entered the marketing landscape with re-issues of popular models from the past. Until now, vintage upgrades hasn’t been their thing, but they’re coming around and more reissues are being introduced to their customer base, much to the pleasure of die-hard enthusiasts.
A closer look at the Seiko Turtle Prospex
To be specific, the current edition of the Turtle Prospex is the Prospex SRP77x collection, which is a reissue of the 6309. No limits on production numbers have been set so finding one shouldn’t be an issue. The release of four variants took place in 2016.
The Turtle Prospex – Price: $475
The SRP777 is black with a silicone strap with the SRP775 featuring a gilt dial on a metal bracelet. The SRP773 comes with a blue dial and bezel with a bracelet and the SRP779 features a black dial and Pepsi bezel with a silicone strap. For each watch variation, the following specifications apply.
The 44.4mm rounded case has a thickness of 14mm and is made of stainless steel material. Although not quite reaching the oversized category, the watch is large. A recessed crown is designed for total comfort so it won’t cause irritation on the wrist.
Turning the watch over you’ll find a screw down style case back made of stainless steel and embellished with the Tsunami logo place neatly in the center. Watch specifications are engraved around the edge of the case back. The denotation “Air Diver” above the logo signifies that this watch is approved for scuba diving accompanied by an air-mixture. A circular brushed finish completes the case back.
A unique circular brushing technique for the top feathers down into a polished surface that is highly reflected towards the case bottom with a defined border between the two finishing styles. The recessed screw down crown is oversized but tucked neatly out of the way.
The dial is based upon the original 6309 with a few upgrades. The same day and date function are found at the 3 o’clock position and are housed within a beveled display window. A Sword separates the markers at the 12 o’clock spot. The shape of the hands is in the iconic sword and arrow with minute, hour and seconds hands. The dial is a matte black color. Bold and legible markers are treated with Lumibrite for high legibility in all types of lighting conditions, as well as the indices. The border of the case is silver and in the case of the 775, it is gilt to match the hands and the bezel.
A 120 click bezel in a unidirectional style contrasts with the black aluminum insert with a shielded lume pip and a slight texturing that comes close to the original edition with a slight variation. A decline of the bezel insert towards the crystal adds dimension to the appearance. Hadlex mineral class is used for the crystal.
The movement in the Seiko Turtle Prospex is a Seiko brand 4r36 caliber operating in 25 jewels with a 41-hours power reserve.
Two strap options are available in the SRP77X collection. A black silicone strap or a 22mm bracelet that tapers to 20mm at the clasp. This watch is water resistant up to 200 meters.