Just over a week ago, after having battled with my inner watch buying demons, i decided it was about time that I added a new piece to my collection. My collection, even with this new addition, is somewhat modest. It comprises a mixture of modern and vintage, and now stands at six strong. I had, however, not really got the excitement that I should feel when putting the majority of my pieces on, so decided I needed something new to try and revive the collection.
As most watch enthusiasts will do, and as Calum will testify, I looked at pretty much every watch under the sun that was within my price range, flitting between dress, aviation, diver, field vintage etc, before finally returning back to probably one of my favourite brands of all time, Seiko. I had, at the time, two seiko’s already, but felt that I needed to step it up a gear with my Seiko offering. I realised that the one gap that I had in my watch box needed to be filled with a ‘Beater’ watch. Something I could wear day to day, whether that be for a day of lectures, or to the gym, or swimming.
The next deliberation that I faced was size. Now, I have fairly large wrists, sitting at just over 7”, but I have always gravitated towards smaller case sizes, previously stating that “I will never wear a watch about 40mm”. My previous sweet spot was 38mm, which made my choice of getting a rugged dive watch all the more harder, as traditionally they come in 40mm plus for the most part. I have, however, gone for what I feared would be a behemoth in my eyes; a 44.3mm. The beauty with this piece, however, is that although it sits at 44.3mm, due to its gorgeous curved case (Pictures below) it wears like a 40mm, and feels absolutely delightful on the wrist.
Now, onto the watch. The watch I went for is formally known as the Seiko Prospex SRP775K1 but is more commonly known as the Turtle, due to its curvy cushion case. This watch is a long anticipated re-issue, based on the very famous reference 6306/9 from the 70’s. However, the new model see’s significant improvements on the original design, mainly in the pressure resistance, with the original model having 150m water resistance, compared to 200m on the newer model.
The movement inside is the Seiko Caliber 4R36, an in-house workhorse of a movement. It boasts a 41 Hour power reserve, as well as a day-date function, hackable seconds and it is automatic, so can be hand wound or wound using the famous "seiko shuffle". This is something that I really wanted from this purchase. Seiko are famous for the quality of their in-house movements, both in terms of development & design, and reliability. And to that effect, since receiving it, my turtle has been phenomenally reliable, losing minimal seconds over a 41 hour period.
Now onto possibly my favourite part of this watch, the case. As i stated previously, the case sits at just under 45mm, 44.3 to be exact, which, for my wrists, was previously unchartered territory. However, as previously stated, it wears like a dream. This is due to the slightly unusual cushion case. As you can see below, the case has this incredible curvature to it, which means that it hugs the wrist perfectly, and follows its shape as it gets towards the lugs.
One thing which also makes this a very attractive watch is the price. Although the Turtle retails £349 for both the standard models, as well as the PADI limited edition, they can be found for as little as £240, which is what I paid for mine. Now although that may seem a little expensive for what is considered an entry level piece, consider this. For just over £200, you are getting a fully in-house diver, with 200m water resistance, manual wind, with a day-date complication, from one of the most reliable watch manufactures around. It is comfortable, wears like a 40mm, and in the colour scheme that I went for, could be worn with a suit on the metal bracelet, or with jeans and new balance on a nato or leather. All in all, I am incredibly happy with my purchase, and i I would recommend the Turtle to anyone.