The “Turtle” case design is likely one of the hottest and longest-lived ideas within the historical past of Seiko, showing in numerous guises throughout the model’s lineup for many years because the launch of the unique 6309 dive watch in 1976. Like so many beloved Seiko nameplates from the “Pogue,” to the “Willard,” and the “John Participant Particular,” the “Turtle” moniker was by no means an official designation from the model, however grew up organically from the model’s sturdy fan group. For over 40 years, then, Seiko has all the time tacitly accepted the title, however by no means formally allowed it to affect the long-running cushion case design. The Japanese large lastly breaks this streak in 2021 for a superb (and thematic) trigger: elevating consciousness for the Oceanic Society environmental group to assist protect the world’s seven species of sea turtles with a trio of high-spec “King Turtle” variants. These three Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version fashions — the Seiko Prospex SRPH55, the Seiko Prospex SRPH57, and the Seiko Prospex SRPH59 – transcend merely aiding the turtles, although, and highlight some genuinely spectacular dial ending capabilities at a remarkably inexpensive worth level.
The acquainted 45mm chrome steel circumstances of the Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version collection comply with the identical rounded cushion sample as the remainder of the “Turtle” line, together with all the things that entails. Make no mistake, this has an actual sense of presence on the wrist, however the rolling bowl-shaped polished undercut, brief broad lugs, and comparatively low beltline make this idiosyncratic form a manageable and immensely snug put on on all kinds of wrists. On condition that these are “King Turtle” variants, the match and end all through is effectively above the usual for this worth vary, with “Turtle” collection ending hallmarks just like the case-top radial brushing and the knurling of the crown showing noticeably crisper and extra nuanced than the usual mannequin. This collection’ use of ceramic bezel inserts stays a excessive level, with a deep shiny floor in both black or navy blue. Like the remainder of Seiko’s Prospex divers, the road is rated for an ISO-compliant 200 meters of water resistance, thanks partly to the recessed screw-down crown at 4 o’clock. Seiko’s solely actual bespoke visible cue for these circumstances comes through the caseback, the place every of the three fashions sports activities a calmly etched depiction of a sea turtle swimming. Seiko’s selection of execution right here is puzzling, as there’s no point out of the Oceanic Society connection wherever, and the positioning offers the caseback a decidedly busy look. If the turtle determine had changed the usual central tsunami emblem, the caseback would possible really feel way more balanced total.
Dial ending has been a energy for Seiko throughout practically its complete product line in recent times, and for the Prospex U.S. Particular Version fashions, the model flexes each its inventive and manufacturing muscle. All three dials use a multi-stage ending course of starting from the crosshatch base texture to the dégradé shading, vibrant base colours, overlaid turtle-shell sample, and the shiny remaining floor, and the sheer manufacturing prowess that enables Seiko to make these complicated dials at a worth level effectively under $1,000 is spectacular by itself. As for the dials themselves, every one takes the signature “King Turtle” sample in a vividly completely different chromatic path. The Prospex SRPH55 is the closest this turtle shell-inspired design will get to an precise tortoiseshell look, however that is nonetheless a separate prospect from the mottled translucent look one often associates with merchandise like tortoiseshell glasses. Very like the Seiko Presage “Starlight” restricted editions from 2017, this dial texture tends to create a shifting tender spotlight on the dial relying on the angle of the sunshine, which performs dynamically into the brown gradient working from the middle to the sting. Even with out including the translucent grey shell-inspired texture on high of this sample, it’s a fancy and attention-grabbing dial, and because of this multi-layered ending method it avoids feeling too visually literal on the wrist.
The SRPH57 and SRPH59 as a substitute take this dynamic turtle-shell sample and drape it within the colours of a sea turtle’s pure habitat. The SRPH57 provides a hotter, extra tropical theme with its cyan shades, calling to thoughts the jewel-like waters of shallow equatorial seas. The turtle-shell sample is much less pronounced right here as effectively than its brown-dial counterpart, giving this mannequin a cleaner look in most lights. For these on the lookout for a extra conventional oceanic blue, the SRPH59 provides a balanced method, with the turtle-shell texture hanging a center floor in visibility between the 2 different fashions. Just like the circumstances, the dial layouts of all three Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version fashions comply with the fashionable “King Turtle” sample and provide a noteworthy soar in refinement over their entry-level counterparts. The utilized indices are bolder and brighter with a extra pronounced polished border, Seiko’s signature sword-and-arrow handset is given a shiny full polish, and though the day/date show at 3 o’clock nonetheless makes use of clashing white date disks the unframed window inherits a barely extra refined character because of its easy, rounded corners.
As with a lot of its stablemates, the Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version collection makes use of the model’s venerable in-house 4R36 computerized motion. The 4R36 is a solidly constructed and dependable mainstay of a lot of Seiko’s entry-level choices, however whereas a lot of those watches stretch far past their market section the motion is extra consistent with expectations. It carried out admirably all through our testing session, however its 41-hour energy reserve and 21,600 bph beat fee are decidedly common within the present market.
Seiko finishes the Prospex U.S. Particular Version collection with each a chrome steel oyster-style three-link bracelet and the model’s signature silicone “accordion” strap. The bracelet is shared with the remainder of the “Turtle” and “King Turtle” collection, and its thick building pair effectively with the daring case on the wrist. That mentioned, the shaping and ending of the hyperlinks, together with the flip-lock clasp, give off a rounded and imprecise look on shut inspection regardless of its sturdy really feel. The silicone straps, then again, give these already daring designs some added character, and Seiko’s use of delicate coloration right here — muted walnut-brown for the SRPH55, deep navy blue for the SRPH59, and a refined hunter-green for the SRPH57 — enhances the dials handsomely.
Each hanging in its personal proper and pointing in the direction of a daring new future for Seiko dial ending, the Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version collection is a vibrant and trendy manner for the model to completely embrace the “Turtle” nameplate in any case these years. Whereas not restricted in quantity, all three fashions within the Seiko Prospex U.S. Particular Version line can be found solely by means of choose approved sellers and e-commerce platforms in the US. All three fashions, together with the Seiko Prospex SRPH55, Seiko Prospex SRPH57, and Seiko Prospex SRPH59, carry an MSRP of $750 every. For extra particulars, please go to seikousa.com.
>Mannequin: Prospex SRPH55, Prospex SRPH57, Prospex SRPH59
>Dimension: 45mm-wide, 13.2mm-thick, 47.7mm lug-to-lug
>When reviewer would personally put on it: Seashore days or dive journeys, or when on the lookout for a bolder accent piece various to the usual dive watch.
>Pal we’d suggest it to first: Seiko fanatics on the lookout for an announcement diver, or these keen about ocean conservation.
>Finest attribute of watch: Extremely well-executed dial ending for the value level, premium supplies all through, rock-solid building.
>Worst attribute of watch: Bracelet ending feels considerably tender and unfocused, 4R36 motion’s specs could seem unrefined to some, caseback etchings threat feeling cluttered.