SRP779J1- Seiko Prospex Turtle Automatic Diver’s 200M

Seiko dive watches have a enormous – at times obsessive – following. It’s these guys and gals who are accountable for giving the brand’s cryptically coded watches their colorful nicknames – the Tuna, Monster, Sumo and, in this case, the Turtle. Formally, the Turtles we’re looking at here are known as SRP779J1.From now on, together, we’ll just call them Turtles. But wait, there’s more. These SRP77 divers are actually reissues of the original Turtles – historic divers from the 6309 family, produced from 1976 until 1988. Not only is this new version a faithful homage to the original, it also represents nigh-on-unbeatable value for money.
Seiko Prospex Turtle Automatic Diver's 200M SRP779J1 SRP779J Men's WatchThe SRP779J1- Seiko Prospex Turtle Automatic Diver’s 200M watches have 44.3 mm x 14 mm cushion cases, with screw-down crowns and case backs. They use the Seiko self-winding caliber 4R36, and both are water resistant to 200 meters. Moreover, are fully ISO 6425 compliant (that’s the international standard, for all ISO member countries, that defines what can and cannot be called a diver’s watch).
They’re really tool watches in the most exact sense I can think of. Very few people who buy a hammer take into consideration how beautifully it is polished. Colours aside, the dials all play from the same book, with a handset and large round indices that are instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with Seiko Divers – much like the ample luminous material that’s also reassuringly in attendance.
The Turtle comes on a black silicon strap or steel bracelet depending on what version you pick up. The strap is nice and supple, with Seiko’s distinctive wave design and a solid metal keeper, though I found it dug into my wrist a little. The bracelet is a different story, and for an extra $26, I’d definitely go for this option. It’s great quality, solid and well finished, unlike the somewhat tinny bracelets you might be familiar with from older Seiko dive watches. The bracelet tapers to a 20mm clasp, signed with a dive extension – this buckle is the least refined element, but for the price that’s totally acceptable. The fact the case has drilled lugs is a nice touch and makes strap changes fairly painless.
he Turtle has been a huge hit and it’s easy to see why, It’s good looking, iconic, well-built and the whole thing costs less than a strap from a big-name Swiss brand. Given these facts, it’s hard to find fault. The only thing you could possibly have against it is that, at 44mm, it’s a bit large, and with its heft it doesn’t exactly disappear on the wrist. Regardless, while Seiko have been comparatively slow to get on the reissue bandwagon, the Turtle proves that when they put their minds to it they can release a banger of a re-release, faithful where it matters, and updated where it counts.