As one of the most famous Japanese watch brands in the world, Seiko is known to carry some of the most beloved icons in watchmaking history. It has a vast and incredibly diverse portfolio that consists of exquisite timepieces for everyone. The watches Seiko creates have a unique ability to appeal to both the masses and to luxury enthusiasts, giving them an indisputable reputation.
One of the most popular Seiko models ever made is the Seiko King Turtle. This is a renowned diver watch with a distinct and sporty design. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Seiko King Turtle.
A Brief Background on the Seiko King Turtle
Given its pristine reputation and diverse catalog, it is no surprise that Seiko also has a number of excellent diving watches under its belt. In fact, the brand has well over 50 years of experience in making quality divers, such as the Seiko King Turtle.
The Seiko King Turtle was first released in 2020, but its history dates back to as early as the 1970s. That is because the Seiko King Turtle serves as a slightly different variation of the popular Seiko Turtle, which was first launched in 1976. With the famous Seiko Turtle name backing it, it is no surprise that the Seiko King Turtle was a hit right from the start.
As of today, there are four known Seiko King Turtle models. We will be taking a closer look at each of these models in a moment.
Seiko Turtle vs Seiko King Turtle
Since the Seiko Turtle and Seiko King Turtle models both belong to the same family; most of you would probably think that they cannot be that different from each other. And indeed, you would be right. The reality is that most people would not notice the differences between the Turtle and King Turtle unless they look really closely.
The most striking contrast between the two is that the Seiko King Turtle is made of more premium materials and elements. From the case and bracelet down to the dial, each component of the Seiko King Turtle was upgraded to be a better version of its predecessor. In fact, the Seiko King Turtle’s superior quality is the very reason behind its well-deserved royal title.
A Closer Look at the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03
In this section, we will be reviewing the most classic variant of the Seiko King Turtle: the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03.
The Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03 is housed in a 45mm stainless steel case. This sturdy case takes the form of a stout cushion shape, which resembles the shell of a turtle, hence its King Turtle name. This case also measures 13.2mm in thickness, which is a pretty standard size for a robust diving watch. Fixed on top of the case is a redesigned bezel with a jet-black ceramic insert, which is highly scratch-resistant and stands out strongly against the watch’s all-silver exterior. The bezel has distinctly ridged edges that look like the sides of a gear. These provide wearers with a better grip, so they can grasp and turn the bezel more easily.
On the right side of the case is a sizeable crown, placed unusually at the 4 o’clock position. Like the bezel, this stainless steel crown also has grooved edges, much like the sides of a bottle cap, which allows wearers to grip it more easily. When you flip the watch around, you will find a screwed-in caseback made of solid stainless steel. This caseback is carefully engraved with the Seiko King Turtle’s details, along with Seiko’s iconic diving watch emblem.
The Seiko King Turtle has a unique matte black dial that is characterized by its iconic, handsome waffle design. As a dive watch, this dial also has a very straightforward and easy-to-read layout, comprising large geometric hour markers and pronounced arrow-headed hands outlined in silver. These hands and markers are all generously coated with lume, allowing for unparalleled visibility even in poor lighting conditions. You can also find a magnified day-date window at 3 o’clock, with clean black text against a white background.
Finishing off the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03’s robust look is a three-link stainless steel bracelet with a sleek, polished finish. This bracelet features a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release, which keeps this bracelet securely fastened to your wrist. It is also equipped with an extender, so you can quickly and easily adjust the length of the bracelet to fit your wrist more comfortably.
Like the other Seiko Turtle models, the King Turtle belongs to the brand’s Prospex collection. The Seiko Prospex series is chockful of affordable, hardy timekeepers able to withstand all sorts of different adventures. Thus, even though the Seiko King Turtle is a dedicated diver made for the ocean, it is also equipped to tackle challenges on land or in the air too, thanks to its powerful Seiko Caliber 4R36.
The Caliber 4R36 is an in-house automatic movement that comes with manual-winding capabilities too. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement boasts a substantial 41-hour power supply. In addition, it provides the Seiko King Turtle with an impressive water resistance rating of 200 meters, or 660 feet. This allows you to bring the King Turtle with you on all your fun watersports or deep-diving trips.
Seiko has always been known for its budget-friendly watches, and the Seiko King Turtle is no different. Even with its distinctive design, high-quality materials, and sturdy build, the Seiko King Turtle has a price tag of just $625 USD. This is a very reasonable price for such a well-crafted and reliable icon.
Other Variations of the Seiko King Turtle
Now that we know a little more about the Seiko King Turtle, let us take a look at some other variations of this iconic model.
Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05
First up, we have the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05, which was released at the same time as the Ref. SRPE03. While it has a similar build as the Ref. SRPE03, this watch gives off a completely different vibe. With its silver and military green colorway, the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE05 simply exudes casual, masculine ruggedness.
This watch is presented in a 45mm cushion-shaped case made of stainless steel, coupled with a dark green silicone strap. Fitted on top of the dial is a stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic insert for the elapsed time scale. The dial, which also comes in military green, showcases a handsome waffle pattern. It comprises large arrow-headed hands, hour markers in various geometric shapes, and a magnified day-date window. Like its sister models, this watch is also driven by an automatic 4R36 caliber that has a 41-hour power reserve and a 200-meter water resistance rating.
The Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05 is slightly cheaper than the Ref. SRPE03, retailing at $595 USD only.
Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE07
For a slightly different Seiko King Turtle model, take a look at the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE07. This watch has a simultaneously sporty and smart-casual aesthetic that goes extremely well with casual or everyday outfits and would look good at a nice dinner party too. It also boasts a robust build and a clever ocean-themed design, which makes it especially appealing to both casual and professional divers.
This watch comes in a 45mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case, paired with a ridged black silicone band. Fixed on top of the case is a stainless steel bezel fitted with a ceramic blue insert. This matte blue insert bears pronounced, highly-legible indicators in beige for the elapsed time scale. Unlike the aforementioned King Turtle pieces, this watch showcases a patterned dial that depicts magnificent ocean waves. This sunray blue dial is also adorned with large arrow hands, geometric hour markers, and a magnified day-date display at 3 o’clock.
Underneath this sleek watch face, you can find a Seiko Caliber 4R36. This self-winding caliber has a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance rating of up to 200 meters.
With a price tag of $490 USD, the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE07 is easily one of the best, most affordable divers out there.
Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPG19K1
Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPG19K1. This is a special edition model crafted in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The overall build of this watch is similar to that of the Ref. SRPE03, but this Seiko King Turtle PADI watch also comes with a more distinct, original design.
This watch utilizes a 45mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case, coupled with a matching three-link stainless steel bezel. On top of the case, you can find a stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic insert. The bezel showcases indicators in silver and sky blue for the elapsed time scale. These indicators cast a satisfying contrast against each other, while the light blue accents also help add a pop of color to this otherwise monochrome watch face.
Like the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03, the dial of this watch shows off an embossed waffle design. However, it differs in that this dial’s waffle design is in the shape of a globe. This dial also contains bold luminous hour markers, a magnified date window, and a three-hand system with silver and blue accents that give this dial a more playful edge. This watch is driven by an automatic Seiko Caliber 4R36. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement has a 200-meter depth rating and can last for up to 41 hours when fully wound.
Aside from being the newest King Turtle model, it is also the most expensive, selling at around $720 USD.
Is the Seiko King Turtle Worth It?
If you are still uncertain about whether the Seiko King Turtle is worth the purchase, here are some reasons to help you make your decision.
- Good Reputation. If you are a serious collector, then you know the importance of reputation in the watchmaking world. It may seem like a shallow thing to take into consideration, but a watch’s reputation actually affects many other factors, including its credibility, resale value, and more. That said, you really do not have to worry about this with the Seiko King Turtle, because this watch has a very decent reputation in the watch community. It is a true icon of durability and robustness for all the divers out there who want nothing but the best on their wrists.
- Reasonably Priced. Whether you are looking for a durable diving timepiece or a sports watch with a well-crafted design, the Seiko King Turtle is a fail-safe option that will not break the bank. The models in this series all fall within the $450 USD to $750 USD price range, which is quite affordable when you consider the Seiko King Turtle’s amazing specs and iconic reputation. You are also guaranteed to get the most out of what you paid for since this is the type of watch that can be passed on from one generation to the next.
- Reliable Diver. Last but not least, the Seiko King Turtle is worth it simply because it is a reliable and durable diving watch. It is equipped with a well-crafted mechanism that powers all of its excellent functions. Everything about the Seiko King Turtle’s design and build is also purposefully chosen to adapt to the harshest diving conditions.
The Seiko King Turtle is arguably one of the best diver watches out there that will not cost you thousands of dollars. It serves as a good option for those who want a trusted and reliable diving watch that has a reasonable price tag. Ultimately, if you are on the hunt for a good companion to accompany you on your underwater adventures, you will not go wrong with this watch.
Photo Credits: Seiko Official Site and WatchShopping
If you want to know more about diving watches, check out our article on the Orient Mako II.