When it comes to dive watches, one of the reigning Japanese watch brands that has a huge catalog of tried-and-tested pieces is Seiko. One of its most popular collections is the ever-dependable Seiko Prospex series, which holds a number of affordable and durable dive pieces. Some of its iconic timepieces include the Seiko Captain Willard and the Seiko King Samurai.
For today’s article, we will be looking at yet another notable dive watch from the Seiko Prospex collection: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP777. You might recognise this watch as one of the famous Seiko Turtle models. An awe-inspiring dive piece with cool features and a solid build, this is a rugged timepiece that is made for the modern-day man.
Let us take a brief overview of the history of the Seiko SRP777, before we delve deep into the watch itself and everything it can do.
History and Overview of the Seiko SRP777
The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP777, or Seiko SRP777 was released during the first quarter of 2016. It was launched alongside an all-stainless steel Seiko Turtle variant, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP775. Both models are modern reissues of the emblematic Seiko 6309, which was a popular dive watch introduced back in the 1970s. Both the Seiko SRP777 and Seiko SRP775 inherited their memorable cushion-shaped cases and durable builds from the original Seiko 6309 timepiece.
Today, many of Seiko’s iconic vintage dive watches are no longer being produced by the company. The Seiko 6309 is only one such example of this. This is also why the brand creates updated reissues of these vintage watches every now and then. Contemporary versions like the Seiko SRP777 give wearers the singularly unique opportunity of experiencing a vintage watch clothed in a modern build.
Aside from being a reissue of the Seiko 6309, the Seiko SRP777 also stands out with its cute case that resembles the rounded shell of a turtle. Despite its robust quality, the Seiko SRP777 is also known for its affordable price point, which makes this watch a truly value-for-money purchase.
One thing to note is that the Seiko SRP777 should not be confused with the Seiko King Turtle. The King Turtle is another diver piece from the brand. Despite having a near identical design, the Seiko King Turtle differentiates itself by utilizing more premium materials and having a more exorbitant price point.
Now that we understand the history of the Seiko SRP777 a little better, let us explore all the features it has to offer.
Anatomy of the Seiko SRP777
Case and Caseback
The Seiko SRP777 is presented in a neat cushion-shaped case that has a diameter of 45mm. Crafted entirely from stainless steel, this watch has a height of 13mm. This is a rather usual standard of thickness for most dive watches. It also possesses a lug-to-lug measurement of 48mm.
On the whole, the Seiko SRP777 is a rather chunky watch which poses a significant presence on your wrist. With this watch case’s apparent heft, the Seiko SRP777 is best suited for those who have average-to-large-sized wrists. It also caters to those who are particularly into oversized watches.
Flipping the Seiko SRP77 over, you can find a stainless steel caseback that is firmly screwed in. This caseback holds a delicate print of a tsunami logo, which is a signature of the Seiko Prospex dive watches.
On the right side of the watch case, you can also find a sizable screw-down crown. It can be used to set the time, day, and date of the watch. You can also manually wind the crown in order to jump-start the movement’s mainspring. Unlike most watches, the crown on the Seiko SRP777 is placed at 4 o’clock. This clever placement keeps the top of the crown from digging into the skin of your wrist, offering greater comfort when worn.
A dive watch would not be very effective if it did not have one of its core components: an elapsed time scale bezel. Fortunately, the Seiko SRP777 comes with a unidirectional, rotating elapsed time scale bezel that has 120 clicks. It has a bottle cap design, with thick ridges that ensure wearers can grip and turn it more easily.
The Seiko SRP777’s bezel is also fitted with a jet-black ceramic insert that is highly scratch-resistant. Aside from bearing a 60-minute scale, this insert also has a luminous pip at 12 o’clock. This provides better visibility, so you can read the watch face clearly even when in dark environments.
The matte black Seiko SRP777 has a very simple and straightforward layout that promotes easy legibility. It is decorated with large hour markers in various geometric shapes, thick arrow-headed hands that are outlined in silver, and a day-date display at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices of this watch are all generously coaxed with Seiko’s patented LumiBrite material. This helps illuminate the watch face, so you can read it easily even when submerged in dark underwater depths.
On the rim of the dial, you can also find a black chapter ring that complements the dial and bezel. This chapter ring bears white stick indices for the watch’s minute scale. Finally, the dial is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal.
Seiko complements the Seiko SRP777’s black watch face with a matching, high-quality black silicone strap. The choice of silicone for the strap is an excellent one, since it is completely waterproof, so it is a great fit for dive watches like the Seiko SRP777.
This rugged black strap is equipped with a stainless steel pin buckle, which keeps the watch firmly fastened to your wrist. In addition, the strap has an abundant number of adjustment holes. You can use these holes to determine how tightly or loosely you want to wear your watch, whichever you find most comfortable. This also comes in handy when you have to wear your diving suit, since you can easily adjust the strap to fit more loosely around it.
The Seiko SRP777 has a solid depth rating of 200 meters. Built to withstand extreme water pressures, this is the perfect dive watch for all sorts of watersports activities, be it surfing, scuba diving, jet-skiing, or more. It is also ISO-certified, which means it meets the ISO 6425 requirements — the standard for all dive watches.
The Seiko SRP777 is powered by an in-house Caliber 4R36. Held together by 24 jewels, this automatic Seiko movement has a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and a standard power supply of 41 hours. It also comes with manual-winding capabilities, so you can swiftly reset the watch if it runs out of power. Seiko also reports that this movement has an accuracy rate of +45/-35 seconds per day.
One great thing about Seiko being such a popular watch brand is that you can buy a lot of its replacement parts online quite easily. If the movement of your Seiko SRP777 piece ever gets damaged, you can quickly find a brand-new replacement for it on the internet.
The Seiko SRP777 retails at just $379 USD. This budget-friendly price tag sets up the Seiko SRP777 as the king of entry-level dive pieces. With its affordable price and robust quality, this dive watch is certainly worth every penny.
Alternatives to the Seiko SRP777
1. Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Ref. SBDY021
The all-black Seiko SRP777 might seem a tad too serious to some, so here is another Seiko Turtle piece that brings out the fun with its striking blue dial and bezel. The Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Ref. SBDY021 belongs to the special edition Save the Ocean sub-series, which itself is part of the Seiko Prospex lineup.
This Seiko watch comes in a 45mm stainless steel case with a stout, cushion-shaped build. This is paired with a sturdy black resin strap. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel. It bears a ceramic elapsed time scale that comes in two different shades of blue.
The dial, likewise, also comes in charming gradient blue. From top to bottom, the dial goes from a lighter blue color to a dark shade of almost black, as if you are descending into the depths of the sea. It also has a teak finish, such that it further resembles the choppy waves of the ocean.
This dial is adorned with large geometric hour markers and arrow-headed hands that have been treated with LumiBrite. A compact day-date window is placed at 3 o’clock too. Intriguingly, the day counter has its text in Japanese katakana, rather than the standard English used by most watches. This is a clever way to pay subtle tribute to the watch brand’s Japanese roots.
Like the Seiko SRP777, this watch is driven by a Caliber 4R36. It has a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance capacity of 200 meters.
You can purchase this good-looking Seiko timepiece for around $479 USD.
2. Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W
Citizen is another well-established and well-respected Japanese watch brand. Like Seiko, it houses a roster of amazing dive pieces under its Citizen Promaster series. One great dive watch offering from the brand is the Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W. This watch stands out with its brilliant green dial and its unusually-placed crown.
Packed in a 42mm stainless steel case, this Citizen watch is slightly smaller than the Seiko SRP7777. It comes with a hardy black silicone strap, which goes well with the watch’s black elapsed time scale bezel. This bezel also has sharp edges at intervals, which allows wearers to grip and turn it more easily. Contrary to most watches in the industry, the crown of this timepiece is placed at 8 o’clock. This makes it much easier to turn for right-handed users.
The dial of this watch is actually coated entirely in a neon green luminous pigment. As a result, the entire dial glows brightly in the dark, allowing for excellent visibility at all times. It is decorated with black and gray geometric hour indices and thick syringe hands. A day-date aperture with a black background and red and white text rest at 3 o’clock.
Underneath this vibrant watch face, you can find an in-house Citizen Caliber 8203. This automatic movement is sealed safely behind the watch’s stainless steel caseback. It has an accuracy rate of +/-5 seconds per day and a depth rating of 200 meters.
The Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W sells at just $319 USD.
3. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141
In terms of design, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141 is the closest to the Seiko SRP777. It utilizes a 43mm stainless steel case and a striped black rubber strap. Fitted on top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel. It bears a gleaming black ceramic insert with broad indicators in silver for an elapsed time scale.
This TAG Heuer watch also showcases a jet-black dial, which offers a great deal of unity with the black bezel. The dial is furnished with trapezoidal hour markers and long sword hands, all of which are outlined in silver. These dial components are also coated with Super-LumiNova material. In addition, a compact date complication is placed at 3 o‘clock.
Unlike the previous models mentioned in this article, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer watch runs on a battery-operated quartz movement. It offers an extensive battery life of four months. This watch also has an outstanding water resistance rating of 300 meters, exceeding that of the Seiko SRP777.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141 costs approximately $1,600 USD.
The Seiko SRP777 is no doubt an excellent dive piece that rightfully deserves to be called the king of entry-level watches. Normally, when you purchase a cheap timepiece, you would get a somewhat average watch with a tolerable quality and build. But since this watch is made by Seiko, one of the best watchmakers in the world, you can rest assured that you will get far more than what you pay with the Seiko SRP777.
All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.
Photo Credits: Seiko Watches, watchuseek, and eBay. Featured image courtesy of Seiko Watches.
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