1. Newest Posts About Japanese dive watches

  2. Seiko Arnie: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sturdy Favorite

    Seiko Arnie: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sturdy Favorite

    Watches worn in films have made their mark on a lot of folks’ spheres of consciousness. Through the medium of film, the general public has become familiar with an array of iconic timepieces, especially if they are worn by renowned actors. Some popular examples include James Bond’s Omega Seamaster pieces and the Hamilton watches that show up in Tenet and Interstellar.  Appearances in pop culture can also be a huge factor that contributes to a particular watch amassing massive popularity and its own cult following. For those familiar with film and watch circles, the Seiko Arnie is perhaps one of the most famous instances of a watch receiving a huge following after an appearance in a film. Indeed, the influence of the American action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom the watch was named after, cannot be denied when it comes to the Seiko Arnie’s popularity. Read on to find out more about the Seiko Arnie and everything it has to offer.  History and Overview of the Seiko Arnie  Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the Seiko Arnie on Commando (1985). Image by: 20th Century Fox The Seiko Arnie hails from the brand’s flagship Seiko Prospex collection. This series of watches is widely recognized for its amazing roster of dive watches, which includes well-known names such as the Seiko Marinemaster and Seiko Turtle. As an esteemed Japanese watch brand, Seiko has only continued to meet everyone’s expectations with the well-crafted Seiko Arnie.  Introduced in 1982, the original Seiko Arnie piece released was the Seiko H558. It was notable for being the first-ever hybrid dive watch to grace the world. The launch of the Seiko H558 further cemented Seiko’s position as one of the leading innovative watchmakers globally. It also showcased the exceptional designs that came with Japanese craftsmanship.  Back in the ‘80s, the Seiko H558 garnered much popularity thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The American actor utilized the watch in many of his action and sci-fi films, including massive hits like Commando (1985) and Predator (1987). This eventually led to the Seiko H558 being nicknamed after the actor, receiving the catchy  “Seiko Arnie” moniker. Over time, the Seiko Arnie gained a cult following which included not just watch enthusiasts, but also the actor’s growing fanbase worldwide. Seiko Arnie 2019 Image by: Seiko In August 2019, Seiko released a modern reissue of the well-loved 1982 Seiko H558. Dubbed the Modern Interpretation of the iconic 1982 Seiko Arnie, the brand-new Seiko Arnie watch came in a completely new build, including its construction and movement. It was launched in three different versions: Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ025 (2019)Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ027 (2019)Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ028 (2019)Of the three reissue models, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ025 bears the greatest resemblance to the original Seiko H558. It is also the most popular piece amongst watch connoisseurs. Let us get to know more about the modern Seiko Arnie in the next section of the article. Anatomy of the Seiko Arnie Case and Caseback The Seiko Arnie comes in a huge and chunky build that matches perfectly with the former bodybuilder and actor it is named for. Crafted in stainless steel, the case of this watch measures a thick 47.8mm in diameter and has a height of 13.8mm. These measurements suit folks whose wrist sizes border around medium to large. In spite of its immense construction, however, the Seiko Arnie actually wears quite lightly on the wrist, weighing around 114 grams. As such, you can easily and comfortably wear the Seiko Arnie even for long periods of time.  Surrounding the stainless steel case of this watch is a matte black shroud, which helps to emphasize its hefty look. This shroud is made from robust, shock-resistant plastic and adds to the lightweight build of the Seiko Arnie. If you are familiar with Seiko’s timepieces, you might have recognized this shroud feature from the design of the Seiko Tuna watches. Although it makes the case extra bulky, this shroud also provides the watch with an additional layer of protection against any accidental bumps or impacts.  On the underside of the Seiko Arnie, you can find a solid stainless steel caseback. It holds a delicate engraving of a cresting tsunami. This is a common feature seen in many Seiko dive watches. The caseback is also tightly screwed down. This prevents any water or dirt from leaking into the Seiko Arnie and damaging its inner mechanisms.   Crown and Pushers On the right side of the Seiko Arnie’s case, you will see a large crown made of polished stainless steel. Like the caseback, this crown is securely screwed down and helps to safekeep against the entry of moisture or dirt. The crown also comes with grooved edges, which makes it easier to grip and turn, especially when it is wet.  Located on the other side of the case are two thick, protruding pushers. The push-button at 8 o’clock is used to change the modes on the Seiko Arnie’s digital display. This includes switching between the watch’s stopwatch, alarm, date, and time display features. The push-button at 10 o’clock, on the other hand, controls the Seiko Arnie’s built-in LED backlight and stopwatch functions. Finally, using both pushers in conjunction allows you to set the watch’s alarm.  Bezel One of the most important components of a dive piece is its bezel, and Seiko Arnie does not fail to deliver. Fixed on top of the Seiko Arnie’s watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with 120 clicks. It does not have any backplay whatsoever. This ensures that you will not accidentally turn it backwards and lose track of your elapsed time underwater.  This bezel has thick, ridged edges that resemble the sides of a bottle cap, giving wearers a better grip. You do not have to worry about any difficulty in turning the bezel, since it sits taller than the surrounding plastic shroud. The bezel is also fitted with a black aluminum insert. It is filled with a 60-minute count-up scale and a luminous pip at 12 o’clock, which helps illuminate the watch face.  Dial Image by: Seiko Aside from its famous association with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Seiko Arnie is also recognized for its striking hybrid dial. It shows off a matte black finish and is filled with hour markers in various geometric shapes and arrow-headed sword hands outlined in silver. A chapter ring, placed around the dial, bears indicators in white for the minute track. All of these components are generously coated in the brand’s LumiBrite material, allowing for optimal legibility even in low-light environments.  A rectangular digital screen is placed on the topmost section of the dial. It displays the watch’s time, alarm, stopwatch, and calendar functions. Even in the dark, you can still see this digital display clearly thanks to the Seiko Arnie’s built-in LED backlight. The dial of this watch is also protected by a tough layer of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal. It keeps the watch face safe from any hard impacts or scratches.  Strap Image by: Seiko The Seiko Arnie is paired with a sturdy silicone strap in black. It has thick, wave-like ridges that ensure the strap rests securely on your wrist. The strap’s durable silicone material is also completely waterproof, so it is a great partner for this dive watch.  In addition, the Seiko Arnie’s strap also comes with a multitude of adjustment holes. This allows the wearer to easily adjust their strap for a looser or tighter fit. It is also equipped with a stainless steel buckle, which keeps the strap safely fastened to your wrist.  Water Resistance The Seiko Arnie has an impressive water resistance capacity of up to 200 meters. You can bring it on all sorts of water adventures, from surfing and swimming to deep-water conquests like professional diving. As a dive watch, the Seiko Arnie is also ISO 6425-certified.  Movement  Driving the Seiko Arnie is an in-house Seiko Caliber H851. This is a solar-powered quartz movement which can be charged using exposure to any light source, artificial or natural. When fully charged, the Seiko Caliber H851 can last for up to six months. It also has a superb accuracy rate of +/-15 seconds per month.  Price Coming from a watch brand widely known for its affordable prices, the Seiko Arnie has an extremely budget-friendly price tag of just $419 USD. With its robust build and jam-packed features, this accessible price makes the Seiko Arnie well worth the purchase.  Alternatives to the Seiko Arnie 1. Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E For another dive piece that comes from a notable Japanese brand, check out the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E. This Citizen watch is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case with a height of 14mm, making it considerably smaller than the Seiko Arnie. With these dimensions, this Citizen watch can fit well on wrists of all sizes.  The Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E also has a sleek hybrid dial. It bears a matte black finish and contains trapezoidal hour indices and thick syringe hands. These hands and indices are all filled with a light green lume that adds a softer touch to this watch face. The minute hand is also outlined in orange, which pops brightly against the rest of the black backdrop. At 12 o’clock, a light gray digital display can be found.  This Citizen Promaster piece also comes with various functions such as alarms, depth measurements, and a stopwatch, all of which are displayed on the watch’s digital screen. Wearers can control these features using the small push-buttons found at 2, 8, and 10 o’clock. A screw-down crown is also located at 4 o’clock, with a stout water pressure sensor placed on the left side of the case. Like the Seiko Arnie, the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E is water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters.   You can get your hands on the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E for $459 USD. 2. Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00 For another robust dive watch with a very quintessential style, check out the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00. This Mido piece utilizes a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a high-quality black rubber strap. Sitting atop the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale insert made of black ceramic. Like the Seiko Arnie, it also possesses an outstanding water resistance rating of 200 meters.  Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, the black dial of this watch is ornamented with rectangular hour indices, silver skeletal hands, and a day-date aperture at 3 o’clock. The seconds hand of this watch is tipped with orange, adding a burst of color to this watch face. These components are all treated with Super-LumiNova, which lights up the dial in the dark.  This Mido Ocean Star piece runs on an in-house Mido Caliber 80. Held together by 25 jewels, this self-winding movement beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and offers a stellar power supply of 80 hours.  The Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00 retails at $890 USD. 3. Oris Divers Ref. 01 733 7720 4354-07 4 21 18 If you would like to invest in a more expensive dive watch, this handsome timepiece from Oris might interest you. The Oris Divers Ref. 01 733 7720 4354-07 4 21 18 shows off a gorgeous combination of black and royal gold tones. It sports a 42mm stainless steel case and an elegant black rubber strap. Fitted on top of the case is a unidirectional count-up bezel, with a black ceramic insert and gold-tone edges.  Arranged on this watch’s black dial are luminous geometric hour markers and broad sword hands, which come in a lovely shade of rose gold. A trapezoidal date complication, outlined in gold, can also be spotted at 3 o’clock. All of these functions are driven by the watch’s Oris Caliber 733. Based on the Sellita SW200-1 movement, this caliber has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a standard 38-hour power reserve. You can buy this Oris Divers watch for around $2,200 USD.  Final Thoughts Through this in-depth look at the Seiko Arnie, we can say that it is certainly an incredible dive watch, especially with its modern, upgraded features and solid build. It is an apt timepiece for the modern-day man and can be utilized in all sorts of adventures, especially water-based ones. For those seeking a hefty dive piece with hybrid features, the Seiko Arnie is definitely a great option. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo credits: 20th Century Fox, Seiko PH, Seiko USA, and Seiko Watches. Are you on the hunt for an iconic vintage watch? Check out our review of the rare Rolex Coke.

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  4. Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    For more than a century now, Seiko has been gracing the world with its excellent timepieces. It has contributed greatly to the watchmaking industry, as we can see from its quartz watch and dive watch innovations. Indeed, it is impressive how Seiko stands the test of time by constantly adapting to and developing new watch technology to keep up with the times.  Just this year, the brand released a special, limited-edition collection, the Seiko Black Series. Consisting of modern reissues that are based on older Seiko diving models, the Seiko Black Series consists of timepieces that are just uniquely Seiko. Read on to find out what the Seiko Black Series is all about and everything it has to offer.  Seiko Black Series: A Background While the Seiko Black Series was only released very recently, in 2022, its history actually dates back to as early as the 1960s. Most of the watches in this limited-edition series are modern re-interpretations of specific diving models from the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 is inspired by the 1965 Seiko Mechanical Diver, while the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 is based on the 1968 Seiko Mechanical Diver. Finally, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 is a rebirth of the 1970 Seiko Mechanical Diver. We will look at each model in closer detail further down in this article.  Concept-wise, the Seiko Black Series revolves around the idea of night diving. This activity is something that many divers want to experience. Hence, Seiko opted to create four well-crafted dive watches that would serve as great companions even in the darkest environments possible. Indeed, even the collection’s name, the “Black Series”, is inspired by the night ocean that influences these watches’ designs.  An In-Depth Look at the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061   While we can definitely talk all day about each of the Seiko Black Series watches, let us first focus on the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. This is arguably the most different out of the four models in the Seiko Black Series.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is based on the iconic Seiko Captain Willard from the 1970s, which explains its vintage-inspired exterior. The Seiko Captain Willard is especially famous due to its appearance in the 1979 blockbuster film Apocalypse Now. Aside from that, the Seiko Captain Willard is also known for being adventurer Naomi Uemura’s chosen companion during his 12,000km solo dog-sled excursion from Greenland to Alaska.  While these might seem like minor details, the history of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard plays a big role in how the brand came up with the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. In fact, the Japanese watch brand wanted to do the Seiko Captain Willard justice by making sure that its present-day version is just as durable and well-crafted as the original.  Compared to the other models in this lineup, the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 also boasts materials of higher quality and a superior mechanism. It also had a more limited production, with only 1,000 pieces made available for sale.  Case, Caseback and Bezel  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is presented in a high-quality stainless steel case with a full hard-coating in black, which boosts its resistance against scratches and impacts. It has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug width of 49.3mm, and a thickness of 13mm. This watch falls on the bulkier end, which, combined with its bold all-black aesthetic, only helps it stand out even more.  The back of this watch’s case is also made from solid, hard-coated black stainless steel. It is firmly screwed-down, which prevents any external elements from leaking into the watch. This contributes greatly to the watch’s impressive 200-metre water resistance rating. At the same time, this caseback also bears inscriptions of the watch’s details. This includes its country of manufacture, its serial number, materials used, and more. This Seiko Black Series model also comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel that really complements its watch face. It features a count-up scale on its black aluminium insert, which is bound to form a lovely patina as you use this watch. This is great for those who love vintage aesthetics, as this diver will most likely age well over time. The bezel ring also boasts a LumiBrite coat, allowing for excellent visibility even in low-light conditions.    Lastly, in between the bezel and the dial, you can find a curved sapphire crystal. It is treated with anti-reflective coatings on its inner surface, which prevents any visual distortions from affecting your view of the dial. Sapphire crystal is known for its superb durability, so it is very effective at protecting the watch face from any scratches.  Bracelet  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is fitted with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Like the watch case, the entire bracelet is hard-coated in black, which only adds to the watch’s bold and rugged style. This bracelet also has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release extenders. This keeps the bracelet firmly fastened to your wrist and and allows you to quickly remove it when necessary.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is also offered with an additional silicone strap upon purchase. Like the other components of the watch, this silicone band and its hardware come in a sleek shade of black, completing the watch’s all-black look. When paired with the case, it gives the watch a more casual, laidback vibe than the stainless steel variation. Using the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 with a silicone strap makes it the perfect option for an everyday beater watch.  Dial  One of the most captivating features of this Seiko Black Series model is its lovely face. The Seiko Prospex SLA061 shows off a black dial with a beautiful sand ripple design, which adds both texture and depth to the watch’s face. This design element reiterates the concept upon which the Seiko Black Series is based: the darkness of the night ocean.  Aside from that, this watch face is also filled with thick hour indices and bevelled sword hands. In between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, you can also find a small date aperture with a black background and white text. The hands and indices of this watch are all coated in LumiBrite, allowing for improved readability even in the dark. On the very rim of the dial, there is a minute scale in stick indices in white.  Movement Another thing that sets the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series is that it is equipped with a more advanced mechanism. The SLA061 runs on an in-house Seiko Calibre 8L35, which was hand-crafted at the Seiko Watch Studio in Japan.  Held together by 26 jewels, the Seiko Calibre 8L35 is an automatic movement that boasts great reliability. It has an accuracy rate of +15/-10 seconds per day and a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.  Price Seiko is known for its very diverse portfolio, with watches that showcase drastically different specifications and price ranges. The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061, in particular, is one of the pricier models from the brand. This limited-edition watch, with its sophisticated, vintage-inspired aesthetic, sells at around $3,600 USD.  Other Models in the Seiko Black Series Now that we have talked about the Seiko Black Series’s stand-out model, let us take a look at the three remaining pieces in the collection. Note: As a special-edition series, the production of each Seiko Black Series model is limited. The three Seiko Black Series variants below had only 5,500 pieces released each. Every piece also comes with an additional silicone strap in black, like the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061.  1. Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 First, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253, which was based on a mechanical diver from 1965. This is the cleanest model in the entire series with its well-defined, almost boxy case. It is the perfect combination of bold and sophisticated, making it quite a versatile accessory.  The SPB253 is housed in a 40.5mm stainless steel case in black and a rust-coloured strap made of polyester. Affixed to the top of the watch case is an aluminium count-up bezel. Embellished with vibrant orange accents, this bezel is coated in LumiBrite for better legibility.  Unlike the SLA061, the dial of this watch showcases a simpler matte black finish. It is adorned with luminescent black sword hands and rectangular hour indices, along with a date display at 3 o’clock. Orange and beige lume is also used to fill the hands and indices.  This watch is driven by a Japanese Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement shows off an outstanding power supply of 70 hours and can withstand water pressures of up to 200 metres.  With a price tag of just $1,200 USD, this is a much more affordable alternative to the SLA061.  2. Seiko Prospex Black SPB255  Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255, based on a mechanical diver from 1968. Like its original, this Seiko Black Series watch has a sharp and chiselled exterior that makes the entire piece look robust and powerful. It is a great choice for those who love clean-cut and straightforward timepieces.  The SPB255 comes in a 42mm black case made of stainless steel, along with a dark brown polyester strap. Of all the watches in the Seiko Black Series, the SPB255 has the most flexible proportions as it was made to fit wrists of all sizes. A black count-up bezel with orange and silver indicators can be found on top of the watch case. Flipping this watch over, you can also find a solid stainless steel caseback. It is inscribed with the signature Seiko Tsunami logo.  The dial of this watch also comes in straightforward matte black. It contains luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, along with sweeping sword hands and a date window at 3 o’clock. The seconds and minute hands of this watch are treated with soft orange lume, adding a bit of pop to this watch face.  This watch from the Seiko Black Series is also powered by a Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement is held together by 24 jewels and has a precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day. It also possesses an excellent 70-hour power supply and a depth rating of 200 metres.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 retails at $1,200 USD.  3. Seiko Prospex Black SPB257  Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257. As another modern reissue of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard, this model is the closest to the SLA061. Compared to the previous two models, this watch has a more rounded exterior. It is the ideal option for those who love chunky divers.   The SPB257 sports a 42.7mm cushion-shaped case made of black stainless steel and a rust-brown polyester strap. The funky and unconventional shape of this watch’s case is what sets it apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series. Sitting atop the case is a count-up bezel with aluminium inserts and LumiBrite coatings in silver and orange.  The matte black dial of this watch follows a very clean and straightforward layout. It comprises thick hour indices and long black sword hands, which are treated with orange and beige lume. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a small date complication.  This model is also equipped with a sapphire crystal glass, a solid steel caseback, and a screw-down crown, all of which contribute to its 200-meter water resistance rating. Behind the caseback, you can also find a Seiko Calibre 6R35, which can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 costs approximately $1,300 USD.  Why Should You Get the Seiko Black Series?  If you are still on the fence on whether the Seiko Black Series is worth it or not, below are some points to help you decide.  Good Concept. One of the things that make the Seiko Black Series so great is that it was born out of a clear concept. It revolves around the idea of a night ocean, explaining the boldness of its exterior and the toughness of its mechanism. On top of that, the Seiko Black Series is also inspired by revolutionary, vintage Seiko timepieces from decades ago. This gives the Seiko Black Series more depth, adding to its appeal as a collector’s piece. Well-Executed. In relation to having a good concept, Seiko was also able to execute its ideas perfectly in the Seiko Black Series. Each element used in the Seiko Black Series was mindfully chosen to allow for utmost beauty and reliability. It is the perfect balance between beautiful aesthetics and excellent functionality, making it a no-brainer choice for divers and watch enthusiasts. Reasonably Priced. The Seiko Black Series, as a whole, definitely falls on the more expensive end for Seiko. Nevertheless, it is still a very reasonable price considering the quality you get with each model, especially when compared to other Swiss luxury watches in the market. The Seiko Black Series models are not just ordinary Seiko watches that are mass produced every year, they are limited-edition pieces that reflect superior craftsmanship in every way.Final Thoughts The Seiko Black Series is a reflection of the Japanese brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation. It chose to use groundbreaking vintage models and turn them into modern reinterpretations that are better in almost every way. Each model is equipped with excellent design and functionality, meant to resonate with divers of every kind. If you are looking for a dive watch worthy of your investment, you definitely will not regret checking out the Seiko Black Series.  Photo Credits: Seiko Official Site and WSIf you are interested in watch guides and reviews, check out this piece on the Robust Sinn U50!

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  5. Seiko SRP777: The King of Entry-Level Dive Watches

    Seiko SRP777: The King of Entry-Level Dive Watches

    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 Image by: Seiko Watches 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.  Bezel 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.  Dial Image by: americanloko on watchuseek 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.  Strap 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.  Water Resistance 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.  Movement Image by: eBay 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.  Price 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.  Final Thoughts 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. On the hunt for a uniquely-shaped timepiece? Read our article about tonneau watches and fifteen of the best watch offerings that are built in this lovely shape!

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  6. Seiko Marinemaster: All About Seiko’s Outstanding Diver

    Seiko Marinemaster: All About Seiko’s Outstanding Diver

    One of the world’s largest and most renowned watchmakers is the Japanese brand Seiko. The brand offers a wide range of outstanding watch models, including professional dive watches that are loved by watch enthusiasts worldwide. On top of that, Seiko is also known globally for its introduction of the quartz movement in the sphere of horology. Thanks to its ceaseless innovation and consistent production of high-quality watches, many watch aficionados have developed an inclination toward the brand’s products over the years.  Of all the dive watches in Seiko’s catalog, one particular standout is the Seiko Marinemaster. Powerful and robust, the Seiko Marinemaster is a distinctive timepiece that has carved out its own place in the brand’s history. Without further ado, let us get better acquainted with the Seiko Marinemaster, its history, achievements, and the best Marinemaster models that money can buy you.  Seiko Marinemaster: A Brief History First released in 1968, the Seiko Marinemaster has been around for a very long time, with many new Marinemaster models being released over the years. Because of the extensiveness of its history, we will only be discussing a few of the Marinemaster’s significant milestones, particularly those that relate to the models we will be discussing in greater detail later in this article:  1968: Seiko releases its first Hi-Beat dive watch, the Marinemaster. Launched just three years after Seiko first ventured into the dive watch market, the 1968 Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7001 showed off a monobloc case and an impressive 300-meter water resistance capacity. The high-beat frequency of this Marinemaster’s new, built-in driving system also ensured exceptionally precise timekeeping, even when used underwater.  1975: The first Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7010 was born. It came in a chunky yet lightweight titanium build and was made especially for professional diving. This Seiko Marinemaster model had an outstanding 600-meter depth rating and its outer case was bolstered by a thick shroud which provided additional protection from scratches and impacts.  1978: Three years later, an upgraded timepiece with a similar build to the 1975 Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7010 was released. This new Marinemaster was the first saturation diving watch ever to utilize an in-house quartz movement. It continues to epitomize Seiko’s dedication to never-ending innovation.  2005: Fast forward to thirty years later, and the Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. Ref. SBDB001 was introduced. This watch was crafted using lightweight titanium and equipped with a luxurious sapphire crystal, which served to protect the watch’s dial. This watch was well-suited for saturation diving with its water resistance capacity of 600 meters. Today, the Seiko Marinemaster sub-collection has expanded to hold a wide variety of timepieces, all of which fall under the extensive Seiko Prospex series. These, of course, include the “Tuna” Marinemaster models. Fun fact: the “Tuna” nickname awarded to these timepieces is a witty reference to the cylindrical shape of a tuna can. The Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster watches showcase round, shrouded cases that are said to resemble actual tuna cans, hence the nickname. This tuna can design continues to be used in modern Marinemaster models today.  In addition, there are two distinct features that tie every Marinemaster watch together. The first is an aesthetic one: the off-center placement of the Marinemaster’s huge crown on the right side of the case, at 4 o’clock. Secondly, each Marinemaster variant also possesses an excellent water resistance capacity that exceeds 200 meters.  Now that we are more familiar with the collection as a whole, let us take a look at some of the best Marinemaster models on the market.  Best Seiko Marinemaster Models 1. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN035 First on this list is the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN035, which is also famously known as the “Ninja Tuna.” The striking all-black theme is what this timepiece is all about. This watch comes in a bulky 47.7mm case made of stainless steel. Not only is the case wide, but it is also quite thick, with a height of 14.7mm. This gives the Ninja Tuna a nice, substantial heft on your wrist. The black-tone case is coupled with a matching black silicone bracelet which is durable enough to carry the weight of the timepiece.  As per its all-black theme, the dial of this watch also comes in matte black. It has a fairly simple layout, with geometric hour markers and broad arrow-head hands, all of which are generously coated with lume. A day-date window is also located next to the 3 o’clock marker. Placed atop the case is an 120-click rotating bezel with a black insert for its elapsed time scale.  The Ninja Tuna is driven by a Seiko 7C46 quartz movement. Held together by seven jewels, this movement has an excellent battery life of five years. On top of that, the Ninja Tuna also has a respectable depth rating of 300 meters.  If you want a tough yet subtle-looking dive watch, you can get the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ninja Tuna Ref. SBBN035 for $1,149 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017 Next on this list is the Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017. This Seiko Marinemaster watch is packed in a 44.3mm stainless steel case, along with a three-link case made of the same material. Both the case and bracelet are treated with Seiko’s unique Diashield coating. This enhances their resistance to scratches and protects the elegant, brushed mirror finish of the watch’s exterior.  The watch’s gear-edged elapsed time scale bezel and dial, on the other hand, come in jet-black. The dial is adorned with geometric hour indices and thick sword hands, all of which are coated in the brand’s patented LumiBrite material, allowing for optimal legibility even in the dark. A small date display, outlined in silver, also sits at 3 o’clock.  Driving this Seiko Marinemaster piece is the brand’s in-house 8L35 automatic movement. Based on the Grand Seiko 9S55 caliber, this movement has a solid 50-hour power reserve. The Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017 is also able to withstand water pressures of up to 300 meters.  This luxurious Seiko Marinemaster watch sells at around $2,999 USD. 3. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SLA021J1 In this entry, we have what is perhaps the most popular Marinemaster model ever: the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SLA021J1. This watch is presented in a 44.3mm stainless steel case with a bracelet made of the same material. The 15.4mm width of the case makes this watch thicker than the average dive watch.  As with the previous Marinemaster models, this watch shows off a stark black dial. It is furnished with LumiBrite-coated geometric indices, satin-finished hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. The yellow seconds hand also stands out clearly with its lovely, bright yellow tone, which adds a burst of vibrancy to this monochrome watch face.  This watch runs on the Seiko 8L35 automatic movement. Aside from having a reliable 50-hour power supply, it also has a depth rating of 300 meters.  This powerful Seiko Marinemaster classic is priced at approximately $2,399 USD.  4. Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB077J1  The next timepiece on this list is the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SPB077J1. More commonly known as the Seiko Baby Marinemaster, this is a modern re-interpretation of Seiko’s 1968 Marinemaster 300m dive watch. It is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case that measures 13.1mm thick, making it relatively smaller and slimmer compared to other Seiko Marinemaster models. This is coupled with a sleek three-link stainless steel bracelet and a black elapsed time scale bezel.  Complementing the bezel is a matte black dial. This dial follows a straightforward design, comprising circular and trapezoidal hour indices, thick arrow-headed hands, and a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices are all treated with Seiko’s LumiBrite material for optimal legibility at all times.  Underneath this simple watch face, you can find the brand’s in-house 6R15 automatic movement. This caliber possesses a 50-hour power supply and is equipped with hand-winding and hacking capabilities. Finally, as a “baby” version of the Seiko Marinemaster, this dive watch comes with a depth rating of just 200 meters.  The Seiko Prospex SPB077J1 costs $1,595 USD. It is a great choice for those seeking a more budget-friendly Seiko Marinemaster option.  5. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011 Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011. This watch comes in a robust titanium case measuring 46mm wide and 17mm thick, along with a bracelet made of the same material. Despite its large size, however, the watch’s titanium construction makes it quite lightweight compared to other stainless steel watches.  Standing out against the watch’s all-silver exterior is a black elapsed time scale bezel and a matching black dial. This dial has a slightly more complicated layout compared to the aforementioned Seiko Marinemaster models. It consists of LumiBrite-coated hour indices in various geometric shapes, broad sword hands, a date window at 3 o’clock. An arcing power reserve indicator is also located near the 9 o’clock marker.  This watch is powered by an in-house Seiko 5R66 movement. As an automatic movement, this caliber provides an extended power reserve of 72 hours. It also possesses an impressive depth rating of 600 meters, so you can easily use this watch for deep-sea saturation diving.  With its lightweight build and powerful movement, the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011 is definitely a great pick. The price of this watch costs $3,699 USD. 6. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBDX014  The next watch on this list is the Seiko Marinemaster Ref. SBDX014, which is more commonly known as the “Emperor Tuna.” As befitting its name, this watch is encased in a majestic 48.2mm titanium case. Adding to its already massive size is the black ceramic shroud that surrounds the watch, giving it its robust “tuna can” shape. Despite its large build, however, the Emperor Tuna is actually quite light, thanks to its lightweight titanium case construction and sturdy black silicone bracelet.  The dazzling contrast between the black and rose gold hues of this watch is easily one of its most fascinating features. The lovely rose gold accents on the Emperor Tuna’s bezel and crown truly help make it distinct from its Marinemaster peers. This effect is enhanced by the watch’s geometric, LumiBrite-coated indices and rose gold-tone arrow hands, which stand out cleanly against the dial’s black finish. A tiny date display can also be found between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers.  Inside this luxurious-looking timepiece, you can find an in-house Seiko 8L35 movement, which possesses a reliable 50-hour power supply. In addition, the Emperor Tuna is also able to withstand water pressures of up to 1000 meters, which is excellent for saturation diving.  Priced at $3,149 USD, this one-of-a-kind Seiko Marinemaster watch is a must-have for any dive watch collector. 7. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005 Joining this list is the Seiko Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005, which stands out with its stylish silver-and-blue colourway. This watch utilizes a chunky 48.2mm titanium case which measures 19.77mm thick and a bracelet made of the same material. While its oversized case gives this watch a considerable presence on your wrist, its lightweight titanium build ensures that it is not too heavy to tote around. Fixed atop the case is a titanium bezel with a metallic blue elapsed time scale insert and a diagonal-cut design that adds more personality to this stylish watch.  Another highlight of this Seiko Marinemaster watch is its lovely blue dial, which showcases an alluring, ocean-inspired wave texture. This dial is beautifully contrasted by satin-finished sword hands and LumiBrite-covered geometric indices. A small date aperture can also be found between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. Driving this watch is an in-house Seiko 8L55 automatic movement. Held together by 37 jewels, this calibre can last for up to 55 hours when fully wound. Like the Seiko “Emperor Tuna” Marinemaster, this watch also has an excellent depth rating of 1000 meters.  The Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005 is worth approximately $5,089 USD, making this one of the more expensive Seiko Marinemaster pieces available.  8. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi-Beat Ref. SLA025 Image by: eBay Eighth on the list is the limited-edition Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi Beat Ref. SLA025. As a homage to the 1968 Seiko Hi-Beat, this is a modern take on the aforementioned vintage dive watch. It uses a 44.7mm monobloc stainless steel case and a pyramid silicone strap in black. On top of the case, you can find a 120-click unidirectional bezel. This bezel is fitted with a black ceramic insert, bearing exquisite gold indicators for its elapsed time scale.  Like many other Marinemaster models, this watch also showcases a simple black dial. However, this watch distinguishes itself with the luxurious gold accents peppered across the dial. The dial’s luminous geometric indices and sword-shaped hands are all encased in gold plating, while the date complication at 3 o’clock is also framed in gold. This Marinemaster piece runs on the brand’s in-house 8L55 automatic caliber. This gives the watch a 55-hour power supply and a reliable depth rating of 300 meters.  As a limited-edition gem, there are only 1,500 pieces of the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi Beat Ref. SLA025 available in the world. It retails at around $4,900 USD. 9. Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDX043 Image by: Seiko Watches For the next watch, we have another limited edition timepiece, the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBDX043. Released in honor of the brand’s 140th anniversary, this Marinemaster model is one of three limited-edition divers launched by Seiko under the branding of “Iriomote Island.” It is housed in a 44.3mm polished stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel bracelet. Fixed on top of the case is a black elapsed time scale bezel, with ridged edges that provide wearers with a better grip.  The star of this watch, without a doubt, is its mesmerizing green dial. Boasting a rich green hue, this dial contains geometric hour indices and satin-finished hands that are filled with LumiBrite, maximizing legibility in the dark. Its seconds hand comes in a distinctive, bright yellow hue, adding a hint of vibrancy to this dark watch face. You can also find a compact date window located at 3 o’clock as well.  Like many other Seiko Marinemaster models, this timepiece is powered by the brand’s in-house Seiko 8L35 automatic movement. Aside from possessing a 50-hour power supply, this watch also has a solid 300-meter depth rating.  Seiko produced only 3,000 pieces of the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDX043. Thanks to its exclusivity and its charming design, this Marinemaster model sells at $2,509 USD. 10. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027 For the last watch in this list, we have the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027, popularly known as the “Yellow Tuna”. This watch is presented in a colossal 49.3mm black-tone case and a robust silicone strap in black. Surrounding the case is a glossy black shroud made of ceramic which adds to the watch’s heft and protects it from any impacts or scratches. You do not have to worry about the Yellow Tuna’s large size, however, as it is actually quite light and comfortable to wear — thanks to its titanium build.  On top of the watch’s case, you can find a 120-click unidirectional bezel with a funky yellow insert for the elapsed time scale. This vibrant bezel helps give the watch a certain lively personality. Yellow accents can also be found scattered all over the watch’s black dial, in particular, on its minute and seconds hands, further enhancing the watch’s quirky vibe. Aside from that, this dial is also decorated with geometric hour markers in white, an arrow-headed hour hand, and a day-date display at 3 o’clock.  Driving all of these functions is the brand’s in-house Seiko 7C46 movement. This automatic movement carries a power reserve of about 50-hours. This is complemented by the watch’s incredible 1000-meter depth rating, which makes it well-equipped for long-distance saturation diving.  If you want a powerful yet fun dive watch, you can buy the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027 for approximately $2,049 USD. Final Thoughts The Seiko Marinemaster models are indeed amazing and innovative timepieces that have helped exhibit the excellence of Seiko’s craftsmanship over generations. Without a doubt, these Marinemaster pieces are a great inclusion to one’s growing dive watch collection. With their robust movements and impressive water-resistance capacities, you would definitely not want to miss out on these Seiko Marinemaster watches.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: eBay and Seiko Watches. Featured image courtesy of ludalmg90 on Flickr. Are you interested in military-inspired digital watches? Check out our review of the Nixon Regulus.

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  7. Seiko SPB149: The Affordable And Tough Descendant of the 62MAS

    Seiko SPB149: The Affordable And Tough Descendant of the 62MAS

    Since 1881, Seiko has had an undisputedly amazing and long history of creating innovative timepieces. In fact, the Japanese brand’s consistency in delivering reliable dive watches is recognized by watch enthusiasts worldwide. Also known for its budget-friendly timepieces, Seiko is one of the most popular watchmakers in the world, especially for those who are just starting out their watch collections.  In this article, we will be taking a look at an outstanding limited edition dive watch from Seiko: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149. Hailing from the sports series of Seiko’s Prospex lineup, this watch was released recently in 2020. Since the Seiko SPB149 was launched in celebration of the 55th anniversary of Seiko’s first-ever dive watch, the 1965 Seiko Prospex Diver 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000, this timepiece is also known as the “1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation”. It perfectly encapsulates the original look and features of the 1965 Seiko Prospex Diver 62MAS, while also incorporating modern design elements and technology.  It should be noted that this particular Seiko Prospex model actually has three reference numbers: SPB149, SPB149J, and SPB149J1. For the sake of clarity, however, we shall henceforth refer to this watch as the Seiko SPB149. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Seiko SPB149, including its specifications, capabilities, and a brief foray into its Seiko 62MAS lineage.  The Seiko 62MAS Lineage Seiko Prospex 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000 (1965) Image by: bigsom from watchuseek The extensive history of Seiko’s dive watches dates back to its very first dive piece, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000. Who would have thought that this watch, created nearly 60 years ago, would have such an impact on the watchmaking world? Nevertheless, the influence and iconic design of the Seiko Prospex 62MAS has continued for years after its launch. As such, it is no surprise that Seiko chose to release the Seiko SPB149 in celebration of the Seiko Prospex 62MAS’s 55th anniversary.  Encased in a slender 38mm stainless steel case, the original Seiko Prospex 62MAS came with a textured black silicone strap and 150m of water resistance. It was powered by an in-house Seiko Caliber 6217, which possessed a power reserve of 31 hours. Today, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS is incredibly rare. It can be extremely hard to find the Seiko Prospex 62MAS, and as a result, resellers often sell this vintage watch quite expensively. The price for the Seiko Prospex 62MAS usually begins at $5,000 USD and can trend higher depending on the condition of the watch and the seller in question.  A Quick Look at 62MAS Descendants  Given the continuing legacy of the legendary Seiko 62MAS, Seiko has decided to capitalize on this by issuing several modern editions of this particular dive watch. These contemporary re-issues include: Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB051 / SPB051J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB053 / SPB051J / SPB053J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA017 / SLA017J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 / SLA037J / SLA037J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB143 / SPB143J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB145 / SPB145J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB147 / SPB147J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149 / SPB149J / SPB149J1 (2020) Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB213 / SPB213J1 (2021)In this article, we shall discuss the two limited-edition 55th-anniversary models that were released in 2020: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 and the Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149. Anatomy of the Seiko SPB149 (2020): Case and Caseback The Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149 shows off a majestic all-stainless steel build. This watch utilizes a 40.5mm stainless steel case with a height of 13.2mm. Despite being larger than the Seiko 62MAS, this is still quite a slim size for a watch, so the Seiko SPB149 is best suited for those with small-to-average-sized wrists. This case is completely brushed all over, while also bearing a smooth, polished finish on the upper sides of the watch case. This makes up an elegant combination of alternating matte and shiny tints, giving the Seiko SPB149 an impeccable luster that is incredibly satisfying to look at.  Affixed to the top of the watch case is a 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel. The brushed black finish of the ceramic bezel insert nicely contrasts against the white print of its elapsed time scale. This bezel also has coin-like edges, which makes it easier for wearers to hold and turn. This is a handy, hassle-free feature that provides wearers with a better grip, especially if they are wearing diving gloves. On the underside of the Seiko SPB149, you can find a solid stainless steel caseback that has been smoothly polished. At the center of the caseback is an engraved emblem of Seiko’s ocean wave logo. This elegant crest can also be found on the casebacks of most Seiko dive watches, with one example being the Seiko Monster. The watch’s serial number is also engraved on its caseback, making it feel more special and unique.  Crown Tucked on the right side of the case is a protruding screw-down crown. The subtle, grooved edges of the crown give wearers a better grip when turning the crown. As mentioned, this crown is firmly screwed down, safeguarding the watch’s inner mechanisms from the potential entry of any dust or moisture.  More importantly, this crown is also used to wind the mainspring of the Seiko SPB149, along with its date complication. If you want to use this crown to set the correct time, you have to first pull the crown out to the first position. Turning the crown while it is in the first position allows you to control the hour and minute hands. To set the correct date, pull the crown out to the second position and rotate it to choose the right date.  Dial In keeping with the Seiko SPB149’s ocean-inspired theme, the dial of this watch showcases a striking matte blue finish. The layout of this dial is incredibly reminiscent of the Seiko 62MAS’s, incorporating thick, rectangular hour indices and chunky blunt hands. A date window also sits at 3 o’clock, helping you keep track of which day it is. This dial is accented by a pale gold-toned seconds hand, which adds a softer touch to this dark watch face.  Seiko’s use of its LumiBrite technology also ensures that this dial is highly legible, even in poor visibility conditions. The hands and hour markers of this watch are all generously coated with lume, keeping the watch face well illuminated in the dark. A layer of sapphire crystal is also used to protect the dial, keeping it safe from any scratches or impacts.  Bracelet The Seiko SPB149 is offered with a three-link bracelet made of hardy stainless steel. Like the watch case, this stainless steel bracelet boasts alternating matte and polished sides. The front and back of the bracelet are well-brushed and play well against the polished finish applied to the bracelet’s sides.  This bracelet is secured by a clamshell lock with Seiko’s brand name subtly printed on it. The clasp has a double buckle feature, which allows wearers to quickly and effortlessly wear or remove this bracelet. In addition, this bracelet is equipped with a handy built-in dive extension. This is an incredibly useful function, enabling wearers to adjust the length of the bracelet for a more snug fit on their wrists.  Water Resistance Designed as a dive watch, the Seiko SPB149 boasts excellent waterproof capabilities. It possesses a solid water resistance capacity of 200 meters, which is double that of the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. Moreover, the Seiko SPB149 is appropriately equipped with a luminescent dial and a reliable elapsed time scale bezel. These elements make the Seiko SPB149 a great companion for all your watersports activities like swimming and diving. Movement The Seiko SPB149 is driven by Seiko’s in-house Caliber 6R35 movement. This same in-house movement is also used in a number of other Seiko watches. These include the Seiko Alpinist models and some pieces from the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged series. As expected, Seiko makes sure that its timepieces are fully equipped with dependable mechanisms that power them. The Caliber 6R35 is a robust automatic movement that provides high performance and accuracy. Held by 24 jewels, this movement has a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). On top of that, it has an outstanding power reserve of 70 hours. This exceeds the average power supply of most dive watches, making it an excellent choice for wearers who like to go on long adventures. Price As a limited edition piece with only 5,500 pieces available, the exclusive Seiko SPB149 is a special treasure to avid watch collectors. That said, the Seiko SPB149 actually retails at a relatively affordable price despite its quality and 62MAS heritage. The price for this watch ranges from $1,400 USD to $2,000 USD.  Moving on, let us take a look at the rubber strap counterpart of the Seiko SPB149: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037.  Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 (2020) Image by: Seiko Watches The second watch Seiko introduced in celebration of the Seiko 62MAS’s 55th anniversary is the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037. Also referred to as the “1965 Diver’s Recreation”, this watch effortlessly mimics the quintessential design and durability of the original Seiko 62MAS. Instead, the Seiko SLA037 distinguishes itself by shying away from its predecessor’s black theme, opting instead for a blue-on-blue watch makeup.  This watch comes in a 39.9mm stainless steel case, making it just slightly bigger than the Seiko 62MAS. It is fitted with a box-shaped sapphire crystal and a textured blue rubber strap. On top of its dial is a unidirectional rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale insert in black. The dial of this watch also comes in a gorgeous sunray blue finish, complementing the strap. Aside from having an improved 200m depth rating, this watch runs on an in-house Seiko Caliber 8L55, which has an outstanding 70-hour power supply.  Like the Seiko SPB149, the Seiko SLA037 is a limited edition timepiece, with only 1,100 pieces available worldwide. Since it is more exclusive, it is also priced slightly higher, costing around $6,300 USD.  Alternatives to Seiko SPB149: 1. Bell & Ross Vintage Ref. BRV292-BU-G-ST/SST On the hunt for a fancier alternative? The Bell & Ross Vintage Ref. BRV292-BU-G-ST/SST is packed in a 41mm stainless steel case, paired with a bracelet made from the same material. On top of the case is a coin-edged unidirectional rotating bezel. Its metallic blue bezel insert is nicely contrasted by the lovely, rose gold tones of its elapsed time scale insert.  Complementing the watch’s bezel is its dark blue sunray dial, which looks almost black in the dark. It is adorned with luminous rose gold stick indices, large Arabic numeral hour markers, and sweeping pencil hands. Additionally, a small circular date aperture sits between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. All of these elements come together to make up a very stylish, elegant watch face.  Inside this Bell & Ross timepiece, you can find an in-house Bell & Ross Caliber BR-CAL.302. It can last for up to an average of 38 hours when fully wound. In addition, as a sturdy military timepiece, this watch is able to withstand water pressures of up to 100 meters. You can easily use this watch in light water activities such as swimming and snorkeling, although it is not recommended for diving purposes.  This Bell & Ross Vintage watch costs approximately $3,300 USD.  2. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. CAZ101K.BA0842  For another dependable alternative to the Seiko SPB149, take a look at the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. CAZ101K.BA0842. While a lot of timepieces from the Formula 1 lineup are racing watches, this versatile watch also doubles as a dive piece. It is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case with a matching stainless steel bracelet. Fixed on top of the watch case is an oversized tachymeter scale which bolsters the watch’s toughness. A screw-down crown on the right side of the case also provides the watch with a solid 200-meter water resistance capacity.  The dial of this watch shows off a beautiful sunray blue finish. It is packed full of complications, including trapezoidal applique hour markers, thick sword hands, and a date complication at 4 o’clock. A large Arabic numeral hour marker can also be found at 12 o’clock. As a chronograph piece, this watch also incorporates three chronograph sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 10-hour counters. These sub-dials come in a lighter shade of blue, adding more of a contrast to the watch face. Driving all of these functions is a handy quartz movement.  This TAG Heuer watch sells at around $1,700 USD.  Final Thoughts The Seiko SPB149 is both a historical and a modern timepiece built into one. As a tribute to the legendary Seiko 62MAS, the Seiko SPB149 demonstrates how the important feats in Seiko’s watchmaking history are honored in this modern climate. At the same time, it is also a powerful and durable timepiece that is great for those seeking a reliable entry-level dive watch.  With its surprisingly budget-friendly price and stylish design, the limited edition Seiko SPB149 is an excellent dive watch choice. All images courtesy of the Watch Shopping website, unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of Seiko Watches and watchuseek. Interested in the famous Star Wars film series? Read our article on the watch collaboration between Citizen and Star Wars!

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  8. Seiko King Samurai: Up Close And Personal With This Regal Watch

    Seiko King Samurai: Up Close And Personal With This Regal Watch

    Seiko is one of the most popular brands in the horology market. It is known for creating many high-quality timepieces across very diverse ranges. In particular, the Japanese brand is home to a great many legendary divers, such as the Seiko Tuna and the Seiko Sea Urchin. Today, we will be focusing on a specific, underrated sub-collection from the brand that is not talked about enough: the Seiko King Samurai. So, without further ado, let us find out more about the Seiko King Samurai and see whether it really deserves its throne. A Brief History of the Seiko King Samurai  The Seiko King Samurai is the newest addition to the legendary Seiko Samurai series, which dates back to the early 2000s. Housed under the Prospex collection, the Seiko Samurai was dubbed as such because the early models showed off angular builds that looked similar to samurai swords. The first generation of Seiko Samurai watches was only in production from 2004 to 2008. Following that, Seiko stopped making Samurai timepieces for almost a decade, before reintroducing the Seiko Samurai series to the world in 2017. Since then, the brand has been consistently making newer variants of the said sword-inspired lineup. The Seiko King Samurai bust onto the scene in 2020, dropping three different models right off the bat. These watches serve as new and improved versions of the previous Samurai timepieces, so you can expect quite a lot of changes and improvements with the Seiko King Samurai. Having said all that, let us take a look at just what the Seiko King Samurai has to offer. A Closer Look at the Seiko Prospex King Samurai SRPE37K1 In this section, we will be reviewing the first Seiko King Samurai model to be released: the Ref. SRPE37K1.  Case and Caseback The Seiko King Samurai SRPE37K1 is housed in a high-quality stainless steel case with a diameter of 44mm. It also has a thickness of 13mm and a fairly large lug-to-lug width of 49mm. As you can tell from these measurements, this model has a sizeable, robust exterior that definitely adds to its sporty look. It is best suited for average-to-large-sized wrists. This Seiko King Samurai watch has a rather eye-catching crown at 3 o’clock, which is protected on both sides by short crown guards. The surface of this crown is textured with a pattern of crisscrossing lines, almost like the skin of a pineapple. This provides wearers with a better grip, so they can hold and turn the crown more easily. You can also find an anti-reflective sapphire crystal sitting atop the watch face, protecting it from any damage from scratches or impacts. Keeping the crystal in place is a unidirectional bezel that boasts a glossy black finish. This bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert that has indicators in white for its elapsed time scale. On the underside of the Seiko King Samurai is a solid stainless steel caseback that is tightly screwed down. It guards the watch’s inner mechanisms against any dust or moisture, giving the timepiece an impressive 200-meter depth rating, which is twice that of the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. The brand’s Prospex emblem is also carefully engraved on the caseback, bolstering the refined aesthetic of this Seiko King Samurai watch. Bracelet To complement the sportiness and durability of the case, Seiko opted to pair the SRPE37K1 with a black silicone strap. It has a tough and rugged accordion-inspired design that adds a very casual yet stylish feel to the whole watch. The best thing about this bracelet is how nicely it sits on the wrist. The underside of the strap has a smooth and soft finish, allowing for maximum comfort despite its robust exterior.  Dial  The dial of the Seiko King Samurai SRPE37K1 is one of the most important components of this watch. It features a soft, white waffle design that stands out wonderfully against the black bezel and strap. This dial also consists of arrow-headed hands and trapezoidal and rectangular hour markers, all of which are outlined in black. These hands and indices are also generously coated with luminescent pigment so that wearers will have no trouble reading the watch face even in low-light environments. This King Samurai model is also equipped with a magnified date window at 3 o’clock, which is a new component in the Seiko Samurai series. Movement The Seiko King Samurai is as durable and impressive on the inside as it looks on the outside. It is driven by the Seiko automatic Caliber 4R35. This self-winding movement comprises 23 jewels and boasts a standard 41-hour power reserve. In addition, it also comes with manual-winding abilities, should you want to set the watch yourself. It also offers an average accuracy rate of +45/-35 seconds per day. Price  One of the best things about the Seiko King Samurai is that it comes with a very reasonable price tag. High-quality divers with impressive functions can be hard to find when you are on a tight budget, but thankfully, the Seiko King Samurai delivers at only $595 USD. Given this budget-friendly price tag, it is no wonder why the Seiko King Samurai is so well-loved by watch enthusiasts and casual patrons alike. Other Variations of the Seiko Samurai Now, let us move on to some of the best Seiko Samurai and Seiko King Samurai models you can get on the market.  1. Seiko Prospex King Samurai Ref. SRPE35K1 First, we have the Seiko Prospex King Samurai Ref. SRPE35K1, which was released alongside the SRPE37K1. It has a more classic and versatile design that makes it a great option for both everyday wear and formal ensembles. That said, its sportiness and robustness remain unchanged.  This Seiko King Samurai piece comes in a 44mm stainless steel case and three-link bracelet that give off a very professional, sophisticated feel. Affixed to the top of the case is a stainless steel unidirectional bezel, with a glossy black ceramic insert that bears the elapsed time scale. Another obvious difference between this model and the Ref. SRPE37K1 is that this watch has a matte black dial that contrasts sharply against its all-silver exterior. It also shows off an exquisite waffle pattern and is adorned with thick geometric hour markers, luminous arrow hands, and a magnified date display. Matching its rugged exterior, you can find an impressive 4R35 Caliber inside this Seiko King Samurai watch. This is an automatic movement with manual-winding capacities and a power supply of approximately 41-hours. You can also easily take this watch on any of your water adventures as it has a decent 200-meter water resistance rating. The only downside about this particular model is that it is slightly more expensive than the SRPE37K1, coming in at $625 USD instead. However, considering the versatile charm of the Seiko King Samurai SRPE35K1, most would agree that the $30 USD difference barely matters. 2. Seiko Prospex King Samurai Save The Ocean Ref. SRPF79K1 Next, we have the latest addition to the Seiko King Samurai line: the Seiko Prospex King Samurai Save The Ocean Ref. SRPF79K1. Like the aforementioned models, this is a handsome timepiece that simply exudes sophisticated sportiness. One cool thing about this watch is that it is part of the Japanese brand’s Save the Ocean advocacy, which aims to promote better treatment of marine life. This Seiko watch is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case, coupled with a comfortable silicone strap in blue. On top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel, with a glossy black elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic. While the older King Samurai models showed off simple waffle dials, this watch boasts an ocean-inspired dial that depicts an artistic image of stingrays under the sea. It also consists of a standard luminous display with large geometric hour markers, arrow-headed hands, and a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock. Powering this robust diver is an automatic 4R35 caliber that you can also wind manually. Held together by 23 jewels, it beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and possesses a 41-hour power reserve. If you want to take the extra mile in saving the ocean, you can also easily bring this watch with you on your underwater missions, thanks to its 200-meter depth rating. According to Seiko, part of the sales profit from this particular Seiko King Samurai model will go to marine preservation advocacies. As such, you can make a difference with just $470 USD. 3. Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPB55K1  In this entry, we have a Seiko Samurai model which was released before the Seiko King Samurai. This Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPB55K1 has a very cool and masculine exterior. To the untrained eye, it might look quite similar to the previous Seiko King Samurai models, but there are some notable differences. This Seiko Samurai watch utilizes a 44mm black-tone stainless steel case and a matching black silicone strap. Pressed on top of the watch case is a striking two-tone bezel that has a rougher matte finish compared to the glossy bezels of the Seiko King Samurai. The grey and black hues of this elapsed time scale bezel also go incredibly well with the watch’s black motif. The dial of this watch also comes in black, with a unique embossed pattern that mimics the waffle design of the first Seiko King Samurai models. It is furnished with luminescent hour markers, arrow-head hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. Hints of gold accents are also scattered across the watch face, which stands out clearly against the black backdrop and gives the watch a more elegant, refined look. This watch runs on an automatic 4R35 Caliber as well. It has a depth rating of 200 meters and can last for up to 41 hours when fully wound. The Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPB55K1 costs approximately $550 USD. 4. Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPB99K1  The Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPB99K1, on the other hand, serves as a more casual and quintessential option for everyday use. Made in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), this watch shows off classic design codes that make it extremely flexible and easy to pair with just about any outfit. The vibrant red and blue colors of this watch also recall the iconic Rolex Pepsi, which is another reason why this Seiko Samurai watch is so appealing to watch enthusiasts. This Seiko Samurai watch sports a 44mm stainless steel case, coupled with a bracelet made of the same material. Its unidirectional rotating bezel is fitted with a lively red and blue ceramic insert for the elapsed time scale. The dial, on the other hand, is more muted, showcasing a patterned grey-black finish. This dial is decorated with large arrow hands, thick geometric hour markers, and a compact date display at 3 o’clock. Underneath the watch’s simple face, you can find a Seiko 4R35 Caliber, which contains 23 jewels and offers a 41-hour power supply. Since this watch was made in collaboration with PADI, its solid 200-meter water resistance capacity is also within expectations. Priced at $490 USD, the SRPB99K1 serves as one of the most versatile predecessors to the Seiko King Samurai.  5. Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPC93K1  Last but certainly not least, we have the Seiko Prospex Samurai Ref. SRPC93K1. Like the Seiko King Samurai SRPF79K1, this Seiko Samurai model belongs to the brand’s Save The Ocean campaign. As such, a part of the proceeds from its sales will go towards marine life conservation projects. This is the perfect watch option for those who love the ocean and want to make a genuine difference. This Seiko Samurai model uses a 44mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet. It boasts a rotating aluminum bezel, with a handsome two-toned insert that displays different shades of blue. Complementing this bezel is the watch’s gorgeous blue dial, which flaunts a color gradient that goes from vibrant sunray blue to a dark, almost black shade, reflecting the cavernous depths of the ocean. This dial also consists of geometric hour markers, large arrow hands, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. This watch is driven by an automatic 4R35 Caliber. It possesses a 41-hour power supply and can withstand water pressures up to depths of 200 meters. If you enjoy advocating for marine life and you love diving, this Seiko Samurai timepiece is a must-have at just $520 USD. Alternatives to the Seiko King Samurai The Seiko King Samurai is arguably one of the hardest watches to replicate. This means that finding a good alternative to them can be difficult. That said, we have curated a list of timepieces that show off a similar vibe or aesthetic as the iconic King Samurai watches.  1. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LV First up, we have the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LV, which you might know as the Rolex Hulk. It is one of the most sought-after models from Rolex and is considered the grail piece of many watch enthusiasts out there. Like the Seiko King Samurai, the Rolex Hulk possesses quintessential diving elements that take inspiration from vintage dive watches. This Rolex Submariner piece is presented in a robust 40mm Oystersteel case, paired with a matching Oystersteel bracelet. Both the case and bracelet are sleekly polished, giving the watch an appealing, shiny luster. On top of the watch case, you can find a rotating bezel that is fitted with a gleaming blue Cerachrom bezel. Specially developed by Rolex, this Cerachrom bezel is highly scratch-resistant and bears indicators in silver for the elapsed time scale. The dial of this watch also comes in a matching, rich sunray green finish. It follows a very simple layout, comprising big hour indices in various geometric shapes, the signature Rolex Mercedes hands, and a date complication magnified by a cyclops lens. Inside this watch, you can find a powerful in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. This is a COSC-certified movement, which is held together by 31 jewels and boasts a 50-hour power reserve. Aside from having an exceptional accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day, this watch also possesses an impressive 300-meter depth rating, making it both stylish and reliable. While it is not the most budget-friendly alternative to the Seiko King Samurai, the Rolex Hulk is a good option for serious watch collectors who want to delve into luxury names. Be prepared to shell out at least $36,330 USD to get this handsome Rolex Hulk. 2. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927 Next, we have the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927. Not only is this a lovely alternative to the Seiko King Samurai, but it is also a great entry-level option for any watch collection. It has a very modern and geometric exterior that is quite similar to other Seiko watches. It also belongs to the TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection, one of the most popular dive watch series in existence, so you can certainly expect great things from this model. This TAG Heuer watch is encased in a 43mm stainless steel case and a three-link bracelet crafted from the same material. This watch also has a GMT bezel in two-toned black and blue hues, giving it a stylish look that is very reminiscent of the popular Rolex Batman. The blue dial, on the other hand, showcases an elegant horizontal teak pattern that resembles the wooden flooring of yachts. It is adorned with trapezoidal hour markers, thick sword hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. All of these functions are driven by an automatic TAG Heuer Caliber 7, which has a decent power reserve of 42 hours. This watch also has a 300-meter depth rating, making it a great companion both on land and underwater. This handsome TAG Heuer timepiece is priced at just $3,400 USD. 3. OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 215.30.44.21.03.001 Last on our list is the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 215.30.44.21.03.001, which is a great alternative to the Seiko King Samurai SRPF79K1. It comes with similar marine-inspired elements that aim to reflect the beauty and wonder of the ocean.  This OMEGA Seamaster watch is housed in a 43.5mm stainless steel case, coupled with a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. On the left side of the case, you can find a stout helium escape valve, which prevents the internal pressure inside the case from building up as the watch goes deeper underwater. The case is also fitted with a lovely elapsed time scale bezel in dark blue, which helps keep the anti-reflective sapphire crystal in place. The dial of this watch has a dark blue matte finish. The components in this dial are all neatly organized and spaced out, so they do not look too cluttered together. It is decorated with blunt hour markers, broad arrow-headed hands, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. At the core of this watch is an OMEGA Master Chronometer Caliber 8800. This is a self-winding movement with an extended 55-hour power supply. This OMEGA timepiece also has an outstanding water resistance capacity of 600 meters, which is more than enough for both casual and professional divers. Given all its impressive functions and features, a price tag of $6,500 USD for this stunning watch should not be surprising. Final Thoughts  The Seiko King Samurai is a new and improved addition to a series that has been in existence for quite a while now. The King Samurai models come with unique, updated changes that were meant to prove the brand’s unyielding commitment to innovation. People are drawn to the Seiko King Samurai, in particular, because it is deemed superior in specifications compared to the standard Seiko Samurai timepieces. Ultimately, it is definitely a watch worthy of its title as King! Photo Credits: Seiko Website and WatchShopping Site Interested in more reliable Japanese divers? Check out this piece on the Casio Duro!

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  9. Seiko Captain Willard: Reviewing One Of Seiko’s Most Unique Vintage Divers

    Seiko Captain Willard: Reviewing One Of Seiko’s Most Unique Vintage Divers

    Those who are familiar with Seiko will know that its extensive catalog has produced some of the best dive watches on the market. Seiko has an amazing reputation amongst enthusiasts and collectors because it is a true master of the horological craft. At present, the brand has hundreds of diving timekeepers in its portfolio, with many, like the Seiko Tuna or Seiko Samurai, even serving as horology icons. One of Seiko’s most popular dive pieces today is the Seiko Captain Willard, which is known as a quintessential diver in the watchmaking world. In fact, the original Seiko Captain Willard is also referred to as the basis for all the Seiko diving watches that came after it because of its impressive, unparalleled qualities that were ahead of its time. With all that said, let us take a closer look at what the Seiko Captain Willard has to offer and figure out what all the hype is truly about. Seiko Captain Willard: A Brief Background The Seiko Captain Willard, also known as the Seiko 6105, was released back in 1968. This was around the same time as the Vietnam War, which is a historical event that is most often associated with the Seiko Captain Willard. However, contrary to popular belief, the Seiko 6105 was not actually used by many soldiers during the conflict. There is no historical evidence that the Seiko 6105 was sold or given to US troops during that time. Instead, it was the Seiko 5 that was a more popular choice amongst soldiers during that period. That said, the Seiko Captain Willard quickly gained fame in another way. Why is it Called the Seiko Captain Willard?  As mentioned, the original name of the Seiko Captain Willard is the Seiko 6105, which is simply just its reference number. The Seiko Captain Willard gained both its popularity and its nickname from a blockbuster film called Apocalypse Now, which came out in 1979. This movie featured a soldier named Captain Willard, played by Martin Sheen, who took part in the Vietnam War. Throughout the film, Captain Willard totes the Seiko 6105, which of course caught the interest of many watch enthusiasts. Apocalypse Now was a defining moment in the history of the Seiko 6105, and since then, people have referred to it as the Seiko Captain Willard. A Closer Look at the Seiko Captain Willard Now that we know the origin story of the Seiko Captain Willard, let us take a closer look at its impressive design and technical specifications.  Case  The Seiko Captain Willard 6105 is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case that boasts a cushion-shaped, asymmetrical structure. This gives it a large, chunky, and brazen look that is bound to catch the eyes of everyone. Despite its size, the Seiko Captain Willard is actually known to be quite easy to wear, thanks to the ergonomic build of its case, which molds itself quite comfortably to the shape of the wrist. Aside from that, this watch also boasts unmatched durability, befitting its robust exterior, as it showcases a superb resistance to scratches, shocks, and impacts. Lastly, protecting this watch’s face from any external damage is Seiko’s trademark Hardlex crystal, which possesses anti-reflective properties that promise the wearer a clear and highly legible view of the dial. Bracelet Moving on to the bracelet, the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 comes with a striking rubber strap in black that perfectly complements its daring exterior. This black rubber strap shows off a bold and intricate waffle pattern, giving the watch a sportier, more outdoorsy aesthetic. Since the Seiko Captain Willard is a vintage timepiece, this unique band is actually now considered quite rare and valuable, so count yourself lucky if you manage to come across one of these. Dial and Bezel The dial of the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 also showcases a dauntless, rugged design that goes well with its case and bracelet. Like most divers out there, this model has a rather straightforward face that optimizes legibility. It comprises large hour indices in the shapes of rectangles and squares and silver-tone blunt hands, all of which are coated in lume for excellent visibility even in the dark. And while the Seiko 6105 does not come with any overly fancy complications, it does include a standard date window at 3 o’clock, outlined in silver, which adds to the watch’s functionality. On top of that, the Seiko Captain Willard also comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel that is fitted with a black ceramic insert. This bezel bears luminous elements and clean, legible white indicators for a handy elapsed time scale, making the Seiko 6105 the ideal diving watch. Movement  In order to match the robustness of its exterior, the brand made sure to equip the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 with an equally impressive interior. The Seiko Captain Willard is powered by an in-house Caliber 6105B. This well-crafted automatic movement consists of 17 jewels and has a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). It also possesses a decent power reserve of 32 hours, making it quite durable and reliable. Reputation Produced only from 1968 to 1977, the Seiko Captain Willard definitely raised the stakes for future diving watches. It was able to acquire such a unique and highly-regarded reputation because it was built on three main pillars: pop culture, history, and excellent craftsmanship. To this day, the Seiko Captain Willard continues to be known as one of the best vintage divers that one could only dream of adding to their collection. Price Range  According to old Seiko catalogs, the original retail price of the Seiko Captain Willard was around $95 USD. Of course, since it has been out of production for more than 40 years, this watch has become considerably more valuable today. At present, the resale cost of vintage Seiko Captain Willard watches on the secondhand market is set at around $1,000 USD to $2,000 USD, depending on the seller and the condition of the piece. Modern Variations of the Seiko Captain Willard If you are looking for contemporary variations of the Seiko Captain Willard, worry not! We will also be taking a closer look at the modern Seiko Captain Willard options available to you.  1. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1 First up, we have the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1, which is an exceptionally robust, professional-looking watch. Compared to the original Seiko 6501, this modern variant looks a lot more polished because of its sleek all-stainless-steel look. This is a great choice for those who want a more subdued, versatile version of the ever-so-famous Seiko Captain Willard. This watch comes in a 42.7mm cushion-shaped case and bracelet, both made out of polished stainless steel. This is sharply contrasted against a rotating bezel with a jet-black elapsed time scale insert. This bezel has jagged, teeth-like edges, which ensure that wearers can grip and turn it easily. The dial also comes in a striking matte black hue, complementing the bezel. This watch face is quite similar to that of the original Seiko 6501; it has the same luminous hour indices in square and rectangle shapes, blunt hands, and a date complication. However, this dial also differs in having slightly thicker hands and doing away with the silver outline around the date display. Powering this Seiko Prospex watch is an automatic 6R35 Caliber. As a modern in-house Seiko movement, this caliber has an outstanding 70-hour power supply, which is a massive improvement from the original Seiko Captain Willard’s 32-hour power reserve. It also possesses a solid 200-metre depth rating, which is quite standard for a good dive watch. Priced at $1,079 USD, this is a fail-safe option for all Seiko Captain Willard enthusiasts. 2. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111, which is actually very similar to the aforementioned model. Just at a glance, you can tell that it shows off the same build and design as the Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1. However, the Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 differs in having a different colorway and case finish, which gives it a more casual aesthetic and vibe. The Seiko Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 is housed in a 42.7mm stainless steel case and bracelet, both of which show off fine, satin-brushed finishes. This is coupled with a rotating, dark blue elapsed time scale bezel. The dial also comes in a handsome dark blue shade that wonderfully matches the bezel. This dial is adorned with thick luminous hour indices in the shapes of squares and rectangles, broad silver-tone blunt hands, and a compact date display at 3 o’clock. It also runs on the self-winding 6R35 Caliber. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement boasts a 70-hour power supply and a 200-metre depth rating. With its suave silver-and-blue color combination, this $1,399 USD Seiko Captain Willard model serves as the ideal everyday timekeeper. 3. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC109 Our last modern Captain Willard is the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC109, which is definitely the most unique-looking out of the three models mentioned in this shortlist. This is an instant stunner, with its handsomely rugged design and sporty elements. Of the contemporary Seiko Captain Willard models, this variant is arguably the most popular, and for very good reason. This Prospex watch utilizes a 42.7mm satin-brushed stainless steel case, paired with a comfortable black silicone strap, much like the original Seiko 6105. Fitted on top of its case is a unidirectional rotating bezel, which bears a dark green elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic. The dial of this watch, likewise, comes in an alluring dark green hue that stands out strongly against the silver-tone case. It is furnished with pronounced hour indices and broad blunt hands, all of which are generously coated with lume. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a small rectangular date aperture. Underneath this stylish watch face is an automatic 6R35 Caliber. It has a water resistance rating of 200 meters and can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound. If you want a more casual and sporty version of the Seiko Captain Willard, you can get your hands on this model for approximately $1,289 USD. Is it worth it?  If you are still debating whether the Seiko Captain Willard is worth your time, here are some reasons that should further convince you: Rich Heritage. As we have discussed in this article, the Seiko Captain Willard has a very colorful history to back it up. Much of its popularity was the result of it being featured in the movie Apocalypse Now, which even made this watch relevant to the pop culture world. Aside from that, the Seiko Captain Willard is also often associated with the Vietnam War, because its peak coincides with the same period. With such a rich heritage, it is no surprise that people have continued to rave about the Seiko Captain Willard to this day. Excellent Reputation. Having a few minutes of fame is different from being graced with an established reputation, the Seiko Captain Willard definitely has the latter too. While it may have caught the attention of people due to non-horological factors, it would not be such a highly regarded watch to this day if that’s all there was to the Seiko Captain Willard. Fortunately, the Seiko Captain Willard is able to back up its fame with top-notch features and functions that set the bar for future dive pieces. This has led to an untouchable reputation for both the Seiko Captain Willard and even its modern variations. Who should get the Seiko Captain Willard?  Seiko Patrons. This is a no-brainer. While it is a herculean task to acquire every legendary Seiko watch to ever exist (after all, there are many), the Seiko Captain Willard should be pretty high up on any true fan’s list of must-have Seiko timepieces. This well-established model took the world by storm back in the 70s and its popularity has only continued to this day. With its especially unique history, this is a timekeeper that should be on every Seiko patron’s rob list. Film Buffs. As we mentioned, the Seiko Captain Willard has strong ties to blockbuster film Apocalypse Now and that makes it a fantastic piece of merchandise for fans of that movie. Film buffs who love owning unique and exclusive merch will surely salivate at the chance to get their hands on the watch worn by Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard. Diving Professionals. Of course, even those who do not care about the Seiko Captain Willard’s heritage will also surely enjoy this watch. Its modern-day variations come with durable exteriors, superb features, and solid 200-metre water resistance ratings. According to user reviews, the contemporary Seiko Captain Willard models are also very comfortable to wear and exhibit great functionality when used underwater. Final Thoughts Ultimately, the Seiko Captain Willard is one of the best pieces to ever be produced by the Japanese brand. It has a bold and stunning exterior that perfectly complements its robustness and impressive functionality. If you are on the hunt for a gorgeous and reliable diver watch from Seiko, the Seiko Captain Willard should definitely be on your radar!  Photo Credits: Watchshopping Site, eBay, and Google Image Interested in Japanese masterpieces? Check out our article on the Grand Seiko Snowflake!

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  10. Dive into the Ocean with the Powerful Seiko Tuna

    Dive into the Ocean with the Powerful Seiko Tuna

    Seiko is home to many iconic watches, each with its own very memorable nickname. In fact, one of the brand’s most well-known models is the Seiko Tuna, with its distinctive design and unique heritage. Hailing from the Seiko Prospex collection, the Seiko Tuna is a very popular timepiece amongst watch enthusiasts and continues to be quite relevant today. With all that being said, let us take a look at this renowned Seiko Tuna diving model and see what it has to offer.  Brief Background on the Seiko Tuna Back in the 1970s, Japan was going crazy about both the diving sport and divers watches. It was around this time that the first-ever Seiko Tuna, known today as the Tuna Grandfather, was released to accommodate that hype. Seiko wanted to introduce a unique-looking dive watch that would display impressive functionality under any circumstances, which led to the creation of the Seiko Tuna. The Seiko Tuna was nicknamed such by watch enthusiasts because of its case bore an uncanny resemblance to tuna cans. While not everyone loved the Seiko Tuna’s unconventional design right off the bat, it would eventually become one of the brand’s most popular diving models.  Since it first came out decades ago, Seiko has released numerous variations of the Seiko Tuna. It currently offers 13 different Tuna models in its catalogue. While all of these Seiko Tuna watches share a unique and robust build, each and every piece comes with a different vibe and varying mechanisms as well. We will delve deeper into the different Seiko Tuna models in a moment, but for now, let us focus on the classic Seiko Tuna S23629J1.  A Closer Look at the Seiko Tuna Exterior The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 has a very thick, tough-looking, and distinctive exterior, which is a common denominator for all the Tuna models. As mentioned earlier, its rounded, stout build looks similar to tuna cans, which is why it has been given the Seiko Tuna nickname. Despite its peculiar appearance, you can tell with just one glance that it is a robust timepiece fit for serious divers and professionals as well.  The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 comes in an oversized stainless steel case with a diameter of 47.7mm, a thickness of 14.1mm, and a standard lug width of around 22mm. As a bulkier timepiece made of stainless steel, this Seiko Tuna timepiece has a certain degree of heft to it that makes it feel quite substantial around your wrist. However, Seiko also pairs it with a ridged black silicone strap, making it look sportier while also giving it a lighter profile. This bracelet ensures that wearers will not have too much difficulty toting the Seiko Tuna around, while also providing utmost comfort both on land and in the water. Fitted on top of the Seiko Tuna S23629J1’s case is a unidirectional rotating stainless steel bezel bearing a black ceramic insert. This insert is very scratch-resistant and has large, highly legible white markers for the elapsed time scale, so wearers can track the amount of time they spend underwater. Finally, the watch face is protected by a layer of sapphire crystal that has been treated with anti-reflective coatings. This prevents any light glares from distorting the wearer’s view of the watch face, allowing for optimal readability. On the right side of the case, you can also find a stainless steel crown, placed unusually at 4 o’clock. While the placement of the crown is not quite typical, it is actually more practical, since the angle ensures that the crown will not dig too deeply into the skin of your wrist. This crown is well-sized, with deep grooves that make it easier for wearers to grip and turn the crown. Dial The dial of the Seiko Tuna S23629J1 follows a very straightforward layout and is in keeping with the watch’s generally oversized look. It shows off a jet-black background that is contrasted well against large geometric hour markers and bold arrow hands, all of which are coated in Seiko LumiBrite and outlined in silver, so it is easier to read even in dark environments. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a sizeable day-date window with white text. Technical Specifications When it comes to Seiko Tuna S23629J1’s technical details, this model is equipped with a well-crafted, in-house 7C46 Caliber. This is a quartz movement that has an excellent accuracy rate of ±15 seconds per month and a superb 5-year power reserve. Lastly, as a diving watch, the Seiko Tuna S23629J1 also comes with an excellent 300-meter water resistance rating.  Price Range  The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 retails at around $1,760 USD. However, the average price for the Seiko Tuna series as a whole range from $460 USD to over $4,600 USD, depending on the model you are looking at and the specifications it has. 5 Best Seiko Tuna Models Now, let us take an in-depth look at some of the most outstanding variations of the Seiko Tuna.  Seiko Prospex Professional Diver’s Tuna SLA042J1 Starting off with the Seiko Prospex Professional Diver’s Tuna SLA042J1, this is a larger, bolder, and more luxurious-looking version of the Seiko Tuna. It has rose gold tones scattered all around, which really complements the darker black hues of the watch’s design.  This watch comes in a massive 52.4mm black stainless steel case, along with a black silicone strap and a rose gold rotating bezel with a black elapsed time scale insert. With its size, this Tuna variant is best suited to those who have thicker wrists, or people who love wearing big watches. The dial has a similar layout as the Seiko S23629J1, with a black backdrop against oversized luminous hour markers in geometric shapes and arrow-shaped hands. One difference is that, unlike the Seiko S23629J1, this watch only has a simple date aperture at 3 o’clock. Driven by an 8L35 Caliber, this watch has both automatic and manual-winding capabilities. It also has an improved water resistance rating, which is capped at an incredible 1,000 meters, and a substantial 50-hour power reserve. Retailing at around $4,670 USD, this is the ideal Seiko Tuna piece for those who want a classy dive watch that can truly go the distance. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1  Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1, which is just as rugged but also a lot more casual-looking than the previous model. This watch’s two-tone rotating bezel really adds a fun and more laidback vibe to the whole piece, which is great for those who want a dive watch for daily wear.  The Seiko Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1 is housed in a smaller 43mm stainless steel case and paired with a silicone strap in dark blue. As mentioned, it has a two-toned rotating bezel that flaunts an attractive combination of dark blue and muted yellow. This watch’s black dial is slightly different from the aforementioned Seiko Tuna model. It consists of thick luminous hour indices and large blunt hands, plus a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Running the watch is an automatic 4R35 calibre with a 41-hour power reserve and a solid 200-meter water resistance capacity. If you want a diving timepiece that can double as an everyday watch as well, you should definitely consider this $589 USD Seiko Tuna model. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SNE541P1 Meanwhile, the Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SNE541P1 has a very cool and stylish exterior that is especially popular with younger audiences. While it looks just as tough and powerful as the other Seiko Tuna models, this particular piece has a very distinctive, modern-looking design that stands out from the rest.  The Seiko Tuna SNE541P1 is presented in a 46.7mm stainless steel and plastic case, an accordion-style silicone bracelet in black, and a handsomely brushed stainless steel rotating bezel. It also comes with a more contemporary dial. This dial showcases a textured black finish complemented by slimmer luminous hour indices, thick blunt hands, and a rectangular date aperture outlined in white at 4 o’clock. This watch has a 200-meter depth rating and is also powered by a V157 solar quartz movement, which means that it can be handily charged by any light source. For just $460 USD, you can get your hands on this fashionable yet durable Seiko Tuna watch. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SRPE29K1 The Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SRPE29K1 is quite similar to the Seiko Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1 as they both exude fun and casual vibes. However, this model shows off more rustic-looking elements that are very reminiscent of the outdoors. The Seiko Tuna SRPE29K1 comes in a 43.2mm stainless steel case with a two-tone brown and dark blue rotating bezel, and a dark beige silicone strap. The dial, which has a similar beige shade, possesses a straightforward layout with blunt luminescent hands, rectangular hour indices, and a day-date display. Underneath this watch face, you can find an automatic 4R36 caliber with a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance rating of 200 meters.  This everyday Seiko Tuna model has a price tag of $569 USD. Seiko Prospex Diver Tuna SBDX035  Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex Diver Tuna SBDX035, which is easily the most marine-influenced model out of the five listed here. This is primarily because it is a limited edition piece that was created in celebration of the 55 years since Seiko’s first diving watch was released in 1965.  The Seiko Tuna SBDX035 is presented in an oversized 52.4mm titanium case in blue, paired with a matching blue silicone strap and a rotating bezel also made of titanium. Despite its large size, this Seiko Tuna watch is actually quite easy to carry around, thanks to its lightweight titanium profile. The dial showcases a deep blue hue that is consistent with the rest of the watch and has bold hour markers in various geometric shapes, luminous arrow hands, and a date display outlined in white at 3 o’clock. Inside this watch is a self-winding 8L35 Caliber with a 50-hour power reserve. It also gives the watch strong anti-magnetic properties and an impressive 1,000-meter water resistance capacity. If you want a truly reliable and robust diver’s watch, you should definitely get this $4,549 USD Seiko Tuna piece. Alternative Models If you are having a hard time getting your hands on a Seiko Tuna watch, or you are looking for something similar from a different brand, check out these two alternative models that you should definitely consider. 1. OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Ref. 210.22.42.20.01.002 The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Ref. 210.22.42.20.01.002 is a classic and more luxurious alternative to the Seiko Tuna. While it is not as robust-looking as the Seiko Tuna, it is just as cool and reliable. This OMEGA Seamaster watch comes in a 42mm stainless steel and Sedna gold case, making it smaller than any Seiko Tuna piece. This is paired with a sleek black rubber strap and a rose gold rotating bezel. Fitted on top of the bezel is a gleaming, polished black elapsed time scale insert, with painted indicators in a matching shade of rose gold. The black dial features a wavy teak pattern with luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, large sword-shaped hands, and a compact date window at 6 o’clock. Meanwhile, underneath this elegant watch face is an automatic Omega Caliber 8800 with a 55-hour power reserve and a substantial 300-meter depth rating. If you are looking for a sturdy, high-end alternative to the Seiko Tuna, this $7,200 USD Omega timepiece should definitely be on your radar. 2. Ulysse-Nardin Diver Chronometer Ref. 3203-950 The Ulysse-Nardin Diver Chronometer Ref. 3203-950, on the other hand, is a more casual-looking alternative that would be great for everyday use. While it is also a luxury piece, this diver’s watch is packed with impressive features that will surely make people fall in love.  This Ulysse-Nardin Diver watch is presented in a 42.2mm stainless steel case along with a fabric strap and a rotating bezel that both come in black. The dial is slightly more complex than the other watches on this list, with thick sword hands, luminous geometric hour markers, a retro magnified date window, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. All of these functions run on an automatic Ulysse Nardin Caliber UN-320 with a 48-hour power reserve. This is the perfect, vintage-inspired alternative to the Seiko Tuna, and you can get it for around $9,600 USD. Final Thoughts After seeing the diversity that comes with the Seiko Tuna, there’s no question why it is such a highly-regarded model in the watch community. Not only is it unique in terms of design, but it’s also a reflection of Seiko’s dedication to providing fans with a wide selection of well-crafted, sturdy diver’s watches. If you are just getting into diving or starting your collection of underwater timepieces, the Seiko Tuna is certainly one worth checking out.  Photo Credits: Watch Shopping Site & Official Seiko Site  Want to expand your knowledge about watches? Check out our article on the Tudor Black Bay Chrono. 

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  11. Seiko King Turtle: A Guide To One of the Brand’s Best Divers

    Seiko King Turtle: A Guide To One of the Brand’s Best Divers

    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. Case  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. Dial 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. Bracelet 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. Movement 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. Price Range  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. Final Thoughts 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. 

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  12. Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Ever since Orient entered into the world of horology, it has received a great deal of respect in the community for producing high-quality, well-designed timepieces. All of their watches are made to honor Japan’s traditions and values. When you wear a Japanese watch, it is not just about wearing it to complete your newest fashionable look. Rather, you are actually wearing a piece of the country’s state-of-the-art technology, as is the case with the Orient Kamasu Red and Orient Kamasu Green models.  Since they are both renowned Japanese brands, Orient watches are often mistaken for and even compared to Seiko watches. These two popular watchmaking brands have their own individual expertise in craftsmanship and different inspirations for producing watches. While Orient is part of the Seiko Group, they can still be considered two different brands as both are distinct when it comes to their operations and productions.  Today, let us get into the Orient Kamasu, which is one of the toughest competitors to the Seiko SKX line. Read more about the Orient Kamasu’s exceptional qualities below and see just why it is one of the most popular timepieces today. Get To Know The Orient Kamasu  The Kamasu collection got its name from a distinctive sea creature, which is the Barracuda. Barracudas are big and fearsome fishes that are widely considered to be strong and inquisitive. Its long and thin body allows it to move rapidly, at speeds of around 36 mph (58 kph). Despite its terrifying appearance, the barracuda is an animal that receives utmost interest from professional divers around the world. The Orient Kamasu mirrors the fish’s features, specifically the teeth, which are mimicked through the sharp, triangular indices and handset of the Kamasu. Since its release in 2019, the Orient Kamasu has thrived among the thousands of dive watches on the market. This is largely due to its superior elements, robust functions, and much more affordable prices compared to other brands. One of the Kamasu’s most remarkable highlights is its wearability. Most users cannot deny the fact how smooth the watch feels against the wrist. Its solid structure, with polished surfaces and no sharp edges, also gives off the impression of being very well-crafted. One improvement Orient has made with the Kamasu is that it fixes the problems of old Orient watches, such as the lack of hand-winding, hacking movement, and poor hand functions. To address these shortcomings, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a new automatic caliber that has increased accuracy of ±15 seconds from -25/+35  seconds accuracy per day and comes with a stops-second function. This caliber is used in a number of Orient Kamasu variants, including the Orient Kamasu Red Ref. RA-AA0003R19A, the Orient Kamasu Green Ref. RA-AA0004E19A, the Orient Kamasu Blue Ref. RA-AA0006L19A, and more.  Orient Kamasu’s Specifications and Overview An affordable price does not have to equate to low-quality and poor performance, and the Orient Kamasu is certainly proof of that. If you are planning to purchase a reliable dive watch, but you’re also working with a tight budget, look no further than the Orient Kamasu collection. Let us take a deeper look at its features and functions. Case Case Diameter: 41.8mmCase Thickness: 12.8mmCase Material: Stainless steelBand Width: 22mmLug-to-lug Distance: 46.8mmThe case is a crucial component of any watch, and as such Orient devoted a great deal of effort into creating a good one for the Orient Kamasu. The Kamasu has a well-proportioned case size of 41.8mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 46.8mm with a 22mm lug width, so it can fit comfortably on the wrists of both men and women. Despite being a robust watch, the Kamasu is not too bulky or sporty and is just versatile enough to fit most fashion senses. The case itself is crafted from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, with a brushed surface on top and well-polished surfaces on the sides. Stainless steel is not just anti-corrosive but is also impact-proof and able to withstand being accidentally knocked around, especially when used in everyday life. This durability makes the Orient Kamasu perfect for people with adventurous and outdoorsy lifestyles. You will also notice the Kamasu’s properly curved lugs, tucked without reaching beyond the bottom of the screw-down caseback and with no harsh edges. The curved lugs sit well on the wrist, making the experience of wearing this watch a comfortable one that will not wear your wrist out throughout the day. In addition, the brand’s craftsmanship is shown in the gradual transition from having a brushed finish to a polished finish. Using solid, dense materials like stainless steel can sometimes make a case too heavy for a wearer, especially for those with more petite wrists. However, the Orient Kamasu only weighs 6oz, or 170g, which is considered quite lightweight for a dive watch. Its overall case design is also reminiscent of a traditional sports watch, so people who prefer a sportier vibe will be quite satisfied with the Kamasu. Dial The dials in the Orient Kamasu come in a variety of colors like red, dark green, blue, and black. Perhaps the favorite of most watch enthusiasts is the wine red dial. The subtle gradient red dial with a ruby sunburst pattern shines impeccably when reflected under direct light. As mentioned, the triangular hour and minute markers, as well as the thick handset, are all inspired by the Barracuda’s sharp teeth. The second hand is the most distinctive of all, as it has a thin and long shape, stretching up to reach the minute markers and give an accurate reading of time.  All Orient Kamasu watches are equipped with day and date displays that are nicely framed at the 3 o’clock position. You can see that the numerals in the date display are perfectly sized so as to be clearly visible regardless of the lighting conditions. LumiBrite technology is also added to indices, the handset, and the day and date aperture to give you a handy glow-in-the-dark watch when in the dark. On the dial, you can find the brand’s name, logo, the water-resistance capacity of the watch, and the movement used, all delicately printed and spaced out. Unlike other dive watches, the Orient Kamasu does not come with a chapter ring that makes the dial appear larger, which is a rather unique choice. Instead, the Kamasu maintains a slim and lightweight appearance.  Crown and Bezel The Orient Kamasu also features a secure screw-down crown, placed in the customary 3 o’clock position. It has the Orient logo engraved into it, and is well-sized, just enough to be functional and easy to grip. The solid teeth-shaped ridges also help to provide the wearer a more secure hold on the crown. As with most Japan-made crowns, the crown of the Kamasu is waterproof, styled to have a long post and a direct o-ring gasket. You might observe that the Orient Kamasu’s crown is slightly smaller compared to other watch brands. This is intentionally done so that the crown will not get in the way, scratching against the wearer’s wrist or getting easily damaged. The crown is often one of the most vulnerable parts of a watch, so Orient has designed it to be slightly smaller, with secure crown guards for extra protection. In addition, the Kamasu also has a 120-click unidirectional bezel, a standard requirement for diving watches. It rotates counter-clockwise providing a safe and consistent pattern for divers to track their bottom times. That said, if you are a professional diver, you know that the deeper you dive into the depths of the ocean, the darker it is, and the poorer your visibility will be. To ameliorate this, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a luminescent bezel for accurate timekeeping even underwater. The 120-click function of the bezel also gives you better and more precise accuracy when aligning the zero markers at the bezel tip to the minute hand. Bracelet The Kamasu watches come in either stainless steel bracelets or rubber straps, depending on which model you choose to have. The stainless steel bracelets are water-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and able to withstand variations in temperature. They are easy to clean, and because of the material, do not soak up or retain any kind of sweat after thorough exercise. Stainless steel bracelets can be a little heavy on the wrist, but they are also very versatile and can blend well with almost any style.  On the other hand, if you frequently engage in water activities, rubber straps might be preferable. Rubber is best used underwater. They are built from materials like silicone and polyurethane, which tend to be more lightweight, comfortable, and incredibly resistant to water. So if you intend to regularly exercise the Orient Kamasu’s capabilities as a dive watch, you might want to opt for a rubber strap. Movement An F6922 Caliber Automatic powers all the models under the Kamasu collection. It is a self-winding, automatic movement equipped with 22 jewels. This powerful in-house movement provides functions including hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, and a day/date indicator. Orient has claimed that the movement comes with an accuracy of -15 seconds to +25 seconds a day. Of course, this depends on the surrounding temperature, as well as the winding mechanism and the dial’s position. The F6922 Caliber comes with a 40-hour power reserve, which is more than sufficient for a modern mid-range dive watch today. It also has self-winding and hacking features, which are great additions to this movement, since many other dive watches lack them. You just have to make sure to carefully maintain the accuracy of the watch by wearing it for at least eight hours a day and setting the date within the hours of 8:00pm and 4:00am. Top Orient Kamasu Watches 1. Orient Kamasu Red RA-AA0003R19A For a price of just $280 USD, you can get this beautifully masculine Orient Kamasu Red. The case of this watch is almost exactly like that of the Orient Ray II. It is 41.8mm wide and measures 46.88mm from lug to lug, large enough to fit well on any man’s wrist. The bracelet is made of 316L stainless steel with a push-button deployant clasp. The bracelet uses a solid, Oyster-style link, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. The jet-black bezel also stands out from the usual dive watches in the market, with dotted patterns in between bold white numerals. The real highlight of the Orient Kamasu Red, however, is the red sunburst pattern on the dial, especially when positioned at the right angle, and with perfect lighting. At the 3 o’clock position is the day and date aperture, enclosed in a silver frame and placed against a white background. The color combination of red, white, and silver against the wine-red dial provides a good contrast, giving the wearer a clear and visible display. 2. Orient Kamasu Blue RA-AA0002L19A Another variation of the Orient Kamasu is the model with a deep blue dial and bezel. Just like the other pieces, this can be bought for $280 USD. This price is a great deal for a dive watch, especially given its top-notch features and functions. The Orient Kamasu blue has a 41.8mm size diameter, which is great for those who want a mid-sized watch with a comfortably lightweight profile for water activities. The contrast of its smooth silver finish and royal blue bezel and dial adds a level of class and elegance, so you could easily wear this watch to more formal suit-and-tie occasions as well. As with other Kamasu watches, this Orient Kamasu Blue comes with a flat sapphire crystal. Sapphire is one of the hardest materials used in luxury watches. Not only is it scratch-resistant, but it is also durable enough to withstand impacts, cracks, and breaks, unlike glass or plastic materials. The use of sapphire gives the dial a great deal of protection. 3. Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A The Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A is the latest addition to the Kamasu collection. Despite looking strikingly different from most other Kamasu models, it retails at the same affordable price of $280 USD, making this a piece worth checking out indeed. This model of the Orient Kamasu features gold accents on its bezel, indices, and hands set that contrast handsomely with the sharp black dial and strap. A slim profile highlights the entire case, giving it an air of sophistication that makes it a good match for any outfit and occasion. This model has a different look than the others in this collection. It uses silicone as its strap material instead. Silicone is a good material for sports watches since it is highly resistant to low and high temperatures. It is also more flexible and does not hurt the wrist, especially when you are doing intense sports activities. The Orient Kamasu Black also uses an Ardillon buckle for the clasp, adding a classic and simple look that’s well-suited for men. This is a more traditional option for watchmakers who want to design an easy-to-wear watch. This kind of clasp only needs to be clipped onto the buckle and pinned securely on the wrist. It has a flatter profile, a more classic design, and is less expensive. One problem with this clasp is that the Ardillon buckle can sometimes come open while being worn, so wearers have to be careful with this watch to make sure it does not fall off unexpectedly. 4. Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A The Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A is another best-selling timepiece for men. Just like the previous watches, it has a 41.8mm stainless steel case and 47mm lug-to-lug length. For a price of $280, it showcases a dark green dial with a beautiful sunburst pattern, which changes its color depending on the reflection of light. This timepiece also comes with a matching dark green bezel, with its 60-minute scale printed on it in a contrasting white hue. The Barracuda-inspired indices of the Orient Kamasu Green are generously coated with luminous material, which is very important for a dive watch, as it guarantees optimal readability even in dim lighting conditions. A substantial power reserve of 40 hours ensures that you don’t have to constantly wind this watch to keep it running. Orient Kamasu vs Seiko SKX  Anyone interested in the horology industry knows that these two lines of Japanese watches are always compared with each other. In fact, the Orient Kamasu and Seiko SKX are likely each other’s greatest competitors in the industry of watchmaking. They both set a high standard for entry-level dive watches in the market.  Though Orient is part of the Seiko Group, it maintains itself as a distinctive brand, with its own unique timepieces and innovations. Although Orient watches tend to be of slightly inferior quality compared to Seiko timepieces, the Kamasu collection was specially designed to be an improvement on the old models, featuring cutting-edge innovation and top-notch craftsmanship. It is Orient’s crowning glory, both in terms of aesthetics and functions offered. Combined with the fact that it is available at a very competitive price, the Orient Kamasu’s superior aspects cannot be ignored by many watch collectors. So, how exactly does the Kamasu fare against the Seiko SKX? Firstly, the case of the Seiko SKX has a polished finish, with slender curves and no sharp edges. It has a slightly larger case size of 42.3mm and offers a variety of colors for the dial. And to support the inner adventurer in you, it uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, which is proven to be resistant to everyday wear and tear, to protect the dial. An ISO-certified 200-meter water resistance capacity is another great feature that the watch possesses, as wearers can bring the Seiko SKX with them to poolside diving, swimming, snorkeling, and other such water activities. The Orient Kamasu, on the other hand, is lightly brushed on the top. It features the Orient brand logo delicately carved into its case back. A closer look at the dial reveals to you a beguiling and subtle gradient texture, which is great for those who don’t want a dial with just one solid color. To protect its dial, it uses a sapphire crystal, which is also known to be extremely scratch-resistant and is commonly used in durable watches. The Kamasu watches have a smaller case size of 41.8mm, so they can be worn more comfortably by both men and women. While the Orient Kamasu does not have an ISO rating, it does feature the same 200-meter water resistance, just like the Seiko SKX. The movement used is also a big determiner in the competition between these two watches. The Kamasu’s Caliber F6922 is an innovative movement with features like hand-winding and hacking and features +25 / -15 seconds accuracy per day. The Seiko SKX, on the other hand, only provides an accuracy of +50/-20 per day and does not come with hand-winding or hacking functions. In terms of the accuracy of timekeeping and the robustness of the features offered, the Kamasu clearly wins this round. Price is yet another deciding factor between these two models. Orient retails at a lower price of $280 USD, while the Seiko SKX can be purchased for an approximate price of $400 USD. Note also that the SKX collection has been discontinued; as such, prices may change depending on the independent seller you are dealing with. Most people can tell you that Seiko SKX is a popular, historical, and established collection of dive watches. On the other hand, the Orient Kamasu is a perfect example of a new challenger, a risk-taker that gives you a better value for money. All of its watches are made to give a modern, youthful look for a wearer. Final Thoughts If you are planning to get yourself a practical and functional diver’s watch, the Orient Kamasu will definitely be a great pick for you. On the whole, it offers plenty of features for a very affordable price point. The sapphire crystal, 40-hour power reserve, hardy stainless steel case, robust Caliber F6922, handy uni-directional bezel, secure screw-down crown, and wide range of models available for your choosing are more than enough to justify the affordable $280 USD price.  The Orient Kamasu will make for a great companion during your outdoor activities. Not only does it come with many useful functions to fulfill your every need, but its versatile look, which is not too sporty or bulky, also makes it great for everyday wear. Looking for a dive watch that would allow you to explore even greater ocean depths? Check out our list of recommended Deep-Sea Dive Watches and find a watch perfect for your next deep-sea mission.  Photo credits: All photos courtesy of the brand’s official websites.

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