1. Newest Posts About Japanese dive watches

  2. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    If you are familiar with the world of watches, then you know that there is more to the industry than Swiss timepieces. Countries like Germany, Denmark, the United States, and others are becoming more and more known for their expertise in watchmaking. However, if there is one country that’s almost as well-recognised as Switzerland when it comes to horology, it would probably be Japan. Longstanding Japanese brands, like Seiko and Casio, are proof of how well the Japanese have mastered the craft. While it may seem like a competition, the watchmaking industry is a place of innovative cooperation and coexistence, and Citizen is the perfect embodiment of this. Many view this brand as the perfect mix of Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship, but we’ll get more into that later. If this has piqued your interest, then read on because we’ll be talking about Citizen Watches and in particular, their Citizen NY0040 model in this article.  Citizen: A Brief History  Citizen’s origin dates back to a little over 100 years ago in 1918. A jeweler named Kamekichi Yakamazi established a watch manufacturing firm called the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. The interesting thing about this firm is that Yakamazi was able to acquire Swiss machines and instruments for his company from watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid. This is where the idea of Citizen as a product of both Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship began. A couple of years down the line, and the Shokosha Watch Research Institute changed their name to the one they’re still known for today: Citizen Watch Company. This change was brought about by an ambitious goal in which they hoped to equip every citizen in Japan with a watch produced by them. Just like any other origin story, Citizen also went through their fair share of triumphs and obstacles throughout the years.  The Japanese manufacturer had a relatively strong start but certain unfortunate events happened, specifically the 2nd World War, which negatively affected the whole economy. While this was a devastating time for many individuals and businesses, it also became an avenue for a fresh start. After the war, Citizen decided to introduce themselves to the rest of the world under the name the Citizen Trading Company. This new moniker highlighted how their goals had shifted from being a Japanese-centric company to one that is more focused on showcasing their craft globally.  One of the defining moments for Japanese watchmaking was the onset of the Quartz Revolution back in the 70s. Seiko is known to be the first brand to ever release a quartz watch and Citizen followed their footsteps just a couple of years later. This opened up countless opportunities for Citizen which eventually led to greater success and more milestones for the brand. From groundbreaking digital models to the first-ever solar-powered watch, the Japanese company has focused on developing their technology to become the renowned name they are today.  Come the 21st century and Citizen has proved that they are not messing around. They’ve engaged in a massive expansion of their assets, purchasing well-known brands and watch groups like Bulova, Frédérique Constant, Arnold & Son, and more. The Japanese brand is also famous for its partnerships and collaborations with sports institutes, sports teams, and even Disney. When it comes to reputation, they are highly regarded today for their sustainable, eco-friendly, and reliable timepieces.  All About the Citizen Promaster The specific model we’ll be talking about in this article belongs to Citizen’s Promaster line. Before we delve into the Citizen NY0040 itself, let’s take a closer look at the Promaster collection.  The Citizen Promaster is regarded as one of the best that the brand has to offer. It consists of a selection of sports (and diving) watches that showcase Citizen’s technological prowess. The Promaster was officially launched in 1989, although some argue that this line actually dates back to the late 1950s when the Citizen Parashock and Parawater models came out. Regardless, there were 3 different Promaster models released in 1989: the Promaster Aqualand, the Promaster Altrichron, and the Promaster Sky. These pieces were specifically designed for professionals who were constantly in harsh environments whether it be land, air, or sea. It was marketed as the result of Citizen’s unwavering research and innovations in the last few decades.  Since then, this series has been home to numerous revolutionary pieces such as the Promaster Navihawk, the Promaster Amphibian, the Promaster Cyber Aqualand, and lots more.  What is the Citizen NY0040?  The Citizen NY0040, also known as the Promaster NY0040, was first launched back in 1997. It is a widely known model, especially within the watch community because of its distinctive physical features. Despite being released over 20 years ago, the NY0040 is surprisingly still being offered today, albeit with slight variations from the original. To the unfamiliar eye, this watch might seem like any other sports watch in the market, especially since it has aesthetic attributes similar to that of a typical diving model. However, there is definitely more than meets the eye with this timepiece simply because Citizen always manages to add a splash of Japanese workmanship to its pieces. Everything about the Citizen NY0040 is an expert Japanese take on sports watches, so you know it’s built to last. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?   Citizen Promaster NY0040 Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Diameter: 42mm Case Thickness:12mm Strap Material: Rubber (Urethan) Movement: Automatic | Miyota Calibre 8203 Power Reserve: 45 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior: Case & Bracelet The Citizen NY0040 actually comes in two variations — the NY0040-09EE and the NY0040-17LE — with the first sporting a mostly traditional black look and the second mostly in blue. Just like most sports watches, this model sports quite a rugged exterior but with an aura of professional class at the same time. It is a versatile piece that would look great with an everyday outfit or even a smart-casual ensemble. The Citizen NY0040 comes in a stainless steel case that has a diameter of 42mm, a thickness of 12mm, and 20mm lugs. These numbers may seem intimidating but it is in fact an ideal size for a men’s diving watch. Furthermore, it also has a one-way rotating aluminium bezel in smooth matte black with a luminescent pip in lieu of the 60-minute marker. The material and the design of the gear-shaped edges of the bezel were chosen for optimal visibility and ease of use when underwater.  Moving on, the dial is protected by mineral crystal glass which has scratch-resistant properties. On the rear of the watch is a solid caseback with engravings of the Citizen Promaster logo and other information regarding the specifications of the watch. One of the most distinctive features of the NY0040 is the position of its crown. In most watches, the crown is placed at the 4 o’clock position but this model has its crown on the opposite side at 8 o’clock. This was purposefully done to cater to left-handed individuals whilst also providing better comfort in general.  Lastly, the Citizen NY0040 comes with a high-quality rubber strap which is perfect for the harsh conditions of diving. Bracelets and straps are very important things to consider, especially when you’re looking for a durable sports timepiece. Rubber is the usual choice of strap when it comes to dive watches, while leather and steel are not recommended. Another great thing about the NY0040’s strap is that it has no-decompression limits, making it incredibly durable at any depth. Overall, making use of a rubber strap for the NY0040 was definitely a conscious decision on Citizen’s part in order to promote better functionality and reliability.  Dial The focus on ease of use did not stop with the materials and exterior of the Citizen NY0040. Each and every component in the dial was also designed with readability and comfort in mind. If you are familiar with watches, all you need is a single glance at the dial to know that the NY0040 is indubitably a diver’s watch. As mentioned, the NY0040 comes in classic shades of either black or blue, with both variants sporting a matte finish to avoid reflective light glares. It follows a typical analog layout with big luminescent hands and hour markers in various shapes. You can also find a day and date display at 3 o’clock. This aperture is presented as a black background with red text to indicate the day and white text for the date, adding a splash of color that to the dial that makes for better readability.  While most of the elements in the dial scream “diving watch”, it is also clear that Citizen kept the Citizen NY0040 versatile enough to be used both on land and underwater. It is a great option for people, especially divers, who don’t like changing their watches on a daily basis.  Movement The newest Citizen NY0040 is powered by a Miyota 8203 caliber automatic movement. It consists of around 21 jewels to reduce excessive wear and tear and has a frequency of 21600 beats per hour, which boasts a relatively high accuracy. Lastly, it has an impressive power reserve of 45 hours.  Citizen NY0040 vs Seiko SRP367 Baby Tuna The Citizen NY0040 is often compared with the Seiko SKX007 but, today, let’s switch it up by putting it against the ever-so-popular Seiko Baby Tuna. Both are renowned sports watches but today, we’ll see which is the better diver.  Seiko SRP637 ‘Baby Tuna’ Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Case Dimension: 47.5mm x 13.5mm x 50mm Strap: Stainless Steel  Movement: Automatic Power Reserve: 42 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior With a case diameter of 47.5mm, the Seiko Baby Tuna is definitely heftier than the Citizen NY0040. The Seiko Baby Tuna also looks a lot more robust and rugged compared to the NY0040, which leans towards a more classic sports watch style. Both are made from hardy stainless steel and have unidirectional bezels with luminous pips at the 60-minute marker. A key difference between the two, however, is that the Baby Tuna has a crown at 4 o’clock while the Citizen NY0040’s crown is at 8 o’clock. In addition, the NY0040 has a mineral crystal to protect the dial while the Baby Tuna makes use of Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal.  In terms of the strap, the Seiko Baby Tuna comes with a stainless steel bracelet while the Citizen NY0040 has a rubber strap. As mentioned, this is a crucial factor because some strap materials are more ideal for diving than others. However, it should be noted that the Baby Tuna has a clasp with a folding expansion feature which allows for a more snug fit around your wrist, even when you are wearing a wet suit.   Dial Moving on to the dial area, both models follow a standard dive watch layout with an analog display. Just like the Citizen NY0040, the Seiko SRP637 also has large, luminescent hands and hour markers. However, the Seiko Baby Tuna uses rectangular shapes while the NY0040 has mostly circular ones. Lastly, the Seiko model has a day and date window with a stark white background and black text while the NY0040 has one with a black background.  Technical Specifications When it comes to features and functions, it is safe to say that both are equally impressive. The two models each offer water-resistance of up to 200 meters and power reserves of over 40 hours. Both are also equipped with in-house Japanese calibers that follow automatic movements.  Prices This is probably where they differ most. The Seiko Baby Tuna SRP637 is priced at over $800 USD online today while the Citizen NY0040 retails at not more than $250 USD.  Verdict It is undeniable that both timepieces are excellent but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you consider worth it or not. In this case, I would have to go with Citizen NY0040 because it’s the more classic and sophisticated model between the two. It is an amazing diver’s watch but it’s also very versatile which means you can wear it on a variety of occasions. The best part is you get great functions and design without having to break the bank, as opposed to the Seiko Baby Tuna, which is considerably more expensive than the NY0040. Who should buy the Citizen NY0040?  Citizen Patrons. If you’re a fan of Citizen, then owning any piece from the Promaster collection is definitely the dream, given its rich history. Out of Citizen’s diverse catalogue, the NY0040 is one of their most recognizable models and it has been in the market for over 20 years now. The fact that it is still available today and is loved by so many just shows how well this timepiece has withstood the test of time. With that being said, the NY0040 is certainly a must-have for Citizen patrons out there! Professional and Leisure Divers. The Citizen NY0040 is a great starter watch for both professional and casual divers out there. It has all the elements and components of a great diving watch and it boasts quality Japanese craftsmanship as well. You get precision, ease of use, durability, and easy readability for under $300 USD. Sports Watch Enthusiasts. For individuals who are just in the beginning stages of their sports watch collection, the Citizen NY0040 is an excellent choice to consider. The NY0040 has a good story and rich heritage behind it, plus it belongs to a highly-regarded watch series from a renowned brand. Furthermore, this model is a popular one among the watch community so it makes for a great conversation topic. Final Thoughts  The Citizen NY0040 is a versatile-looking sports watch that’s equipped with equally excellent features. The Japanese brand truly found the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics with this timepiece. It is perfectly understandable why it is still being produced and sold in the market even after over two decades. Ultimately, the Citizen NY0040 is a great model to own regardless of whether you’re a diver or not.  If you’re interested in Japanese timepieces, make sure to read our article on The Orient Mako II. Photo Credits: Citizen Official Website

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  8. The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    Orient is known for being an underrated watchmaking company. They have a wide-range selection of watches that far exceed their current reputation. Among their lines of diver watches, one model truly stands out among the rest. That model is the Orient Mako II. There are a lot of cheap timepieces out there that turn out to be disappointments. They may be easy to afford, but when you need them the most, they will fail to deliver. The Mako II is not like that. With this model, Orient can personally show you just how much $150 has to offer you. In a world of seafloors inhabited by Rolex Submariners and Omega Seamasters, we often forget that a trusty dive watch does not necessarily have to cost a fortune. There are more affordable options in the market, and the Orient Mako II is one of the most reliable and fair choices. Try to find a timepiece that does the job better than this with a similar price tag, and you will see just what an arduous task it poses. With that said, let’s dive into the Orient Mako II and what it can do. Let’s start with a brief overview of the origins of the first edition Orient Mako and how the Mako II came to be.  The Original Mako Orient released the first Mako in 2004. The Mako was a flagship model and was an effective crowd puller as an affordable diving wristwatch. With its affordable price and capable features, the Mako was a popular choice of a first timepiece for many newcomers. It was an enormous success for Orient, and allowed them to learn more about their market. Thanks to the constructive criticism and feedback from its wearers, Orient was later able to design a new and improved model, the Orient Mako II. The Mako features a 41.5mm case with a royal blue dial. It uses an automatic movement known as the Orient Caliber 46943 with a 40-hour power reserve. Though the Mako comes with mineral glass, it is always possible to swap it for something more sturdy. For its final feature, the Mako can handle 200m or 660ft of water pressure. And to top it all off, this timepiece does not even reach $200. Just by looking at the specs and its price tag, it is apparent that this diver watch is a suitable, easily affordable diver watch for anyone. Funnily enough, this watch was not originally called the Mako. There are a handful of stories on how the Mako got its name, but the most frequent iteration involves the dolphin logo of its rubber strap. Wearers of the Orient Mako started to notice that the supposed dolphin on the rubber strap of the Mako seemed to more closely resemble a shark instead. In particular, fans thought that it looked like the shortfin mako shark. Since then, enthusiasts, and later the company itself, started calling the timepiece the Orient Mako.  Here’s a fun fact you might not have known: the shortfin mako shark, which the Orient Mako is named for, holds the record for being the fastest shark in the world. Specifications Photo by u/motorcyclerider100 from Reddit Dimensions of the Orient Mako II Starting with the dimensions, the Orient Mako II is 13mm thick and measures 41.5mm in diameter. As far as the lugs are concerned, the Mako II has a lug width of 22mm and a lug to lug measurement of 47mm. Although the size sounds quite standard, the wristwatch actually looks smaller than what the dimensions specify due to the nature of its curved lugs. That said, those with larger wrists may perceive their Orient Mako II to be a bit small-scale. If wearers want a watch that feels a little more substantial, they could instead opt for the larger Orient Mako XL. On the whole, however, the Mako II is well-sized for a wristwatch in its category and fits adequately on many. Stainless Steel Case The Orient Mako II has an aesthetically pleasing structure. The case of the Mako II has a considerable amount of heft to it without being too cumbersome on the wrist. It is made of stainless steel, and it is both brushed on its lugs and polished on its sides. As a result, the exteriors of the timepiece exude a satisfying clean look with a welcoming gleaming sheen. Accompanied by a thin bezel, the Mako II boasts a stunning and sporty build that looks appropriate for diving. The bezel on top of the Orient Mako II is particularly unique. It is relatively slim with a deep blue color and notched edges on its sides. The bezel is unidirectional with 120 clicks and can track a typical total of 60 minutes of elapsed time. Aside from the standard blue edition, the bezel can also come in all-black or in the iconic Pepsi-themed colors. While the black version also looks smart, the Pepsi version can be exceptionally appealing. With its ridged sides and slim build, choosing the Pepsi-themed model of the Mako II makes the bezel bear an uncanny resemblance to the bottle cap of a Pepsi drink.  With regards to the functionality of the bezel, although the notched edge is supposed to provide an easier grip, it doesn’t really offer any additional help. The thin structure of the bezel might look sleek, but it also makes turning the bezel quite a challenge at times. In terms of profession, it could be even harder to use for divers, considering account the gear that divers wear. Ultimately, the Mako II’s bezel looks good, but the functionality is sub-par and is better off changed to a slightly thicker bezel. Fortunately, the Mako III and the Mako XL feature a bigger bezel for those who require greater ease of use. Another feature that we need to look at is the crown. The Mako II’s crown has some good polishing on it. Engraved neatly on the center of the knob is the logo of its maker – Orient. It is a beautiful-looking crown, but it also has problems of its own. Much like the bezel, it is a tad difficult to use. For many owners of the Mako II, the crown guards do not give enough space and are too tightly crowded around the knob, making it difficult to turn. Again, this would prove even more burdensome for fully-geared divers who wish to bring the Orient Mako II with them into the water. At the back of the Orient Mako II is a solid screw-down case back that protects the movement inside. Some may prefer having an exhibit-style transparent case back, but using a screw-down case is the optimal choice to reduce the risk of having any leakages, which is crucial for a dive watch like this.  Mineral Glass There is nothing extraordinary to note here. Mineral crystal is a standard in watches of this price range. The crystal will still get the job done, but it will not shelter the dial from anything more than light scratches. If you’re concerned about the quality of protection the crystal offers, you could opt to customize the watch by replacing the mineral glass with sapphire. However, keep in mind that sapphire will cost more. Deep Blue Sunburst Dial When looking through the mineral crystal, the Orient Mako II immediately greets on-lookers with a beautiful deep blue sunburst dial. Hour markers and indices occupy the rim of the dial, other than at the 6th, 9th, and 12th o’clock positions. The hour marker at the 3 o’clock position is replaced with a day and date window perched on the right side of the dial. At the center of the watch are sword-shaped minute and hour hands as well as a red-tipped second hand. The Orient Mako II has luminescent material applied on its hands, indices, and hour markers, so wearers are able to tell the time even in the dark. Completing the overall look is the logo and signature of Orient located below the 12th hour of the dial. The Mako II also comes with a black dial variant, while the Mako II USA sports a white dial.  Orient Caliber F6922 One of the biggest complaints that owners of the first edition Orient Mako had was the inability to wind and hack the movement manually. Since then, Orient has devised a new caliber is adjustable by hand and demonstrates the ability to tell time more precisely. This new and improved movement is none other than the in-house Caliber F6922. What makes this movement so interesting is the innovative design of the caliber. Although the F6922 is automatic, it can still be hand-wound, providing wearers benefits from either side of the spectrum. The caliber has an accuracy of -15/15+ seconds, which is much more precise than the -25/35+ seconds accuracy of its predecessor. That said, the movement will still require consistent regulation every few days. Orient uses Seiko’s Diashock as shock absorbers for the automatic apparatus. The system supplies twenty-two jewels to hold the mechanical movement in place and keep the mechanisms from experiencing excessive wear and tear. The F6922 is capable of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour and has a 40-hour power reserve. Altogether, Orient’s in-house automatic caliber is a sturdy workhorse, built with the capacity to withstand actual diving and the pressures that come with it. Three-Link Bracelet The Orient Mako II comes with the usual three-link bracelet you can find on numerous affordable Japanese timekeepers. The end links are hollow, but the bracelet is easy to calibrate and wraps around the wrist comfortably. In addition, the steel of the bracelet has been brushed and polished thoroughly, so it possesses the same glossy, professional shine as the case. A double-locking clasp with a push-button design is used to fasten the bracelet. This stainless steel bracelet gives the watch a smart, distinguished look, but there are other options available. You could experiment with different straps that better compliment the classic design of the Mako II. Depending on your preferences, you can select from a wide variety of straps and bracelets. 200m Water Resistance 200m is a deep dive. With resistances like that, the watch can withstand almost all sorts of water activity, from taking a shower to scuba diving. The only thing this wristwatch cannot handle is professional diving, which usually reaches depths of around 500m. This limitation is not a hindrance as people tend to purchase a timepiece like this for design purposes and recreational diving rather than its proficiency deep underwater. Although this timepiece is highly capable, the Orient Mako II does not have ISO certification. Taking into account that this is a very affordable $150 watch, this is a fairly minor con. For those seeking an underwater companion on their casual dive outings, however, the Orient Mako II is still more than up to the task. Alternatives For those who are not a fan of the Mako II’s style, there are a few alternatives that also provide a variety of intriguing features for a similar price tag. Orient Ray II Photo by u/pleisner3 from Reddit There is no doubt that Orient knows how to make a great-looking, affordable dive watch. If the Mako II isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe their Orient Ray II would suit you better. The Ray II sports a matte black dial, similar to that of a Rolex Submariner. Pair that with a black chapter ring and a wonderfully polished stainless steel case, and you get an affordable diver timepiece oozing with sophistication.  Orient also did a remarkable job in applying luminescence to the Ray II. The quality of the luminosity is clean, well-lit, and is unexpected for a timepiece of this price range. Compared to the Mako II, the Ray II does a better job of providing wearers good legibility in the dark. An F6522 in-house caliber powers the inner machinations of the Ray II, and its performance is identical to that of the Mako II’s F6922 calibre. Other than those features, the Mako II and Ray II are almost indistinguishable. Unfortunately, that also includes the hard-to-maneuver bezel and miniature crown. That said, the Ray II is arguably the best alternative to the Mako II. It offers nearly the same amount of features and conveniences and comes with a similar price point. The Ray II also has a wider variety of dial colors to choose from, such as deep blue and pumpkin orange. Seiko SKX007 Photo by Amazon If you’re willing to plonk more money on a trustworthy timekeeper, then look no further than the Seiko SKX007. The Seiko SKX007 is a fan-favorite amongst the range of affordable diver watches. Unlike the Ray and Mako II, the Seiko SKX007 is ISO certified, making it a highly credible and ideal choice for buyers. It possesses 200m of water resistance, hardlex glass, the Seiko 7S26 movement, and is a versatile look suitable for all occasions and activities.   It is undeniable that the SKX007 looks like a first-class watch. The blend of black and white skillfully laden on the dial and bezel makes for a beguiling design. In addition, the timepiece functions extraordinarily well in the dark. Seiko is known to do impressive work applying luminescence to their watches, and they did not disappoint with the SKX007. Seiko also uses hardlex glass to shelter the dial. Hardlex has a reputation for being more durable and resistant than mineral crystals without being too costly. Although not quite as sturdy as sapphire, hardlex glass is still an inexpensive upgrade from mineral crystals. The bezel itself has more grip than the two previously mentioned timepieces. It’s smooth, it clicks decently, and it does not have any significant amounts of wobble. Indeed, the bezel feels like something you would encounter in much more expensive wristwatches. Sadly, the crown faces the same problem as the Mako II and Ray II. Much like those watches, the crown guard of the SKX007 gives too much cover, such that it becomes tricky to use the knob. Wearers will need a bit of fingernail strength to get that pesky crown going. The Seiko 7S26 which the SKX007 uses is an in-house automatic movement and is a predecessor to the 4R36 movement. Regrettably, the 7S26 does not feature manual winding and hacking capabilities. As long as you don’t find the mechanical movement too frustrating to use, however, then this Seiko is still a good option. Since its time in the production line, the SNK007 has become more limited, and this has led to an increase in value. Right now, the timepiece fetches an average price of $330. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Photo by NY Watch Store The Promaster Diver is a Citizen timepiece built for those who enjoy swimming at the beach. Aside from having 200m of water resistance, the watch uses solar power to energize its internal components. One of the best things about this eco-friendly timekeeper is its quartz movement, which is usually more precise than mechanical movements. Since this particular Citizen uses quartz to operate, you can rest assured that you will have no trouble keeping accurate time with this watch.  The bezel is one of the most important features of a watch, so let’s take a look at how the Promaster Diver fares in that regard. On the side of the Promaster Diver’s bezel is an alternating pattern of teeth-like edges and smoothened surfaces. This design may be an unusual choice, but it serves its purpose in providing more grip. It clicks and turns well, which is satisfying. Compared to the other alternatives, this timepiece seems to have the least amount of negatives. The Citizen Promaster Diver costs approximately $180. It is more pricey than the Mako II, but it does offer a lot of benefits. Like the Mako II, the Promaster Diver can come with either a blue or black dial.  Final Thoughts Affordable Japanese diver watches continue to occupy the market to this day. Although there are a wide variety of them, not many can step up to the quality of the Mako II. If you were to look for another wristwatch under $200 that provides the same all-rounded strengths as the Mako II, chances are you probably won’t be having much luck. Although the Mako II is nowhere near perfect, it proves to be a substantial improvement from its predecessor. It is hard to go wrong with the Orient Mako II. For a timepiece that fetches a price between $130 – $150, calling this just another economical wristwatch would be an understatement. With capabilities far exceeding other wristwatches in the same price range, the Orient Mako II is nothing short of a powerhouse. The charisma of this particular timepiece is utterly magical. Whether someone is new to watches, an experienced enthusiast, or an avid collector, the Mako II attracts the eyes of all who see its sleek look. 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. Featured image courtesy of James Case on Flickr

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  9. Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko has been in the watchmaking market for several decades now. Even though their timeless expertise paved the way for creating high-quality watches, Seiko, in general, has yet to be considered as a luxury watch brand—with Grand Seiko being an exception. This, in turn, puts Seiko on par with Casio in terms of mass-producing several iconic and affordable wristwatches. But that does not necessarily mean that Seiko does not have a few gems hidden in its sleeves. There is no doubt that Seiko has created a global following due to the reliability and iconic designs of their watches. This popularity has led to several pocket watches and wristwatches that have taken the modern era by storm. One of the many innovative watches that Seiko has produced is the Seiko Prospex Samurai. In this review, we will be discussing what makes the Seiko Prospex Samurai watch one of Seiko’s best diver’s watches in the 21st century.  History of Seiko Prospex Samurai Seiko started as a small watch repair shop in Central Tokyo back in 1881. In 1892, Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori expanded by buying a factory in Tokyo which he named Seikosha. The massive success of the Seikosha, which roughly translates to “exquisite house” or “success house”, marked the start of Seiko becoming a substantial figure in the watchmaking industry. Competing with the prominent Swiss watchmakers, the Japanese watch brand captivated the world with its top-notch watchmaking expertise. This success was further amplified when Kintaro Hattori created the “The Laurel”, Japan’s first-ever wristwatch in 1913. With Seiko’s headstart in cutting-edge horological technology, Kintaro Hattori then went on to produce several more wristwatches under the Seiko brand name. Photo Courtesy of Seiko In 2004, Seiko introduced a promising watch model that embodies all the watchmaking principles of Kintaro Hattori, as well as the accumulated experiences of the brand. The model in question? The Seiko Prospex Samurai. This watch is widely regarded as one of the best diver’s watches Seiko has ever released. Not only does it have the classic bulky size of a regular diver’s watch, but it also has a reliable automatic calibre movement and a 200m water resistance. The first generation of the Seiko Samurai watch was made with both titanium and stainless steel, with later generations being made only in stainless steel. You may be wondering why this particular watch is named “Samurai” of all things. Seiko, like many other watch brands, has been known to name its products in the most abstract way possible. A few examples are the Seiko Monster and the Seiko Turtle. The Seiko Monster got its name due to its size, while the Seiko Turtle has a shape reminiscent of a turtle’s shell. The Seiko Samurai, on the other hand, derives its name from the minute hands of the watch, which are shaped like a sword. This might be confusing to some since a samurai katana is a curved long sword, rather than a regular straight-edged sword. Regardless, it holds up, especially since Seiko has always been rather unpredictable in terms of naming their watches. Impressions At a glance, the Seiko Prospex Samurai may seem like an ordinary diver’s watch. Without knowing the specifics of its name, you might be wondering: what makes this particular watch so special? There are several features that set the Seiko Samurai apart from other Seiko diver’s watches. One of them is the Seiko Samurai’s waffle-textured dial and the sleek stainless steel case. The watch’s sleek sword-shaped minute hand, as well as the unusually-shaped arrowhead hour hand, also serve to distinguish it from other watches. These unique design schemes are what make the Seiko Samurai an ideal diving companion that can also be used outside of the said activity.  Since the Seiko Prospex Samurai was initially a Japan-exclusive watch, not much was known regarding the specifics of the watch other than the name itself and the fact that it is a diver’s watch. However, over the years, it slowly gained the right kind of attention from watch enthusiasts, making this seemingly rare timepiece highly sought-after. The black dial variant is the most common option available in the market. Furthermore, since this was a highly exclusive watch, variations of the Seiko Samurai can be relatively hard to find. Seiko took advantage of the high demand for the Seiko Samurai and released a few limited edition colour variants—one of which is the rare Seiko Samurai Orange Dial SRPC07.  The indications and the AR35 calibre movement might make it seem like the Seiko Samurai series is just like any other dive watch in the market. With the hours, minutes, and seconds hands, as well as the date aperture, anyone would assume that it is just an ordinary watch. But a closer look reveals that the Seiko Samurai actually offers more than it initially seems. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the Seiko Prospex Samurai and how they set it apart from other diver’s watches. Specifications Looking at a Seiko watch for the first time may leave you thinking that there are only minor changes with each watch line. That is perfectly understandable since Seiko has been sporting similar design schemes to stay true to their established identity. A closer look, however, shows us how Seiko manages to create subtle, if not major, changes with each of their staple watches, giving a distinct look to each watch while still emphasizing consistency within the Seiko brand. If you prefer a larger case size, the Seiko Monster will surely meet your needs. If you are looking for a watch with a perfectly round shape and has a sizeable thickness, the Seiko Tuna is a perfect choice. The point is, Seiko watches stay true to their brand, while also making sure that each watch is uniquely suited to meet the user’s needs. Case and Bracelet Initially, the Seiko Prospex Samurai was introduced mostly in titanium, with stainless steel as a secondary option. The titanium versions, however, were later discontinued in 2008. That is why stainless steel variants are the ones that are more easily available in the market. Rest assured, however, that the stainless steel cases and bracelets are easily comparable with titanium materials in terms of durability and shine. The lugs were made smaller to balance out the proportions of the watch and provide maximum comfort on the wrist. On the other hand, the bezel adds more to the design of the whole watch with its engraved diamond shape patterns on the sides. If you look closely, this pattern also resembles the diamond pattern found on the hilt of a katana—a nice detail that stays true to the watch’s namesake. The overall size of the Seiko Samurai is not as bulky as it seems. At 43.8mm in diameter and 13.4mm in thickness, this watch is slightly smaller than your average diver’s watch. Nevertheless, the stainless steel case still provides excellent durability, no matter the size.  Dial The original Seiko Samurai was released with only a black dial with a waffle-like textured pattern. Following that, Seiko released several more variations that include a gradient ocean blue dial that goes from indigo-blue at the top to black at the bottom, and the seemingly rare orange dial. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the colour of the dial alone, but since the discontinuation of the Seiko Samurai series, finding your preferred Seiko Samurai watch may prove to be harder than it seems. Most people resort to buying pre-owned units, while others are still scouring official stores to find the one they are looking for. These dials exude a variety of styles such as sporty, chic, classy, and casual. Nonetheless, the original waffle-pattern textured dial still best represents the simplicity of the Seiko Samurai line. Indications The indications of the Seiko Samurai are minimalistic and focus more on reliability rather than style. A diver’s watch should always be clear and accurate when it comes to timekeeping. Otherwise, it could potentially lead to certain accidents, such as miscalculated decompression stops or running out of oxygen due to the inaccuracy of a watch. That said, the Seiko Samurai provides fairly simple watch functions that allow the user to tell the time as accurately as possible, without the risk of miscalculation. The watch also sports white hour markers and hands, providing maximum legibility even in the dark ocean depths, so telling the time will not pose much of a problem. Furthermore, with the help of the LumiBrite technology, you can easily read the time both in the dark and underwater.  As mentioned before, the minute hands of the watch are shaped like swords. While they do not resemble katanas, when these hands meet each other at a certain time, they do look more reminiscent of a sword when combined. This is a cool detail to take note of. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position. Since it is a diver’s watch, the bezel of the Seiko Samurai can only be rotated counterclockwise. The markers on the bezel are also white, maintaining a consistent design scheme while also allowing for greater legibility. Rather than adding a more few bells and whistles, the straightforward nature of the Seiko Samurai prioritizes function, making it an extremely reliable dive watch that deserves the praise it’s getting. Calibre Movement There are a lot of people who frequently associate Seiko with Casio, mainly because both are Japanese companies. One difference to keep in mind is that Casio very rarely makes automatic watches, and instead produces quartz movement watches. In comparison, Seiko has many automatic movement watches to choose from. The calibre used in the Seiko Samurai is the AR35. This is an automatic calibre movement that allows hand-winding and provides many of the useful functions necessary for a dive watch.  One of the best functions the AR35 offers is the stop-seconds function. This allows the user to adjust the time without having to worry about the seconds hand, ensuring accurate synchronization, right down to the second. This function has existed in the industry for several years now but is still widely used in the horological craft. Another notable feature is the power reserve of the Seiko Samurai. This movement allows the watch to last for approximately 41 hours when not in use. Since it is both a self-winding and manual-winding watch movement, running out of power will not be a problem for the wearer.  A Few Notable Seiko Prospex Samurai Models Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial – SRPB51K1 Starting with the original model, the Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 retains the simplicity of the Samurai watches that came before it. With the black waffle-textured dial and minimalistic indications, it is impossible to mistake the watch’s classic design. The watch also sports a 43.8mm stainless steel case and a stainless steel bracelet, ensuring that the durability of the watch remains the same. The bezel has a black and grey colour with a unidirectional movement. The hands and indexes are all coated in LumiBrite, which allows visibility even in the dark or underwater.  Speaking of underwater, all of the Seiko Samurai watches can go up to 200 meters underwater, and the Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 is no different. This is to be expected, since it is a diver’s watch, and this is indicated on the dial itself. The watch is further equipped with the AR35 calibre movement, which gives it a 41-hour power reserve as well as the stop-seconds function. Overall, nothing can beat the original when it comes to subtlety and simplicity. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial (Hard Coating) – SRPB55K1 The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 offers a similar design as the Samurai SRPB51K1, with a few notable differences. This model is reminiscent of the titanium variant due to the black coating of the case. Rest assured, though, that this watch uses stainless steel for its case, and thus maintains the same durability as other Samurai watches. The bracelet used for the Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 is silicone instead of stainless steel. Not only does this add more comfort, but the soft exterior also adds more to the style of the watch. The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 also retains the familiar black waffle pattern on its dial. However, it offers a different look on both the hands and the indexes. By using a gold-tone lining, the indicators are highlighted without any worry of legibility issues. The markings on the bezel also adopt a gold colour scheme to stay true to the overall design and provide a refined feel to the totality of the watch. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic “Save The Ocean” – SRPC93K1 Last on the list is the Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1, a special edition timepiece introduced in 2018. Versions of this edition can be found in both the Seiko Turtle and Seiko Samurai lines as well. This model does not only look good, but it also provides a specific message for everyone in terms of marine conservation.  Much like the rest of the Seiko Samurai models, the Seiko Samurai SRPC93K1 holds the same design, size, and functionalities. The highlight of this watch is its beautiful gradient dial which perfectly captures the ocean depths. The engraved horizontal lines add a texture to the dial that resembles the unending waves of the sea. The black section at the bottom of the dial embodies the unknown depths of the ocean that are yet to be explored. The Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1 is a watch that symbolizes the importance of marine life as well as the beauty of the vast ocean. Seiko Samurai Price Range The best thing about Seiko’s watches is that they are at a very affordable price range. Although Seiko is not considered a luxury brand, the watches are of amazing quality and should be considered for your collection. Seiko Samurai watches do not cost more than a thousand dollars apiece. Indeed, the functionalities and the classic designs of the Seiko Samurai ensure that this is the timepiece that will give you the most bang for your buck. The Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 currently costs $469 in the market. Since it features the common design of the Seiko Samurai collection, the price tag for it seems fairly reasonable compared to its fellow watches in the collection. Each model may differ in price, but the usual price range starts from $450 up to $600. Compared to the usual price of Casio watches, the Samurai is undoubtedly more expensive—but for good reason. For only a few hundred dollars more, you can own a dive watch that is equipped with an automatic movement, which is the best choice compared to a quartz watch. It may not be on par with the Rolex Submariner, but it is a great timepiece for those who plan on starting a watch collection. Either way, do not be discouraged about its price being below $1000; the Seiko Samurai is a solid automatic dive watch that offers more than what it is worth. If it is still above your desired budget, you can always rely on pre-owned watches. Depending on the condition, it can be bought for as low as $300—or even lower. Just be sure to find a reliable seller and avoid shady deals online. Final Thoughts The Seiko Prospex Samurai is truly one of Seiko’s most popular dive watches today. Not only does it provide the necessary tools for diving, but it also boasts impressive accuracy and reliability. The AR35 calibre movement exceeds all expectations when it comes to sustaining a diver’s watch while also prioritizing precision.  In addition to that, the Seiko Samurai is also flexible in terms of usage. The bezel can be used when timing recreational activities other than diving. Furthermore, the compact size of this watch makes for a great everyday watch. The various dial colours available are yet another reason for the Seiko Samurai’s popularity. With so many colors to choose from, you can mix them up with any event or activity as you see fit. Whether it’s professional or casual, the Seiko Samurai manages to be the perfect watch for any occasion. Overall, the Seiko Prospex Samurai is a great diver’s watch that is easily on par with most of the top dive watches in the industry. For a very affordable watch, the Seiko Samurai is more than what it is worth—making it the perfect underwater companion for everyone. Looking for the best Seiko timepiece to give to your girlfriend or mother? Take a look at our list of Best Seiko Women’s Watches for some great options. Featured image courtesy of George Thomas from Flickr

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  10. Best Casio Dive Watches to Use

    Best Casio Dive Watches to Use

    Casio is one of the oldest and most reliable brands that has marveled in making watches over the past few decades. They have been producing hundreds of timepieces in every style, color, and material imaginable. Through consistent innovation, the brand has also been able to come up with their own selection of exceptional Casio dive watches.  Once upon a time, divers used to take water-resistant computers underwater in order to record the depth and time left during a dive. But dive computers cannot be a substitute for dive watches. The invention of dive watches was monumental for the diving field as divers could now rely on diving pieces that were easily worn on the wrist, rather than carried around as heavy apparatus. With Casio dive watches, divers can safely and easily track their dive time for years.  A Little Bit About Casio Dive Watches In the simplest of terms, Casio dive watches are basically designed for underwater diving, as they possess superb water-resistant properties of 100 meters and above. They are also suitable for recreational underwater activities since they work very well even when wet and submerged at a certain depth.  Given how broad Casio’s catalog is, it can be a struggle to go through all of their watches, one by one. As such, to make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best Casio dive watches that money can buy you today. Simply scroll down, and have a look! 1. Casio Men’s MDV106-1AV Duro Analog Watch The Casio Men’s MDV106-1AV supersedes all other Casio dive watches. If you are planning to dive to a considerable depth underwater, then this is the ideal timepiece for you. Indeed, once you explore all its features, you will definitely desire one for yourself!  First of all, this Casio men’s watch has a tough exterior, with a stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant mineral crystal to protect the dial. As such, it can bear a bit of heavy-duty use. This watch is also extremely durable, and you can swim with it up to depths of 600 feet, or 200 meters, and it will continue to work with full efficiency.  In addition, the display that MDV106-1AV Duro Analog Watch offers is also good. Since this watch has a minimalistic aesthetic, the display is uncluttered and very easy to read. For the diver’s convenience, the dial also features a small window that shows the day of the month. To sum up, this Casio dive timepiece possesses a hard steel casing, is durable underwater, provides a legible display, and is powered by the Japanese quartz movement, making for a perfect underwater companion. The best part is that you can get this watch for just $70 USD.  2. Casio G-Shock Frogman Digital  Here is another unique timepiece from Casio which is reputed to be one of the best scuba diving models on the market. The Casio Frogman G-Shock is ISO-approved and boasts a number of features that make it perfect for scuba diving adventures.  For instance, divers can take this Casio timepiece with them to depths of up to 200 meters. The Casio Frogman G-Shock also has a dive feature that allows the wearer to enter the number of dives they have made and note down how long they have taken. In total, you can log up to 10 dives on this Casio dive watch.  Additionally, one problem often faced by divers is that their dive watches sometimes run out of battery mid-way through a dive. However, this is not something you do not need to worry about with this dive watch, and you can freely make a long dive without worrying about its battery, as the Frogman G-Shock is solar-powered.  Other incredible features this dive timepiece offers include a moon phase indicator, a tide graph, and a Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping function. Priced at around $1,209 USD, this is truly a multi-functional Casio dive watch meant to make your diving experience easier.  3. Casio Men’s Super-Illuminator Diver Watch  Do not be deceived by its name; the Casio Men’s Super-Illuminator Diver Watch is not just a diver’s timepiece. With its lovely design, this watch can be worn with a casual, formal, or even a sports outfit. In addition, the style and versatile functionality of this watch truly make it stand out. This watch comes with a sturdy 44mm stainless steel case and a bracelet made of the same material. It runs on a powerful quartz movement, and has a water resistance rating of 330 feet, or 100 meters, making it a solid choice for divers.  With regards to the round dial of this Casio dive timepiece, it boasts 3 hands that provide a more accurate time reading of the hours, minutes,  and seconds. The bezel display also provides wearers with both the day and date. This watch is also equipped with excellent battery illumination, and its bracelet comes with a fold-over clasp for a more secure fit around the wearer’s wrist. With its sleek and classy black-and-white aesthetics, the Super-Illuminator Diver Watch truly levels up any look, and you can get your hands on one for just $120 USD.  4. Casio G-Shock GA-400-1A Multi-Dimensional Analog Digital Watch Get yourself this functional Casio diving watch that is full of fantastic features. This is not just a diving watch but can also be used for other water activities like snorkeling and swimming. This is because it can withstand substantial water pressures of up to 660 feet, or 200 meters. In addition, the Casio G-Shock GA-400-1A also comes with features including a super LED light, which makes it easy to read the dial in the dark, and a countdown timer that runs from one minute to 24 hours, which wearers can use to easily measure the time period of any activity. On the whole, this timepiece is lightweight and durable with its robust resin case, has a straightforward design, large and easily legible displays, and is easy to use for everyone. All of these features make the Casio G-Shock GA-400-1A pretty ideal in terms of Casio dive watches. This timepiece retails at an incredibly affordable price of $90.75 USD. 5. Casio Pro-Trek PRW-6600YBE-5JR Just by the name, you can already tell that Casio’s Pro-Trek line is meant to be a watch collection just for explorers. Pro-Trek timepieces make for reliable companions during hiking or camping trips because of how multifunctional they are. That said, models from this collection can also be used for underwater activities such as swimming and diving, since they boast  water resistance capacities of up to 100 meters.  In particular, the Casio Pro Trek PRW-6600YBE-5JR has very robust and powerful aesthetics with its stainless steel and resin case and nylon strap, which is complemented by its multitude of handy functions. Some of these additional features include an alarm, a double LED light, a barometric pressure graph, and lots more. Regardless of whether it is a land or water adventure, this Casio watch will surely prove to be a dependable companion. If you are interested, you can get yours for just $389 USD.  6. Casio Oceanus Radio Wave Solar Classic  The Casio Oceanus is all about that delicate balance between technological innovations and elegant design. Each and every Oceanus piece is equipped with impressive specifications that are made even more appealing with its refined aesthetics. The Casio Oceanus OCW-T3000A-1AJF is a prime example of this, and the best part is that it is suitable for diving as well.  On top of its well-crafted chronograph display, this Oceanus diver watch also has a water resistance capacity of up to 100 meters, which is great for recreational diving. In addition, it boasts numerous features such as a date display, a power reserve indicator, a perpetual calendar, dual time, and many more. Retailing at around $939 USD, this is definitely a great underwater watch for those who want something elegant and fully functional!  7. Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster  Casio is known primarily for offering really robust timepieces, and some of the toughest models they have belong to the G-Shock Gravitymaster collection. This range actually consists of watches that were designed to aid pilots, which is why they are all very sturdy yet also have lightweight profiles. Be that as it may, these Gravitymaster timepieces also boast water resistance ratings of 200 meters, making them suitable for diving as well.  This model, priced at $899 USD, also boasts superior readability thanks to its high-brightness LED light and non-reflective coatings. Additional features and functions of this Casio watch include a daily alarm, battery level indicator, dual time, Bluetooth, and power saving, among others. If you want a Casio diving watch with unparalleled toughness, then the G-Shock Gravitymaster GWR-B1000-1AJF is perfect for you.  8. Casio Oceanus OCW-S100B-1AJF  Here we have yet another model from the Oceanus collection, but this time with a less complicated dial. The Casio Oceanus OCW-S100B-1AJF features the familiar robust yet sophisticated aesthetics which makes it very appealing to many people. In addition, it also has a water resistance rating of 100 meters, meaning it is suitable for activities like swimming and diving as well. Retailing at $599 USD, this Casio dive watch comes in a titanium case and bracelet which makes it extra durable, lightweight and reliable. Lastly, it boasts the following features: a full auto calendar, 29 world time zones, a date window, and luminescent dial components for high readability. If you are interested in straightforward Casio dive watches, then this is definitely one to check out!  9. Casio Pro Trek PRW-7000FC-1JF Up next, we have another model from the renowned Pro-Trek collection. As mentioned earlier, pieces in this particular line were created with adventurers and explorers in mind. The Casio Pro-Trek is more than just an accessory that tells time, it also serves as a tool that is meant to make the journey easier. Compared to the other model we discussed, this Pro Trek PRW-7000FC-1JF is a slightly more appealing option for divers since it has a water resistance capacity of up to 200 meters.  Aside from that, this watch also exhibits superior durability and reliability because of the materials used, which are resin and stainless steel. When it comes to features, this timepiece has a low temperature operation, a countdown timer, dual LED lights, 31 time zones, and much more. Finally, it also comes at a very reasonable price of approximately $729 USD. If you love all forms of adventure, then this Casio watch is a must-have for you!  10. Casio Oceanus Manta OCW-S3400B-1AJF Last but certainly not least, we have the Casio Oceanus Manta OCW-S3400B-1AJF, which is a classic dive model with excellent technical specifications. Of course, it would not be on this list if it was not suitable for diving so it does have a water resistance rating of 100 meters.  Priced at $1,589 USD, this model is presented in a titanium case and bracelet which gives it a rather polished and sporty look. Some of its impressive features include a solar battery, power indicator, stopwatch, auto calendar, and a world time function. If you want a multifunctional and classy watch that can accompany you on all your underwater adventures, then do not miss out on the Oceanus Manta.  Final Thoughts  Casio is an excellent brand to check out if you are on the hunt for the best reliable yet aesthetically-pleasing dive watches. The fact that some of these models are not really a part of their dive watch lines only goes to show that a wide selection of their pieces are actually versatile and suitable for all kinds of different environments.  If you enjoyed this article and are interested in more Japanese dive watches, check out our piece on the Orient Kamasu.  Photo Credits: WatchShopping Site

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