Sunday, December 27, 2015

Seiko SRP773 Blue "Turtle" Reissue

This post is about the blue version of Seiko's reissued "Turtle" series based on the cushion case aesthetic of the 1970s-1980s 6306/6309. This new series consists of the Prospex SRP773/775/777/779, and an overview of the design of the series based on the black SRP777 can be found here.

The SRP773 features a blue dial/blue bezel combo and silver surrounds on the hands and indices with light bluish Lumibrite luminous compound in well-lit conditions. In low light conditions, the lume glows green with the same hue, intensity and duration as most other modern day Seiko divers. It also comes with a brushed stainless steel bracelet with solid end-links and a three-link design featuring polished highlights on either side of the center link. It also comes with a diver extension and the bracelet itself utilizes a pin-and-collar system to keep the links together similar to that used in the Monsters and Solar Chronograph divers. Compared to the quality of Seiko stainless steel bracelets we've seen in the past, this particular bracelet gets an above average score, but I would imagine that a lot of owners will still end up going aftermarket for their strap/bracelet options.

In all other regards, the descriptions made in the earlier post on the SRP777 apply.

Some photos:


Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Classic "Turtle" - the 6309-7040

The 6309 represents a line of dive watches produced by Seiko from 1976 to 1988. They are sandwiched between the 6105 line and the 7002 line, and perhaps best known for popularizing the "Turtle"-style cushion case. The cushion case first came out with the 6105-8110/8119 and by the time the 7002 rolled out in 1988, Seiko divers have adopted the familiar slim case we still have today in the contemporary SKX007/009.

Note that late 2015/early 2016 sees the reissuance of the cushion case via the SRP773/775/777/779, so in a sense what we are seeing is Seiko's design aesthetic going full circle.

The 6309 line is powered by a 17 jewel automatic movement with day/date which neither hacks or handwinds. Power reserve is around 45 hours fully wound.

Case diameter is 44mm excluding the crown, lug-to-lug length is 46mm. Case thickness is 14mm, and lug width is 22mm. In an era when the typical men's watch was less than 40mm in diameter, this was considered huge at the time. 44mm nowadays is pretty much par for the course.

Water resistance is 150m, 50m short of modern day dive watch standards. I wouldn't recommend diving or even swimming with one now, unless the seals have been renewed and the watch pressure tested.

This particular sample in my collection is all original despite being more than thirty years old (date of manufacture per serial number is July 1984). The only replacement component is the relatively current Seiko Jubilee-style stainless steel bracelet, which is to be expected since this watch was originally supplied with a rubber strap, which has long gone.  

Some photos:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Seiko SRP777 Black "Turtle" Reissue

Seiko recently announced the return of the venerable cushion case diver based on the Seiko 6306/6309 diver line. Produced from 1976 to 1988, the original was nicknamed the "Turtle" for the turtle-shell like shape of the case.

The reissue, because of it's aesthetic similarity, has been nicknamed the "Turtle" as well, but features a number of improvements thanks to advances in manufacturing techniques, water resistance, and luminous compounds over the past forty years.

It boasts the relatively new 24-jewel, 21,600 bph, automatic 4R36 day/date movement, an improved version of the ubiquitous 7S26 (or downgraded version of the 6R15, depending on your point of view) with hacking and handwinding and a similar 41 hour power reserve. The watch is water resistant to 200m, pretty standard depth rating for contemporary Seiko divers, but a 50m improvement over the original which was rated at only 150m. There is also the use of Seiko's proprietary LumiBrite luminous compound for the hands and indices, which is light-years ahead in terms of luminosity and durability compared to the compounds used in the original.

The case features a mix of brushed and polished surfaces which lends to a clean, contemporary look  without drawing too much attention to itself. Case diameter excluding the unsigned crown is 45mm, which is about a mm larger than the original 6306/6309. Lug width and case thickness is an identical 22mm and 13.4mm respectively while lug-to-lug length is 48mm, about 2mm longer than the original. Lugs holes are bored out all the way through for ease in changing straps. The timing bezel is a typical Seiko 120 click unidirectional affair with an matte black aluminum insert.

This particular model adopts a black color scheme with a black dial/bezel combination with a black silicone rubber strap with a stainless steel keeper. The hands and indices have silver surrounds, and the Lumibrite application features a white appearance in bright light. In low light situations, the luminous compound glows in the familiar Seiko green with the typical intensity and duration expected for Seiko divers. All variants of the Turtle reissue feature the Prospex logo just below the center of the dial. They are also ISO 6425 certified, hence the text "DIVER'S" on the dial as well.

The reissue has been scheduled for release in December of 2015, with other territories soon to follow. The Philippines is fortunate in that most new Seiko models, with the exception of the JDM ones, are almost always released here ahead of other countries, and with prices oftentimes significantly cheaper. This SRP779 is no different, being available in various authorized dealers at prices ranging from 200-250 USD.

If you're a fan of the original, or if you're looking for a modern twist of a vintage classic, expect to be picking one of the variants of this reissue soon.

Some photos:


Stainless steel keeper.
Tsunami logo on caseback.