Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seiko SRPA21 Special Edition Pepsi "PADI Turtle" Reissue

It took it's own sweet time getting here, but the special edition PADI "Turtle" has finally arrived:

SRPA21 "PADI Turtle".
I won't be boring you with the specifications, dimensions, or other technical details of this watch considering that I have discussed this several times before in my reviews of the other "Turtle" reissue variants, starting with the SRP777 Black "Turtle", the review of which can be found here.

What this variant has going for it is it's unique color treatment and the PADI logo, a nod to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, a renowned diving organization which teamed up with Seiko in promoting the project AWARE ocean protection program.

It features a blue sunburst dial, white-lumed indices with silver surrounds, a dark blue chapter ring with a white minute track and red hash marks every five seconds. The chapter ring in this particular sample, in typical Seiko fashion, is slightly misaligned, but not significantly so to be distracting. The bezel is predominantly blue with a red portion extending from the twelve o'clock position up to the 20 minute mark. The Prospex insignia, love it or hate it, has moved from below the center of the dial in the other Turtle variants, to above it, making way for the PADI logo prominently emblazoned in its own distinctive font. The minute hand sports a red border, making it stand out from the rest of the dial, enhancing what is already a very legible overall package. This variant comes with a stainless steel bracelet.

All-in-all, this is a far cry from the color scheme of the original Pepsi SRP779 (see review here) which shares its black dial with the SRP777, it's only claim to the "Pepsi" moniker being  a Pepsi bezel using a shade of blue darker than the one on the PADI variant. Honestly, of all the reissued Turtle variants I've seen in the metal, this is hands down the most visually appealing.

This watch has been hyped quite a bit ever since rumors of its existence first surfaced early in the year, and as a result there has been a lot of anticipation with regard to its release. This anticipation has caused launch prices here to rise way above the levels of the other variants when they first came out. Being a special edition, production will be continuous, though there have been reports that distribution will be limited both in numbers and availability in some areas.

Locally, the SRPA21 can be purchased, assuming you can find one, for the equivalent of anywhere from 280 to 430 USD for the "K" models, and even up to 640 USD for the "J" models. Good luck finding one though here, as most have been snatched up by Seiko aficionados and collectors in less than a day after being made available. Time will tell though if availability, and prices, will settle down.

What is certain though, is that this is bound to be a much sought after future classic.

More photos:

Note the slight misalignment of the chapter ring.

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