Seiko Prospex Diver Turtle Thong Sia Exclusive

January 10, 2023 By mysun08481 Off

Crush from Finding Nemo and Grand Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda better watch out, there’s a new cartoonish turtle in town. Except this one is only available in the US and lives on the caseback of a watch. I’m talking about the latest limited-edition, US-exclusive trio of Seiko “Turtle” divers that are actually inspired by turtles. I bet the Seiko community didn’t see this one coming when they nicknamed the 6309 “the Turtle” and the 2015 SRP775 (and variants) the “new Turtle.” I certainly didn’t, but the signs that something like this could be in the pipeline were there all along:
1) Although the brand is known for relatively conservative designs that change very little over time, there is a history of wild dials making their way into the range.
2) Grand Seiko is known for drawing inspiration from, well, just about everything in the natural world. Doesn’t it make sense that Seiko might do the same?
3) Wildlife has found its way onto Seiko Prospex diver dials before. Remember the penguin footprints on the dial of the SRPG59K1? Or the manta rays on the “Save the Ocean” Special Edition King Turtle (SRPE39) and King Samurai (SRPE33)?
The Seiko Prospex Diver Turtle Thong Sia Exclusive three models – SRPH55, SRPH57, and SRPH59 – differ in dial color. The SRPH55 wears a shade of brown reminiscent of a Loggerhead Sea Turtle’s shell, whereas the other two models, with their blue and green hues, evoke the aquatic environments sea turtles live in.
While the overall turtle aesthetic is a bit less serious than we’re used to seeing from Seiko Prospex Diver Turtle Thong Sia Exclusive, on the tech side it boasts specs that make these particular turtle-inspired “Turtles” a serious upgrade from the SRP models of yore. They’re based on the “King Turtle” models released last year, and that means a host of material upgrades that, in my opinion, justify the $750 price tag. Traditionally, as far as entry and mid-range Seiko divers go, there’s the retail price and then the “street” price. I have a feeling that this will trade, even on the secondary market, close to the retail price. I’ll be frank – the sea turtle association doesn’t call out to me as a selling point – as a rule of thumb, any relationships that are aesthetically acknowledged have to add to the watch’s appeal instead of detract from it. In this case, Seiko is acknowledging their partnership with the Oceanic Society’s State of the World’s Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program, so it’s hard to be critical of an important cause. As an angler and outdoorsman, it is heartbreaking to watch what’s happening to the ocean. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Seiko and their efforts. And here is why I can almost get over the turtle thing. The SRHP55 (and the other two models) are based on the “King Turtle” design, meaning they’re better versions of the “Turtle” in almost every way. The bezel is ceramic. The crystal is now sapphire (instead of Hardlex). The milled pattern on the bezel is slightly easier to grip. These are all hallmarks of the “King Turtle,” as well, but these models depart slightly from the “King Turtle” design because they don’t use a cyclops, and to most Seiko fans, that’s a very good thing.
The day portion of the date wheel is Kanji and English. Usually Kanji date wheels are reserved for JDM models in Seiko’s range (just like globally-released models, except they usually include a “-J” in the model name and are made in Japan). Collectors outside Japan value Kanji date wheels, and the obsessive in me can understand why. Kanjii date wheels are typically more interesting because they’re hard to get outside Japan. They’re a forbidden fruit that doesn’t leave the island nation, like the Nissan Skyline or those delicious yuzu matcha-flavored Kit Kats. The “Made in Japan” designation at six o’clock and the Kanji date wheel on a US-exclusive edition will certainly pique collectors’ interest. Besides simply being novel, there’s a spillover benefit: It’s an easy way for folks to learn the Kanji characters for the days of the week. If you’ve ever strapped on a Seiko “Turtle” then you know how this watch wears. There’s an ever-so-slight change in case dimensionality from the standard SRP “Turtles” to the “King Turtle,” but it isn’t noticeable on the wrist. The case grew from 44.3mm to 45, even though both watches use the tried-and-true 4R36. Though the sea turtle motif can be viewed as somewhat juvenile to folks accustomed to Seiko’s unchanging designs, I have a strange feeling this special edition will be very desirable in just a few short years. Oftentimes it’s the models that don’t click immediately upon release that become highly sought-after years down the road. Considering the changes happening at Seiko Prospex Diver Turtle Thong Sia Exclusive, something like this might not happen again. Cowabunga!