Saturday, August 27, 2016

Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT PADI Edition

Released together with the Pepsi Turtle, the Prospex Kinetic GMT is another PADI Edition released by Seiko.

The difference between the two is that the SRPA21 Pepsi Turtle is a mechanical automatic timepiece while this SUN065 is the Kinetic GMT Diver's in PADI's traditional blue and red livery.

So what is Kinetic? Seiko developed this analogue quartz technology that uses the body's motion to generate energy to power the timepiece. So like an automatic timepiece, the "automatic winding" winds the timepiece that powers the quartz movement. The winding helps store energy in the rechargeable battery for up to 6 months. 250 swings will reserve up to 1 day of power. When power reserve is down to about 24 hours, the seconds hand will increase in 2 seconds interval.

The Kinetic also comes with a rather cool power reserve feature. Located at 2 O'Clock is a button when depressed will use the seconds hand to display the power reserve. The instruction manual tells you that is is best to push the button when the seconds hand reaches 12. When the button is pushed, the seconds hand will advance forward - if it stops at the 5 minute marker, it has more than 1 day of power reserve. If it stops at the 10 minute marker, it has more than 7 days power reserve. And if the seconds hand stops at the 20 minute marker, the timepiece is suppose to have about 1 month of power reserve. And when the seconds hand stops at the 30 minute mark, the timepiece will have about 6 months of power reserve.

And the even cooler part is that the timepiece will continue ticking at the correct time after displaying the power reserve as the time catches up.

The case is rather interesting in that it features a two part construction first made in 1975. Nicknamed "Tuna", the derivative came about as the case resembles that of a tuna can. What is different for the PADI version is that the inner case is blue.

Sized at 47.5mm, the timepiece does not wear like one. The shorter lugs made this monster a wearable beast. Comfortable for my puny wrist. Well machines and finished in brushed steel. Top quality for a timepiece at this price point! The "outer" case is secured to the inner one with four screws - two on each side.

The rotating bezel is as smooth and exact as one would expect on a professional diver. Well done by Seiko! The bezel mechanism is a 120-click uni-directional type.

The timepiece also has a GMT feature. But what is exceptional is that as one advances or reverses the hour hand to adjust to local time, the date also advances forward and reverses backward.

The finishing on the GMT hand is also in the PADI red unlike the normal hands in white. The sword like hands is also coated with lume filling.

The minute and hour hand is steel and also filled with lume. But I cannot understand why there is the black line right in the middle of the hands.

Speaking of lume, the lume shot of the Kinetic GMT.

No doubt a Seiko...

The sunburst patterned dial is not as attractive as the Pepsi Turtle aka SRPA21. Despite its larger size, the dial of the Kinetic GMT looks smaller than the Pepsi Turtle.

The minute markers are angled inserts with lume filling. Lovely detail that adds a nice overall touch to the timepiece. The bezel is in matching blue with the dial colour.

The case back of the SUN065 features the usual tsunami logo and all the relevant information. Beating inside the Kinetic is the Caliber 5M85. As explained, this is a quartz movement but the winding is mechanical in nature. As one shakes the timepiece side to side to activate the winding mechanism, one can hear the whirring sound of the rotor unlike a traditional automatic timepiece which tends to be quiet. I guess it has got something to do with the Kinetic calibre.

The caliber number is clearly indicated on the dial side as with many (if not all) Seiko timepieces. Seiko says the accuracy of a Kinetic timepiece is to within 15 seconds deviation per month.

My only gripe is the rubber strap on this timepiece. Don't get me wrong, the strap is correct for its actual purpose but I am a land diver and no plans to go diving with my timepieces. And because the timepiece is made to be worn on the outside of a wet suit, the straps are extra long. So I have to swap this out for either a Nato or for a leather strap.

The timepiece retails at S$639.60 inclusive of GST and it is only slightly more expensive than the regular version of the Prospex Kinetic GMT. So between the Kinetic GMT and the Pepsi Turtle, which do you prefer?