Seiko is perhaps the largest watch maker in the world and they have the range to show for. In a collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), they release two new timepieces one of which is the Prospex PADI Automatic Diver SRPA21K1.
The Prospex PADI Diver also affectionally known as the Pepsi Turtle reference SRPA21-K1 is another beautiful addition to the range. PADI is the world's largest network of professional divers. Founded about 50 years ago, their network spans more than 6,300 dive centres and more than 136,000 qualified PADI professional instructors around the world. So it is interesting that PADI and Seiko has gone into collaboration as both are closely associated with diving - Seiko having had a range of dive watches since the 70s.
This particular diving watch is a Special Edition. No numbers have been offered by Seiko but what we understand is that it will be produced for a short period of time. Go to this site for more information about how the Seiko dive watch came to being developed. In short, the first Seiko dive watch was developed in 1965 and within 10 years, created the first titanium case Professional Diving watch able to withstand depths at 600m.
What was interesting was the textured bezel and dial as seen in the photos. I had first acquired this piece and was sharing this with friends at our get-together under dim light and had not noticed the bezel. But the picture is clearer - matt textured bezel and a sunburst blue dial. And typical of Seiko timepieces, the calibre number is found at the 6 o'clock position. Another interesting feature is the red minutes hand - that got my attention immediately! And was the one that sealed the deal too.
The case is interesting - shape reminiscent of the turtle shell, hence the nickname. Crown is located at the 4 o'clock position and the screw down crown is unsigned. The rotating bezel is unidirectional - anti-clockwise and advances every half a minute ie 120 clicks around the timepiece. Smooth and very exact as one would expect of a professional dive watch. And I believe the folks from Seiko has taken that into consideration.
On the top half shows the Seiko and Prospex logo. What would have been nice was to remove the two bottom rows "Automatic" and "Diver's 200m". Makes the dial a little crowded. Simple would have been better in this case.
If I had my choice, I would have moved the Prospex logo to the bottom half above the PADI inscription and removing the "Automatic" and "Diver's 200m".
Here's a close up of the dial showing the sunburst and textured dial and bezel. The timepiece also comes with a Hardlex crystal.
The red minute hand is well made and so is the hour hand.
A close up of marker also reveals that they are well made and especially for a timepiece at this price point. I have to say this over and over again. This is a timepiece that gives great money-to-value ratio. Sure hell beats many Swiss brands that are priced 10 times more. A particular P brand comes to mind...
Typical of Seiko timepieces with the day/date window, the Day indicator shows a Blue for Saturday. Look at the lovely red hands.
And for Sunday, the wordings are in Red.
And Black for weekdays.
And what is the Prospex Diver without a Lume shot?
The timepiece comes with a solid case back. Underneath is the Calibre 4R36 automatic movement which beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour. The only "downside" is the 41 hours power reserve.
The steel bracelet comes with a triple lock mechanism.
And just in case you are wondering on the colour combination, the blue and red is the colour combination of the PADI organisation.
The way the timepiece is designed is with large indices and broad hands for better legibility.
The next thing I need to do is to swap out the bracelet for a strap. My friend Sean suggested a NATO or Cordovan strap and I am leaning towards a NATO. Time to go a hunting again. The SRPA21K1 is retailing at S$667.70 inclusive of GST.
And then there is the Kinetic GMT Diver's reference SUN065. Also developed in concert with PADI, this features a unique Kinetic caliber, which, powered solely by the movement of the wearer's body. This piece comes with a GMT function and is accurate to +/- 15 seconds per month. Instead of a red minute hand, the GMT hand in this version is red. Look out for this one - hopefully coming soon.