Editor’s note: If a picture tells a thousand words, then we should just drop these shots right here and dispense with the written review. Jason Reekie, our main man, has absolutely nailed these, and honoured some exceptionally imaginative, detail-oriented and captivating dial work. Seiko’s ascension, with a little help from their friends at Grand Seiko one can’t help but think, continues apace.
In a blessed year for Seiko, they return with yet another sharp take in the form of the Seiko SRPE39K Save The Ocean Special Edition, a new “King Turtle” with a blue degradè dial and stingray motif.
Every year since we first saw the introduction of the annual Save The Ocean models, Seiko keeps improving on the now evergreen references in their solid Prospex diver’s series, and here is the gorgeous new blue dial version of the “Turtle”, reference SRPE39K. This is a watch that many years after its debut still keeps turning up regularly on top lists for a reason. The magic of Seiko watch case ergonomics is strikingly evident in the fan-named Turtle series, and I dare say no one else makes a 45mm case that wears at least 3mm smaller on the wrist with such ease.
This new limited version is based on the tweaked so-called “King Turtle” version that was introduced earlier this year and covered by us here. This means that we now have a redesigned bezel with more pronounced grooves, a ceramic bezel insert, and a sapphire crystal replacing the hardlex with a charming rectangular cyclops … three steps closer to perfection for the “Turtle”.
The now established Seiko Prospex design of acutely angled polished sides with a countersunk crown at 4 o’clock is THE recipe for comfort, whether you dive, climb a mountain or slip it under your cuff. The SRPE39K Save The Ocean, like the rest of the series, has not got a single sharp angle on the case, and the prevalence of Seiko’s finishing prowess is clear in every detail. From the discreet transitions, from brushed to polished sections on the lugs, to the bracelet, which while not on the level of a Sumo or the new SPB series, still represents superb quality and comfort at this price point, with a solid adjustable diver’s clasp.
The new part here is the dial, and it is an attention-grabber. While quiet in structural finish and shine compared to previous Save The Ocean models, the dial is a looker, with its matt degradè blue finish creating a perfect rendition of the depths of the ocean, and three darker rendered stingrays floating in the dark blue void.
They are here to remind us that a portion of all proceeds goes towards the protection of our oceans and their habitat, so while beautiful, the dial also has an intrinsic value. Everything else is as we know it from the beloved Turtle series, with the King Turtle upgrade also including more of Seiko’s dazzling LumiBrite application, and sealed under what is now a sapphire crystal.
This has the oft-discussed and, to me, charming addition of a rectangular and only day-date cyclops on a diver. The bezel insert is now ceramic, with the chunky bezel actuating with a little play but being rock solid for the price; after all, the SRPE39K is a tool.
The movement is still the trusty automatic Seiko 4R36, easily serviceable and up to the job should you use this watch as intended. I, for one, am already feeling the urge to join the stingrays, wetsuit on, and the bright lights of the LumiBrite keeping me secure.
Seiko SRPE39K Save The Ocean Special Edition price and availability:
The Seiko SRPE39K Save The Ocean Special Edition is AUD$995 and is currently available. For more information, visit Seiko right here.