Like the watch that inspired it, the current Seiko “Turtle” is a classic that’s beloved by watch-heads of all stripes, from those just getting into collecting to the very seasoned among us. And now, as we learned from our friends at Long Island Watch, Seiko is giving the Turtle a nice little upgrade in the form of three new models. Already dubbed “King Turtle” by Internet Watchdom, these new additions to the Turtle family feature some long-asked-for changes, some of which take the watch further away from its historical counterpart. That’s okay, though, because the changes make these watches look really good.
Seiko Prospex “King Turtle” Refs. SRPE03, SRPE05, and SRPE07
- Case Material: Stainless steel; ceramic bezel insert
- Dial: Black, Green, “Wave” Blue
- Dimensions: 45mm x 13.3mm
- Crystal: Sapphire with cyclops
- Water Resistance: 200 meters
- Movement: 4R36
- Crown: Screw down
- Strap/bracelet: Bracelet (SPRE03) or rubber (SPRE05 and SPRE07)
- Price: SPRE03 $625; SPRE05 and SPRE07 $595
- Reference Number: Refs. SRPE03, SRPE05, and SRPE07
So what do we have here? On the surface, much of the original DNA remains intact. Most notably, the iconic case is largely identical to its predecessor’s, and the general dial layout remains unchanged. But, the devil’s in the details, and the details here speak to a much more refined watch.
The bezel features two upgrades. The insert is now ceramic, which I recall people asking for way back when the Turtle first hit the market, and the grip-able pattern along the bezel’s edge now features a harder, more angular groove pattern versus the softer one of the previous model. This gives the watch a slightly more modern, aggressive look, but I don’t think it looks out of place with the Turtle’s neo-vintage roots — it’s just different. Plus, the new design will surely offer a better grip underwater.
Another notable upgrade is the crystal; it’s no longer Hardlex, but sapphire with a cyclops at 3:00. This is another feature I’ve seen people request in the past (well, the sapphire, not the cyclops). Personally, I’ve never had any issues with Hardlex. I’ve always found that it provides great optical clarity without much effort, whereas sapphire crystals often need some AR to keep things reflection-free. Nevertheless, one can’t deny the hard-wearing nature of sapphire, so I get why people want it.