Late last year, we ran an article about Seiko’s expected reissue of the 6309-7040–a beloved dive watch the brand produced throughout the ’70s and ’80s. That article garnered a lot of interest from our readers and online watchdom in general, and for good reason. The 6309 is undeniably a great watch–one of my personal favorites from Seiko’s historical catalog–and amongst Seiko diehards it remains a must-have. As far as vintage divers are concerned, they’re also relatively affordable and offer great bang-for-your-buck value.
The 6309 was manufactured by Seiko for approximately 12 years–from 1976 to 1988–so one could argue that they’re not rare watches. And for a long time, that was certainly true. Finding a well-priced original 6309 was no challenge, but in recent years that has become less of a reality. There are a lot of Franken-6309s floating around on Ebay and on forums with aftermarket parts–some of them good, and some not so good–and NOS replacement parts like handsets and bezel inserts are getting harder to source.
Seiko is not a brand to rest on its laurels. While its Swiss counterparts eagerly turn to the past for inspiration for the present, Seiko has been more cautious in the playing the heritage game. But the last couple of years Seiko has been slowly releasing watches inspired by classic pieces from its archives with varied results. I would have never expected they’d do the same with the 6309, but I am so glad they did. This reissue, dubbed the PROSPEX SRP77x collection, is for anyone who loves the look and feel of the 6309, but would rather not delve into the murky waters of vintage watches. It’s also great for someone who may already own a 6309 and would rather use a similar watch as a beater than risk ruining the original. The SRP77x collection is not a limited release, intended to be a mainstay in their current catalog that rightfully falls between the affordable 007 and the beloved SUMO, the latter also in the PROSPEX line.
There are currently four variants slated for release in early 2016. Today, we’re going to take a look at the SRP777 (black on a silicone strap) and the SRP775 (gilt dial on a metal bracelet)–both of which are now available through several third-party online ADs. The other two–the SRP773 (blue dial and bezel on a bracelet) and the SRP779 (black dial and pepsi bezel on silicone)–are not far behind. At an MSRP of $475, I think they’re well positioned within Seiko’s PROSPEX line and a great bargain for anyone in the market for a solid diver under $500. Let’s take a closer look.
My main problem with this is simple. I can’t afford one currently, and i want one RIGHT NOW. Also, to my eye, it looks as though on the SRP777 pictured that the chapter ring isn’t misaligned. But that the larger rectangular markers at 6 and 9 are not centered, and are slightly counter-clockwise from where they should be sitting. The ones on the SRP775 aren’t quite as obviously so. It won’t keep me from buying one when I’m able though.
“Air diver” on the case back refers to the fact that it’s not made for saturation diving.
Thanks for that bit of information! I’m kind of kicking myself now for not realizing that.
No worries. Great review by the way!
So air diver would be found on any Seiko dive watch without a helium release valve (that feature being specifically for saturation diving)?
Helium escape valves are not necessary for saturation diving. If a watch can handle 1000m of pressure then there will be no internal pressure issues. I don’t think any Seiko’s have this valve, they just build them tough e.g. Tunas.
That depends on the design. For example, alot of watches have the crystal mounted such that high external pressures (deep water while diving) push it more tightly into it’s mount while internal pressures (high pressure Helium inside the case) will pop the crystal out of the watch. If Seiko don’t use Helium relief valves, then they must design their watches to handle both internal and external pressures (which is probably a better solution to the problem).
Seiko doesn’t ‘believe’ in HRVs. They simply design the cases of their deep divers such that the amount of helium allowed into the case during saturation diving is so minimal as to be benign.
I think I heard one of their engineers or executives say of HRVs that they are ‘just one more place for a watch to leak’.
Or they design their watches to withstand pressure both inside and out – for example mounting the crystal in way which prevents it from popping out when there is high pressure Helium inside the watch and normal pressure air on the outside.
The gilt one is fantastic and were it a bit smaller I’d pick it up in a heartbeat. I wonder if Seiko will ever try to make a high quality (such as this) but also small, diving watch. I’m surprised their watches, including GSs, are generally so chunky.
As an SKX owner, I don’t see myself actually spending in this 44x14mm behemoth.
They wear about the same due to the cushion case of this new model.
I tried on one of the original 6309s and the proportions are perfect. Not sure why they’d supersize it to make it modern, specially given that the average asian wrist is not as thick as in other markets.
Great review! I can’t wait to pick one up. I have to say $475 is better than what I expected.
Great review and I look forward to getting one. That would make 3 Seiko divers for me, but they make them so darn well I can’t not get one!
Such a nice update on the iconic 6309. When I saw the rendered pictures that Prospex logo looked pretty unsightly, however it looks much better in real life in my opinion, I can certainly live with it. Price is very competitive for a brand with so much kudos and heritage in the diving watch scene.
It would be really nice to see a few on-wrist shots for perspective. Wouldn’t mind seeing it on one of the w&w leather straps either…
Would be interesting to compare it with 007 and Sea Urchin (in photo):
I recently bought my first Seiko. I like it, aside from the fact that it has a misaligned chapter ring. As does the 777 shown here (easiest to see at six o’clock). This is a tiny detail, but it’s absolutely maddening once you notice it.
It looks like they kept their design true to their roots. This just might be added to my collection as well!
New Turtle 777 vs Monster Tuna 637
which one better for daily office use?
The turtle is more comfy in my opinion
Hi there everyone,been wanting to get the SRP777J from an online store but couldn’t help but to notice a different marking of the J model on this watch which reads “movt Japan” and the one from the online store which reads “Made in Japan”,any idea why seiko made them different?
*here’s a photo of the “Made in Japan” marking.
why has the street price on the srp777 gone up from 370ish to 490?
Got my SRP777J model online for $420 in Singapore,it was worth every cent and luv the feel of the new silicone strap…smooth as butter,strongly suggest on getting it,it was a natural choice after my SKX007.
These SEIKO turtles are now available in the uk from