A beloved brand that goes 'SMALL' but in a big way? That's Seiko. With the recent release of the new Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver 200m SPB313J1, SPB315J1 & SPB317J1 watches with each watch just being 12.3mm thick, we see this re-edition go small by being Seiko's thinnest Prospex watches to date, but we also see the bigger picture. This is yet another re-edition of one of the legendary divers in the SEIKO collection and having seen quite a few re-editions, we would be lying if we say there hasn't been a connection between them.
SPB317J1 comes with a black dial, steel hands and a rather conspicuous silver accent mounted on a silicone strap.
But before we navigate those waters, let's see what we are getting into with this re-edition. I would like to start with the SPB317J1 which people like to refer to as the "original version". It comes with a black dial, Steel hands and a rather conspicuous silver accent mounted on a silicone strap.
Seiko Slim Turtle SPB317J1 is a modern interpretation of the original 1968 Turtle but a compact and thin streamlined C-shaped case, being just 12.3mm thick.
The other two are a little bit toned down as you can see them placed loftily on a new five-link bracelet with a folding clasp, push-buttons, and diving extension. And while the SPB313J1 has a white dial with black hands and details, the SPB315J1 comes in a black dial with gilt hands. With these watches, when you look at the case they come in, you get the picture painted perfectly in your mind, the turtle.
Two more Seiko Slim Turtles : SPB313J1 and SPB315J1
With this one, you get a fully brushed C-shaped case measuring 41mm wide and a fairly short lug-to-lug measurement of just under 47mm, these numbers make them the thinnest Prospex dive watches to date. This design traces its roots back to the 1968 original watch, the rather confidential 6105-8000 Automatic Diver, who happened to be the successor to the legendary 62MAS.
The In-house Calibre 6R35, the fondly known movement, is also present inside these C-shaped cases. Running at 3Hz and with an extended power Reserve of 70 hours, what you get is a highly durable watch and an accurate one at that with a claimed accuracy of -15/+25 seconds per day. Its price tag is modest for its status with the SPB317J1 going for EUR 950 while the duo of the SPB313J1 and SPB315J1 go for only 200 Euros extra at EUR 1,150.
Now that we have an idea of what this new Re-edition brings to the table, let's now explore its similarities and connection with previous Re-editions. Seiko's fandom isn't known to throw words around and while they have tagged certain models with the insignia "turtle" due to their case shape, they have also identified certain collections with so much history in common that one can't help but bring them all under the umbrella of a family name, let's see what these collections are.
With watches such as the SRP777, Gold Turtle SRPD46, and the King Turtle SRPE03 under this collection, we have witnessed aquatic life make its way onto Seiko Prospex diver dials in grand fashion. With the SRP777, we saw how to introduce a retro-inspired watch the right way. Here, Seiko brought back the 6309 the right way, modernizing the build but still keeping the general feel and aesthetic of the original intact, and with the SRPE03, we witnessed a "New Turtle" ascend the throne. This new king turtle brought about a frenzy upon its release as watch lovers saw a watch mark its return with two distinct novelties the biggest being the waffle-shaped pattern on the dial. And while people still have comments on it to date, one thing is certain- this "New Turtle” sovereign has a long reign ahead.
The mini in their cult name might make you want to look down on some of the watches in this collection but while you do that, you might be looking down at a watch like the SRPC35K1 which just might be the best Seiko dive watch out there. For a watch that packs a punch like this one, it is sad that it is now discontinued but with features such as the tombstone lume plots lining the dial, it is no shock that it is nicknamed after its more moderately sized big brother SRP777 “Turtle”, that I just mentioned. Other watches in this collection like the Seiko Zimbe Mini Turtle SRPD19 are watches fit enough to make any collection.
Their name might be an interesting one as they share their case design with many other “Turtle” diving watches of the brand but so also are their other features interesting. Watches in this collection have made a name for themselves due to the interesting dial color models they come in. First is the SRPG13K1, a striking edition in the "Land Tortoise" collection and a work of art, if you may. it comes in a khaki/beige dial and a green/beige bezel and can be worn on a green fabric strap to match, such goodness. We also have the classic man in the room, the SRPG15K1. With its dark blue dial, a grey, and blue bezel, and a blue fabric strap to match, it certainly fits the bill if you want to be conservative while still retaining style points. There are also the SRPG17K1 and the SRPG18K1 that come in gold-colored scales and PVD-coated cases respectively.
I know the models that make up this collection constitute the crux of this article but it doesn't hurt to mention them again. The SPB313J1, SPB315J1, and SPB317J1 timepieces respectively are elegantly designed. They offer you compactness, a high sense of presence, and boldness not normally found in watches with similar thickness ranges. These watches also make use of a trademark combination of applied markers and oversized luminous hands that make them look just at home when worn on your wrist. With these models, we see a high level of timekeeping with a legendary sense of innovation to go alongside it.
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