Seiko is a brand that engenders strong affection from the community. The Seiko catalog is so full of reference numbers, that fans of the Japanese watchmaker have given their favourite watches endearing nicknames. Today, we’re talking about The Turtle, one of the brand’s most popular affordable dive watches, currently living within the Prospex collection.
A descendent of a vintage watch fans call “Captain Willard” for the character who wore it in the film Apocalypse Now, the new Seiko Samurai Black is a Thong Sia Exclusive Limited Edition – about time considering our region has the biggest fan base outside of the Japanese market. I was getting really jealous of Japanese Domestic Models or JDM, and the “Samurai Black” – is not just a homage to Seiko’s homeland but also a powerful expression of the brand’s craftsmanship and classic aesthetics.
Capturing the essence of Seiko’s artistry, this special Thong Sia exclusive Prospex Turtle is not to be confused with the Prospex Samurai. The nickname “Turtle” makes sense as soon as you see this watch’s curved, shell-like case shape. The new Samurai Black SRPH41K1 brings together the minimalistic yet elegant sense of flair that the brand is known for. On paper, it is technically 45mm diameter, but the Turtle’s sensuously curved midcase combined with the tapered, under sunk case back allows the practical watch to wear more like a 42mm timepiece without any overhang thanks to the unique case shape which gives the watch its nickname.
Asia finally Gets a Seiko Domestic Model outside of Japan
Understated luxury is the essence of Japanese watchmaking philosophy: Set in a specially hardened DLC stainless-steel case, the Samurai Black is emblematic of the discipline and warrior’s Bushido code that permeates Japanese culture. Paired with a highly masculine waffle dial, the texture of watch face is reminiscent of old World War II hand grenades. The Lumi Brite luminous coating on the hour indexes and indicator hands are outstanding as well. LumiBrite is a recent development in Seiko luminous paints that is brighter, longer-lasting and completely free of radioactive substances: quickly absorbing a greater amount of the light energy and glowing brighter while lasting much longer.
Every millimetre is gorgeously styled yet functional, a knurled ceramic bezel allows for easy gripping. Turn the unidirectional bezel and hear the crisp 120 clicks that follow a full rotation – the firmness and just the right amount of “give” makes operation of the bezel feel extremely premium. The knurled crown also makes for easy time, day and date adjustment. There’s a ruggedness to the Samurai Black yet a luxuriousness that usually would not accompany a specialist tool watch. Furthermore, what’s amazing about this watch is how the brand took consumer feedback to heart, upgrading not just the aluminium bezel to ceramic but also swapping the Hardlex crystal for sapphire – usually found on timepieces past the $2000 price category.
The Samurai Black is driven by the 4R36 calibre, an automatic caliber with great movement and precision. It is basically a descendent of the vaunted 7S36, matching in terms of functionality especially with the addition of a day/date calendar. Although considered “entry level”, the 21,600 beat rate, Diashock anti-shock system, helping reduce the damage to the balance wheel when the watch is dropped and more than 40 hours of power reserve make it exceptional among competing watches in its price category or genre.
If you don’t want to pay a premium for features that you can find in micro brand watches or higher priced watches from Seiko’s competitors, the new Prospex Samurai Black sits at a perfect intersection of value-quality ratio and is now available in Thong Sia distribution districts (Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and Brunei). Limited edition of 1,400.
Seiko Prospex Samurai Black Limited Edition, Thong Sia Exclusive Price & Specs
Case 45mm black hardened stainless steel with 100 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic 4R36 Calibre with 41 hours power reserve