Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.
Owners and fans of Seiko’s hugely popular “Turtle” dive watch don’t have many complaints. Would sapphire crystal and a ceramic bezel be nice? Sure. But because the Turtle is a tough, affordable, no-nonsense tool watch, like others at its price tier in the Prospex collection — it starts just under $500 — the Hardlex crystal and aluminum bezel are plenty appropriate.
Of course, there’s something to be said of premium materials, and Seiko brings them with a new version of the Turtle already being dubbed “King Turtle” by its admirers. The best part: it won’t cost you that much more. Prices for the King Turtle start at $595 on a silicone strap and $625 for one on a steel bracelet.
Materials generally considered standard for luxury watches, the Seiko Prospex King Turtle features sapphire crystal and a ceramic bezel — together, they make the entire face of the watch essentially scratchproof. Seiko didn’t just stop there, though. The crystal has a magnifier over the date (called a “cyclops” in watch jargon) and the bezel’s textured edge has more angular grooves than the Turtle, resulting in a modern look.
At launch, there are three color options to choose from. Black and green versions have a waffle-like pattern similar to that found on some other Prospex (but that many people will probably compare to an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak), while the third has a blue-wave motif. The 45mm case is consistent with the existing Turtle that many know and love.
Seiko has occasionally taken a similar approach to other popular models, tweaking their designs and adding premium materials (and cyclopses) — but these have often only been for special editions for certain markets. The King Turtle shares a common trait with those watches: it’s not easy to acquire — but we’re hoping to see it available in more places soon.
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