Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
The core of Seiko’s affordable dive watches in its Prospex family are the models lovingly nicknamed by the public “Turtle” and “Samurai” for their distinctive case shapes. Their popularity is in no small part due to their solid build and details — not to mention a great wearing experience — but people sometimes want something a bit more upscale-feeling than their aluminum bezel and mineral crystal offer.
Following the so-called “King Turtle,” a premium version of the Turtle, the Samurai now gets the same treatment and prefix. Maintaining is angular 44mm case, 200m water resistance and 4R35 movement, the new-for-2020 “King Samurai” has a sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel — both scratch-proof materials more commonly associated with luxury watches than “affordable beaters.”
These “King” models are visually distinguishable not only for specific dial treatments but, most prominently, by a magnifier lens over the day-and-date display. Like their Turtle cousins, the King Samurai models feature a textured, waffle-like dial that improves legibility. Notably, one version has a white dial, which is rare for these types of Seiko watches, while the other is a more traditional black.
Seiko listens to its fans, and one might imagine that the Japanese giant has learned from aftermarket modders and understood the demand for such features. The best part about these premium versions of beloved dive watches is that they don’t mean a big price hike over the “standard” versions — these are only about $100 more. The white-dial SRPE37 comes on a silicon strap for $595 and the black-dial SRPE35 is $625.
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