Seiko is widely known to produce some of the best dive watches around and has a large collection that covers almost the entire spectrum of the market, from accessible models to highly technical watches with impressive specifications. In addition to this expertise, which started in 1965, the brand is also committed to protecting the environment where these watches are meant to be used, the oceans. With its “Save The Ocean” special editions, which go back to Seiko’s partnership with Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s grandson back in 2018, the brand provides cool models and donates proceeds from these models to sea conservation and environmental organisations. Following several series of watches already, the Japanese manufacturer launches new models that are focused on ice-cold waters, with the Seiko Prospex Baby Tuna & Monster “Save The Ocean Antarctica” SRPG57K1 and SRPG59K1.
NEW ICE-COLD “SAVE THE OCEAN” EDITIONS
With this new series of special edition watches, Seiko once again targets ocean protection and will, as always with these editions, donate part of the proceeds from these “Save the Ocean” models to sea conservation and environmental organisations. All previous editions were clearly focused on the oceans, not only in spirit but also in design, with textured dials with wave patterns and gradient ocean-inspired colours.
For its new series of “Antarctica” watches, Seiko plays on a different theme… Icy waters. And despite being presented right before summer and having a cold colour scheme, they will look very refreshing on the beach in August. These new special edition watches, the references SRPG57K1 and SRPG59K1, are inspired by the landscape of the world’s largest marine sanctuary: Antarctica. The graduated colour and texture echo the spectacular views of Antarctic scenery created by light reflected on the ice, while the penguin footprints represent the dwindling numbers of its inhabitants.
Previous models in the “Save the Ocean” series have been based on the Turtle, the Samurai, or the more recent “King” models. This time, Seiko relies on other icons of its dive watch portfolio, the Baby Tuna watch and the Monster.
THE BABY TUNA “ANTARCTICA” SRPG59K1
First in line for the 2021 “Save the Ocean Antarctica” collection is a new watch based on a very famous design by Seiko, the Baby Tuna. It is the direct descendant of one of Seiko’s most emblematic models, the 1975 reference 6159-7010. With its highly protected case made for a professional environment, and built around a titanium protective shroud, the watch earned the nickname of Tuna Can. The model we have today is, however, a much simpler and more wearable watch, yet it retains most design elements of the vintage Tuna watches.
The Baby Tuna “Antarctica” SRPG59K1 comes in a more reasonable diameter of 43.2mm. Most importantly, the way the case is designed, with its very short low-positioned lugs, makes this watch extremely comfortable to wear and compact – lug-to-lug is only 44mm. And at 104 grams, the watch is even relatively light. The case incorporates the typical protective shroud, made in brushed stainless steel, which partially covers the bezel. The crown, positioned at 4 o’clock, screws down and water-resistance is rated at 200m. As an entry-level range watch, it features a Hardlex crystal.
Now, this watch comes with multiple updates compared to other equivalent models in the standard collection (such as the SRPF81K1). First, the undirectional bezel features a new silvered-coloured metallic insert with a concentric texture and an engraved 60-minute scale filled in black. Second, of course, is the new Antarctica-inspired dial with a gradient blue colour, an ice-like texture and penguin footprints. Also, this models features dots to mark the hours, with larger ones at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, as well as a triangle at 12 o’clock. Bold arrow hands indicate the time and a date window is visible at 4:30.
Powering this Baby Tuna “Antarctica” SRPG59K1 is Seiko’s classic Calibre 4R35, an accessible automatic engine with a 3Hz frequency and 41h power reserve. The watch is worn on a light grey-blue silicon strap closed by a steel pin buckle. This will be a special, non-limited edition.
Quick facts: 43.2mm x 12.6mm – 44mm lug-to-lug – stainless steel case, Hardlex crystal – unidirectional bezel – 200m water-resistant with screw-down crown and caseback – calibre 4R35 automatic, 3Hz frequency, 23 jewels, 41h power reserve, stop-seconds – silicon strap with steel buckle – special, non-limited edition
THE MONSTER “ANTARCTICA” SRPG57K1
The second model in this “Save the Ocean Antarctica” series is based on yet another signature model of the brand, the Monster. Introduced in 2001 – with the references SKX779 (Black Monster) and SKX781 (Orange Monster) – the watch earned this name due to its sharp, unusual, almost integrated shape with a bold and aggressive design, a diameter of 42mm, an oversized crown and a lot of exposed metal with its steel bezel over a steel case and bracelet. In late 2012, Seiko updated its diver’s watch with a new generation of Monster models, with light visual evolutions and the integration of the more modern calibre 4R36. In 2015, Seiko launched a new series of watches, the third generation that was grouped, for the first time, under the “Prospex” umbrella. Finally, in 2019 Seiko launched the fourth-generation Monster, which is now available worldwide and marked a strong evolution of the model, with a contrasting bezel, a return to the more accessible calibre 4R36 as well as the day-date complication.
Following a Padi edition in 2020, with the reference SRPE27K1, the brand now has this Monster “Antarctica” SRPG57K1. Basically the same watch, at least in terms of proportions and technical content, it has been revamped with a new colour scheme. It has the same integrated, ultra-robust case and bracelet with the typical lug modules that extend up to the bezel and serve as a protection device between 10:30-1:30 and 3:30-7:30. The bezel and caseband are deeply notched with a complex profile, hence the Monster name. The case is 42.4mm in diameter and 13.4mm in height, with a lug-to-lug of 49.4mm – which is nuanced though, as the case is well designed and makes for a rather comfortable fit.
Just like the Baby Tuna, this new Antarctica Monster SRPG57K1 has a specific dial, with a gradient blue colour, an ice-like texture and penguin footprints. Markers and hands are identical to the classic Monster watches, and so is the day-date display at 3 o’clock. The unidirectional bezel is full-metal and engraved with a 60-minute scale. The crown screws down, the crystal is Hardlex with a magnifier over the day-date complication and the watch is water-resistant to 200 metres.
Inside the case is the automatic Calibre 4R36, the day-date version of the 4R35, with a 3Hz frequency and a 41h power reserve. The watch is worn on a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp and diving extension – which makes it relatively heavy at 187 grams. Once again, this will be a special, non-limited edition.
Quick facts: 42.4mm x 13.4mm – 49.4mm lug-to-lug – stainless steel case, Hardlex crystal with magnifier -unidirectional bezel – 200m water-resistant with screw-down crown and caseback – calibre 4R36 automatic, 3Hz frequency, 24 jewels, 41h power reserve, stop-seconds – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and diving extension – special, non-limited edition