The Seiko SRPE05 King Turtle’s Case
With regards to design and dimensions, the King Turtle watches truly do not stray far from their ancestor, the original Seiko Turtle from the 1970s. This is to say, the stainless steel case retains not only its discernible cushion shape but also the original dimensions. These are as follows:
- 44.5mm in diameter (9 to 3 o’clock)
- 47mm from lug-to-lug
- 13mm thickness
- 22mm between the lugs (strap size)
You may find conflicting dimensions on other online articles as I did before getting my hands on this watch. However, you can watch the embedded video review above to see me measuring all of these dimensions on camera.
Featuring a practical stainless steel construction, the case has the traditional brushed finish on its top side and a polished finish on the flanks and underside. The screw-down crown is still present and integrated into the case, and the lugs now possess lugholes that make it a breeze to change the strap.
Protecting the face of the Seiko King Turtle SRPE05 is one of the most notable upgrades – a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Seiko sports watches generally employ Seiko Hardlex, one of the brand’s proprietary crystal materials. Yet, sapphire is a feature of most luxury dive watches and one for which most collectors will gladly pay a premium for. The crystal also has a cyclops or magnifier that aids in reading the day and date at 3 o’clock.
SRPE05: Ceramic Diver’s Bezel In Black
The second and perhaps most important upgrade on this SRPE05 King Turtle is the presence of a black ceramic bezel insert. More specifically, the insert is black ceramic with contrasting numerals and 60 individual calibrations.
When it comes to modding (customizing) Seiko dive watches, the crystal and the bezel are generally the first components that Seiko collectors switch out. In most cases, the OEM components were replaced with a sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel insert, both of which could be purchased from 3rd-party sellers.
The fact that Seiko went ahead and implemented these upgrades directly into a production model is a clear nod to the greatest fans of the Turtle model and one which I think many will appreciate.
The last detail to note on the bezel is the change in the texture on the outside of it. This “grid” pattern, intended to improve grip when rotating the bezel, has been made sharper with larger squares and a brushed finish to match the top of the case.
The King Turtle’s Green “Grenade” Dial
While more a variation than an upgrade, the new Khaki green dial with 3-D pressed pattern (as Seiko calls it) is my favorite feature of this SRPE05.
The green tone of the dial is subtle and, when paired with the grid pattern, makes it clear why this watch has earned the “Grenade” nickname. I’ve also found this dial to be reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Tapisserie dial pattern.
Aside from the green tone, this King Turtle’s dial is also marked by raised hour indices with silver accents and green luminous fills. The entire dial is surrounded by a slanted ring with a printed minute track in silver. The hands at center are large and boast a polished finish with a generous amount of lume. The seconds hand, in contrast, has a gold accent that matches the DIVER’S 200m indication on the dial. Lastly, at 3 o’clock there is the day-date window with black-on-white text and two languages, English and Spanish
Overall, the khaki green dial, silver dial elements, and the black ceramic diver’s bezel give the SRPE05 not only an attractive aesthetic but also a premium one. There’s something about the sheen of a ceramic bezel and the clarity of a sapphire crystal that make a watch look inherently nicer and this is very much present with the King Turtle SRPE05.
Green Silicone “Wave” Strap
I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest proponent of Seiko’s discernible “wave” strap seen here with the SRPE05 as well as on previous Turtle and SKX models. However, when it is made of silicone and not traditional rubber, the character of the strap and the comfort it imparts change completely.
Past versions of this strap were made of a very rigid rubber that was hardly flexible. The green silicone used for the SRPE05 King Turtle, on the other hand, is soft and pliable. It curves nicely around the wrist and is truly satisfying to wear. It also has a textured underside that further enhances comfort.
The strap also features a brushed steel keeper and tang buckle, both of which are Seiko-branded and which match the case’s finish adequately.
Seiko 4R36 Automatic Caliber
Since their reintroduction in 2016, Seiko Turtle watches such as this SRPE05 have been powered by the self-winding 4R36 movement.
This caliber features:
- 24 Jewels
- 21,6000 vph
- 41-hour power reserve
- Manual winding
- Hacking seconds
All of these mechanical specifications are commensurate with a modern automatic watch movement but were not attributable to the original Turtles. In re-releasing them (whether in this King Turtle or the 2016 SRP Turtles), Seiko implemented this modern yet rugged movement that ensures these watches can be worn without worry or the need to service for many years into the future.
Seiko SRPE05 King Turtle Overall Review
Being familiar with the reissued Seiko Turtle before trying this SRPE05, perhaps my take is slightly biased but here goes: if you were thinking of getting a Turtle or already own one, you need to get your hands on a King Turtle.
First, I found the khaki green dial to be alluring not only because of its tone but also the pattern which gave it significant depth. As with all Turtles that came before it, the King Turtle SRPE05 is very easy to wear in spite of its dimensions and, with the new silicone strap, is more comfortable than ever. And even though this is a sports-inspired watch, I wore it on many different occasions, from casual to more formal, and felt appeased in all of them.
The SRPE05 is not only an awesome Seiko dive watch but perhaps one of the best value propositions within this price category. By upgrading the bezel and crystal to more premium materials, Seiko allows the King Turtle to compete with other sports watches that command significantly higher prices. Considering Seiko’s reputation for putting out solid and long-lasting watches, it’s difficult to pass up a King Turtle and particularly this one, the Grenade. If the color and dial pattern are in your wheelhouse, I am sure the SRPE05 will provide enjoyable wear for years to come.