In 2019, Seiko leveraged its popular Turtle dive watch collection for a noble cause. The result was the SRPD21, a classic Turtle watch with a unique ocean-themed dial and bezel.
Part of the “Save the Ocean” series, proceeds from the Turtle SRPD21 and two other special edition models will benefit the Ocean Learning Centre, a non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation.
In the following review, I’ll be breaking down everything about this Seiko SRPD21 “Great White” Turtle in the following sections:
Watch The Video Review
Seiko SRPD21 Prospex Specs & Price
- Case Diameter: 44.5mm
- Case Material: Stainless Steel
- Crystal: Seiko Hardlex
- Water Resistance: 200M / 660ft
- Dial: Blue Wave, Lumed (Green LumiBrite)
- Bracelet: Stainless Steel
- Movement: Seiko 4R36, Automatic
- 41-Hour Power Reserve
- Day & Date
- Hacking/Stop Seconds Function
- Wind via Crown
- Retail Price: $525
Seiko SRPD21 – Classic Turtle Case
While indeed a special edition, the dimensions of the Seiko Turtle SRPD21’s case do not stray from tradition. Therefore, the dimensions of the watch are 44.5mm in diameter (9 to 3 o’clock), 13mm thick, 47mm from lug to lug, and 22mm between the lugs (strap size).
If these case dimensions strike you as large, do not be alarmed. Essentially all Seiko Turtle watches appear to be massive watches on paper, however, the magic of the Turtle case is in how it’s contoured. Ultimately, this 44mm+ watch feels much closer to a 42mm on the wrist.
The case of the Turtle SRPD21 is executed entirely in stainless steel and also boasts the traditional surface finishes: brushed texture on the top and a high-polish finish on the flanks & underside.
The crown is a screw-down crown that permits the SRPD21 to attain a 200m water resistance, and the lugs have lug-holes that make it a breeze to swap out the bracelet for another option.
Two-Tone Dive Bezel
The diver’s bezel is where this SRPD21 begins to express its unique qualities.
Most notably, the bezel insert possesses two tones (blue and dark gray) as well as a delicate concentric circle texture. The numerals and minute markings are etched into this textured surface and filled with white paint to improve contrast and legibility. As any professional diver’s watch should, the top index also has a luminous pip.
It’s worth noting that, although this is a modern iteration of the Seiko Turtle, the outer circumference of the rotating bezel has smooth “squares”. If you’re familiar with the King Turtle SRPE05, you’ll notice that the squares on that watch’s bezel are much sharper. In any case, it’s still very easy to grip and rotate the bezel.
Great White Turtle SRPD21 – Blue Wave Dial
The blue wave-themed dial is the main aspect of the SRPD21 that sets it apart from its peers.
At a glance, it’s clear that an ocean wave motif has been applied throughout the dial in an attractive blue tone. However, upon closer inspection, you may notice that the dial also has a brushed sunray effect that reflects light nicely. Not unlike the ocean itself, this dial will reflect darker or lighter shades of blue depending on the ambient light and the angle from which you observe.
The hour indices are filled with Seiko LumiBrite lume and have contrasting silver edges. This matches the color scheme on the center hands which themselves are polished steel with luminous fills.
Aside from the striking blue color and wave theme, the face of this watch also hides some secrets. The first of these is the integration of a shark’s dorsal fin into the dial’s wave pattern; it can be spotted near the 8 o’clock index. The second is the center seconds hand whose cantilever is shaped like a shark’s tail.
While hardly obvious, it is these kinds of small details, the ones you must really search for to find, that make this special edition dial even more, well, special.
Full Stainless Steel Bracelet
The Turtle SRPD21 is offered on a full stainless steel, 3-link bracelet with a folding clasp. The bracelet tapers slightly, from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the clasp. Like the case, the bracelet is brushed on its top side and polished on its flanks.
The clasp, while seemingly made of stamped steel, inspires quite a bit of confidence. Even after playing around with it and trying to cheat or force the dual-button system, I wasn’t able to get it open. A final fold-over component ensures that once the clasp is fully closed on your wrist, it will not open without conscious effort.
Moreover, basically every link on the bracelet can be removed for sizing and the clasp has numerous micro-adjustment points for achieving a perfect bracelet fit.
I quite like the look of this bracelet as well as how it wears.
Past Turtle models I have come across were either sold on a rubber strap or on the Seiko Jubilee bracelet, so this three-link variety was a nice novelty for me. I also found that the polished edge running down the top length of the bracelet offered a nice bit of contrast that, while not a game-changer, did improve the overall look of the watch.
SRPD21 Turtle: Seiko 4R36 Self-Winding Movement
Like many of the current day-date dive watches that inhabit Seiko’s catalog, this SRPD21 is powered by the 4R36 manufacture movement. In the case of the SRPD21, the movement is made in Japan (“Mov’t Japan” text on the dial at 6 o’clock) though this does not mean that it is of higher quality or more accurate than 4R36 movements made outside of Japan.
The 4R36 is famous for its durability and reliability. It has a 41-hour power reserve, can be wound through the crown, has hacking seconds, and is unlikely to require a service before your toddler makes it to middle school. The accuracy of the movement is average, about -35/+35 seconds per day, but it’s good enough for a watch of this price point.
I can admit that it was not this SRPD21 that made me spout the virtues of the Turtle collection to anyone that would listen. However, this SRPD21 does possess all of the same advantages that are further augmented by the special edition dial and unique bezel.
As I mentioned above, the watch wears very comfortably on the bracelet. In fact, I’d argue it’s more comfortable than on a rubber strap, seeing as how the weight of the metal bracelet balances the watch head on the wrist.
The dial is an instant eye-catcher and, while there may be many Turtles out there right now, only a small subset will have this striking blue face.
It’s not limited, but I do think it’s exclusive, and I’ve yet to meet a watch collector who doesn’t seek exclusivity. If you find one who says they don’t want an exclusive watch that only a few around the world can call their own, then they’re lying.
Overall, I’m very happy with this SRPD21. It’s not a watch I would wear 24/7 as I have more adequate options to take its place during formal occasions, but it’s a watch that can easily become your daily driver and likely look better as the everyday scuffs accumulate on it. If you already consider yourself a fan of the classic Seiko Turtle, it’s hard to go wrong with the SRPD21.
"The SRPD21 possesses everything that was easy to love from the classic Turtle yet it's received a striking facelift with the blue dial and new bezel. For fans of the Seiko Turtle, this one will be easy to love."
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