Unboxing & First Impressions - Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition Turtle SRPD21K1
It is the 29th December 2019 and I am walking through the local shopping centre heading to the bureau de change to get some Euro’s for an upcoming break. As I’m walking past all the shops aiming to avoid any “FLASH SALE” signs and temptations, obviously I cannot help but look at the watch stores, it is an illness at the end of the day. I pass HSamuels and see “25% off all Watches” and knowing they stock Seiko I walk straight to that section, a wide array of Quartz, Solar and Kinetic and tucked away at the back were a few automatics including the new Seiko 5 Sports range. Then to the left of that was this, a watch that I have wanted since I first saw photos, the Seiko “Save The Ocean” Special Edition Turtle SRPD21K1, upside down on its stand no less… Priced at £430 retail, but with the 25% off it brought the price to £322.50 which was a similar price to what I had seen them selling for used on eBay. So I waited and eventually got the attention of someone working there and asked if I could purchase the watch, for me paying that price was good as this is a watch I intend to keep rather than purchasing it as stock!
The lady disappears for a few minutes without taking the watch out, she reappears with a box and in that box was the watch brand new and stickered, a pleasant surprise. She starts putting it through the till and then proceeds to put the box in the bag, to which I ask if the guarantee has been filled out, shock on the ladies face as she responds “I have worked here 2 years and never filled a guarantee out, we just don’t do it, that is why you get a receipt”. So to anyone who asks why certain watches guarantees are blank, there is your reason! But eventually she filled it out for me, packs it away and off I go, to the bureau de change as initially intended, then home!
Opening up the box and seeing the watch brand new and stickered is always fun, removal of the stickers then began and the awaiting doom that is removing the links! We will get onto that shortly.
Now it is time for that moment we all hate, or at least anyone who has removed links from a bracelet that uses pin and sleeves/collars. Once you know how to do it, it is relatively easy, just fiddly! Long Island Watch on YouTube has a great video titled “How to size a Seiko (or any!) Pin and Collar Bracelet. Watch and Learn #15” I would highly recommend watching that before even trying to do the bracelet if you have not done one before!
And there we have it! 4 links removed to make it fit my 6 3/4inch wrist perfectly, now onto the wrist and outside to get some shots!
Now the “Story” of how this watch came about is out of the way, I will talk about my initial thoughts and feelings and this is after a few hours on wrist! I will do an “In-Depth” review where I go over the watch itself, the bracelet, case, dial, movement, build quality etc… So keep an eye out for that!
Off the bat I am very impressed, though I have owned many Turtles over the years and knew what to expect in regards to the build quality, wrist ergonomics etc… The dial is what steals the show and was the reason I wanted to own this watch, the pattern on the dial is meant to resemble rough sea waves with a nicely placed dorsal fin hidden away at 8o’clock on the dial as well as the counter weight to the second hand also having a dorsal fin, fitting for a dive watch and also the fact it is part of the “Save the Ocean” range.
The bezel also features a nice new touch having concentric circles within the actual bezel, a lovely texture and gives the bezel a whole different look to the flat surface we are used to with the Turtle range. The shade of blue used on the bezel is darker than the dial but fractionally and the grey is a nice touch too. And yes mine was aligned! As you would expect with Seiko the dial indices and hands are full with Seiko Lumibrite which glows strong, even when walking in from the outside into a still fairly bright room, it glows!
Now the bracelet, always a nagging point for almost all Seiko watches and this Turtle is no exception! The bracelet is comfortable once fitted and be sure you fit the bracelet fairly snug as the watch is definitely top heavy and you can end up with a lot of wobble on the wrist otherwise, which really irritates me! Push link bracelet with pin and collars, just annoying to adjust and never feels that reassuring when you see how it is actually constructed. The clasp is a stamped piece of metal that folds with a security folding clasp, two buttons to open. Again it does not scream secure on the wrist and has that notorious Seiko rattle. This can resolved by purchasing a bracelet from Uncle Seiko or StrapCode but they will set you back £70 to £120 depending on the bracelet! I may end up getting a StrapCode bracelet eventually, but for now I’ll stick it out with the OEM bracelet.
My initial conclusion is for the price I picked this up at I cannot complain! Yes the bracelet is terrible, but I knew that going in. The dial of this watch is one of the best I have seen in a sub £500 watch in a long time! Plus I have owned almost every modern Seiko from the SKX range, Seiko 5, Alpinist, Turtle, Sumo etc… And not a single one has kept its space in my collection or on my wrist, each one had an annoying aspect that led me to sell, or I just fell out of enjoyment for it. Whereas this one, I suspect it may be the first Seiko to stay the course in my personal collection! Let’s see…