Seiko recently announced three new limited edition “Black Series” Prospex dive watches, which were released in the first quarter of 2018.
These three Prospex watches take existing vintage designs and redo them in a modern and popular black scheme – a design idea that is unlikely to fail.
Aggressive, legible, and handsome, the black dials, tan hour markers, and white & orange hands (done in Seiko’s Lumibrite) keep from messing up the original aesthetic of the pieces.
Seiko state that the Black Series watches are inspired by night diving and are designed to achieve maximum legibility.
With a reported (but unnumbered) sole batch of 300, these limited editions are sure to be much sought after by any Seiko collector. Some have reported a mere 30 items were initially made available to the UK – that however I can not confirm.
Of these three designs the Black Ninja Turtle (SRPC49K1 – or the much rarer Japanese made – SRPC49J1) proved to be the most popular and almost instantly sold out. Should you want one now your only option is from a reseller – all authorised dealers, globally are now sold out!
This SRPC49K1 or SRPC49J1 has the same specs as the standard Seiko Prospex Automatic Turtle, with a 45mm wide case that has a 200m water resistance rating. The movement is the same 4R36 which operates at 21,600 bph with a 41 hour power reserve.
The case is what Seiko are calling a “hard black coating” – so either a DLC or PVD coat, with a screw-down crown and a unidirectional rotating bezel. It is basically a classic Seiko Prospex Automatic Turtle watch in a black case. It’s simple and stunning.
This is the one I opted for, but more so I was lucky enough to get myself the much rarer variant, the SRPC49J1.
In case you are wondering how to tell the difference the K1 variant has a series of numbers at the six o’clock position on the dial. The J1 variant has a similar series of numbers at the six o’clock position, however this series of numbers is preceded by ‘MADE IN JAPAN.’
So far I have been wearing this Seiko Ninja Turtle as my daily watch and so far, touch wood, it remains unmarked. The “hard black coating” seems to be resilient, tough and holding up well to daily wear. The glass is still perfect, as you would expect, and the soft strap is comfortable all day long. The only negative point I have noted over the past few months is that the watch strap does quickly show signs of wear. So if this is something that would annoy you a spare strap may be an idea or a replacement strap to keep the original in as new condition could be an alternative option. For me I think I will eventually buy another original strap and keep it ‘as new’ and just enjoy the watch and the comfort of the original strap safe in the knowledge there is a spare waiting should it be required.
This is my first Seiko diver’s watch, I had decided on getting a ‘Pepsi’ Turtle but then seen the point of sale material for this watch and my mind was instantly made up. If I come across a ‘Pepsi’ at the right price it will be my next Seiko’s diver’s watch. As far as the timekeeping goes – it is excellent, I never have to change it, and even when changing the date for those pesky 30 day months the time difference is unnoticeable.
This is an easy watch to recommend, but honestly if it is something you fancy good luck in finding one. Mine isn’t for sale.