So I got my hands on a Seiko SRPA21 PADI Diver watch also known as a Prospex Pepsi Turtle. This is my first watch over 42mm in size and boy did I do it up right with this 45mm case and over 13mm thick! But, I really wanted to see what all the excitement was with these Turtles so had to get hold of one.
In wearing it off and on for a week, I have been really surprised that it doesn’t fee too overly large; however, I do recognize that I shouldn’t go over a 42mm for my wrist. That I did learn… That said, I love the weight and the feel of this Turtle. Though this is a large watch, it doesn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable at all on my wrist. Keep in mind it is a heavy and solid watch. I think given the round and really smooth edges of the case bottom and case back… make it very comfortable watch to wear. However, comparing it to my regular size watches let’s say my 36mm Rolex Datejust… It’s mammoth (see picture below) in comparison.
Seiko uses a 4R36 Automatic movement that been around since about 2011 and is capable of being woundhand and has hacking feature. This movement differs from the 7S26 movement used by Seiko for the intro divers which do not have the handwound and hacking features. I will explain more later why I wanted to compare the two movements. Other complications on the Turtle include quickset Day/Date feature at the 3 o’clock and comes with a screw down crown feature that ever diver should have…
Cosmetically, the Turtle is a beauty! This particular model comes with a blue dial which is really impressive and has a rich Lapis color to it. As with many divers I wish it had a ceramic bezel insert, but I can’t have everything and the Pepsi insert does its job.
The clicks of the unidirectional bezel are smooth and has good resistance to it for those that may want to use this watch for some diving. The Oyster style stainless steel band is solid and fit/finish is good. Bracelet fits nice and snug against the Turtle case. It’s a great watch and as I demonstrate in the pictures I think it works rather well as a sports, casual or dress watch. There are those critics who say not to wear a diver with a suit and I agree; however, with a sports jacket and even cuff links it works rather well.
I can’t really find any faults or misses as much as I’d like to on this Seiko diver. Well there is one… and it seems to be an ongoing thing with Seiko in general. The cases and bands are always solid and built very well. But when it comes to there clasps Seiko really misses the mark. The outer part of the clasp is solid and even has a fold over secured clasp and a push button safety but if you take a closer look at the inner blades of the clasp, they are very thin and stamped out pieces of poorly made stainless. For the life of me I can’t understand why Seiko builds such flimsy clasps!
Overall, I give the Padi SRPA21 a thumbs up and definitely recommend it. In a price comparison I didn’t find a whole lot difference in price (depending where you look) on this Padi and the Seiko intro divers with the 7S26 movements such as the SKX 007/009 which have far less of the desired functions for a dive watch (hacking, manual wind and screw down crown). I recommend spending the extra few bucks for the Turtle vs. the intro divers with the 7S26 movement. So much more bang for the buck here, even if your were to find one pre owned… I’d highly recommend purchasing it because it’s really hard to destruct this Seiko divers.
So to finish, I did answer my own question as far as the excitement over the Seiko Padi. It is a true beauty as well as a solid workhorse in every since…
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