Seiko Prospex Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD01K1 and SRPD03K1
A Horbiter®'s exclusive, in Italy.
Seiko’s aggressive product strategy in Italy is continuing fast and we are the first magazine to show you - as an exclusive Italian preview - two new limited series of the Prospex collection. I have often stressed that the launch of the Italian branch of the brand is finally bringing our market, in terms of product offering, on par with the other European countries and the virtuous process to bring Seiko to the level of notoriety that the group deserves and already has beyond the Alps, where it can boast three boutiques, is running at the speed of light.
Seiko’s Italian strategy aims straight at spreading the brand’s name using its main collection - the Prospex, which is already known to Italian fans (friends and readers keep on writing us looking for advice on new models) to then widen the attention of the audience to other collections, such as the Presage and finally the Grand Seiko brand, which has fully enjoyed the status of independent brand since this year and has finally lost its former double logo. The Seiko Press Day held in Milan last week was a milestone, considering that it was the first moment in which the group officially presented to the press the Seiko and the Grand Seiko collections designed for Italy.
Why does Seiko use the Prospex collection as a mean to promote the brand? Because it has a rooted image at every longitude and latitude; watches like the Seiko Prospex SPB053J1, the Turtle or the Marine Master are known to professionals and enthusiasts alike, they are of high quality and the variety of the range is inexhaustible. So far, however – and I can be considered as a prime example of this phenomenon - the Internet and parallel sellers were the only way to buy a Sumo, a Hi-Beat or a Tuna, and the price to pay for these timepieces often reflected the high and sometimes prohibitive delivery costs and the expensive VAT or customs fees.
A never-ending collection, many limited series (sometimes too many), but always refined; the Dawn Grey Series
In a collection that can boast watches priced between circa €400 and over €5,000 (and they are not all 100% diver’s watches, like the Landmaster collection), the Turtle, the Sumo and the Samurai are the belly of the market and among all, the Turtle collection has quickly become popular both for its vintage pedigree and for the echo of the legendary 6105 reference worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.
The Samurai is more modern, it is edgy and has a feel that seems to place it above the Turtle, but it is exactly the opposite. For both watches, especially on the Turtle, Seiko made many limited editions, including the PADI, the Zimbe (that was never imported into Italy) and other special editions. The Zimbe limited series is a clear source of inspiration and is now the most sought-after Turtle watch among collectors.
The Seiko Prospex Turtle Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD01K1 and the Seiko Porspex Samurai Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD03K1 are part of the new Seiko Prospex Limited Edition collection; the "Dawn Grey Series". They are two professional diver’s watches, each one has been manufactured in only 2018 specimens in colors that recall the tones of the sun and the sea at dawn (orange and grey). In Japanese culture the celebration of nature is a frequently recurring topic and last March the Marine Master celebrated the Green Forest of the Yakushima island, and the Dawn Grey collection is an intelligent way to inspire the two new limited series without falling into excesses typical of some limited series.
Compared to a PADI, which is the result of a partnership and where the logo of the diving association is clearly visible in the middle of the dial (I personally like it, while others find it intrusive) and the architecture is typical of a Pepsi Turtle, Seiko chose a more mature style for the two new Prospex watches and a pleasant two-tone dull grey and orange coloring that match perfectly well.
On the Samurai, the most modern of the two, the case is squared, the lugs feature a noticeable tread and the dial sports a regular geometric pattern. On the Turtle, instead, the "silver powder" color of the dial and the glass indexes give the watch the personality of a vintage diver’s watch, where the aluminum bezel has lost its original black color over time and has faded, thus getting a so-called "Ghost bezel" tone; the result of the action of sea salt and an intense diving usage.
The 4R series calibres
Apparently different, but, under the skin, the Seiko Turtle Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD01K1 and the Seiko Samurai Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD03K1 are much more similar to each other than you could ever think. They share the same technical base, an automatic caliber running at a frequency of 21,600 alternations/hour and with up to 41 hours of power reserve, the caliber belongs to the 4R series, but the 4R36 also features the day module because the Turtle is a Day-Date.
Both watches can be manually wound and offer a high reliability. Seiko launched the 4R series in 2011 and it's important to remember that the series is fully in-house built. If we consider that the price of both watches is below the €500 threshold and knowing that you are handling two entirely in-house built watches makes you smile but also makes your nose turn if you compare them to the competition’s offer, despite the fact that the movements aren’t particularly decorated, but rather geared towards sturdiness.
Two diver’s watches that you almost don’t want to dive with
That’s my personal opinion, although they are two ISO certified watches and if Seiko declares the magnetic resistance among the existing technical specifications, it means that you can dive freely as it would be a shame to limit the use of these timepieces. On the Turtle, Seiko also offers an additional silicone strap, but be prepared to freely wear these watches all year round.
The Turtle reminds us of those watches from the 70s, however both watches are free from logos, frills and sport an extremely transversal style. If we consider the success and price that a Zimbe has today, it is not difficult to expect a growth in value for both watches, especially for the Turtle in my opinion. Retail prices? The Seiko Turtle Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD01K1 costs €499, while the Seiko Samurai Dawn Grey Series Limited Edition SRPD03K1 retails at € 479.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by Simona Bertogliatti)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®