The new Seiko Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031 is the latest addition to the “turtle” collection. Prospex for Seiko means “Professional Specification” that their timepieces in this category are built with very high standards to be used by professionals. One of the most popular releases in recent years is probably the remake of the Seiko 6309 (circa 1976-1988) commonly known as the Turtle. The original 6309 divers are pretty rare given its short 12 years production lifespan. Although there are many examples in the market, there are less than a dozen that are original. It is no wonder the new Prospex SBDY031 are so popular among Seiko and dive watch collectors.
Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition “ Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031
With many requests since we introduced Seiko JDMs, we decided to bring in the MADE IN JAPAN Turtles meant for the Japanese Domestic Market, denoted by the “MADE IN JAPAN” at six on the dial. The Prospex SBDY031 is a JDM model made available only in Japan. And comes with a selectable choice of English or Kanji date. The difference might be subtle, but this means a lot for Seiko collectors.
As suggested by the name of this special edition, Seiko with their Save the Ocean initiative, partnering with undisputed underwater explorer/ conservationist Fabien Cousteau ( just like his grandfather, the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau), together with their own Seiko Prospex. This initiative aims at raising awareness for marine conservation; therefore, the nautical/oceanic theme is at center stage.
The previous Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” Turtle SBDY021 is the predecessor of this new Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031 that was released in 2018. While we do see the similar nautical waves theme among both, they do have individual quirks of their own. The overall look of the Turtle is one of a kind, quirky and unique given its unusual case silhouette. It is powered by Seiko’s automatic caliber, 4R36, operating at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 24 jewels with a power reserve of 40 hours.
A shark fin lurking in the waves around the 8 o’clock position
The 200m water resistant stainless steel case measure 44.3mm case without the crown, but has a lug to lug length of only 47mm, and a height of about 13mm, with a lug width of 22mm. The short lugs to lugs length mean this watch wraps around the wrist on all(small or big) wrist sizes like a glove making it extremely comfortable. The bezel is aluminum and has engraved markings on it. It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has little to no free play in an anti-clockwise direction. Sitting atop of the bezel is Seiko’s Hardlex crystal.
A mixture of satin brush and Seiko high polishing on the sides can be seen on the whole watch, giving it a somewhat premium feel. The screw down crown at four o’clock is easy for time setting. On to the back of the watch, the screw down case back allows 200m water resistant and is also brushed, featuring the recognizable tsunami emblem that is a staple on the other Seiko divers. The case does come with lug holes allowing swapping of straps with ease.
The highlight of the Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031 has got to be the dial. The SBDY031 is quite a stunner. The most prominent being the nautical inspired dial. Seiko has created a whole new dial pattern on this model recalling the wave motion just like the “great wave off Kanagawa” pictured by Hokusai. As the name is Great White Shark for this collection, the hint of any Shark is harder to spot, but once you do, you will not be able to miss it. A Shark fin can be seen lurking in the waves around the 8 o’clock position on the dial. Seiko knows how to be subtle on their design while still able to pay tribute to the vulnerable Chondrichthyes sea creature.
Mixture of case finishing for a premium feel
Further, the same design theme continues onto the engraved bezel insert, which is colored in mid-grey for the first 20 minutes of the scale and abyss blue for the remaining part of the scale, for design synergy. All these forms the unique part of the Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031, making this special edition unique in the turtle collection.
The indices are primarily the same, as are the classic Seiko hour and minutes hands. The hour markers and hands are both generously coated with Seiko’s LumiBrite, allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours. Oh, did you know another subtle touch by Seiko where the second hand’s counterweight reminisce of a fish’s fin? Another nod to the Great White Shark theme.
The Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Turtle 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY031 comes with the Seiko stainless steel bracelet which combines high durability and comfort.
The Seiko Save The Ocean Turtle is probably one of the Turtle models all the Seiko collectors will need to have. Its unique dial pattern and color is something not seen before. And one of the few watches that is worthy of being in any dive watch collection. The unique customized design based on the initiative serves as an essential factor that your purchase of one is actively supporting the awareness, research, and conservation of these sea creatures. Finally, with its excellent price point and good value for money, it is a watch that will probably find itself onto the wrist of most Seiko buyers.