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The new Seiko Prospex Monster is straight up one of the most talks about, polarizing dive watches ever produced by the Japanese watchmaker. On one half it indulges in quality and packs with value; while on the other hand, some find it over the top aggressive on its design. But with the nickname “Monster,” designated to be unsympathetic in all ways, it sets the standard of its very own iconic traits.
After several iterations like the Vintage stylings and the “Save The Ocean” editions, the fourth generation PADI Monster Blue Ref. SBDY057 is the latest evolution that falls into Seiko’s Prospex collection, which in continuation, is built to very high standards to be used by professionals. Further, this Monster celebrates its latest collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), a world leading scuba diver training organization. Both Seiko and PADI, in actual sense, started out serving the diving industry in 1965, and this continuation of celebrating the special relationship is seen on this Prospex PADI Monster.
Prospex PADI Monster Blue 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY057 / SRPE27K1
First off, the main improvement will be in the movement upgrade. The SBDY057 boasts the much desirable automatic workhorse among its precursors that uses the 7S26 caliber launched in 1996- upgraded to the 4R36 caliber that are used on many base models currently. The 4R36 operates at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 24 jewels with a power reserve of 41 hours with the ability to hack and wind during time adjustment. What’s more, the day/date display can be set individually, with a choice of Kanji or English language for the day display (once set, it will be fixed to that chosen language).
The 200m water resistant Monster stainless steel case embodies the beautiful craftsmanship and bold lines. Measuring 42mm case without the crown, which is 1 mm smaller than the first generation, and has a thickness of 13mm, with a lug width of 20mm. That said, the PADI Monster remains faithful to the original design in 2001, keeping the bold robust look.
As such, the PADI Monster being the latest iteration of the Monster collection, in design manner, it’s highly rated as the most balanced among the other previous generations.
4R36 JDM movement
Starting from its compact looking case, it imbues fine satined brush finishing throughout, giving it the serious tool-watch look. The signature concave bezel, now done in the PADI blue tone, bears unique grooves on the sides that is also found only on the Monster. With that, it helps one to have a more comfortable grip on the bezel. Further, the engraved markers are in white, with the only contrasting red-triangle at twelve o’clock to complete the PADI colour scheme. A semi-shroud design on the top and bottom of the case keeps the refined bezel protected when not in use.
What’s more, the details done on the bezel profile is so unique that you do not see on other Seiko watches, and it operates with a 120 clicks in abuttery-smooth manner. Further, it gives the watch a two-tone appeal that we are a fan of. Further, the Hardlex crystal now has a magnifying cyclops at the 3 o’clock day/date position, which we have never seen on any other generations. To finish things up on the case, the screw down crown at four o’clock flanged by its crown guard has knurling around it for better grip and easy usage during time-adjustment.
|Iconic case design, water resistant to 200m|
Flipping the watch over, 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. Oh, please don’t forget about the lug holes, allowing swapping of straps with ease.
Like all the other Prospex PADIs, the dial is always the main attraction. Gone are those shark tooth-looking hour markers found on the 2nd generation like the SRP307/309. The SBDY057 PADI Monster features a matte black dial that creates a no-frill look, and is paired with applied thick blocky markers with its original trapezoid marker at twelve. All the markers are surrounded with silver trims which is neatly executed. As this is a PADI version, the collaborated emblem is signed at six ‘o clock, balanced by the Prospex “X” logo and Seiko title on the top side of the dial.
Matt Black Dial with Blue Bezel
Another dose of red accents on the sword-shaped minute hand and seconds needle, which are another nod the PADI collaboration. Lastly, the impeccable hour markers and hands are both generously coated with Seiko’s LumiBrite allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours.
The design of the steel bracelet stays true to all its generations. Having a 20mm robust bracelet that integrates seamlessly with the case, and further flanged outward right after the end link displaying more dramatic aesthetics for the Monster look. The steel band compliments the watch beautifully, having it brushed mainly, with polished sides and slightly at mid-portion, giving the PADI Monster a proper tool watch look and feel.
|Seiko's LumiBrite Luminous|
All in all, for more than a decade, the Monster is still one of the best bangs for buck Seiko professional dive watch, that looks unapologetic in design.All these improvement throughout the years have enhanced the Monster feels a notch higher than other serious dive watches in the same price point. The Prospex PADI Monster Blue Ref. SBDY057 is durable and legible, with a proven robust automatic movement, excellent casework, and featuring an original Seiko diver design.