The black checkered Turtle arrived this
morning and of course I couldn't help myself but to have a closer look.
And by closer look I mean internally.
Two things grabbed my attention straight away.
First was the smooth operation of the ceramic bezel. Not only did it
have a firm click but the luminous 0 minute triangle was perfectly
aligned with the 12 o'clock hour marker. The knurled bezel edge reminded
me of Swiss dive watches from the 1970s, but the ceramic insert gives
this classic watch a contemporary look. I removed the bezel to check the
click spring underneath and was pleasantly surprised. Again, a very
similar style to the one frequently used in Tag and Omega watches.
Naturally I had to check the availability and price of the complete
ceramic bezel in Seiko's stock and to my surprise the price was only
$110. This is just a fraction of what one would pay for a Swiss ceramic
The second detail was the unusual sapphire
crystal which comes with a large cyclops - a magnifier which sits over
both the day and date display. I have not seen anything like it before
and the magnification is simply remarkable. The sapphire crystal is 3mm
thick, cyclops not included. Removing the crystal from its seal and
pressing it back in was easy.
The matte black checkered dial is quite
attractive and provides the perfect background for the large luminous
hour markers. The mechanism is the trustworthy calibre 4R36 with a 41
hour power reserve. Checked on the timing machine, it exhibited a strong
amplitude as you would expect from a brand new watch and was factory
adjusted to +9 seconds a day.
The caseback features a stylised swordfish.
Overall the checkered Turtle is much more
than an economy divers piece. It is a robust watch, built to last and
will cost you less than the service cost of a Swiss day-date. The Turtle
comes with a bracelet ($999) or fitted with a rubber strap ($950).
However, Seiko enthusiasts will have a lot of fun fitting either a NATO
or rugged military style distressed leather strap.
Should you buy one to add to your collection, no - you should buy one to wear!
I took a few photos of the checkered Turtle
with two of our Rebelde straps. Our straps sell for $88 (the strap price
has not changed since 2014) but if you buy a new Seiko Turtle, I will throw in a free leather strap.
Again, replacing the straps on a Seiko is super easy.