Updated 11-21-2018 with Seiko Samurai Save the Ocean Special Edition. We are parked in Palisades CO. for the first half of the month of July, and it is hot. Crazy hot, with temperatures well over 95 degrees and approaching 100 every afternoon. Luckily it cools off at night and the RV Resort we are in has a very nice, new pool. Most afternoons to escape the heat my 9-year-old and I go swimming. And almost every afternoon I find myself strapping on one of my Seiko dive watches to go swimming in.
I currently have a Blue Sumo, Model SBDC033, Blue Turtle, Model SRP773K1 and a 3rd Gen. Blue Monster, Model SZSC003. I love my Seiko’s, I have at least one in rotation at ALL times. Seiko’s divers have such a loyal following many of their watches end up getting nicknames, Seiko-design has a great website that explains where they think some of the names came from, check it out, here.
I also have a White Limited-Edition Seiko Kinetic GMT Diver Model SUN043 but being a Kinetic movement and a variation on the “Tuna” style Seiko’s, I thought I would save it for its own review. Ideally to round out this review I need a Seiko SBDY007 Blue Samurai, will update this post if and when I get one. Update: Ended up getting a SRPC93 Blue Samurai “Save the Oceans” special model. This model has the blue whale/wave dial and the Caliber 4R35 which has the date but not the day which the Turtles has with the 4R36 movement. I’m glad I went with the SRPC93 over my original choice for the Samurai, the dial is significantly brighter and different than my other blue Seiko’s. A welcome departure from the dark blue’s I was trending towards. With a 44mm wide case and lots of sharp angles the Samari is pretty big and butch, but doesn’t wear as big as it is, especially with the bands coming low off the lugs making the watch sit comfortably on the wrist.
My oldest model is the Sumo, which I ordered from the www.seiyajapan.com website about a year before Seiko started importing them into the US. Next was the 3rd-Gen Blue Monster, I had my eye on a Monsters for a LONG time, but none of them really appealed to me (with the exception of the 1st-Gen Yellow Monster which was long gone before I found it) until this blue one came along. Finally, I got the Turtle not to long ago and absolutely love it.
If I had to pick just one, it would be the Sumo with the Turtle coming in a close second and the Monster coming in third. The longer I live with the Turtle, the more I like it. Ask me again in a year and the Turtle might be my favorite. The Sumo and Turtle are VERY similar to each other in looks and feel, especially in their dial design and layout. Price wise the Sumo is going for $428.00 and the Turtle is $275.00, both are the export models on Amazon. The Blue Monster is the Japanese import and currently is going for $606.90 on Amazon with Prime shipping. Update: So how does the Blue Samurai “Save the Oceans” special model fit in with my collection. Price wise it came in at $368.39 on Amazon which is closer to the Sumo price wise but with the cheaper Turtle movement. I think part of the price was for the Special Edition dial. You can get a Samurai starting at $284 for the orange dial and $309 for the black dial. Over all I really like the Samurai, do I like it better than the Sumo? That would be a NO, but it is on par with Turtle but in a different way. The harder angles and bright blue dial make it a very different watch than the Turtle, I think if the Samurai had the dark blue dial, I would not like it as much.
The Sumo and Monster sports the 6r15 movement while the turtle has the 4r36 movement. Both are excellent movements but the 6r15 gets extra points for quality, accuracy and a longer power reserve. My one big beef with all my blue Seiko’s is that the bands are crappy. So much so that I replaced the Sumo with a Super Engineer II from www.strapcode.com and I have the Turtle on a white Nato strap. The Monster is still on its original band, but it is only a matter of time till it goes as well. Seiko really needs to address their metal bands so that there are as great as their watches.
The quality of the Sumo is definitely better than the Turtle or Monster, it has a VERY solid fit, finish and feel to it. Not that the Turtle or Monster are cheap feeling, its just that the Sumo is tighter. From a value stand point the Turtle is hard to beat, while the Blue Monster is my option is cashing in on its four-bearers prominence. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Monster, in fact I like this 3rd-Gen more than the earlier versions, the indices do not have that sharp shark tooth look to them and the magnification eye over the date helps with readability, its just for $600+ I was expecting something more (especially from the band). As for night visibility all three of these watches have exceptionally bright and long lasting luminescence. Update: Night viewing wise the Blue Samurai “Save the Oceans” special model has the same “Seiko Lumibrite as the other models so its crazy bright for hours with a little charge.
My buying advice? They are ALL great watches, let your budget make the call. The Turtle is the budget priced dive watch winner hands down. The Sumo is the total package upgrade from the Turtle while the Monster is the iconic sport watch that works for any occasion. If it was me? I’d still go with the Sumo, its just a great, do it all watch. Update: The Blue Samurai “Save the Oceans” special model would slot right next to the Turtle for me. If you’re going for a budget dive watch it would be a hard call between the Turtle and the Samurai, would have to come down to soft vs hard case shapes. Personally? I would get both, the Samurai with the black case and the Turtle in the gold case just to mix it up.
Maybe a Blue Tuna next?
Keep on a Watching!
A Seiko dive watch is a required item for any collector, period! If you prefer blue, black or one of the other unique or specialty colors you simply can’t go wrong. They’re affordable, well made, keep excellent time and look good at the beach, in the office or out on the town. Pick your flavor and enjoy!