History of the Seiko Turtle dive watch

The history of Seiko Dive Watches goes back to 1965 with their very first model. From then on Seiko have lead the way in innovation, design technology, materials and style. You may have already looked at the Seiko Tuna and Samurai divers’ watches – here we take a quick look at the history of the Seiko Turtle dive watch.

New & used Turtle Divers for sale – eBay

There are dozens of new & used Seiko Turtle watches available on eBay. Click the button below for a filtered selection of the best Seiko Turtle available today

An introduction to the Turtle

In 1976 Seiko released the first of their “cushion cased” or “turtle shell” style diver’s watches. This popular range of dive watch is known as the “Turtle” because of it’s smooth rounded “turtle shell” cushion like case design. Initially released in 1976, the original Turtle (Seiko 6306 & 6309) was in production from 1976 until 1988. At that time both models were driven by an automatic (mechanical self wind) movement. Luckily for us – Seiko appreciated the potential popularity of the model and brought it back with a new 24 jewel Calibre 4R36 movement as shown below.

Seiko Turtle dive watch with distinctive shell / cushion shaped case
Seiko SRP777K1 – automatic 200m divers watch

Specification (current models)

The Seiko Turtle was re-introduced in 2016. Available in 4 variants all with steel cases

  • black dial / bezel (SRP777)
  • black / gilt detailing (SRP775)
  • blue detailing (SRP773)
  • “Pepsi” red & blue detailing (SRP779)

Since then Seiko have added a few new variants, to name a just a couple …

  • steel version with PADI red & blue details (SRPA21K1)
  • all black tactical version (SRPC49K1) as shown below
Seiko Turtle dive watch in tactical all black colours
Seiko SRPC49K1 – the Tactical Turtle in all black

Exterior

  • Case Material : Stainless steel
  • Glass Material : Hardlex
  • Band Material : Silicon
  • Case Thickness : 13.4㎜
    Case Diameter : 45㎜

Movement

Other Details

  • LumiBrite : Lumibrite on hands and indexs
  • Water Resistance : 200m / 660ft diver’s

Features

  • 24 jewels
  • Day/Date display
  • Screw case back
  • Stop seconds hand function
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel

Tribute to the Captain Willard Seiko Turtle

Customers who admire the general aesthetics of the Seiko Turtle dive watch may also like the Captain Willard homage watch by Steeldive UK. Not a fake – but a respectful and affordable tribute to a 1970’s classic diver’s watch as featured in the Apocalypse Now movie worn by Captain Willard (actor Martin Sheen). It was Martin Sheen’s character wearing the Seiko Turtle that has helped make it such an iconic divers watch.

STEELDIVE SD1970 "CAPTAIN WILLARD" 6105 Turtle Dive Watch *UK SELLER* *STERILE*

Old Turtle versus New Turtle

The main differences between the new Seiko Turtle watches and those from 1978 to 1988 (6306 / 6309) are as follows (2)

  • Case depth increased from 13mm to 14mm
  • Addition of a softer silicone strap (previously harder rubber)
  • The lollipop on the seconds hand was moved from head to tail
  • Seiko 6309 – 17 jewel automatic movement – non-winding non-hacking changed to Calibre 4R36 with 24 jewels with hand wind and seconds stop function.

What should you pay for a pre-owned Turtle

With their soft cushion shaped case these watches also featured a recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position and day / date indicators. The vintage 6306-7001 have increased significantly in value recently. A good clean, working, all original 6306 variant will sell for between £900 and £1,200. A nice example of a modern pre-owned Save the Ocean SRPD21 can be bought for under £240. One of the most desirable models from the current range is the Seiko SRPC44 Gold Turtle – sold here.

Video Reviews

SEIKO TURTLE – THE RETRO DIVER THAT’S BUILT TO LAST

WATCHSPEC – The Seiko Turtle is definitely retro-cool! But is the price increase over the iconic SKX worth it? Watch this video to find out and see how it works for you.

YouTube

Seiko Prospex SRPA21 “PADI Turtle” One Week On the Wrist

Ankit Blanket’s review of the Seiko SRPA21 “PADI Turtle” dive watch after one week …

YouTube

Authorised Seiko Prospex shopping partner

Our online shopping partner sells the entire range of Seiko Prospex dive watches. Shop with confidence at Jurawatches. Get the assurance of a genuine Seiko Prospex watch from an authorised dealer.

This is what our shopping partners say about the Seiko Prospex range

“Discover our stunning collection of Seiko Prospex watches designed especially for sport lovers and adventurers in mind. Since the first Seiko Prospex Divers watch was released in 1965, the brand have continued to challenge and expand on their designs to create a range of Japanese diving and sport watches that provide exceptional functionality and striking visual appeal”

Jurawatches

If you found this page via a search engine – please visit our generic Seiko Divers watch history page for more information on all Seiko Prospex models since 1965. There’s general information on all iconic styles from Japan’s leading manufacturer of quality dive watches. If you are in the market for a new watch then please browse the hundreds of Seiko Diving Watches for sale here.


External references / further reading