Seiko Turtle

The Seiko Turtle is an iconic diver’s watch made famous by the Apocalypse Now movie. From the ever popular range of Seiko dive watches this is the one with the smooth, cushion like case.

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The history of Seiko Diver’s 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.

Introduction to the Seiko Turtle

The Seiko Turtle dive watch is a popular collection of diving watches manufactured by Seiko, a Japanese watch brand. The watch is named after its distinctive case shape, which resembles the shell of a turtle.

First Introduced in 1976

The Seiko Turtle dive watch was first introduced in 1976. The original Turtle (Seiko 6306 & 6309) were in production from 1976 until 1988. At that time both models were driven by an automatic (mechanical self wind) movement and it quickly gained popularity among diving enthusiasts due to its durable construction and reliable performance. The watch underwent several updates and redesigns over the years, with the most recent iteration being the Seiko Prospex SRP777.

Made famous by Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard

The Seiko Turtle dive watch gained iconic status when it was worn by Martin Sheen’s character Captain Benjamin Willard in the 1979 movie “Apocalypse Now.” In the movie, the watch was prominently featured on Captain Willard’s wrist throughout the film’s intense and dramatic scenes. The watch became known as the “Apocalypse Now Seiko” and has since become a highly sought-after collector’s item.

A real-world Diver’s Watch

The Seiko Turtle dive watch is highly regarded by diving enthusiasts for its water resistance, legibility, and durability. The watch features a large, easy-to-read dial with luminescent hands and hour markers. The rotating bezel allows divers to easily track elapsed time during their dives. The watch is also highly durable, with a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal and a stainless steel case that can withstand the rigors of diving.

Overall, the Seiko Turtle dive watch is a highly respected and sought-after timepiece among diving enthusiasts and watch collectors alike. Its origins in the movie “Apocalypse Now” have only added to its iconic status and enduring popularity.

Seiko Turtle Dive Watches on eBay today

Discover a collection of Seiko Turtle dive watches on eBay today. Click the banner below to browse the latest offerings. This is a direct link to eBay with filtered results to show only the best Seiko Turtle diver’s watches on the market today.

Browse all the Seiko Turtle Divers Watches on eBay today

Seiko 6306-7001 – the original 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.

An original vintage 6306 Dive Watch sold on eBay

If you know what you’re looking for you can still get lucky on the auction sites. This lovely example of a used but running Seiko 6306 7001 – the original Turtle – was found on eBay by ChronoDivers. A watch like this with a solid provenance (possibly the original receipt / box / papers etc) could easily command £500 – £1,000. If you can find a model with the Scubapro logo on the dial expect to pay even more (but be careful to determine if it’s an original 7001 model or a later 6309-7040 version)

An original vintage 6306-7001 Dive Watch sold on eBay

Scubapro 450 examples

Two examples of Seiko Turtle SCUBAPRO 450 found on eBay. The first is the original 6306-7001 model (probably circa 1976-78). This watch was, in our opinion, over-priced at £2,700 … at the time of publishing we are still watching it – no buyers. The other model is the later (early 1980’s) 6309-7040 version. For £500 you get an authentic vintage diver’s watch – this model was regulated and waterproof tested.

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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:

  • The case depth was increased from 13 mm to 14 mm
  • Addition of a softer silicone dive watch strap (previously it was a harder rubber)
  • The “lollipop” on the seconds hand was moved from the head to the tail of the hand
  • 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. The very similar, still vintage in our opinion, Seiko 6309-7040 can be bought for between £400 and £750. A nice example of a modern pre-owned Save the Ocean SRPD21 can be bought for under £240

A FULL SET Seiko “Save the Ocean Turtle” as sold on eBay

The example below is a modern era Seiko Prospex TurtleSave the Ocean“. This one has a “wave effect” embossed on the sea blue dial. Other versions can be found with a “Manta Ray” shadow sweeping the watch’s dial. The model here was sold £300 – not bad for a modern, accurate, 200m water resistant automatic self winding dive watch.

A Save the Oceans Seiko Turtle dive watch discovered on eBay

How about a Steeldive tribute to the 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.

A Steeldive Captain Willard Turtle tribute found on eBay

Steeldive Willard Turtle Automatik Automatic Diver Watch with Seiko NH35A movement

The Seiko Turtle featured on this page is just one of the best Seiko Diving watches with their own quirky nicknames. Others classic dive watches from Seiko to consider include:

Seiko Monster

The Seiko Monster dive watch is so called because, allegedly, the shape of the bezel was inspired by a shark’s teeth. The Monster has the most aggressive design making it instantly recognizable. First introduced in 2000 in Japan with the Seiko SKX779 (black dial) and Seiko SKX781 (orange dial). More about the Seiko Monster dive watch.

Seiko Monster Dive Watch

Seiko SKX009 / SKX007

Of all the Seiko dive watches that have ever graced our wrists & oceans – the Seiko SKX007 and Seiko SKX009 are two of the most popular. This short history of the Seiko SKX009 Pepsi and SKX007 tells us they were first introduced in 1996. At the time no one could have predicted their success and longevity. All models incorporated the Seiko 7S26 automatic (self winding) movement. Older models can be identified by their 150m water resistancy, newer ones were certified to a depth of 200m.

The Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 divers watch range

Seiko Tuna

Of all the Seiko Diving watches the Tuna is the first choice for many professional divers. It’s ongoing popularity lies in the depth this watch can withstand. The Seiko Tuna range (that’s a nickname – not an official Seiko nomenclature) is a PROFESSIONAL diver’s watch capable of withstanding the pressure from depths of 1000 metres. More about the Seiko Tuna dive watch.

The Seiko Tuna Divers Watch

Seiko Samurai

The Seiko Samurai is a diver’s watch with sharp beveled lugs that look as if they’ve been cut with a warrior’s sword. From the ever popular range of Seiko diver’s watches the Samurai is viewed by many as the best all rounder – equally at home on a diver’s wrist as in the boardroom.

The Samurai is one of the most eye catching and dramatic designs of all the Seiko divers watches. The distinctive bevelled lugs give the “Seiko Samurai” it’s nickname. Samurai covers several models incorporating the iconic angular design. The now famous hard edged case shape was first introduced in 2004. More about the Seiko Samurai dive watch

The Seiko Samurai Divers Watch
Further Reading

More about the Turtle History – Worn and Wound