Seiko Turtle Diver’s Watch

The Seiko Turtle Diver's Watch  - a review by the team at ChronoDivers

* images © eBay under EPN permissions

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. Join us as we take a deep dive into this vintage Seiko Dive Watch. A review of the Turtle’s key functions & features and where to buy a pre-owned Seiko Turtle dive watch.

Introducing the Turtle

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. The Seiko Turtle dive watch is a popular collection of diving watches manufactured by Seiko, an innovative Japanese watch brand with an outstanding pedigree in Diver’s Watches. 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.

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 for Sale

eBay is a popular starting point in many buyers Turtle watch journey. To browse all the Seiko Turtle watches available today – simply click the blue button below for a carefully FILTERED selection.

*ChronoDivers are affiliated to the EPN (eBay Partners Network). The website owner may earn commission on resulting sales


6306-7001 – Original Seiko 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.

Vintage 6306 Dive Watch 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.

images show eBay watches advertised on this website © eBay EPN

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?

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

Seiko Turtle in the NEWS

A look at the Seiko Turtle Dive watch in the NEWS. New products and general interest news stories relating to the Seiko Turtle Dive Watch.

Seiko Dive Watch enthusiasts, brace yourselves for the latest addition to the Black Series – the Seiko Prospex King Turtle SRPK43. This formidable timepiece is making waves in the horology scene with its distinctive design and cut…

Read More

Seiko Turtle Homage

Customers who admire the general aesthetics of the Seiko Turtle dive watch may also like the Captain Willard homage watch by Steeldive (SD1970). 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 “Turtle” on Amazon

Steeldive Captain Willard Turtle tribute found on eBay

Steeldive Willard Turtle Automatik Automatic Diver Watch with Seiko NH35A movement

Seiko Turtle for Sale

Browse all the Seiko Turtle watches available today on eBay. Click the button below.

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Seiko Divers on Amazon

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Further Reading

More about the Turtle History – Worn and Wound