Seiko King Turtle (2020): the world’s best dive watch?


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Seiko’s most popular dive watch – actually, it’s almost certainly one of the world’s most popular dive watches – just got a huge upgrade.

But before we go into exactly what’s new, let’s look back at the original Seiko Dive Watch – the 6105.

It is now the stuff of watchmaking legend, with the original turtle featured in the classic movie Apocalypse Now – worn by none other than Martin Sheen.

During the time of smaller watchcases, the 6105’s 44-millimetre bezel really helped it stand out. And the rugged tool watch became a classic for both horologists and diving enthusiasts during the 1970s.

The original Seiko Turtle was worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

Shortly afterwards, Seiko decided to upgrade its dive watch and the Turtle line was born. It was inspired by the 6105, and kept the iconic sweeping cushion case, but was made of different, stronger materials.

That brings us neatly to 2020, and the new upgraded Turtle – which fans of the brand have lovingly called the king. But is it fit for one?

Seiko King Turtle: Material Girl

The King Turtle matches premium materials with classic stylings

The new King Turtle is so named after its use of premium materials. That not only lets Seiko’s watch dive to depths of 200-metres but also look rather good while doing it.

The new Turtle features a sapphire crystal and a ceramic bezel, which when combined make the face of the Turtle essentially scratchproof.

And Seiko didn’t stop there. It also added a small crystal magnifier over the date – called a cyclops in the watch world – and gave the bezel and extra textured edge, meaning it’s easier to rotate both on land and under the sea.

All those slight changes give the Seiko King Turtle an ultra-modern look and feel, despite the watch being able to trace its heritage back over 50 years.

Seiko King Turtle: Dial ‘W’ for ‘Watch’

What’s really special about the new King Turtle is the dial.

There are three colours to choose from, and the black and green versions feature a waffle-pattern dial (the blue version features a classic wave motif).

The waffle pattern gives the dial a 3D-like element, that changes depending on how you look at it in direct sunlight – or perhaps underwater light – which really helps the dial of the watch stand out.

Then there’s that lovely, sweeping cushion case with crown at the 4 o’clock position. Most dive watches of this type of ilk are just big and bulky, but there’s something about the Turtle’s sweeping case that elevates the look and feel, and makes it that much more classy.

Seiko King Turtle: The Verdict

While Seiko’s Turtle series started out as a tool watch for divers, it has transcended that and is now worn worldwide for its distinct look and feel.

The King Turtle does one better, pairing premium materials with an already iconic design and adding that interesting waffle dial. That’s not to say the watch can’t handle its original mission of diving the depths; it just looks supremely good doing it.

Ultimately, the King Turtle is for someone who not only wants a dive watch, but wants to be seen wearing one. And in that regard, the new 2020 version certainly delivers in spades.

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