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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After not getting it, then coming around and waiting for prices to come down, I finally picked up a PADI Turtle SRPA21. I purchased it half thinking I might flip it straight away. But I have to say, in the metal this watch really works.

Like many of you, I absolutely love vintage Seiko 6309-7040/9’s. Everything about those watches is perfection. And I have two. A 1977 SUWA restored by Spencer Klein. And a 1985 Hong Kong-cased version. Both are in remarkable condition. But I’ve always wanted a modern Turtle I didn’t have to worry about beating around.

I had an SRP775 (Golden Turtle) for a while. But it was just too big. The longer lug-to-lug distance on the new Turtles was just too much for my small wrist. And the watch wasn’t fundamentally different enough from a vintage Turtle to offer anything new or a compelling reason to keep it around regardless. The PADI changed that.

First, let me say — and some of you may of course violently disagree — I never really got the Pepsi bezel on Seiko divers. I found them an obvious rip off of a Rolex GMT Master. (I have the same beef with the modern Batman Turtle.) But the PADI is different. That blue dial really works and sets it apart.

In particular, as many have pointed out, the blue sunburst dial is rich and hypnotic. And combined with the red and blue bezel, it brings something very fresh and distinctive to the new Turtles. Additionally, the placement of the Prospex and PADI logos brings better balance to the dial than the standard layout on modern Turtles IMHO.

Plus, something about the PADI co-branding is just cool (think COMEX Submariner), and gives the watch a bit of diver’s street cred or water cred, I suppose. Of course, it’s technically no different from any other modern Turtle. But dial variations are catnip for any WIS.

Now, I had reservations about the minute hand going into this. I was almost certain I would hate the red, and it would annoy me to no end. But in person, it doesn’t really bother me one bit. Not to say I love or prefer it to the alternative; it just doesn’t get to me one way or another. No harm, no foul.

Then there are the (non-OEM) strap options that take it to the next level. It looks fantastic on a beige NATO (pictured), and I’m even more excited about the blue Uncle Seiko waffle strap I’ve got coming in the mail.

Couldn’t be happier with the PADI. It gives me a modern upgraded Turtle that really stands out on its own merits (vs. being a pure facsimile of an older model).

Curious for your thoughts or questions. Thanks for reading.



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Nice review. A bought a turtle a year ago (same model), then sold it to a friend to finance a more expensive Squale. About 6 months later I then sold the Squale and re-bought a turtle! It's so fun and so cool and cheap enough that I wear it whenever and don't worry about it. A domed sapphire would be nice, but hey: what can you expect.

As you point out, this is a great watch for natos. I usually wear on a blue Phenomenato and it looks great. But it looks good on tan, gray, blue/red striped, and many more.
 
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