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Since the beginning of the year, the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” complements the functional diver collection. The limited special model is all about the Suigun, the Japanese naval forces. What it is about the ancient soldiers, we clarify among other things in this watch review…
The Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” in the Uhrenlounge
For this review, the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” was kindly provided to me by the Online-Portal uhrenlounge.de at my disposal. The Uhrenlounge of Aika Jewelers from Dresden is specialized in the online sale of watches from renowned manufacturers such as Oris, Tissot, Hamilton or even Seiko. We have already tested the Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPF79K1. At the end of this watch review you will find links to the store, where you can find a Seiko offer, which is second to none, as well as many other timepieces! If you have any questions about watches, the competent customer service of the Uhrenlounge is at your disposal.
The history of the Suigun
Within the functional Prospex collection, Seiko fans know the models with the tapered hands under the name “Samurai” – obvious. My personal favorite is the King Samurai. The king among the Samurai watches stands out with its striking and eye-catching case, which is elegant and sporty at the same time. Moreover, you will quickly recognize the watches by the square structures of their dials, the waffle shape, as I like to call it.
Last January, Seiko added another model to the popular King Samurai. The Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro”, with reference number SRPH61K1, recalls the red armor of the same name worn by the ancient Suigun. The Suigun were Japanese soldiers who provided security off the coasts of the former naval power. They acted as soldiers in the harbor and supervised trade. The vermilion armor represented bravery, courage and fighting spirit.
Alright, no we have explained the origin of the special edition. The model is limited to 1500 pieces. Otherwise, the watch is identical in construction to the Seiko Prospex King Samurai SRPE35K1, which I was also able to test for you.
The packaging has a Seiko-typical double bottom. In the cavity in between, the Japanese watch manufacturer likes to stow the warranty card and the user manual, which I don’t think I’ve ever looked into. I wonder if I’m missing something. The box itself stands out with its inner, red trim. The dive watch comes with an additional black silicone strap.
I like the red tone of the dial. The color of the “Shu-iro” armor looks much more exciting than the black sister model, which I already had the pleasure to get to know. The cyclops magnifier also catches the eye, reminding me a bit of TAG Heuer or Rolex divers. Whether the nickname “Samurai” really comes from the sword-like hands or from the sharp-edged case is not clear. Both elements have been an essential part of the design since the introduction of the first Samurai in the early 2000s.
The Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” on the Wrist
Large diving watches like the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” have their own peculiarities. The special model weighs a hefty 205 grams with a stainless steel bracelet. The other key data also reveal that the wristwatch fits best on medium to large wrists. With a diameter of 44 millimeters, the King Samurai “Shu-iro” nevertheless has a flat height of 13 millimeters.
If you are aware of the considerable dimensions of this diver and can do without lightness as well as inconspicuousness, you can visually enjoy a timelessly beautiful diver’s watch. Sporty, functional and always elegant – so the timepiece fits on your wrist in any situation. Are you bored of the “classic” diving watches? The Seiko Prospex King Samurai gets around that problem with its “Shu-iro” red tone, which gives the watch something special. Visually, the special edition is certainly the most interesting “King Samurai” currently on the market.
The case in detail
I would prefer the “King” models over the conventional “Samurai” watches any day, which is due to certain qualitative differences. Those who choose to upgrade will enjoy a number of amenities, which can be seen very clearly in the case. For example, Seiko’s often used and often criticized Hardlex glass has been replaced by more noble sapphire. The term Hardlex stands for nothing other than mineral glass. Sapphire glass, on the other hand, is more durable, even more scratch-resistant and clearer. You have to get used to the cyclops magnifier, which divides the fan community. Some are happy about the design element, which is usually found in the luxury segment. Others, however, are bothered by the prominent bulge above the sapphire crystal or the look in general. In the end, this is all a matter of taste. I like the cyclops magnifier.
Praise goes to the build quality of the stainless steel case. Seiko is known for its fair price-performance ratio. The quality standards set here can definitely keep up with watches from more expensive price categories.
No big surprises are offered by the case back, which is adorned by the great wave of Kanagawa. The famous painting with the snow-covered Mount Fuji in the background is world-famous and it’s hard to imagine the back of many Prospex watches without it. On the back you can also find the production number. The Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” is limited to a total of 3500 pieces.
Seiko’s diving watch is water resistant to a depth of 200 meters. A solid value – nothing special, but more than sufficient, especially for the upper three-digit price segment.
Seiko relies on its most used automatic movement
Inside the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” works the well known 4R35, which most people might be familiar with under the name NH35. The self-winding manufacture caliber has a power reserve of up to 41 hours, which is quite solid.
The same cannot be said for the accuracy. With a rate deviation of about +/- 25 seconds per day, the movement is not exactly one of the top performers in terms of precision. So, you will have to be prepared to reset the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” more often. This is pleasantly easy thanks to the large, screw-down crown. A crown protector should not be missing, which ensures that the winding crown is not damaged or disturbs the back of the hand in everyday life, on dives or wherever.
Dial, bezel and bracelet
It is the combination of the dark red tone and the golden yellow accents of the hands and bezel that make the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” so special. The shape, arrangement and size of the individual elements including the characteristic waffle pattern were not changed compared to the other models. So you don’t have to do without the double index, the sword hands and the date window. Neither does the optimal readability. For use in low light conditions, the wearer has a Lumibrite coating at his disposal, which shines sufficiently brightly.
On the bezel with ceramic inlay, the scale from 0 to 15 minutes has been colored gold. The unidirectional rotating bezel is suitable for demanding dives. The feel is great!
In addition to the classic, three-link stainless steel bracelet, the wearer has an alternative made of silicone, which I would immediately wear for active activities. The lug width is 22 millimeters. Both straps offer a high wearing comfort.
My conclusion about the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro”
I already wrote a detailed review about the black sister model (you can read it here). For the entire current “King Samurai” collection, the following still applies: high-quality materials, a premium level of workmanship and an interesting price-performance ratio well below 1000 euros.
Seiko is not reinventing the diving watch with this, quite the opposite. Like the other watches, the Seiko Prospex King Samurai “Shu-iro” is a classic and timeless model. You buy a daily rocker. Nevertheless, the special accent is set by the red color scheme, which is hardly ever seen, especially on diving watches. The theme around the ancient Suigun and their armor is exciting and detailed. Not only die-hard Seiko fans will enjoy it.
In the Uhrenlounge, the model currently costs 694,99 euros. If the price increase is too expensive for you, you can buy the black SRPE35K1, which is also available in the store. My final thanks go to Uhrenlounge, who provided me with the wristwatch for this review.