The world's most well-known analog diving watches may have just become more official with the announcement from Japanese Seiko that they have joined PADI as an official partner. Since PADI is the organization most commonly used to obtain diving certification, the vast majority of those who possess various levels of diving certification are more than familiar with it (myself and several members of the aBlogtoWatch team included). Seiko recently unveiled two limited-edition timepieces honoring PADI's red and blue hues, together with official PADI branding on the dial, to kick off their partnership with the organization.
Diving and learning to dive depend on time and timing, and Seiko has recently joined the market to create an incredible memento for everyone who has completed the PADI certification process. Traditional analog watches are undoubtedly more suited to watch enthusiasts and history buffs, but most people concur that carrying a backup watch in addition to your dive computer is a smart idea. Having said that, wearing one of these limited edition Seiko Prospex line PADI dive watches is a great way to prove to others that you aren't simply another dive watch enthusiast with no diving experience. The fact that the watches are not at all ugly helps.
About 12 years after the first commercial dive watches were made available to the general public during a period when recreational diving was in vogue, Seiko unveiled their first diving watch in 1965. Seiko's first titanium dive watch from 1975 is a valuable collector's item, and the "Tuna" watch with its ceramic outer casing debuted in 1986. Seiko allegedly released the first Nitrox Dive computer watch in 2000. More significant is the enormous range of Seiko dive watches that continue to be released annually. Seiko is frequently associated with dive watches, which just so happen to be the most popular category of sport watches, whether you wear them underwater or not.
The partnership between Seiko and PADI was established with the sale of two limited-edition Prospex series timepieces and support for Project AWARE, a global initiative to save ocean habitats. Although it's unclear how the timepieces are connected to Project AWARE, Seiko does assert that it backs the environmental campaign. The SUN and SRPA lines from Seiko, which are relatively recent divers, served as the basis for the two limited-edition watches. The mechanical model of the two is the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI Automatic Diver's SRPA21. This is probably the more well-known of the two due of its traditional Seiko-style Pepsi bezel and metal bracelet. The SRPA collection has earned the nickname "Turtle" from some Seiko enthusiasts.
The steel case of the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SRPA21 is 45mm wide, 13.4mm thick, and water resistant to 200 meters. The case features a 4,800 A/m magnetic resistance, and the dial has a Hardlex crystal. The Seiko in-house caliber 4R36 automatic movement, which has a 41-hour power reserve and runs at 3Hz, is housed inside the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SRPA21 and provides the time with a day/date complication. The blue and red colors, coupled with the expertly incorporated PADI emblem on the dial, make the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SRPA21 particularly appealing. It also comes on a matching steel bracelet.
The term "Special Edition" in this instance refers to the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI watches' selective production and distribution rather than their limited production. Additionally, the co-branding on the dials adds to its uniqueness. The Seiko Prospex SUN065 Kinetic GMT Diver is the more advanced of the two Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI models, however traditional watch enthusiasts may prefer the mechanical Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SRPA21. In our Seiko SUN023 Kinetic GMT Diver review here, aBlogtoWatch evaluated this watch in a different color.
The Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SUN065 Kinetic GMT Diver has a steel case that is 47.5mm wide and 14.1mm thick. It is water resistant to 200 meters and comes with a black silicone diver's strap. Once more, the dial hue is blue with red accents and has the PADI emblem. The quartz caliber 5M85 Kinetic movement, which is created by Seiko and has an automatic-style rotor to charge the battery, is found within the Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI SUN065 Kinetic GMT Diver. This movement has a total battery life of around 6 months between charges. The Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI Kinetic GMT Diver sports a GMT hand for a second time zone on the dial stated in 24-hour format, in addition to the time and date. The GMT hand may be easily adjusted in one-hour intervals using a pusher on the casing.
Divers and watch fans will struggle to resist these Seiko Prospex Special Edition PADI watches if they have any positive PADI experiences.