It is always fun when you find something unexpected in the watch world. For me personally, I frequently find watches that look appealing in some way, but I would never purchase. The instant placement of the “no-list” usually occurs because some aspect of the watch makes it impractical for me to wear. While I understand that not all watches are suitable for all occasions, having a watch that doesn’t fit into your life or tastes at all makes zero sense, unless it somehow brings you joy and you can afford to have those pieces.
Something I have yet to experience is ownership of a Seiko, of any kind. The crowd favorites are obviously the divers, and understandably so; robust, affordable, unique looking watches for the masses. What they maybe lack in quality and features, they more than make up for in charm and durability. While I did contemplate a SKX013, I definitely missed the train, and by the time I was ready to part with my money to buy one, they were no longer worth it, often fetching closing to $400 on eBay. With bringing up the SKX013, it probably comes as no surprise, along with previous posts, that I prefer smaller watches. A combination of small frame and preference for things that wear more elegantly than middle of the road (because I will admit, sometimes a big bruiser of a watch is damn fun), most Seiko’s get casted out. While yes, a Seiko Turtle is known to fit well, even for its size (and it does, I’ve tried), it is still larger than I prefer. A lug-to-lug of 44-46mm seems to be my sweet spot, and anything more than 47mm becomes questionable, depending on case design. Another aspect that is common amongst people today is the presence of magnets. The average person is surrounded by them more so than any time in human’s past. On top of that, I work with amplifiers and music equipment constantly, so magnetizing a watch is not a difficult task. When a watch has above average magnetic resistance, it definitely receives notice on my part.
From I’ve stated so far, we are probably thinking I’ll be looking at a mid-sized Seiko-esque diver with magnetic resistance, and you are correct! From timefactors.com, we have the Smiths “Baby” Willard PRS-68. A case design recalling the Seiko “Willard,” that also recently received a couple modern reissues from Seiko themselves, but in a 40.6mm case diameter, making it more wearable than the modern reissue that comes in at 42mm, and much more wearable than a Seiko Turtle, which comes in at 45mm. In addition to the smaller case design, Time Factors incorporates a faraday cage (an anti-magnetic shield for the movement), increasing the antimagnetic ability of the watch to 20,000 A/m, or roughly 250 gauss. While definitely not Rolex Milgauss or Omega Master Co-Axial territory, it will definitely be helpful in daily use, and should be enough for that. The overall dimensions of the watch are 40.6mm in diameter, 43.5 lug to lug, 13.65mm thick including the crystal, 18mm lug spacing, 200 meters water resistance, and weighing in at 176 grams including the bracelet. The watch features X1-C3 Super Luminova, sapphire crystal, a screw back, screw down crown, and a 120-click ceramic bezel insert with lumed numerals. The movement inside is a Seiko 6R15 (NE15C), and the bracelet is a jubilee style with a safety clasp.
While a bit more expensive than a standard Turtle, but not quite as expensive as new “King Turtle,” this would be my pick if you are like me in terms of taste in watches, but are looking for something along the lines of a Seiko dive watch. As of writing, with the conversion rate from GBP to USD, the watch comes in at about $472 shipped from the UK to the USA. I think with the added upgrade compared to the standard Turtle, and the improved wearability, I definitely think this is worth the price bump, and a very cool watch.
For more information, check out Time Factors here.