If you read my review of the Seiko Prospex LX, you'll remember that I was trying to experience a higher end Seiko after having owned a number of more affordable Seiko divers. In the past few years alone, I've had a Monster and Safari Tuna, as well as a 62MAS from the mid-range. I wasn't planning to get into something else with a 4R any time soon, yet here I am, finding myself having purchased one.
Why? I wanted something more colorful back in the collection, and also needed to use to photograph with our new Locking Keeper Rubber Straps. As luck would have it, the host of one of my favorite watch podcasts was selling this Samurai at a great price! Also, you should give them a listen if you haven't.
Wearing the Samurai
The specifications and build quality of the Samurai are on par with any of the other Seikos in the price range that I have owned. The bezel clicks are not as precise as higher end watches, but they are still distinct, and it is quite smooth to turn. A bit of fiddling is required for the pip to line up with the 12 marker, but that seems to be typical.
The case is mostly brushed with polished areas on the case sides and above the bracelet. The finishing is appropriate for the price, but it's not quite as intricate or exciting as higher end Seikos.
As you'd expect from a Seiko, the green lume is extremely bright. The Samurai especially has very large indices, making it even brighter than some of its sister models.
The orange dial is also a striking color, matching the shade of a perfectly ripe fruit of the same name. It matches my memory of the Orange Monsters that I owned and loved years ago. The hands are also of a very similar design to those watches.
The bracelet is typical entry Seiko diver fare. It is one of the less interesting designs, with an entirely brushed top surface. The design appears to be emulating an oyster bracelet. It features the standard stamped clasp with stamped dive extension, and is sized with pins and sleeves (luckily I didn't have to do this, as I was only a few micro positions away from the previous owner's wrist).
The Samurai Details
So what are the aspects that make the Samurai stand out? It must have some unique aspects if the Seiko community gave it such a memorable nickname.
Many people believe that name given to the original early-2000s Samurai was inspired by the sharp case and lugs. Three different flat surfaces meet, giving the appearance that they were chopped into the watch with a sword. This was my believe too, before doing a bit of research. I found a number of websites that claim that the name was actually derived from the sword-shaped hands of the original.
Either way, the case design is unique. In addition to the lug design, another interesting feature is that the mid case is tucked in under the bezel, and slopes inward slightly as it reaches the wrist.
The diameter is also slightly larger than other Seiko divers at nearly 44mm. The bezel is also pushed out to the edge of the case, making it look every bit that big.
At 13.5mm thick, it isn't much thicker than other Seiko divers though, so it wears fairly flat on the wrist. The lugs are tight to the case (at 48mm lug to lug), so smaller wrists can still pull it off.
Unlike many of the other Seiko divers in its class, it only features a date display. On other models, I like having the day, but in this case I think it looks cleaner. It also gives more surface area for that great orange color.
The bezel features a nice-looking knurled texture, and is very easy to grip. I also like the mixture of orange and black used on the insert, making it even more unique.
The large, knurled screw-down crown is easy to grip too. As this Samurai generation has a 4R movement, it features hacking and hand-winding.
With the Orange Monster having long since been discontinued, the Samurai was carrying the flag for the fun color in the Seiko lineup. Unfortunately, this model seems to have also been discontinued, leaving a vacancy for those who enjoy such a bright color.
Luckily though, prices have not jumped up yet like they did with the Monster, and they can still be found easily at decent prices. Although not quite as funky as the Monster, the unique case shape, and attractive bezel make it as much fun to wear.
What are your thoughts on the Orange Samurai? Would you wear such a bright watch? Let us know in the comments!
Name: Seiko Prospex Automatic Dive Watch (a.k.a. Samurai)
Reference Number: SRPC07 (SRPB97)
MSRP: $525 (Discontinued)
Dimensions: 43.8mm diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, 13.5mm thick,
Lug Width: 22mm
Movement: Seiko 4R35
Power Reserve: 41 hours
Water Resistance: 200m
Weight: 199g (with all links)
Crystal: Hardlex (mineral)
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating, 120 click
Bracelet: Stainless steel with dive extension