A million better people have reviewed the Seiko SRP309KI “Orange Monster” already. But that’s not going to stop me today, folks. Not after the coffee I just had. The Seiko SRP309KI is an update to the Seiko SKX781. Nicknamed the “Orange Monster”, they are extremely rugged dive watches with a loyal cult following. And now I know why. They’re affordable, well made, comfortable, and unique.
Much has been said about the New Monsters, so to my fellow Watchthusiasts, here’s what I’ve personally found wearing the SRP309K1 for a few weeks:
Great overall design. The new design is fresh feeling while still being faithful to the original pleasing both my purist side and that other side that always wants the new thing. My brain was going back and forth on the “Tooth” indices but on the wrist, they’re surprisingly subdued and really help to create clarity within the dial but still feeling familiar.
I can’t speak of it’s function as a dive watch because, due to a completely rational and normal fear of the earth’s mighty oceans, I would never set wrist in there. But, you know… seems like it would do the job. Good to 200m, incredible lume, easily gripped bezel, and a protected crown. Fancy point of interest: The dial was initially coloured orange as it was deemed the most legible colour under water.
The Bracelet. Great and one of the more comfortable metal bracelets I’ve worn. Comes extra big so it fits over a wet suit. Note: If you’re sizing this at home, watch out for those collared pins. Not very difficult but tricky enough that I bragged to my wife about doing it all by myself when I was done. Need help? The great folks over at the Poor Man’s Watch Forum got you covered HERE
The Movement. Updated from the 7S26 caliber to the 4R36 caliber. The 4R36, although an automatic like the 7S26, is hand wind-able and features hacking seconds.
Surprises. Alarmingly accommodating. In pictures, it looks like it would be standing on your wrist, just screaming out at passers by. While it certainly has a presence, it’s not as loud as I imagined. I’m not sure you’d want to wear it to say a funeral or maybe Philippe Dufour’s birthday, but it’s a really great casual watch. And I imagine, very appropriate for diving. Again, If you disregard all of nature’s warnings not to go in there, of course.
Overall, I really enjoy this watch. I wanted a tough watch that satisfied my watch nerdery at the same time and that’s what I got. Seiko created a pretty fantastic watch yet again that your collection deserves.