Hands-On With The Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 Dive Watch
The new Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 is already quite a few months old. I know, I know It took us a while to feature the watch, but as the bard says, “all’s well that ends well”. I finally managed to put my hands on this new, blue PADI Monster and I must say, I don’t really want to part with it.
The Seiko × PADI collaboration goes back to 2016. This was the year the Japanese brand announced its collaboration with the world’s largest diving network. Four years and many models later (like this and this) we have yet another Seiko PADI. This time, it’s coming from the 4th generation of Seiko Monsters.
A bit of history
Seiko introduced the very first Monsters back in 2001. Those models were the SKX 779 with a black dial and the SKX 781 with an orange one. Obviously, the name Monster is only a moniker used by enthusiasts to highlight the watch’s external features. Contrary to other models at the time the Monsters were rugged, steel watches with a wide steel bezel in 42mm size. They looked very different from the other timepieces in Seiko’s collection and so the nickname stuck to them like glue.
11 years after the initial launch, Seiko rolled out the second generation in 2012. A few updates came with the release, such as the movement. Only three years passed when the brand launched the 3rd series of Monsters under the Prospex line, hence the X on the dial.
That brings us up to 2019, the year that marks the fourth and latest generation of the Seiko Monsters. Consequently, the topic of our article, the Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 is one of them.
I have a confession to make; I never dug the Monster. To me, the steel case with the thick bezel, and especially with the orange dial was too much. I love my Seikos, don’t get me wrong. Still, the Monsters could never get to my heart. Until I saw the PADI Monster. All of a sudden it made perfect sense.
Previously, the look was too homogenous for me. However, this rough case, with the black dial and blue bezel is just the perfect combination. Those colors really break things up on the wrist and give you a lot to look at. What was once a big lump of steel, now seems more artful, more conscious, and certainly more interesting.
Just like its predecessors, the PADI Monster is a dive watch to its core. We have a 42.4mm case that is over 13mm thick and almost 50mm from lug tip to lug tip. To top this off, the weight is a whooping 186g. Needless to say, the watch is water-resistant to 200m. Those numbers make the Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 a substantial beast.
You have the usual features of a dive watch. Firstly, the case back is threaded (screw-down), as is the crown. Furthermore, the back has Special Edition markings to highlight the PADI collab. Secondly, its 120-click, steel bezel — the trademark look of all Seiko Monsters — comes in PADI blue. To shake things up a bit, said bezel’s 60-minute track and its indices are white with a touch of red around the lume pip. Blue with white and red gives great visibility to the watch and contrasts the black dial just fine.
Lastly, we have a three-fold clasp with push-button release and diving extension. It is worth mentioning that this watch is not for those who are faint of heart. Thanks to its size and weight, the PADI Monster looks and wears big. But does it look good on the wrist? Oh yeah, it does indeed.
Logo upon logo
The one thing that might mess with my OCD when it comes to the looks, is the dial. Don’t get me wrong, the layout is great. First and foremost, we have large, LumiBrite-covered indexes providing great contrast with the black dial. The day-date aperture is also huge but not disturbing at all, even with the cyclops.
However, I feel that the three logos (Seiko, Prospex, PADI), as well as the extra text (Automatic, Diver’s 200m) and the large hands, clutter the watch face a bit. As the Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 is meant to be a tool watch I don’t mind the outsized indexes. I also don’t have a problem with wide hands. At the end of the day, those are features that serve the purpose of a diver’s watch. All I’m saying is that there might be a bit too much going on on the watch dial when it is viewed in broad daylight.
While the true charm of the Seiko PADI Monster is found in its looks, no review is complete without talking about what’s inside the case. When Seiko moved to the second generation of Monsters back in 2012 the brand deemed it time for a movement upgrade. Thus, the 4R36 joined the fray.
However, the 3rd generation received another caliber (6R15) only for it t be dropped in favor of a return to the 4R36 for this latest edition. Obviously, we are talking about an automatic movement with 24 jewels, a hacking second function, and a power reserve of about 40 hours. Moreover, the 4R36 has an operating frequency of 21,600vph, can also be hand-wound, and found in many other models throughout the Seiko collection. While it is no secret that this caliber is not known for its super accuracy, it gets the job done, offers a day-date complication, and is more than good enough to be used in this model.
I can honestly say that the Seiko Prospex PADI Monster SRPE27K1 is an incredible timepiece, especially in its price range of roughly €400. The sturdy steel polished case is well made and feels quality through and through. It certainly has the weight and build of a more expensive watch.
The colors are harmonious, I particularly love the blue steel bezel and the red minute and seconds hands and how they work with the black dial. While the large hands and indexes clearly help with legibility the text galore is a bit of a bummer to me. But hey, nobody’s perfect. All in all, this is a very handsome watch and a great contender if you are looking for a trusty tool-watch with a modern look. Especially one, that won’t break the bank but still offers quality and refinement. If you’d like to visit Seiko’s website, you can do so by clicking here.