For as long as Seiko watches have been on the market, fans of the brand have come up with their own range of unofficial nicknames to distinguish the difference between each design. From the legendary Seiko Tuna to the newly named King Turtle, many of these watches are named after sea creatures while others are named solely on the shapes and sizes of their cases. If there’s one thing we’re sure about, a Seiko watch has officially reached cult status within the community when it is bestowed its own nickname.
Whether you are completely new to the world of horology or a long-time Seiko-fanatic looking to learn more about the history of these models, we hope this guide to Seiko watch nicknames helps you on your hunt for your next budget-friendly divers watch! If you would like to discover the latest collections of Seiko watch releases, head over to the W Hamond website here.
Starting with the most popular of all Seiko nicknamed watches, the Seiko Turtle is considered one of the best value automatic divers watches you can get. Normally retailing between £350 and £500, the model gets its name from the cushion shape of its case which evokes the shell of a turtle. The first Seiko Turtle was introduced in 1997, model 6309, and was widely favoured by diving enthusiasts for its reliability and rugged construction. Three decades later, in 2016, the Seiko Turtle was reintroduced and much to everyone’s delight the fan-favourite appears to have a permanent position within the Seiko collections.
Seiko King Turtle
The most recent addition to the dictionary of Seiko nicknames is the Seiko King Turtle which takes on a similar aesthetic to the classic Seiko Turtle but includes some new and improved features. These changes were highly requested by Seiko fans to make the design more robust and include a ceramic insert on the bezel as well as ratcheted detailing around the edge. This new grip features a harder, more prominent groove to allow for better grip for divers wearing thick globes. Additionally, sapphire crystal glass is used to replace the Hardlex crystal which provides better scratch resistance and legibility over the dial.
The Seiko Tuna – sometimes known as the Seiko Tuna Can – is by far the biggest on this list measuring up to a remarkable 48mm in size. It is the large case that gives the Seiko Tuna its distinguishable name as the thick and hefty bezel looks like a can of tuna. The first Seiko Tuna watch was released in 1975 after Seiko received a letter from a professional diver complaining how most diving watches could not survive the demands of saturation diving. In response to this, Seiko released model 6159-7010 (now known as the Grandfather Tuna) which was fitted with a protective outer shell that gave it its legendary tuna-can look.
One of the easiest to identify, the Seiko Monster is instantly recognisable for its large toothy bezel and thick central hands coated in a bright lume. True fans of the design swear by its robust construction, claiming its build it almost indestructible. Although the design may look a little frightening, Seiko Monster watches are fitted with fairly short lugs making them extremely comfortable to wear and even suitable for those with smaller wrists. The first of its kind was released in 2000 as an extension to the Seiko SKX diving watches range and ever since we have seen an extraordinary amount of Seiko Monster models including the Baby Monster, Night Monster, Trek Monster and the legendary Orange Monster (SKX789) regarded as one of the most notable divers out there.
Since it is no longer in production, the Seiko Pogue watch has become of the most collectible vintage watches by the brand and with it comes a fascinating backstory. Named after Colonel William Pogue, the watch is believed to have been the first automatic chronograph to be worn in space. Originally, the Sinn 140 held the title however an eagle-eyed Seiko fan noticed the Seiko Pogue 6139 in a photo on the wrist of the NASA astronaut at a Skylab control panel in 1973. It turned out NASA had allowed him to bring the watch on his mission and it had performed perfectly in space. Considered practically bulletproof, this vintage design is considered worth almost double what it originally retailed for.
The Seiko Shogun is named less after its appearance but more on the list of specifications its promises. Crafted from titanium and measuring to 44mm in size, these watches ensure a 200 metre water resistance, date window at 3 o clock, 12 hour time markings filled with lume, screw down crown, Hardlex mineral glass and the Seiko 6R15 automatic winding movement with a 50 hour power reserve. Thanks to all these features, the Seiko Shogun is considered a fantastic diving instrument with a tool-like vibe.
Similar in many ways to the Shogun, the Seiko Sumo offers a fantastic supplement of features that has made it high up on the list of the coveted Seiko dive watches. Its differences lie largely in its thicker bezel with larger numerals around the edge as well as its heavier weight which comes from the stainless steel case and bracelet. The origin of its name is unknown, but many have argued that Sumo refers to its wide case in proportion to the 20mm band while other have suggested it is named after the 12 o’ clock marker which looks similar to the underwear worn by Japanese sumo wrestlers. Watches nicknamed the Seiko Blumo also refer to the blue dial version of the Sumo.
Suitably named after its sword-shaped hands, the Seiko Samurai watch was released between 2004 and 2008 and found itself very popular with Seiko fans. Its sleek, angular case was available in both steel and titanium and ran the Seiko 7S35 movement. The model then disappeared from production for almost a decade before it was reintroduced at the end of 2016. The sharp central hands remain but they are now powered by the Seiko 4R35 calibre.
Seiko Sea Urchin
One of the best valued Seiko watches on the market, the Seiko Sea Urchin is often the first watch of many for budding collectors thanks to its clean and simple aesthetic and entry-level price point. The design comes from the Seiko 5 collection and boasts a 100 metre water resistance and the basic Seiko 7S36 movement. The origins of its name are uncertain, but it could refer to the long minute markings on the dial which resemble the spines of a sea urchin.
The first of several Seiko ‘movie’ watches, the Seiko Arnie is suitably named after the actor who wore it. First introduced in 1982, the Seiko “Arnie” H588 became the world’s first hybrid divers watch, meaning it boasted both analog and digital displays. The watch on its own was significant with its perfect balance between traditional timekeeping and multifunctional digital capability, but it wasn’t until Arnold Schwarzenegger began wearing it in many of his 80’s movies that the watch was bought to the forefront of luxury design. Most famously worn in his films Predator and Commando, the H588 became a must have for all action-movie lovers. Seiko also released a re-issue of the Seiko Arnie as model SNJ025P1.
The second Seiko movie watch is the Seiko Ripley, again named after the person lucky enough to wear it. The model was originally worn by Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver in the 1979 movie Alien and instantly stood out for the housing on the right hand side of the case. The model was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, an Italian automotive designer who created many iconic cars including the DeLorean. The futurist aesthetic was incredibly popular for its uniqueness, and the reissue released in 2016 found itself just as prevalent.
Those familiar with the Kurt Russel sci-fi movie Stargate will quickly guess where the Seiko Stargate watch gets its name from. The over-the-top ratcheted bezel shares a likeness with the portals found in the science fiction film, and thanks to its miniscule grooves, the piece is incredibly easy to operate even with gloves on.
Seiko Bottle Cap
Another Seiko watch nicknamed after its bezel, the Seiko Bottle Cap features a distinctive round notched bezel that instantly reminds us of the underside of a glass bottle cap. These models are fairly bulky and stand pretty tall off the wrist, but like the Seiko Monster, the lugs are kept short so they can wear fine on most men’s wrists. One of the most famous Seiko Bottle Cap watches is known as the “Root Beer” which showcases a brown dial and stunning bronze bezel.
Our last marine-inspired timepiece is the Seiko Starfish which earned its title from its remarkable six-point bezel reminiscent of the shape of its ocean creature counterpart. It’s chunky and robust case promises a water resistant rating of 200 metres and houses the Seiko 7S36 automatic winding calibre. Many Seiko fans also refer to this model as the Seiko Shuriken since the bezel also looks a lot like the Japanese blade.
One of the more unusually named Seiko watches, the Seiko Spork is unfortunately no longer in production, but its name is believed to derive from its mixed diving and aviation inspired aesthetic. Others also argue that the nickname comes from its model number SRP043K1 which when rearranged spells Spork. These watches, with their statement bezels, luminous dials and unique crown positions are rare to find.
Last but not least is the Seiko Mohawk, a watch named after the iconic hairstyle. The model gets this moniker thanks to the raised part of the bezel between 00-20, a feature which allows divers wearing thick gloves to get a good grip on the bezel and easily use its functionality underwater. The significant Mohawk accent is almost impossible to miss when on the wrist and so has found itself treated like marmite within the Seiko community.
Seiko Baby MM
Named after their MM or Marine Master collection, the Seiko Baby MM refers to watches within the collection that have a slightly different case shape and a shallower water resistant rating. The case shape looks similar to the Seiko Sumo but with a slightly more streamline finish.
The Seiko Zimbe is named after a real life Zimbe whale shark, one that was recorded to have traveled over a million kilometers during its lifetime. The name also reflects the watch's own commitment to providing lifelong durability. The Seiko Zimbe Thailand has become of the brand's most successful collections in recent years and is only sold in Thailand, making its exclusivity a huge hit with collectors all over the world.