Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Most people (including myself) tend to think of dive watches when it comes to Seiko Prospex timepieces. Prospex (Seiko's cute way of saying "professional specifications") also includes "Air" and "Land" collection models in addition to the more typical diving watch face. This Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic (SRPA71K1) is part of the less common but equally interesting Prospex Land collection and is new for 2017. It takes the popular "land explorer" look and beefs it up with a slick refined design, great legibility, and a solid movement.

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The entire idea of a "Land" sport watch is in a sense a bit passé. The most specific application Seiko or other brands that make these style watches indicate as to their intended purpose are terms such as "adventure" and "exploration." Dive watches are meant to survive the depths, aviation watches are meant to be legible and precise in the skies, and land watches are supposed to be...able to tumble on the ground? What typifies most watches of this style is having something either specifically or aesthetically to do with compass navigation. The Seiko SRPA71 (and its variant cousin models) all have internal rotating bezels with compass markers on them.

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

This function, when combined with a view of the sun, allows you to know the compass directions. The dial is aviator style, and the case is chunky and water resistant to 100m. Land watches are sort of a dressy hiking watch, and there is certainly a market for that. I really like to think of them as a type of hybrid sport watch which combines appeal of various types of timepiece themes, but isn't wholly any one of them. Accordingly, if you peruse Seiko's Prospex watch collections you'll see the biggest number of models in the "Sea" family, a bit less in the "Sky" family, and the least number of models in the "Land" family. My final note on that will be reminding you of what Seiko themselves say about the purpose of their Prospex Land models and that is; "For any person challenging the vast earth, a reliable partner with expert knowledge is essential. This watch is exactly that, supporting the adventurer every step of the way." Vague enough for you?

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The appeal of the Seiko Prospex SRPA71 isn't that vague however. It wins when it comes to being an attractive tool watch with a handsome look and a really fair price. The straight-forward and legible design will appeal to many people wanting a solid, traditional, high-value-for-money timepiece without any unnecessary decorative frills.

The case is 42mm wide in steel, with one version coming in an entirely black-coated model. The SPRA71 comes on a matching steel bracelet and with a black-coated steel bezel that acts to visually increase the size of the dial. The case manages to have 100m of water resistance without a screw-down crown either.

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

A separate crown at 4 o'clock is used to control the internal rotating navigational bezel. It moves freely without any clicks, which is common for navigational bezels. Seiko does a good job of making the turning feel as high-end as possible, though the rotating action on a watch in the several thousand dollar range is usually better. For the money, the internal rotating bezel works really nicely, with a good level of resistance and nothing like those crappy, almost totally free turning internal bezels of yore. It may very well be that one in 100 (or less) Prospex Land watch users will ever actually use the internal rotating bezel for anything aside from a finger toy to release idle tension.

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The heft of the steel case and the thick proportions of the case (along with the sizable crown guards) give the entire Seiko SRPA71 case a very durable look to it, which I really like. Most of the case is polished, while some of the top surfaces are brushed. The included bracelet is reasonably attractive with a three-link design that has some polished sections between the otherwise all brushed surfaces. The bracelet doesn't taper, which might have upgraded the look a bit - but again stuff like that ups the cost of production and a watch like this is really an exercise in successful efficiency.

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Seiko Prospex SRPA71 Land Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I do like that the bracelet used end-links and that the deployant is durable and secure feeling. Seiko has always had a good ability to make a bracelet both inexpensive and solid-feeling - which is a tough thing to do. Little features such as the micro-adjust holes on the folding and locking deployant clasp allow for a comfortable fit - a staple of any Seiko Prospex watch wearing experience.

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (121)
  • I want it! (93)
  • Interesting (36)
  • I love it! (18)
  • Classy (9)
  • Mikita

    Solid toolish daily beater, looks better on a strap IMO. Enough said.

  • Word Merchant

    I’m sure this watch has some sort of merit, but I’m heading back to the H. Moser & Cie article now.

    • egznyc

      That one is just a touch more expensive …

  • A_watches

    Great tool watch, Seiko is unbeatable with these type of offerings at the lower price point

  • Saul Sloota

    Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    Seiko is troubled by its horrible clasp yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

    • Jeffrey Krupa

      (…and Seiko never put a watch on the Moon either.)

    • Sheez Gagoo

      I don’t understand. What’s wrong with the clasp? It has cool buttons so the knob will not break with time.

    • DanW94

      Andy are you goofing on Elvis, hey baby, are we losing touch?

  • Hate the new logo. Hate the clasp. Love the lume shot. Love the VFM.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    A few nice touches, but more i don’t like,………….i’ll pass.

  • I don’t understand the utility of compass bezels. I know how to find south (or north, for our antipodal cousins) using the hands and the sun. Set the bezel accordingly and it’s a handy reference point…until you move. It’s not as if you can set the bezel to ENE and hike along following that without pausing and going through the sun/hands/set the bezel process again, or you might very well be walking in circles.

    • SuperStrapper

      Same. As someone that has relied on compass bearings on too many occasions to recount, leaving it to something like thisbis a terrifying notion. You can always get a rough estimate using the hands, as you mentioned, you otherwise if you’re too g to be the field, have an actual compass.

      To Ariel’s point, this is basically just a fidget spinner for the wrist.

      • Spaceguitar

        I’d put this up with a tachymetre in usefulness, but it’s funny how that one never goes away and is so much more accepted. Yeah, it’s a mechanism versus typically printing, but same idea.

        • SuperStrapper

          Tachy for the most part doesn’t bother me. And, no one is going to get lost in the woods because of tachymetre miscalculations.

          “Useless” complications make the watch world go round. If every watch was a clean dial time-only, this would be the shittiest interest ever. Second maybe to feces appreciation.

          • Kuroji

            An earthy bouquet with just a hint of peanuts.

          • SuperStrapper

            *shudder*

      • Kuroji

        In which case a dive bezel is probably a better choice. So clicky!

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        Fidget spinner……(giggle)..

    • 200 Fathoms

      And makes the dial a bit too busy.

    • Kuroji

      I have a couple of watches with compass bezels, but they also have a compass function. The ones without a compass baffle me.

    • Without a GMT hand a compass ring/bezel is pretty worthless.

  • SuperStrapper

    Unless I misses something think this is the first rehash of these watches in so.e time. They never seemed to have much popularity and I assumes they just let them fall by the wayside, but here we are.
    The green dial variant, with the brown strap and gold accents has a bit of an alpinist feel to it, and could end up doing well because of that.

    • JosephWelke

      I was just about to say that. It’d be my choice for sure. Just wish the case size was a touch smaller, say 40mm.

      • SuperStrapper

        Do you already have an alpinist? Its about the same price if not, and 40mm I believe.

        • Phil leavell

          I believe the alpinist is a 38 mm I’ll confirm when I get home I’ll measure mine got vintage one of the updated. I don’t wear either because they’re too small for my wrist I was going to sell them because of that fact that the kids want them

  • Alex Tan

    Stop making slanted date window or just remove them.

  • Mr. Blandings

    It drives me nuts that the date window isn’t perfectly centered between the 4 and 5 hour markers.

    • mtnsicl

      They do make medication for OCD!

    • BJ314

      no it wouldn’t. but its a cool thing to say on a blog comments section.

    • Saul Sloota

      from Mark Carson on the date window article thread:

      “4:30 as a printing solution is unusual. The 4:30 aperture on many watches is really 136.45 degrees (not 135 degrees) from “12”, so the date window often is not really at the 45 degree line up with 4:30 on the dial. People sometimes complain about this, but it’s because the watch brand is using a standard 3H wheel and just made the opening over the numbers for 3 days earlier on the date wheel.”

      • Mr. Blandings

        Thanks for the explanation. I figured there had to be some reason why it was done that way.

  • Jeffrey Krupa

    Love the lume, but…
    Surely if this type of watch needs anything it is a sapphire crystal!

    • Sheez Gagoo

      …and solid endlinks.

      • They should just redesign their whole bracelet range.

  • David Mention

    These Seiko watches are real workhorses. Last year while hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail I wore a Seiko 5 every day for 30 days while hiking 560 miles. The Seiko 5 lost about a minute and a half in that time and was great. This would be better – I like the hacking and hand winding.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      The new Seiko 5s have hacking and winding.

    • Mikita

      My Seiko 5 continues to amaze me. Got one on ebay for 50$ and use it as a daily beater from ’13. Still running great! Actually, better than some of my more expensive pieces.

    • BJ314

      and it’s only $1,200. nah, I’ll pass. lol

      • Well, if you’d have bought it a year ago when it cost $400 (its normal price), you would have tripled your money by now. Since it’s discontinued, people can ask whatever they want for it.

        • 1434

          I am shattered! I’ve been eyeballing the SARG009 since last fall. I should have just pulled the trigger. Why didn’t I do it???

      • Mikita

        Whoa? Last time I’ve checked they were $330 on C-Watch. I’m sure if you drop a message to Higuchi / C-Watch / Seiyajapan they’d find you one below $400 for sure

  • Spaceguitar

    Would what Seiko calls a “Land” watch fall under what is more commonly known as a field watch?

    Overall I like it. Good outdoor beater, and very legible.

  • I don’t have too much data to present concerning the range as a whole, but plenty of both anecdotal and empirical evidence that all of MY Seiko dive watches have functioned / will function on land as well.

    • Mikita

      Whoa, nonsense!

      • I even have one that somehow survived multiple trips on airplanes. Maybe it was a prototype or something.

        • Mikita

          No kidding?! You must’ve got Airlandiver!

          • A rarity, to be sure. Off to Hodinkee!

    • Esteban

      Ah, that may be, but will this Land watch work in Water?

  • Puzzling. A Seiko Alpinist costs the same, but has sapphire crystal, a better movement, 200m wr and is smaller. Where is the logic?

    • commentator bob

      The SARG001 and SARG003 are much nicer watches, with solid end links and sapphire crystals, but seem to be sold out everywhere.

  • commentator bob

    Folded end links in a new watch is really chintzy. $100 Fossil watches have solid stainless endlinks. The Hardlex is also disappointing at this price.

    • Mikita

      Bracelets are lame, but these look so much better on straps anyway! Hardlex isn’t so bad. Less hard than sapphire, but very impact resistant.

      • commentator bob

        More disappointed with the folded end links than the Hardlex. My SKX007 with Hardlex has yet to heavily scratch despite heavy use. It had a bracelet that was folded throughout that I got rid of right away. But here they went through the effort of a solid link bracelet and then ruined it with folded end links.

    • 1434

      I have both a Monster and a Sumo, as well as a variety of Casios with their version of mineral glass. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I have never even had the slightest hint of a scratch. I don’t even think twice about Seiko’s Hardlex now.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Classic, entry level Seiko. Assured design, rock solid reliability. If you’re shopping for a £200 auto, one of these, or a Seiko diver is about as good as it gets.

  • Shinytoys

    There comes a time when you have to ask the question, “How much more could you possibly want from a watch for the money”? In my opinion we have arrived at such a place…

    • commentator bob

      For the $395 list price I would say the Orient Mako USA II (also from Seiko) is a better deal, with a sapphire crystal and solid endlinks for $375.

      But for the ~$200 that this watch is selling for on the grey market it is hard to get better specs.

      • Shinytoys

        I own both, 2 different watches…

  • Zeljko Ergic

    Great review Ariel. The Panerai-ish nightshot got to me so I went and bought one.
    Thanks!

  • Marcin Mync

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4aa673f9d46bb0e762417583023b5a296186efb33416991d7ef1875cbf54ba6.jpg I own it for about a month now, I think it’s an interesting design, especially if you are looking for something different than diver or pilot.

    • Zeljko Ergic

      @Marcin Mync: looking great with that strap.