The watch’s heart is a robust, dependable 4R35 automatic movement. A significant step up from the 7S25 found in the predecessor, the 4R35 offers hacking and hand-winding. The movement has 23 jewels, offers a 41-hour power reserve, and ticks away at 21,600bph (3Hz). The hacking capabilities are a welcome addition as it is one of the few things that constantly bothered me about Seiko’s 7S26/7S25 movements. This movement is designed to be functional, reliable, and easy to fix, which is exactly what one would expect from a tool watch at this price point.
Even within the Prospex line of divers, Seiko offers a range of movements in its watches. There is the 8L35 with a higher power reserve and frequency of 4Hz, the 5R65 Spring Drive, and several quartz options, including chronographs, just to name a few. So while the 4R35 is definitely a step up from the previous 7S25, there are other movement options depending on how much you’re willing to spend and what you’re looking for. A Prospex watch with the 8L35 movement, for example, will run you closer to $2,000.
I was never a fan of the bracelets found on the Seiko 5 watches which tend to be lackluster and feel stretched even out of the box, so my expectations for the Seiko Prospex Blue Lagoon Samurai SRPB09 bracelet were not very high. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the bracelet is actually solid and well-built with the endlinks lining up just right with the slanted lugs. While this is no Rolex Oyster bracelet, I have not seen similar quality at this price point. The endlinks are not flimsy bits of steel pressed into shape but a solid chuck of stamped steel, with fat, heavy-duty lugs holding it in place.
While the drilled lugs make strap changes easy in theory, it’s not so straightforward with the Seiko Prospex Blue Lagoon Samurai SRPB09. With the unique endlink design that sits flush against the case, taking off the bracelet takes longer than you’d expect, but the real trouble is when you attempt to put the bracelet back on. In just my first time putting the bracelet back on, I scratched the back of the SRPB09’s lugs more than I have ever done with watches I’ve worn for years and subjected to countless strap changes.
So while the watch looks good on the usual complement of NATOs, rubber, and leather straps, I would caution against taking off the bracelet too often. It’s a good thing I really like the bracelet and the way the watch looks with it. An extendable dive clasp completes the bracelet and this is another area where the watch falls short. While I can appreciate Seiko’s attempts to make the bracelet functional for actual divers, I think you’d be better off getting the rubber strap from SRP77X series instead of fiddling around with the extension, a task rendered next to impossible once you’ve got gloves on.
I started my journey into watches with Seiko, and it continues to remain an integral pillar of my collection. While a lot of people may scoff at a run of 6000 pieces being labeled “Limited Edition,” the Seiko Prospex Blue Lagoon Samurai SRPB09 seems to have been selling out at retailers pretty quickly. With a price of $550, it is really not hard to see why that’s the case. seikowatches.com
>Model: Prospex Blue Lagoon SRPB09 “Samurai”
>Size: 43.8mm wide, 13mm thick, 47mm lug to lug
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Absolutely. Already do.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone looking for a reliable, tool watch with a Seiko dive heritage and flair.
>Best characteristic of watch: The distinct case design.
Worst characteristic of watch: Case size might be too big for people with smaller wrists (under 6.5 inches).