September 16, 2014
by Ariel Adams
While the Sportura SRG017 looks like a dive watch, it isn’t, being water resistant to 100 meters. Not a big deal, given the thin profile of the case, and it isn’t like Seiko doesn’t have a zillion other dive watches you should or could be checking out. The Sportura SRG017 and family does have an AR-coated sapphire crystal – which is rare for watches in this price range (but I think Seiko is using them more and more in their sub $1000 watches).
I don’t know what it was about the Seiko Sportura Kinetic Direct Drive that just spoke to me so loudly. Once In a while, a watch does that, and I need to spend a lot of time figuring out why. I will say that it is likely a combination of a few factors. First, is the fact that I have yet to actually get a Sportura or Kinetic Direct Drive watch, even though I have been interested in them for a while. The sporty, legible design of this watch, mixed with the features and legibility simply put me over the edge.
I believe that Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive movements debuted in their Velatura collection of watches. Even though Velatura models are certainly unique and avant garde (qualities I appreciate), they just aren’t for me. Seiko certainly doesn’t make a lot of Kinetic Direct Drive movement-based watches each year, and I wonder who they are aimed at. People like me are rather niche, and we appreciate the technology. I am curious how the people at Macy’s or JC Penny react to a sales person trying explain how the watches work, and that they are perhaps different than most standard quartz movements.
Seiko has long since been fascinated with the hybridization of quartz and mechanical movements. This is really how something like Kinetic began, and why they put so much effort into developing Spring Drive. I think it is a cool goal, and having a watch with a Kinetic Direct Drive movement in many ways offers some of the fun interactivity of a mechanical watch with the accuracy and ease-of-use of a quartz watch. Anyone getting a model like this Seiko Sportura Kinetic Direct Drive SRG017 should appreciate and understand that.
If you are in the US, as far as I understand it, the Seiko Sportura Kinetic Direct Drive SRG017 with the blue dial is the only model they are bringing over from Japan. If you are else where or have even rudimentary internet experience you can probably easily find the SRG019 and SRG021 models as well. Price in the US for the Seiko Sportura Kinetic Direct Drive SRG017 watch is a reasonable $695 retail. seikowatches.com