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The Seiko SRPE27 'Monster' PADI Special Edition ADVERTISEMENT

This summer, Seiko released the SRPE27 "Monster" PADI Special Edition, a dive fake watch in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. There have been countless Seiko divers "double stamped" with the diving association's logo over the years, but this marks the first time a proper "Monster" has held that distinction.

For starters, Seiko doesn't name its replica watches ?Seiko collectors do. Over the years, fans have coined such nicknames as the "Tuna," the "Samurai," the "Sumo," the "Turtle," and of course, the "Monster." In reality, Seiko (and Grand Seiko for that matter) names its replica watches by reference number alone. Certain nicknames have stuck to the point where you can't look at a fake watch without the name immediately springing to mind. Such is the case for the Seiko Monster, a name devised by collectors for the model's unique case shape and grooved edges, resembling teeth.

Over the years, the Seiko Monster has garnered something of a cult-like status ?the indie rock band of the Seiko collection that only your older brother knows about. Released in 2000, the original Monster SKX779 was the world's first look at Seiko's penchant for polarizing design in the new millennium. The chunky bezel, the aggressively styled markers, and the day/date complication would become hallmarks of the replica rolex watch (although there was a brief period when the fake watch featured a date-only complication). The original Monster's design underscored Seiko's ability to produce professional-grade timekeeping instruments, while still having a little fun along the way. It was a fake watch that took risks, and many Seiko fans took to it for that very reason.

In total, the Monster has now gone through four generations of design, with tweaks here and there to the markers, the date window, the case, and the bracelet. In 2019, the new Monster SRPD27 was released, and it represented something of a shift for the Monster line. Its black bezel and markers with slight faux-patina presented a fake watch that was more conservative and, therefore, more mature. Released in both a blue (SRPD25) and black dial variant, this wasn't necessarily the Monster that fans were accustomed to, but rather one with a bit more daily-wear versatility.

The new Seiko Monster PADI Special Edition diver is essentially a new colorway of the current generation Monster, but with PADI branding, featuring the diving association's red and blue signature colors. What's more, this special edition features a blued steel bezel as opposed to the usual bi-color Pepsi bezel configuration seen on other similar Seiko/PADI SE's. Overall, this is a unique value proposition for a professional dive watch, with some added flair that separates it substantially from its regular production Monster SRPD27/29 counterparts.

Aesthetically, this fake watch is surprisingly subdued despite its use of color. The blue for the bezel is something of a dark, cold aqua color which is muted in low light and develops a sunburst effect in direct sunlight. The bezel's understated effect is bolstered by the fact that it is finished with a radial brushing pattern. All of the markings and numbers are recessed into the bezel and filled with white paint. This provides a nice depth and dimensionality up close. The lume pip at 12 o'clock is surrounded by a red triangle that matches the minute and seconds hand on the dial. The numerals themselves are displayed in a striking typeface which manages to exude both modern and retro design cues. All said, the styling of the bezel fits with the watch's overall design code ?something I'll label as "aggressively conservative." But what about the clicks? Well, the action of the bezel is quite satisfying, although for my taste, it could be a bit tighter.

The dial itself is matte-textured but also produces a sunburst sheen in direct lighting. The chapter ring sits at an angle flush to the dial surface much like many Seiko divers, and the markers are recessed into the chapter ring so as to lay flat on the dial. The markers themselves are white; however, they give off the faintest hint of blue from the thick application of Seiko's proprietary luminescent compound, LumiBrite. You could get away with calling this fake watch "triple stamped," if you were so inclined. Beneath the Seiko logo is the insignia for Prospex. The "Monster" became part of the Prospex line somewhere mid-cycle in the second generation. On regular production models, the Prospex logo is positioned above the word Automatic, but here, it is moved to make way for the PADI wordmark.

The dial is entirely legible. The overall presentation of the dial layout is aggressive, just as a Monster should be. Everything is sharp and precise, from the thick rectangular hour markers to the long, thin, minute markers on the sloped chapter ring. The broad arrow of the hour hand is ?well ?broad. The minute and seconds hand, finished in red paint, are similarly dynamic and serve their intended purpose well.

On the topic of the minute and seconds hands, it bears circling back to the lume pip, and the entire bezel at large. This is a professional-grade dive fake watch showcasing the name of a professional diving organization. The fake watch is 200m water resistant and is ISO rated. All of this is to say that the fake watch is purpose-built to be taken underwater ?deep underwater. As such, there are certain features which are specifically designed for that very purpose. When it comes to dive watches, there are essentially three things that truly matter: the dive-time bezel, the minute hand, and the seconds hand. This fake watch has highlighted each, fashioning the essential parts of the fake watch in red. The red minute hand, seconds hand, and lume pip allow for easy recognition of the timing functions specific to diving. From a surface level perspective, the pops of red just make the overall look of the fake watch that much cooler.


The overall case design is modern, industrial, and a little bit left-of-center. When looking at the case head-on, it can appear as though its missing two large chunks between one o'clock and three o'clock, and then again between eight o'clock and 11 o'clock. This is a design calling card for the Monster in many ways, and it is where the whole teeth motif derives from. Prior iterations of the fake watch had a brushed steel bezel, which hid this case feature somewhat, but with the blue color of the bezel, it has now been accentuated considerably. I have to say ?I like it. It gives the fake watch an even more purpose-driven, toolish look. It's the equivalent of substance over style, but in this case, the fake watch remains pretty stylish. The "missing chunks" make manipulating the bezel far easier, which would seem like the kind of feature a professional diving association would welcome on a fake watch bearing its name. As an added bonus, the cases feature drilled lug-holes, which are always a welcome addition.

Let's next talk about the magnifier date window. This is undoubtedly a point of consternation for many Seiko enthusiasts, and general magnifier detractors alike. In theory, the most pragmatic functions are the best. In this case, a magnifier over the date makes it easier to see the date. So what's the issue? Well, it is two-fold. First, there are many who find that the magnification breaks up the symmetry and overall design of the dial. Second, there is a marked difference between a magnifier date and a magnifier day/date. I am in the camp of having no qualms when it comes to the magnifier date window and am something of an undecided voter when it comes to the day/date. As I said, practically speaking, the magnifier day/date window makes the fake watch ever the more legible. It is, however, more than a little bit awkward seeing a long magnified rectangle taking up so much real estate on the Hardlex crystal surface. This issue is not unique to the Monster. In fact, Seiko has implemented the magnifier day/date on several of its newer models.

Having experienced a good deal of Seiko bracelets firsthand, I really came to like this one. Generally, you see the garden variety Jubilee, Oyster, or "President"-style bracelets from the brand (or from third-party manufacturers). With the Monster, we have something of a standalone bracelet style, with its own quirky nuances, which match the asymmetrical look and feel of the case. The bracelet protrudes at the lugs, and it has rounded, polished center links. There is a slight taper as the bracelet makes its way down to the Seiko-stamped clasp. The lug width is 20mm, but the bracelet links widen after the end-links to create greater consistency with the width of the case. If you know Seiko clasps, you know this clasp. It definitely serves its purpose but, beyond that, there is not much more to say really.

Dimensionally, the fake watch is 42.4mm in diameter, which is large in many respects, but like most Seiko divers, this doesn't tell the whole story. I did not experience any discomfort with this fake watch on wrist, although I have read complaints that the configuration of the links could lead to a bit of pinching. All I can say is that my experience was pinch-free. As an owner of an SKX007, I found the fit of this fake watch to be very similar overall.

Now, the last time I went hands-on with a certain "larger" red and blue dive watch, I made the mistake of echoing the old "for a large watch, it actually wears smaller on wrist" adage. In response, someone noted that, for all they know, I might be 6'4 250 pounds, leaving no way to contextualize my opinion of the sizing. Without giving away my true dimensions, I will say that I am of quite average size, build, and wrist. With that, I wish to say here, yet again, that for a fake watch upwards of 42mm, it wears far smaller on the wrist than you would expect. I actually imagine it would wear even smaller on a NATO or rubber strap considering the protruding nature of the bracelet's end links. But let's move along.

The caseback features the Seiko wave motif engraving with the Special Edition writing reserved for all PADI SE's. Notice that the fake watch is a special and not a limited edition. This effectively means that while there will not be a limited number of replica watches produced, there will likely be a smaller quantity of production overall.

It is in lowlight environs where this fake watch really stands out. Seiko's reputation for bright lume certainly precedes it, no doubt, but this one really caught me off guard despite that fact. The hour markers and seconds arrow all glow in a bright blue color, while the lume pip and minute hand shine in a green color. This is surely in an effort to further aid the wearer in timing a dive, but it is also another small detail which makes the fake watch shine ?pun fully intended.

I can really see this fake watch as something of a funky daily wearer. I think the exclusion of a bi-color bezel almost bolsters the idea in many ways. The Monster is a Seiko original design, with curves, bevels, edges, and teeth which are Seiko staples through and through. This fake watch stands on its own merits with or without the PADI logo, but it also sits it its own category against other PADI Seikos of the past.

The Seiko "Monster" SRPE27 PADI Special Edition is a modern tool fake watch in a modern age with a distinct design which is just fun. Whether or not you are a past Monster devotee, this PADI Special Edition has a little bit for everyone.

The Seiko SRPE27 PADI Special Edition is a 200-meter water resistant dive watch. The SRPE27 is 42.4mm in diameter, 13mm in thickness with a lug width of 48mm. Screw-down crown and caseback. Steel bracelet with folding clasp. Seiko caliber 4R36 with a frequency of 3 Hz, 24 jewels, and a power reserve of 41 hours. Manual and automatic winding capabilities. Black-colored dial with applied markers and LumiBrite on hands and plots. Price: $525. For more, visit Seiko.

Photos, Kasia Milton

Seiko Hands-on New-watches-2020