Feb 24, 2021
Feb 19, 2021
Feb 18, 2021
Feb 17, 2021
Feb 09, 2021
Watches with Pepsi bezels remain a popular choice among collectors. While some like to turn to brands like Rolex for such watches, Seiko also produces great Pepsi bezel watches. With the many Seiko watches donning that iconic blue and red bezel, it’s hard to just pick one. So, we gathered five of the best Seiko Pepsi watches that should be on your collection. Whether you’re a fan of the Pepsi bezel, Seiko as a brand, or dive watches in general, this list is for you.
The Iconic Pepsi Bezel
The Pepsi bezels got its name for having the same colours as the storied brand: red and blue. Watches that carry these colours on the bezel ultimately became popular, and we have Rolex to blame for that. It all began when Rolex released its first Pepsi bezel GMT-Master.
The act proved pivotal to the rise in popularity not only of GMT watches but also of Pepsi bezels. Rolex applied the colours red and blue on the bezel of the GMT-Master (Ref. 6542). Soon enough, it created a huge following. At the time, Rolex used Bakelite to create the bezel. It was new and therefore many people clamoured to get the watch. However, Bakelite isn’t as practical as it seems. It proved very impractical due to its vulnerability. Susceptible to breakage, it was replaced by aluminium in 1956.
What Makes the Pepsi Bezel Popular?
There’s no saying how the colours red and blue ended up in the bezels of GMT watches. However, some collectors speculate that this is due to the colours being very close to the American flag. Collectors theorise that it’s Rolex’s way of slipping into the American market. Either way, the brand ended up dominating the market of GMT watches. Soon enough, we find various brands and models that carry the same colours.
The design of the brand became mainstream in the market. Any watch from virtually every single price range can have a Pepsi bezel. Does it devalue the existence of Pepsi bezels? No, it doesn’t. In fact, it only becomes even more popular than ever. The influence of having a Pepsi bezel definitely changed the way collectors today value Pepsi bezel watches. Nowadays, competition proves fierce for models with such a bezel. Japanese brands such as Seiko, Citizen, and Orient apply the Pepsi bezel, particularly for dive watches.
This is another reason why Seiko Pepsi bezels remain a popular choice. Seiko, in itself, is a brand trusted by collectors and fans of dive watches. The brand offers a wide range of dive watches at a competitive price. Today, Pepsi bezels are almost always synonymous with dive watches. Whether Pepsi bezels have specific functions for watches is unclear. Most people would agree that it’s a smart aesthetic choice that ends up becoming more popular than its “Coke” counterpart.
5 Best Seiko Pepsi Watches
Seiko Pepsi bezel watches remain a must-have among collectors. To get you ahead of the game, we picked five of the best Seiko Pepsi watches you need on your collection.
1. Seiko SKX009 “Pepsi Diver”
As expected, the Seiko SKX009 earned its name “Pepsi Diver” due to its red and blue bezel. It remains the most popular choice of Seiko Pepsi watches for its features and affordability. At a glance, the Seiko Pepsi Diver comes with an ISO 6425 certification that makes it truly a diver’s watch. It also has an automatic movement powering it through, as well as your typical rugged diver design. This is one of the sought-after timepieces by enthusiasts. Not to mention, it’s a popular choice among many new collectors as their first automatic diver or timepiece in general.
Seiko launched its SKX series in 1996. The SKX007 comes with a black bezel, while the SKX009 comes with a Pepsi bezel. Seiko launched these watches to cater to divers who are working on a budget. With a robust movement and a water-resistance of 200 metres, this watch was launched with divers in mind. Moreover, one doesn’t have to spend a fortune on more expensive divers available at the time like the Rolex Submariner.
Generally, the watch comes with a generously-sized case of 42mm. Its thickness is also average at 13mm, which remains proportionate to its size. The Seiko Pepsi Diver employs the help of the Seiko Calibre 7S26, an automatic movement. At a very affordable price, you can’t expect the watch to possess a sapphire crystal. Instead, Seiko uses Hardlex to protect the watch’s dial. Hardlex is Seiko’s proprietary mineral crystal, tempered to provide better protection and resist more scratches. The Pepsi bezel of the Seiko SKX009 is unidirectional. Additionally, the watch has a day-date display and generous lume on the hands.
2. Seiko Prospex Turtle SRP779K1
The Seiko Turtle is one of the brand’s most popular timepieces. It comes with the fact that its design remains unique in the world of dive watches. Sure, the Submariner stands at the top as the most popular diver. In fact, it has inspired most of the designs we see in dive watches to this day. However, many people still prefer a little different on their wrists every once in a while. The cushion design of the Seiko Turtle offers just that. In addition to that, Seiko launched the Turtle with a Pepsi bezel as well as a rubber strap with the Seiko Prospex Turtle SRP779K1.
The Turtle’s history traces as far back as the late 1960s. Many people look back on the original Seiko 6105 watch and refer to it as the grandfather of Seiko dive watches. The watch carries the same cushion design that modern-day Seiko Turtle watches carry. We can thank the Seiko 6309 for the watch’s iconic nickname and design. Seiko took 6105 and improved it in many ways. For instance, circular markers replaced the trapezoid markers from the 6105. Its thickness also increased to 21mm from 19mm. The 6309 also proves way larger at 44mm versus 6105’s 41mm. Today, collectors look to this timepiece as the beginning of Seiko Turtle watches.
With a quick look, one can immediately notice the watch’s cushion case made from stainless steel. It measures about 44.75mm, which is particularly big. This makes it a very legible watch with the help of the generous lume on its hands and markers. Despite its size, however, it only comes up at 13.2mm in thickness. Lug to lug, it measures 47.5mm with a lug width of 22mm each. This watch employs the Seiko Caliber 4R36 movement, measuring 27.4mm in diameter and 5.32mm in thickness. With 24 jewels, it beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour. You can get about 40 hours of power reserve with this movement, which is pretty generous in itself. It also gives the watch a day-date function at 3 o’clock. As expected from a Seiko dive watch, it has a water-resistance of up to 200 metres.
3. Seiko Prospex PADI SNJ027P1 Pepsi Diver
At Baselworld 2019, the Seiko Prospex “Arnie” was re-launched with much anticipation from fans all over the world. Seiko didn’t let the world forget about the brand’s reference H558 “Arnie” which is both an analog and a digital watch. The Seiko Prospex “Arnie” SNJ027P1 Pepsi Diver is the PADI version of the watch. It comes with a black dial and the iconic Pepsi bezel. What makes this watch unique is its smart combination of digital and analogue timekeeping.
Released in 1982, the Seiko reference H558 found popularity in the wrist of actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, thus its nickname “Arnie”. The actor wore it multiple times during the filming of his movies Commando and Predator. The 1980s, as expected, was a revolutionary phase in fashion that’s why many people revered the H558. At the time, the watch measures 45mm in diameter but only stands at 11.3mm thick. This is because of the thin quartz movement that powers the watch. Seiko took on this popularity and rode the waves as usual. The brand claimed that the H558 is the world’s first digital dive chronograph that comes with a digital alarm as well as an analog display. If you’re already impressed by that, wait until you see how Seiko improved it for the 21st-century re-release in the form of the SNJ027P1.
Firstly, one can expect a robust overall design for the Seiko Pepsi SNJ027P1 PADI watch. Right off the bat, you see a rugged exterior with a case made of stainless steel and plastic. It now measures a whopping 47.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm in thickness. As expected, you can find it with a Hardlex crystal in place, as well as LumiBrite for its lume found on both hands and indexes. To make it even more durable, it employs the use of a silicone band for easy wear underwater and over a wet suit. The water-resistance of the Seiko Pepsi SNJ027P1 PADI watch comes up at 200 metres, a staple for most Prospex watches. Additionally, it’s now a solar-powered watch making it a truly sustainable choice.
Its other features include a daily alarm function, a warning for low battery life, as well as a fully automatic calendar until December 31, 2100. Its chronograph function can measure up to 100 hours in 1/100 second increments. Moreover, it has a LED function to easily illuminate the watch. It also has the option for power save function to make sure you’re using its battery efficiently.
4. Seiko Prospex SSC663P1 PADI Chronograph
The Seiko Prospex SSC663P1, is, perhaps, the ultimate Seiko diver. Firstly, this watch comes from Seiko’s Prospex collection. Prospex stands for Professional Specifications, giving its watches the ultimate diver standards. This watch specifically meets the standards of PADI or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. The brand shares a long relationship with the organisation and most PADI watches come with great features. This watch also comes with a Pepsi bezel that’s very common for PADI watches. In addition, the SSC663P1 also has a chronograph function and it is solar-powered for ultimate sustainability.
The watch comes with a very large and robust stainless steel case. It measures about 43.5mm in diameter and sits at a thickness of 13.8mm. However, it looks bigger with the crown guards that protect that crown and chronograph pushers. This watch generally offers a water-resistance of 200 metres, which assures functionality for divers. The top of the case comes satin-brushed while the sides are polished. Overall, this makes the watch look luxurious compared to other watches in its price range.
The watch runs on the Seiko solar caliber V175. As expected, it catches light and uses it to recharge not only the generous lume of the watch but also the watch itself. Solar-powered watches offer an even greater power reserve than your typical automatic calibres by a mile. This Seiko Pepsi watch has about six months of power reserve. People may say that it being a quartz watch makes it less accurate. However, this watch offers ±15 seconds per month of accuracy.
5. Seiko 5 Sea Urchin SNZF15 Pepsi
From the Seiko Prospex collection, let’s head on over the brand’s sports watch collection, Seiko 5. The watches from the collection are not only robust but also come with solid automatic movements. The Seiko 5 Sea Urchin SNZF15, in addition, comes with a Pepsi bezel. This watch is a Seiko Sea Urchin, which is one of the brand’s most iconic divers.
The Sea Urchin, just like other Seiko 5 watches, follows 5 standards that make a Seiko sports watch. These include:
- Diaflex – Seiko’s unbreakable mainspring
- Diashock – Seiko’s shock-resistant design
- Automatic movement
- Day-date function
Moreover, this watch has a 41.5mm diameter plus a thickness of 13mm. Lug to lug, it measures about 49mm. While the other watches on our list have a water-resistance of 200 metres, this watch only has 100 metres. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful watch that’s worth a spot in your collection.
Seiko Pepsi: A Diver’s Mark
As a brand, Seiko succeeded in owning the Pepsi bezel in more ways than one. For one, it became a marker for a great dive watch. With Seiko associating the Pepsi bezel on a diver, the brand also successfully contributed to making the blue and red synonymous to the ocean. Whether you’re new to collecting or have been a collector for a while, Seiko Pepsi watches are definite must-haves for you.
Looking for dive watches with heart? Check out our review of the Seiko Save the Ocean collection.