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what is the protective material around the case (colored blue) made of--rubber, or metal? Actually looks like it might be ceramic, or metal coated with a ceramic paint?
If that's considered the shroud, then that's ceramic. I love this design, was hoping for sapphire crystal, though. Why must this happen at this time of year?!
As @Cujobob mentioned, the blue shroud is ceramic. On the caseback, it says "Ceramics + St. Steel."
Just wanted to add my two cents to the question regarding what material the shroud is made. I already have the SRP655 (the red & black version of this watch) and I can definitely tell you that the shroud is NOT made of a traditional ceramic that everyone envisions when they hear ceramic. It has a very hard but rubberized feel and texture as you can see from the pics of the watch. It is not like any ceramic I have ever seen or felt on a watch unless the ceramic is covered in a rubberized coating. It was the only disappointment I had when I received this watch. I was expecting a traditional ceramic shroud and I feel it is somewhat disingenuous of Seiko to advertise this as a ceramic shroud. That being said, this is a gorgeous watch, even much better looking in person than it is in the pictures. The designers have done a fantastic job with the dial design, the raised markers and the scalloped sides of the dial make this one of the most attractive and beautifully designed watches in the entire Seiko line. This watch has barely left my wrist in the past 5 months that I have owned it. The price on this drop is unbelievable and I will most likely pick up the blue and yellow version as well. This watch sits next to watches of mine that cost well over 4 figures and it is as just as beautiful if not more so than a lot of them. As an owner of many high end seikos (baby tunas, sumos, tunas, marine masters, etc.) I can honestly say that this is one of the most handsome watches in the entire collection and just feels and looks very high end. Buy this watch! You will not be disappointed. I think when they sell out these editions they will become extremely collectible. Seiko didn't just hit a home run with this watch but they hit a grand slam during the 10th inning of the world series. Its that awesome!
Its called cerakot. At least thats what seiko calls it. Its ceramic