10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017

10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017 feature pic

10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017

 

I’ve always like solar watch because I feel it is an upgrade over the normal quartz watch.

Quartz watch is great in terms of accuracy but its reliance on battery sometimes caused inconvenience, especially when we find our watches suddenly out of juice (which I’m sure that had happened to you guys too LOL!).

Solar powered watch seek to solve this issue once and for all with the use of watch battery that can be recharged by solar – the most abundant and easily harvested renewable energy.

Not just sunlight, current technology of solar watch also enables it to be recharged by any light as long as its bright enough. For example, even our office or home light are sufficient for recharging.

With a huge power reserve of at least 4 months without any recharging, solar watch nowadays are much better built and designed for those that want a fuss-free watch.

In this article, I seek to list the 10 best solar watches under $200 in 2017 to make it easy for those wanting a good solar watch but don’t want to spend a fortune on it.

 

A bit of disclaimer: I’ve only listed analog watches here. While gathering information for this list, I’ve encountered lots of great solar watches, digital and analog alike.

But then I feel that combining both types (digital and analog) of watches inside one list will make things more difficult to compare.

I mean, there is no where an analog watch can compete with an LED backlight, chronograph, timer  and alarm features than even the cheapest Casio G-Shock has.

Which is why I seek to only put out the best analog solar watches under $200 in this list instead.

Why not digital watches?

For a start, I’m an analog guy through and through. I like how the dial is not digital – something foreign than the usual computer, smartphone and television screens that we have today.

Analog watch also looks more dressy and casual. Thus, it makes perfect sense to me to write about the things that I love =)

Secondly, this site started out by reviewing and comparing analog automatic watches, and I’m sure most of my readers would love to read a list about analog watches instead of digital watches.

That being said, I’ll surely try to do a list on solar digital watches too as I feel this segment has its own fans. (though I really hope I have the time to do so..)

Well, here is the 10 best solar watches under $200 in 2017 (summary of each watches are written below):

  1. Citizen BM8180-03E
  2. Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A
  3. Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1
  4. Seiko SSC233
  5. Citizen BM8475-26E
  6. Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L
  7. Citizen AT0200-05E
  8. Seiko SNE325
  9. Citizen BM8240-03E
  10. Citizen AW1361-10H

 

1 – Citizen BM8180-03E – Simplistic Military Solar Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 37 mm diameter, 9 mm thick
Style: Military
Water Resistance: 100 m

One of the most popular solar watches around, and for good reasons. The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E is among the cheapest in this list and usually can be had for less than $100 on Amazon.

And you’ll be in a total surprise of what that $100 can give you.

The BM8180-03E is a real sleek military watch with black dial, easy to read numeral markers (which have full lume mind you) and polished stainless steel case.

It’s also quite small at 37 mm diameter and 9 mm thick, which will be a good fit for those that want a light and easy to wear beater watch.

Citizen also coupled it with a green canvas strap that does keep the watch light and perfect for outdoor activities.

Even if the watch looks rugged with the canvas strap and all, I can sense that it has the making of a handsome casual/dress watch – no thanks to the high quality stainless steel case.

Just strapped it with a leather strap on the 18 mm lugs and you’re good to go. A black leather strap will look absolutely gorgeous with the black face.

And with its 100 m water resistance, this watch surely does not disappoint in protecting it from any moisture.

For a good looking and simply styled beater watch for everyday use, this Citizen BM8180-03E should be in your list.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E

2 – Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A – Solar Atomic Watch

Brand: Casio Wave Ceptor
Size: 43 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Hybrid analog + digital
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A watch is a great tool watch with multiple functions, and at a really affordable price of less than $200.

I like the hybrid digital + analog display that looks unique and also cool at the same time.

It has a touch of futuristic look on it while at the same time having the traditional 3 hands analog watch. Definitely a cool watch!

The case is a combination of plastic resin and stainless steel which makes it much lighter than an all steel case, at the expense of looking a bit cheap.

But I must say the resin-steel combination case is one of the main factors that drive down the price below $200.. So no complains on this regard lol!

The digital dial is not just for show – the Wave Ceptor watch is very functional and supports 9 different features which are solar powered, radio-controlled atomic timekeeping, LED light, alarm, chronograph, countdown timer, power reserve indicator, full perpetual calendar and world time display.

The radio-controlled atomic timekeeping is it’s best feature in my opinion. With this, the watch will automatically reset its time every early morning to the Atomic Time through radio signals.

This means the Casio Wave Ceptor is always accurate at any time.

It does has a constrain though. The atomic timekeeping can only be used in 3 continents (North America, Europe and China/Japan) as only these areas have the radio signals that the watch is attuned for.

With a killer list of specification with good looks, it’s very hard not to like the Casio Wave Ceptor (especially at its great price).

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A

3 – Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 – The Handsome Multi-Function Watch

Brand: Casio Edifice
Size: 44 mm diameter, 13 mm thick
Style: Sports
Water Resistance: 100 m

Casio has proven to be a good watchmaker that marries technology, functionality and beauty in their pieces.

And this Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 watch is just the perfect example of that.

The watch is a good looking watch with silver stainless steel theme. It’s dial is every bit complicated but it’s just neatly designed that it looks great!

Not sure if it’s just me or the male genetics inside me, but I feel that a complicated but well placed dial like this Edifice watch looks really cool.

And that silver stainless steel theme just makes it sweeter to look at.

Sure, it will take a bit of time to be accustomed to what the various subdials do, but trust me, it’s not that hard to decipher.

The subdials are used to show a different time zone, chronograph mode and the current day.

There are 4 modes in total: normal timekeeping, chronograph, world time and alarm.

It will take some time to fully master these modes but that’s all part of the challenge of owning a functional analog watch.

The world time mode and GMT features of it make the Edifice watch a really great sports watch for those that travel often.

Not to mention it’s solar powered so there is no concern at all for hectic traveler that his/her watch might stop working without any notice.

And that’s one of the key benefits of solar watches: reliable quartz accuracy and convenience =)

 

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1

4 – Seiko SSC233 – The Stylish Orange Black Chronograph

Brand: Seiko Solar
Size: 45 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Sports chronograph
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Seiko SSC233 is one good looking watch for sure, thanks to the orange markings/hand on the black dial and the extra chronograph subdials.

As with the Casio Edifice above, the complexity of the extra subdials make the watch to has a cool factor.

And using the high contrast orange over black dial just makes the watch a total eye-catcher.

What I love about the dial is how the unconventional orange color is used perfectly here and just seems to pop-out off the watch.

So much so if you don’t like people to compliment the watch you’re wearing, then this is not the watch for you.

This is definitely a watch that people are going to comment on LOL!

Complementing its dial is a black PVD case that works in harmony for that sleek style.

It does has a nylon strap that make the watch look more casual but again, straps are changeable and can be easily swapped out on the 22 mm lugs.

The Seiko SSC233 not only rely on its good looks. It has a fully functioning chronograph which can measure up to 60 minutes (though I’d like it if it can measure more).

And let’s not forget about the solar feature here. Since chronograph uses more battery, usually people will try not to use (or play?) with it too much to avoid draining the battery.

But with a solar watch, you can use the chronograph function as much as you can! Just make sure to charge the watch sufficiently and it’s set to go.

The combo of solar powered and chronograph is one of the best watch combination around.

Lastly, it also has a good 100 m water resistance for protection against any unwanted water ingress.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Seiko SSC233

5 – Citizen BM8475-26E – The Black-Orange Solar Military Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 42 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Military
Water Resistance: 100 m

Another watch with a trendy black orange dial is the Citizen BM8475-26E. But unlike the Seiko SSC233 above, this Citizen is a normal military watch without any extra complication.

So if you guys like a black orange watch but with a simple dial design, then this Citizen is the perfect choice.

While the Seiko SSC233 looks damn cool with those chronograph subdials, this Citizen BM8475-26E is more simple and is recommended for those than don’t want a complicated watch.

The explorer style dial markers with big 3,6, 9 and 12 numerals makes the watch very legible and easy to tell time.

But what’s astounding about it is the full lume on its markers and hands that is just so good to look at, which is even on par with the lume on diver’s watches.

This Citizen BM8475-26E also has day date window at the right side of the dial which makes it very functional.

I’ve always feel that a watch with day date display is the best watch for everyday use as you can easily know the day and date with just a flick of your wrist.

It surely trumps the use of smartphones – no need to bring out your phone from your pocket or anything lol!

Like the Seiko SSC233 above, this watch also has a black PVD case that complements the black dial perfectly.

Having a 100 m water resistance also means it’s well protected though I’d personally take precautions to not expose it too long with water as it does not have a screw down crown.

Citizen also made the perfect choice of using a leather strap on the watch instead of a nylon like some of the other affordable watches in this list.

The brown leather strap just makes the watch look more handsome, and truthfully, the best strap to go with the black-orange dial.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen BM8475-26E

6 – Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L – The Blue Solar Dive Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
Size: 42 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Dive
Water Resistance: 200 m

This is the only dive watch that made it into this list is the Citizen Promaster Diver model no. BN0151-09L.

From a glance, it’s a good looking dive watch with enchanting blue dial on top of a stainless steel case.

It’s built with rugged and purpose in mind: the case and unidirectional rotating bezel looks tough and manly with a big crown for ease of use.

With such huge and bulky case/bezel, there is no question that the watch can take a beatings here and there.

The hands and markers are classic dive watch design – over-sized and very legible.

I really like how the 3, 6, 9 and 12 markers are designed with a trapezoid like shape.

It shows that Citizen is not a lazy watchmaker that just use the same design on all of their watches.

These little design elements means they put some effort to make sure their watches are unique and have character.

As per any dive watch, this Citizen BN0151-09L is full of blue lume on it that helps in telling time in dark areas.

In addition that, the watch is also ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliant for a truly assuring underwater performance.

It also has a 200 m water resistance which mean it’s good for all water activities except for saturation dives.

For a good looking solar diver’s watch with great specification, the Citizen BN0151-09L is a good choice.

*Note: The Citizen BN0151-09L price fluctuates depending on its availability in the market. It’s under $200 at the point of writing this list and that’s the price that you guys should look for. A bit of patience can save some money which can be better utilized for a great strap imho. As someone used to say to me, buying watches online is a waiting game =)

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L

7 – Citizen AT0200-05E – The Solar Military Chronograph Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 41 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Military chronograph
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Citizen Eco-Drive AT0200-05E can be said to be an upgrade over the Citizen BM8180-03E as both of them share the same look.

Appearance wise, this watch looks much busier and more complex than the Citizen BM8180-03E.

But that’s not all. There is quite a big difference between the two watches’ specification.

This AT0200-05E has an additional chronograph complication, 24-hour time display and a bigger case size making it a real upgrade over the former Citizen.

The chronograph feature is something that’s really useful and totally worth the extra dollars paid on this watch.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, chronograph subdials will make the watch look much cooler than a normal simple dial, and that’s totally the case here.

And the solar + chronograph combo is totally great just like the Seiko SSC223 above.

The owner of this watch can use its chronograph as much as he/she likes without needing to worry about draining the battery =)

Apart from the chronograph, the watch also has a dedicated 24-hour time display which is a great way to help in telling the AM/PM at any point of time.

Strapped with a green canvas, it looks really befitting for a military watch.

A great looking watch, chronograph and solar powered – all of this for less than $200!

8 – Seiko SNE325 – Elegant Black Solar Watch

Brand: Seiko Solar
Size: 41 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Dress
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Seiko SNE325 is a good looking watch with a very unique look – the whole thing is almost black!

I can say that this is the first watch that I’ve encountered that is black on its entire watch face, case and strap.

The dial, hands, markers, case and band are all in shades of black/gray which make the watch a real eye-catcher.

The dial is textured with layers of black and lends to the majestic look of the watch.

But one common complain about the watch is it can be a bit hard to tell time with an all-black dial.

The hands and markers can only be seen if some light is present. Otherwise, the whole watch will be totally dark and telling time is almost impossible.

Because of this, I recommend you guys to only use this watch in the morning/afternoon and swap with a different watch during the night unless you’ll be in a well lit area.

As much as the watch is gorgeous, the primary purpose of using is to tell time.

And for me, it does not make any sense to wear this Seiko SNE325 in a dark condition and I can’t even see it.

Notwithstanding that, the Seiko SNE325 is a truly unique and elegant dress watch that will surely turn heads around.

For a one-of-a-kind watch powered by solar, the SNE325 is definitely something to consider.

9 – Citizen BM8240-03E – The Classic Solar Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 36 mm diameter, 9 mm thick
Style: Dress
Water Resistance: 30 m

While all the other watches in this list is geared towards military, chronograph and other futuristic look, the Citizen BM8240-03E is the only one that has the simple classic dress watch design.

The watch is as unassuming as it can be – 36 mm diameter, simple black dial, normal 3 hands, day date display – and yet the simplicity is its greatest strength.

The smaller diameter is a breath of fresh air in a world where larger watch is the norm.

With its small 36 mm diameter, this is the watch that’s perfect for those with smaller wrists.

The simple black face with stainless steel case just exudes class and style even for such a low priced watch.

I can bet that the Citizen BM8240-03E will cost at least double if a Swiss markings is on that stylish dial =)

Its markers are a bit unique. From a glance, it looks like having an all index markers.

But close inspection will reveal the 4, 8 and 12 markers to have a real slim font that makes it blend in with the other index markers.

These kind of unique design at this price point is very much welcomed as it will give the watch its own character.

Not to mention the watch also has day date display which are very useful for those that want to use it everyday.

Click the link below to check out the best deals of Citizen BM8240-03E on Amazon.

10 – Citizen AW1361-10H – The Solar Aviator Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 45 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Aviator
Water Resistance: 100 m

Citizen’s take on the famous flieger/aviator style watch with their added spin on the styling.

From a glance, the aviator watch looks just like a normal B-Uhr type B watches.

But look closely and you’ll find that the Citizen AW1361-10H has a colorful dial instead of the normal black – white B-Uhr watches

It might not bode well with purists but I find this colorful flieger to be very unique and gives an added spin to the famous watch.

The watch is big – at 45 mm diameter it is on the upper side of watch size and is not recommended for those with smaller wrists.

Aside from the colorful dial, this watch also has a unique date display window.

Instead of a normal date display, Citizen used a window that shows 3 date at the same time with an arrow to indicate the current date.

Truthfully, I don’t really think such design is better practically. But this date display is very different from the normal ones and is one of the things that set this watch apart from others.

Plus, the convenience of using a solar powered watch makes it a total bargain at its less than its $200 price tag.

The Citizen AW1361-10H is definitely a real treat for those looking for a good aviator watch with solar technology.

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I hope you guys enjoy this list on the top 10 solar watches that can be had for less than $200 in 2017.

Let me know your thoughts about this list (any pieces that I’ve missed, any watch that should not be here, etc. etc.). I’ll definitely take these into account for the updated list next year.

Don’t forget to write your feedback on this article =)

Till next time then. Cheers!
Isaac

Casio Edifice Review (EQS500DB-1A1) – The Multi-Function Watch

Casio Edifice Review (EQS500DB-1A1)

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about Casio Edifice Review, specifically the model no. EQS500DB-1A1 which retails on Amazon at less than $200.

What’s great about it is it’s really good looking and fully packed with functions that other watches in this price range don’t even try to include.

I’ve written about another Casio watch, the Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A previously and it seems the brand really likes to make good value for money watches.

And while this Casio Edifice is more expensive than the Wave Ceptor, the price hike is justifiable with full stainless steel case (the Wave Ceptor case is a hybrid of plastic resin – stainless steel) and better looking overall.

 

Casio Edifice front dial

 

Edifice – Casio’s Stylish And Technologically Advanced Watch

The Edifice line up of watches is not as well known as their G-Shock line up which is very popular for its unique plastic resin design.

While G-Shock is more towards outdoor type of watch, the Edifice is designed for casual or everyday use by men.

This is visible from their very different case – the G-Shock with rugged plastic resin case and the Edifice with polished stainless steel and more stylish look.

But specification wise, the Edifice is the same as G-Shock with its numerous functionalities that makes them both such a good value for money.

 

That’s it for the introduction. Let’s go to the in-depth Casio Edifice review.

 

Casio Edifice Watch EQS500DB-1A1 Specification

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black-Gray dial
Subdials: Right subdial (day, current mode, 1/100 second chronograph); Upper left subdial (24-hour time display); Lower left subdial (second timezone, chronograph second and minute marking)
Hands: White hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Casio Movement Module 5123 – Quartz solar watch with 5 independent motors
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Solar powered, World time display, 1/100 second chronograph, Alarm, Day date display, 24-hour time display, Full calendar until 2099

Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 Manual: Click Here to download the manual (Module 5123)

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $250

Sophisticated And Stylish Dial

Casio Edifice dial

The first thing that anyone will notice about the Casio Edifice is how sophisticated and busy the dial is.

And Casio seems to have decent experience as even though the dial is busy, it still looks pleasing and cool!

This is obtained by careful color selection and placement of elements on top of the dial.

As you guys can see, the dial is flooded with lots of information. The fixed bezel is black with minute markings on it.

The outer edge of the dial is scribbled with timezone indicators (which we will touch later on) and there are index markers on it.

The hour markers are white with green lume on top of it and there is a date window at 4.30 o’clock.

 

Casio Edifice lume

 

An interesting bit about the date and day function is it’s pre-programmed up to 2099 to include all leap-years. There is no need to adjust the date at the end of February.

While the outer dial is busy with numbers, the inner dial is busy with 3 subdials.

There are right subdial (for day, current mode & 1/100 second chronograph), upper left subdial (24-hour time display) and lower left subdial (second timezone, chronograph second & minute marking).

By using gray color as the background for the dial and white/silver as the markers and frames of subdial, the watch is able to create a nice contrast so much so there is no issue in telling time even with this busy layout.

Sophisticated, manly and stylish – this is the perfect look for a casual trendy watch =)

 

Polished Stainless Steel Case For A Sleek Look

Casio Edifice sides

 

Accompanying the stylish dial of the Casio Edifice is a highly polished stainless steel case which exudes quality and looks really sleek.

It’s not so big, at just 44 mm diameter and 13 mm thick though a guys with smaller wrist size should do well to avoid this watch.

I think apart from a good looking watch, the fit of the watch to the wrist is also an important factor to determine whether the watch will look good on the wearer or not.

Just like how distasteful an oversized clothes on a small body look, that’s how a big watch will look on a small wrist.

The watch case is also built differently than other watches. If you guys can notice, there are 4 crowns/pushers for this watch, each serving different functions.

Casio opted to position the 4 pushers at diagonal locations thus creating a unique case. Each pushers also has their own guards.

 

Casio Edifice side

 

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal that’s sadly is not scratch resistant. Mineral crystal scratches easily and any watch with this type of crystal should be looked after carefully to avoid ugly scratches.

 

(Click here to read more about types of watch crystals)

 

The watch uses a 22 mm width stainless steel bracelet that is a nice complement to the stainless steel case.

To top it off, the Casio Edifice also has a 100 m water resistance as an additional protection from any unintentional water ingress.

 

Solar Powered Watch Movement For Total Convenience

One of the major selling point of this Casio Edifice is the Tough Solar technology by Casio that makes it a great solar watch.

What is a solar watch?

Solar watch is a quartz watch that can recharge its battery by converting any light into electricity. It’s able does this by a photo-voltaic cells underneath its dial.

Early solar watches had ugly solar cells stamped directly on their dial. But with technology advancement, these cells are now cleverly placed underneath the dial itself.

So now nobody will know a watch is a solar watch until they look at the specification list.

Performance wise, the Casio Edifice has the same accuracy as a normal quartz i.e +-15 seconds per month.

It also has 6 months power reserve which can be easily recharged by simply wearing or exposing the watch to any light.

 

Casio Edifice recharging guide

Table above gives a guide on the recharging time required for the Casio Edifice. Level 1 is the highest power reserve level.

 

When the power reserve is almost depleted, the seconds hand will change to only skip every 2 seconds.

This is an indicator to let the owner know that the battery is almost dead and you should bring the watch out underneath the open sky LOL!

This ability to recharge itself effortlessly is what makes solar watches a great watch for its convenience. No more manual winding (automatic watch) or changing batteries (quartz watch) =)

4 Major Functions Of The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1

There are 4 major functions (or modes) that the Casio Edifice has. The functions can simply be selected by a push of a button.

In addition, there are 5 independent motors inside the watch that moves the various hands to according to the function selected which is very nice to look at.

 

Casio Edifice modes (1)

By pushing the lower left pusher, we can cycle through the 4 main functions of the Casio Edifice

 

Now, let’s see the 4 major functions of Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1:

 

1- Timekeeping Mode

Casio Edifice timekeeping mode

Above diagram shows the functions of the Casio Edifice dial in the normal timekeeping mode

 

The default mode of the watch is timekeeping mode which is basically a normal watch. The 3 main hands will show the current time while the upper left subdial will show the 24-hour time.

Meanwhile, the lower left subdial will show another timezone (or called World Time) which need to be set up earlier. The right subdial is used to show the current day.

 

2- Chronograph / Stopwatch Mode

The second mode is the chronograph mode that uses the main seconds hand (1/10 second), the lower left subdial (minutes and 1 second) and right subdial (1/100 second).

Quite special is how casio chose to make the main seconds hand showing the 1/10 seconds – this makes the hand spinning very fast up to 30 seconds or so.

 

Casio Edifice chronograph mode

During chronograph mode, the dial of the Casio Edifice will change its usage for the stopwatch function

 

This chronograph is also very accurate as it can measure up to 1/100 second (i.e 3.29 seconds) which is usually reserved for electronic/digital chronographs.

The only flaw that I can see is the time measurement has a limit of 24 minutes that is very short compared to other chronographs.

 

3- World Time

Next, the Casio Edifice watch can show the current world time around the world. This can be done by selecting the intended time zone (as denoted by the cities at outer edge of the dial).

Up to 29 timezones can be selected and the watch will automatically calculate the time.

In order for this to work precisely, the home time (current location) must be set correctly as the watch use this info to calculate the time at other zones.

 

4- Alarm

Well, I don’t think I need to explain much about this function right?

 

As with any multi-function watch, there is a steep learning curve to learn all its functions. Thus, it’s important to read the user manual to learn how to use it effectively.

 

(Download the Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 manual by clicking here)


Watch the video above to see the Casio Edifice in action

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Casio Edifice on hand

If you want a cool looking watch with sophisticated and busy dial, then this Casio Edifice is definitely for you. It’s busy dial is tastefully designed and just look so sleek and gorgeous.

It’s definitely an eye-catching watch for sure.

Anyone that wants a watch that’s very different than a normal watch should also consider it seriously.

It has a long specification list, and when compared to its more affordable price, one can’t help to think how good value for money the Casio Edifice watch is.

With a quite big dimension, it has a nice wrist presence and looks very masculine too =)

Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone wanting a true dress watch for formal functions might need to look elsewhere since the watch is more suited for casual/everyday use.

The watch is just too “techy” for any formal functions. Check out the Seiko SARB033, Hamilton Jazzmaster and Tissot Visodate for dress watch alternatives that has killer look while still being affordable.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Stylish and sophisticated dial
  2. Chronograph can measure accurately up to 1/100 seconds
  3. Multitude of functions at an affordable price
  4. Polished stainless steel gives it a very nice look
  5. Solar powered for a very convenient watch

 

Cons:

  1. As with any multi-function watch, there is a steep learning curve to learn all its functions
  2. Very short chronograph time measurement limit (24 minutes)

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Casio Edifice, consider getting it at Amazon for a great discount over its MSRP of $250. Click the link below to check out the best prices for the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

Casio Edifice is one of the less known secrets from the Japanese watchmaker. While its brother, the G-Shock watches are more popular, the Edifice watches are lesser known even though it’s specification and design is on par with G-Shock’s.

This EQS500DB-1A1 model especially is an example of how good value for money an Edifice watch can be.

Solar powered, world time, chronograph and alarm are some of the major features that will surely be an useful tool to its owners.

All in all, the Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 is a handsome watch with a great specification in it.

 

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I hope you guys like this Casio Edifice review. Let me know if you guys have any comments or questions regarding the watch.

I’d love to hear your opinions =)

Till next time. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen BM8475-26E Review – The Black-Orange Solar Military Watch

Citizen BM8475-26E Review

 

Hi All! In this post today, I’m going to write about Citizen BM8475-26E review, a black-orange themed watch that’s also solar powered.

The watch has a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that’s just pop up from it. It’s truly is stunning to look at and in my opinion, a great casual/everyday watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E black orange dial

 

The solar powered feature also makes it a convenient tool as its owner does not need to change the battery every 1-2 years or so. It’s the perfect combination of automatic and quartz watches.

Last but not least, the good 100 m water resistance means the watch is well protected from any accidental water ingress that might happen.

Well, that should be enough for an introduction. Let’s go through the Citizen BM8475-26E review and look at the watch closer.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black PVD stainless steel
Strap: Brown leather strap with pin buckle
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Orange Black dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Explorer style markers

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +-20 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Lume on markers and hands, Day date display

Citizen BM8475-26E Manual: Click Here to download the user manual

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $235

Stylish Black Dial With Orange Markers & Hands

The dial is one of the things that first draw attention to the Citizen BM8475-26E. It’s a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that just burst out due to their high contrast.

It’s really trendy at the current time as more strong colors are becoming the norm with men’s fashion.

Black, silver and blue have always been my favorite color in a watch but orange seems nice too, no thanks to this watch =)

The whole dial is understated and look very simple. I love the fact that Citizen chose to use explorer style dial (the 3, 6, 9 & 12 numerals) as opposed to normal full numerals or index.

In my opinion, explorer dial has a cleaner look that’s not too busy and yet still easy to read thanks to the big numeral markings.

 

Very Useful Day and Date Display

Another bit that I love about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the inclusion of day and date window displays. These 2 are just a must have for anyone wanting a watch to be used everyday.

Sure, some people complained that these (particularly the day) wrecks the watch’s symmetry and disturb it’s design which I totally agree, if that is a dress watch.

But if the watch in question is intended for everyday use, the functionality of day/date can’t be questioned.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E dial

 

It’s totally very useful as you don’t have to look around if you need to know what day/date today is.

Just a flick of your wrist will do and I can’t say how much time have I saved by doing this everyday

(sidenote: I think my ability to remember day & date worsens as I age LOL!).

Which is why I’d say these features are very useful for any watch that’s meant to be used everyday for work.

 

Full Lume On The Dial

Another interesting element about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the full lume on the dial which is totally awesome considering its fairly affordable price.

The semi-skeleton sword hands and explorer markers both have lumes on top of it which is really really beautiful to look at.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E lume

Just look at the lume shot of this Citizen BM8475-26E. Ain’t the full lume gorgeous? =)

 

I’m a huge fan of lumes and seeing a well-lumed watch just makes my heart excite with joy =)

The lume also will help with telling time in the dark such as during bedtime or even in movies (my favorite usage).

Sleek Black PVD Stainless Steel Case

Complementing the black dial of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a black PVD stainless steel case with 42 mm diameter and 11 mm thick.

Being a non-polished case, it’s definitely helps to build up the watch’s theme as an understated handsome watch that’s not going to draw attention by being very shiny and all.

The case is simply constructed with the shape of a normal watch. The only extraordinary thing about the case is the big and tall crown with patterns on it for easy to operate.

Truthfully, I’m not a fan of the big crown as it seems to stand out and jeopardize the whole sleek look of the watch.

In my opinion, a smaller and “more normal” crown is better and will fit in with the whole design of the watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E sides

 

100 M Water Resistance

The watch also has a 100 m water resistance that’s important for a military styled watch such as this. I mean, there is no telling what we will encounter (rain, splashes of water etc.).

Thus a good water resistance is definitely needed to protect it and I feel 100 m is about the minimum that a watch should has.

 

A Not So Scratch Resistant Mineral Crystal

On top of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a mineral crystal that’s protecting it from any damages. But I need to warn you guys the mineral crystal is NOT scratch resistant at all.

I feel I need to emphasize this since most online watch retailers seems to promote mineral crystal as scratch resistant which is far from the truth.

The only watch crystal material that’s scratch resistant is sapphire, and it’s very unlikely for a watchmaker to use those for a watch at this price range.

 

So what should we do?

 

Keep a good care of our watches of course. Try not to bang it against any hard surfaces such as concrete, stonewall, steel, etc.

Even putting your watch in a pocket full of keys or coins could cause some ugly scratches.

Thus, it’s very important to treat our watches as sensibly as possible to avoid it from getting scratches, or worse, some nick on the surface.

 

(Trust me on this. I’d wish anyone gave me this advice when I first bought my watches. For more information about types of watch crystals, read my introduction to watch crystals here) 

 

Convenient Solar Powered Watch

The most important feature of the Citizen BM8475-26E is the solar powered watch which makes it a convenient watch to own.

It’s powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011 movement, one of the movement in the famous Eco-Drive solar watch family.

So how does these solar watch works?

Solar watches have a solar cell (or photo-voltaic cell) underneath their dial that can convert light (any light, not just sunlight) into electrical energy.

This electrical energy is then stored in a rechargeable battery. From there, the mechanism of a solar watch is the same as any quartz watch.

As you can conclude, the advantage of a solar watch is there is no need to replace the battery every 1-2 years like a normal conventional quartz watch.

The watch will recharge its own battery as long as you can expose it to lights long enough.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E recharging guide

Above table is a rough guideline on how long it takes to charge the Citizen BM8475-26E at different lighting condition

 

There is also an overcharge protection system – so you guys don’t have to worry about exposing it to too much light LOL!

Citizen estimates the rechargeable battery will only need to be changed every 10 years, though there are cases the battery seems to have longer life than that.

Well, it’s much better than having to change the battery every 1-2 years right?

 

(Click here to download the Citizen BM8475-26E user manual)

 

Citizen BM8475-26E Vs Seiko SSC233

 

Seiko SSC233

Seiko SSC233, another black-orange watch from a different Japanese manufacturer

 

I’ve recently reviewed the Seiko SSC233 another black-orange watch and feel compelled to see how both of these two great solar watches stack up to each other.

As you can see, even though both watches have similar black-orange style, they are both massively different.

For a start, the Seiko SSC233 is bigger at 45 mm diameter compared to 42 mm diameter of the Citizen BM8475-26E.

The Seiko also has a chronograph and 24-hour time display whereas the Citizen is a normal three-hands analog watch.

This additional feature in the Seiko warrants a higher price (around $150-$170) than the $120-$130 of the Citizen (prices on Amazon).

They are both the same in the solar powered movement and water resistance (100 m).

So which is the better watch? Honestly, I believe it depends on what kind of watch you want.

Specification wise, the Seiko is far better since it has a chronograph and 24-hour time display but this comes at an extra cost.

In the end, it depends whether you guys want a chrono or just a normal watch.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated look, the Seiko is the one for you but if you want a sleek and understated watch, the Citizen is more suitable.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

In my opinion, anyone seeking a simple and understated watch should go with the Citizen BM8475-26E.

It also very easy to read the time and looks trendy and stylish with the orange markers/hands.

The usage of Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar powered movement makes the watch a real easy to use. Just set the time once and you can wear it for a long time until the battery died.

This is very different than those conventional battery type of watches that need frequent battery replacement.

Having a day and date display make it a great everyday watch, especially for work.

Who Should Not Get It?

If you guys are looking for something extraordinary, then this Citizen BM8475-26E might not be the one for you. It’s a bit too simple and might turn off those than want a more eye-catching piece.

 


Watch the video above to see the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E closer

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Simple and handsome black-orange themed dial
  2. Solar powered for total convenience
  3. Day and date feature make the watch very useful
  4. 100 m water resistance
  5. Full lume on the hands and markers

 

Cons:

  1. Can be too simple for some

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen BM8475-26E, you can buy it cheapest on Amazon. Instead of the MSRP price of $235, the watch can be had for less than $150 on Amazon! Click the link below to check out the Citizen BM8475-26E on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To See The Best Deals Of Citizen BM8475-26E On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Citizen BM8475-26E is a simple watch with black-orange themed. But in it’s simplicity lies its greatest strength. It’s truly stunning and makes for a great watch than can be used everyday.

Not just content with a good look, the watch also uses solar movement that’s definitely an upgrade over the normal quartz. With an easily rechargeable battery, the watch will continue to run effortlessly.

For a simple everyday watch that’s also very convenient, this Citizen BM8475-26E is the one to have.

 

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I hope you guys like this Citizen BM8475-26E review. Let me know if you guys have any questions about it.

And don’t forget to drop your comments below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Casio Wave Ceptor Review (WVAM640D-1A) – The Most Affordable Solar Atomic Watch

Casio Wave Ceptor Review (WVAM640D-1A)

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about the Casio Wave Ceptor review, a very affordable solar AND radio-controlled atomic watch – all for less than $160!

Yep you read that right.

This solar watch that’s also can keep resetting itself to atomic time is much cheaper than other “normal” watches out there.

I was very surprised at first but then knowing how Casio usually dishes out great watches at low prices, this could definitely be the real thing.

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital watch (kinda like the Tissot T-Touch series).

 

casio wave ceptor watch front

 

The analog is used to show the normal hour, minute and seconds while the digital display is used for other informations such as day, date, power reserve and others.

Let not get ahead of ourselves and go to the Casio Wave Ceptor review shall we.

 

Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Specification (WVAM640D-1A)

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 23 mm
Case: Plastic resin and stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Hybrid analog + digital dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Casio Movement 5161
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 4 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Radio-controlled atomic watch, World time, Solar/light powered, LED light, Lume, Alarm, 1/100 second chronograph up to 1-hour, Countdown timer, Power reserve indicator, Calendar

Casio Wave Ceptor Manual: Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $160

Hybrid Analog and Digital Dial

The dial of the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital, giving it a really unique look. The analog 3 hands shows the normal hours, minutes and seconds.

The digital display at the bottom of the watch is used to show day and date as well as its other numerous functions (which I’ll go in depth later on in this review).

The dial is black in color with circular pattern on it that makes it nice to look at.

The hands are slim sword hands while the markers are index type. Both hands and markers are lumed for visibility in the dark.

 

casio wave ceptor watch (2)

 

What I like about the look is how it’s so functional, while still keeping the analog display to tell time.

I know that digital watches are very popular and useful, but those digital displays have already conquered the world around us.

Just look at our smartphone, computer, display on the train station, television, etc. All of them are filled with digital displays.

Which is why I cherished an analog watch (such as this Casio Wave Ceptor watch) as it’s giving a more traditional non-digital look.

Perhaps its fatigue from looking at all those digital things but an analog watch is definitely a must for me.

Not only that, it’s also looks better and more versatile than a normal digital watch.

 

Plastic Resin and Stainless Steel Case

One of the thing that you guys should know about this Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the case is not fully stainless steel. It’s actually a plastic resin case with stainless steel plated on top of it.

I’m not really sure why this is done but I believe it’s to reduce cost.

Performance wise, it’s lighter than normal stainless steel watches and I don’t think we need to worry much about the plastic case since Casio’s G-shock also use the same construction material with great feedback from owners

But in terms of aesthetics, I believe some people might be put off by this.

From the outside, the stainless steel case covers about 60% or so of the surface while the plastic can be seen from the sides, back and top of lug.

 

casio wave ceptor watch side

As you can see, the case of this Casio Wave Ceptor is a combination of plastic resin and stainless steel

 

Though this is the case, it’s not too obvious since the plastic is gray in color and blend well with the silver stainless steel case.

But again, those that are strictly metal watch type of guy might be put off by this.

Thus, I recommend you guys to think deeply whether this type of case is acceptable to you to avoid buyer’s remorse =)

 

Average Size With Good Water Resistance

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a size of 43 mm diameter and 12 mm thickness, an average size by today’s standard. It’s also hooked up with a stainless steel bracelet (no plastic on this one guys!).

One drawback with the stainless steel bracelet is it cannot be changed like normal watches. It’s screwed to the case, unlike using spring bars and lugs like normal watches.

So sadly, no Nato or leather straps for this watch.

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal which is not a good scratch resistant crystal.

My own experience with this type of crystal urges me to be very cautious while using the watch without banging it or whatsoever. Even putting the watch in your pocket might cause some scratches.

But in my opinion, it’s logical for Casio to use it since this watch is meant to be at the lower price range. I can’t see they use any premium material when the watch will be selling less than $200.

Putting that aside, the watch also has a good 100 m water resistance rating that’s surely more than enough for most people.

I don’t recommend anyone to use it for any water activity (swimming, scuba diving, etc) since the three pushers of the watch are all possible points for water ingress.

If you want a watch for water related activities, a diver’s watch is the one that you need.

 

(Click here to check out my top 10 automatic dive watches under $500)

 

Radio-Controlled Atomic Timekeeping

One of the best feature that this Casio Wave Ceptor watch has is its radio-controlled atomic timekeeping.

In short, this means the watch will be able to pick up radio signals which has the current atomic time. Then, the watch will automatically adjust the time according to the atomic time and the current timezone.

 

(Read my introduction to atomic watch for more information about the most accurate watch on earth) 

 

There are 29 timezones to choose from corresponding to all over the world. But sadly, the radio frequency supported is only limited to only 6 radio stations.

Thus, if you are outside of the range (namely Eastern Europe and some parts of Asia), I’d say this watch is not the best for you.

 

Above figures show the approximate radio signal coverage that the Casio Wave Ceptor can use for its atomic timekeeping function

 

Though be warned that the setting of the watch to your timezone can be a bit confusing.

Please refer to Casio Wave Ceptor manual which can be downloaded below. The manual has helpful step-by-step figures to explain the setting process.

 

(Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161)

 

The synchronization will be done automatically from 12:00 am to 5:00 am daily. Make sure the watch is located near to windows to ensure it can pick up the signal effortlessly.

Also, being in a concrete jungle or mountains will severely affect the signal reach. Luckily the watch also has manual sync function so that its owners can sync whenever they are at a clear area.

What I like the most about this function is it will keep the watch super accurate. The Casio quartz movement has a normal +-15 seconds per month accuracy which is good enough for use.

But having this synchronization with atomic time DAILY will make the watch as accurate as an atomic watch itself! For those that want a perfectly accurate watch, then this one is the watch that you have to consider.

 

Casio’s Tough Solar Movement

Powering the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is none other than the clean energy, solar. Like Citizen’s Eco-Drive, Casio also has their own solar watch brand i.e Tough Solar.

I’ve written at length on how solar watches are a step up from the normal “boring ol'” quartz watches.

Since it’s powered by solar/sun or any light for the matter, owners don’t have to change the battery every few years.

The Casio Wave Ceptor will recharge it’s battery by converting lights into electrical energy and it seems the minimum battery life for these watches is 10 years.

That’s a lot longer than the normal 1-2 years of battery capacity for a normal quartz.

Not only that, solar watches are very easy to be charged. Just wear them under bright sunlight for a few minutes and the watch is good to go.

But normal fluorescent indoor lights will take longer to charge it. Thus, you might need to take this into consideration especially when you are working night shifts will little exposure to sunlight.

 

Casio Wave Ceptor recharging table

Charging the Casio Wave Ceptor is very easy, especially if you’re always exposed to light (sunlight, indoor lights, etc) all day long – which is most of us do!

 

7 Other Useful Features

Besides those two functions above, the Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a multitude of other features. Well, it’s actually a digital watch after all so this is to be expected.

Among some of the features worth mentioning are:

  1. LED light
  2. Alarm (up to 5 alarms can be set)
  3. Chronograph/stopwatch
  4. Countdown timer
  5. Power reserve indicator
  6. Full calendar
  7. World time feature (can check the time at other timezones)

 

Casio wave ceptor LED light

The Casio Wave Ceptor also has an LED light which is very useful to tell time in the dark

Casio Wave Ceptor Problems

Perhaps one of the most common problems with the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the atomic time synchronization.

Firstly, the home time is a bit difficult to set (which is why you must always have a copy of the manual) and we need to change it every single time when we’re at a different place for travel.

Next, the sync with radio signal is not as smooth as it depends heavily on the current location, presence of obstruction (tall buildings, mountains, etc) and where the watch sits during the night.

And lastly, some areas are not covered under the atomic time radio signal so do make sure your location is within the covered areas.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Those who want a real convenient watch should go for this Casio Wave Ceptor watch. It’s solar powered, meaning the battery will not have to be replaced for years.

The atomic timekeeping will keep it as accurate as ever. Heck, if the synchronization happens every night, the accuracy of the watch will never be more than one second at any point of time! Now that’s a very accurate watch.

The digital display also makes the watch look more unique. It’s giving a lot of information without looking too complicated.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

In my opinion, those that want a more better built watch should not get this. The plastic resin is great and also lightweight but nothing beats a full metal watch.

There’s just too much difference in the feel of the watch due to this. Thus if you are already used to full metal watch, then the Casio Wave Ceptor watch might be a bit odd to you.

I also feel anyone that don’t reside in one of the radio signal areas should not buy this watch. I mean what’s the purpose of buying a radio-controlled watch if you can’t even get the watch to sync?

 


Watch the video above to see the Casio Wave Ceptor up close

 

Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Radio-controlled atomic timekeeping for a very accurate watch
  2. A unique and cool hybrid digital and analog watch design
  3. Digital display is very functional as it will give lots of information
  4. More convenient as the battery does not need to be changed as frequent as normal quartz watches
  5. Solar watch is a cool and cutting edge technology

Cons:

  1. Can be quite complicated to learn about its functions, especially to set the timezones
  2. Does not has a full stainless steel case
  3. Atomic time radio signals are not covering the entire earth. Some areas will not be able to use the radio-controlled atomic time setting function.

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Casio Wave Ceptor watch, get it cheapest on Amazon. It’s MSRP is around $160 while you can have it cheaper online. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Casio Wave Ceptor (WVAM640D-1A) On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a good piece of technology timepiece – solar and atomic timekeeping – all in a very affordable price.

I can say Casio really pushed the boundary on how low a good watch can cost us. It’s really that such watches are available for us at such a great price.

All in all, this is a watch that I’m sure most of you guys will like for its aesthetics, great technical specs and affordable price.

 

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I hope you guys like this Casio Wave Ceptor review and find it’s beneficial. Let me know if there is any questions or comments on this watch.

I’ll be very happy to get your feedback on it =)

Regards,
Isaac.

Seiko SSC233 Review – The Stylish Orange-Black Watch

SEIKO SSC233 REVIEW

 

Orange has always been a ladies’ color for as long as I can remember. But only during the last decade or so this color has slowly made its way into men’s style and fashion – to a very good effect.

And today, I’m going to give a review about the Seiko SSC233, a watch that uses orange heavily in it’s design.

The first thing that anyone will notice about the watch is how the bright orange markers and hands just seem to pop up from the black dial and case.

Definitely not a traditional style for a watch, but I just can’t deny how trendy and stylish this watch is.

And not to mention how unorthodox the watch is. With such contrasting colors of the orange/black, this is definitely a head turner =)

Being a chronograph also makes the watch more useful than ordinary watch while also making it look cooler with those extra subdials.

 

Seiko SSC233 on hand

 

Last but not least, the watch is also a solar watch which will make it more convenient without any frequent battery change.

And all of these are for less than $200! I can honestly say this is one of the good value for money watch in the market right now.

Without getting ahead of ourselves, let’s check out the Seiko SSC233 review shall we.

 

Seiko SSC233 Watch Specification

Diameter: 45 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black PVD Stainless steel case
Strap: Black nylon strap
Watch Crystal: Hardlex crystal

Dial: Black dial
Subdial: 24-hour time (right subdial), Running seconds hand (left subdial), 60-min chronograph indicator (bottom subdial)
Hands: Sword hands
Markers: Full numeral markers

Movement: Seiko Caliber V175 – Solar quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 6 months (for a maximum of 1-hour chronograph used everyday)

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Solar powered, 1/5 second Chronograph (up to 1 hour), 24-hour display
Seiko SSC233 Manual: Click here to download the user manual

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $350

Stylish Orange-Black Dial

The one biggest selling point of the Seiko SSC233 is its stylish orange-black dial. The orange markers just seems to burst out from the matte black dial.

It’s truly very trendy and stylish – assuming you’re one of those hip young guys of course LOL. I don’t think older adults would be interested with this kind of style

Though I could be wrong on this. Let me know if you’re already in the older range of age and still find this Seiko SSC233 stylish and desirable =)

 

Seiko SSC233 on hand

 

Another thing that I like about the dial is how Seiko chose to use full numeral markers on it.

Sure, it makes the dial busier but you can’t deny that it makes the watch easier to read especially for those that have been used to normal clocks.

There is a date window at 4:30 location but I find it to be too small for my liking. Such a small window will be hard for anyone to read the date.

Lume is applied on the hands and markers but is not as good as any of the Seiko’s dive watches. But then again it’s to be expected from a casual watch like this.

 

3 Subdials with 60-min Chronograph

Being a chronograph, the Seiko SSC233 has an additional 3 subdials for this function.

The right subdial is used to show 24-hour time (more on that later on), while the bottom subdial is for the 60-min chronograph timekeeping.

The left subdial on the other hand is for the running seconds hand. This actually means the main seconds hand (the bigger one) is stationary during normal usage and is only used for chronograph function.

This is the same quartz chrono movement used in the gorgeous Seiko SSC017 which I found to not be as cutting edge as what I’d like.

What I mean is this setup is exactly the same as any automatic chronographs, with a separate running and chronograph seconds hand.

 

Seiko SSC233 watch front

 

Being a quartz chrono, Seiko can easily use the main seconds hand for both function – easily done since it’s electronically controlled after all.

The left subdial is then free and can be used for hours counter of chronograph or even a power reserve indicator which is much more useful.

But alas, this is not a high-end quartz chronograph (like the Bulova Precisionist) so it’s actually passable.

Still, high-end or not, chronograph subdials do make for a more complicated and sophisticated which is just way cooler than normal watch =)

Has 24-Hour Time Display, But No GMT?

One thing that I need to highlight is that the right subdial is for 24-hour time display and it’s not for GMT or second time zone display.

It’s definitely a good addition as the 24-hour time display can show the current AM/PM that an analog watch lacks.

But still, I believe a GMT subdial where it can show a second timezone will be more useful especially to those that travel often.

What do you guys think? Is the 24-hour time display sufficient or a GMT watch is much more preferable? Leave your thoughts on this at the comments section so that we can discuss further.

 

Sleek Black PVD Case

Complementing the black-orange theme of the Seiko SSC233 dial is a stylish black PVD stainless steel casing. It’s the finishing touch on this beautiful and trendy watch.

The case is a bit on the big side with 45 mm diameter and 12 mm thick.

I’d think those with smaller wrists should think carefully as there is a big possibility the watch’s lug will hang off from your wrist (which is not a good sight. Think baggy clothes/pants and you’ll get what I mean).

 

Seiko SSC233 side

 

On top of the watch is a Hardlex crystal, Seiko’s own enhanced mineral crystal. It’s supposed to have a higher impact resistance, but sadly the scratch resistance is not there.

My advice is to take good care of the watch and avoid any contact with hard surface (concrete, steel, etc.) as there is a good possibility that your hardlex will be scratched.

 

(For more info about watch crystals, click here to read my article)

 

The watch also has a 100 m water resistance. While most owners of this watch will never swim with it, it’s still a good feature to have.

Well, better safe than sorry right?

One thing that’s a bit strange about this watch is it’s black nylon strap. The nylon strap which is hooked up to the 22 mm lug width is strangely out of place.

While the case and dial are immaculate, the nylon strap is a bit too cheap in comparison.

It’s be much better if Seiko can use a leather band with orange stitchings on the watch instead (which many owners of the Seiko SSC233 have done LOL!)

 

Seiko SSC233 back

 

Seiko Solar Quartz Movement

One of the best features that the Seiko SSC233 has is its solar powered movement. Being a solar watch, this means there is no need to frequently change its battery.

This is because the watch will automatically convert any light (minimum strength is our house/office light) to electrical energy instantly!

The secret lies within the photo-voltaic cells underneath its black dial using the same mechanism as solar roofs.

Charging it is a breeze since we only need to wear it while exposing it to any light. A man-made light will require longer exposure time while a bright sunlight can easily charge the battery in a few minutes.

In my opinion, the combination of chronograph and solar watch is definitely a good thing.

Chronographs can squeeze the juice out of the battery of a normal quartz watch faster. But if the watch is a solar watch, this is not a problem since the battery is easily recharged.

Also, being a quartz watch mean a very accurate timepiece is at your disposal.

Accuracy wise, it has a +-15 seconds per month gain or lose time which is much more accurate than even the best and most expensive automatic watches.

This makes this watch very suitable for those that want an accurate and fuss free timepiece.

 

(But automatic watches also has its own flair. Read my comparison of the two main types of watch movement here)

 

Who Is This Watch For?

In my opinion, those who like a very stylish and trendy watch should get the Seiko SSC233. It’s definitely will attract lots of attention from people due to its great look and unique color combination.

Not to mention the chronograph function with subdials adds to the complexity and cool factor of the watch.

 

(Check out also the Seiko Monster, another watch which uses orange on its dial)

 

The Seiko SSC233 is also suitable for anyone that want a convenient watch and does not like to change its battery every couple of years. This solar watch will take care of the recharging immediately, without you guys even noticing.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

In my opinion, those with a smaller wrist will not find this Seiko SSC233 watch a good companion. The big 45 mm diameter is only suitable for bigger wrists.

Beautiful watch aside, I sincerely believe a good fitting watch to a wrist is an important part of our overall style which is why I don’t recommend it for those with small wrists.

Secondly, since the watch uses non-traditional orange color, it’s not a suitable watch for formal functions.

For those functions, a dress watch with traditional look is much more suitable (such as the Seiko SARB033, Tissot Visodate and Hamilton Jazzmaster).

 


Watch this video to see the Seiko SSC233 up close

 

Seiko SSC233 Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Trendy and stylish design with orange/black dial
  • Subdials causes it to be more stylish and cooler
  • Solar powered quartz movement for total convenience
  • Chronograph function is useful for sports fans

Cons:

  • A big 45 mm diameter is not for everybody
  • Lume is not as good as Seiko’s diver’s watches

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Seiko SSC233, get it cheapest on Amazon right now! The watch’s MSRP is $350 but you guys can get it way lesser on Amazon. Click the link below to check its best prices on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Seiko SSC233 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

Seiko SSC233 is one of those watches that just grab your attention to it with its stylish orange-black dial. It’s also a cool watch, no thanks to the chronograph function.

Being a solar watch makes it a total convenience while reducing the work needed to change the battery. For a great all round watch with trendy look and without breaking your bank account, this is the watch you guys have to seriously consider.

 

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I hope you guys like this Seiko SSC233 review. Let me know if you guys have any questions about it.

Don’t forget to drop your comments below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E Review – The Stylish Military Solar Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E Review

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review, one of the most affordable Eco-Drive models from the Japanese brand.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive is one of the most robust and well-respected solar watch movement right now. But the cost of such cool technology is more expensive than a normal quartz watch.

Fortunately, they know there is a good market in low priced watches and this is where the Citizen BM8180-03E watch comes in the picture.

The watch is priced at the more affordable sub-$100 price (if you get it from online stores, especially on Amazon, as compared to the normal more than $200 price tag of the other Eco-Drives.

What’s surprising is the Citizen BM8180-03E watch does not feel cheap at all.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch

 

It’s a handsome military style watch but the highly polished and small case (at 37 mm diameter) gives it a more dressy look.

In short, it’s a gorgeous little timepiece with a highly convenient solar powered movement – just perfect as an everyday beater watch for multiple uses and events.

Now, let’s go to the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review shall we.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Watch Specification

Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Lug Width: 18 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Green canvas strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with day/date display
Hands: Skeleton sword hands with lume
Markers: Numeral markers with lume

Movement: Eco-Drive E100
Movement Features: Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement with Solar/light powered
Power Reserve: 6 months
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per month

Water Resistance: 100 m
Eco-Drive User Manual: Download the user manual HERE

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Stylish Military Style Dial/Watch Face

On top of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is a stylish military dial design that’s just looks good to look at. Citizen has done a good job here with the dial design in my opinion.

The key lies in how outstandingly well-balanced the dial is.

Just take a look at it and you’ll realize that the proportions of the elements are just “right”.

The markers, hands, signature, day/date etc are just in harmony with each other. You just can’t find any fault with the dial at all. It’s truly a well-designed watch!

The dial is black in color, with white hands and markers on top of it for a nice contrast.

The hour and minute hands are skeleton hands with the bottom half empty while the seconds hand is red in color that just pops up from the black/white dial.

The numeral markers are fully numeral without any index markers – this makes the watch very easy to read as compared to other wrist watches.

At the outer edge are the minute markers for easy to read information on the minutes.

On the right side of the dial is a day/date window display for additional functionality which I truly love.

No more tinkering with your smartphone to know what date/day today is. Just a simple check on your wrist will help you get this info easily.

All in all, the dial is the element that I love the most on this watch.

It’s so sublimely done, with simple but well-executed styling. It also looks really handsome and dressy unlike other military watch.

This makes the Citizen BM8180-03E very versatile as you can use it for casual and more formal use. Due to this, I believe this watch is just perfect for everyday use.

Full Lume On The Hands And Markers

Another outstanding feature of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch dial is the full lume on its hands and markers.

Actually, I was really surprised that Citizen would do such a thing, especially at a sub-$100 watch.

Watches about twice its price rarely gives something like this, mind you.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch lume shot

The Citizen BM8180-03E has a full lume on its hands and markers which is usually seen on watches more expensive than it =)

 

Rather than just the hands, the numeral markers of the watch is also filled with lume, giving a really cool blue lume in the dark.

Nothing beats a well illuminated watch for its coolness =)

 

Small And Highly Polished Case

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch has a small case with just 37 mm diameter, which is about the smallest size for a man’s watch nowadays.

This size is becoming rarer with the current trend that is shifting towards big bulky watches .

I’m not too fond of big watches, no less since my wrist is a bit small but also because I feel that smaller watches exudes a sleek and stylish look.

And this is exactly what I found with this watch too!

Having said that, I know there are some guys out there that dislike small watches and prefer big bulky watches for its manly look.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch side

 

Thus, I need to warn that if you guys are within that group, then this Citizen BM8180-03E is NOT the one for you (unless you like having a buyer’s remorse lol!).

The 9 mm thick stainless steel case is also highly polished which further increased its good looks. It has short lugs which is strapped to a 18 mm green canvas strap.

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal that is befitting for a watch at this price.

In my opinion, anything other than sapphire crystal will require a conscious effort in our part as watch owners to care for it to prevent heartbreaking scratches on its surface.

Mineral crystals are just really really bad in scratch resistance =(

Lastly, the case also has 100 m water resistance rating on it which is quite good for a watch.

With this high rating, we can use the watch for water activities though I’d not use it for frequent swimming or diving.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch side

 

Even though the Citizen BM8180-03E watch can withstand 100 m water pressure, but the gaskets are not designed for sustained and frequent water exposure (as opposed with diver’s watches).

Thus, I’d recommend to be careful when using the watch in water.

 

Eco-Friendly Eco-Drive Solar Watch

Last but not least, the biggest selling point of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is its solar powered movement.

The Eco-Drive movement is a respected solar watch engine that’s been proven for more than 20 years.

So what does it do?

Well, it simply convert light energy (sunlight or any artificial light) into electrical energy via photo-voltaic cells (solar cells or PV cells) underneath its dial.

This electrical energy is then stored in a small rechargeable battery cell. The cell will then powers up the quartz watch movement like in a normal watch.

So what are its advantage over normal watches?

First of all, there is no need to change the battery every year or so. Citizen claimed that the Eco-Drive battery can lasts up to 10 years (or even more).

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch caseback

 

This will save some time on your part as well as reducing the amount of disposable batteries in the world (think Eco-Friendly here).

The best part about these solar watches are how it’s very convenient and easy to use. There is no need to be worried about a sudden “dead” battery at all.

The Eco-Drive E100 movement inside it has a 6 months power reserve from a full charge and it only takes about 12-45 hours of exposure under sunlight, depending on its intensity.

Besides sunlight, it can also be charged with normal lighting in our office or home.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Eco-Drive E100 recharging table

Above is a table detailing how long it takes to recharge the Citizen BM8180-0E under different lighting conditions

 

This means the solar watch is easily charged simply by wearing them. And you don’t have to wear them everyday like an automatic watch since the power reserve has a large capacity.

Once a week of use is even enough to charge it! Now that’s total convenience to me.

And not to mention, nobody can deny how cool it is to own a high technology timepiece that uses solar power instead of the boring normal ol’ battery =)

 

Click HERE to download the Citizen Eco-Drive E100 user manual

 

Who Is This Watch For?

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch is perfect for those that want a really good looking military watch with a more traditional smaller watch size.

Despite it’s sleek looks, it’s also quite rugged (it’s a military watch after all) and can be used as a daily beater watch.

Having a solar powered movement means the watch is really convenient to use – no need to wind or change battery every year.

 

Citizen BM8180-03E watch on hand 2

 

A once a week use is sufficient enough to recharge the watch.

Last but not least, it has a cool full dial lume on it that’s hard to find in this price range. One of the things that we should get from an analog watch is a brightly lit lumes (unless its a dress watch of course).

It looks soo cool and functional in the dark due to this great feature.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

My view is those that prefer a bigger watch should not consider the Citizen BM8180-03E watch.

It’s very small in today’s standard (at 37 mm diameter) and I can imagine those guys will be frustrated at how “un-manly” this watch is.

So if you’re looking at a big and bulky watch, you might need to look elsewhere (the Citizen Nighthawk and Citizen Promaster Altichron are good choices with 42 mm and 50 mm case diameter respectively).

 


Watch the video above to see the unboxing of the Citizen BM8180-03E watch

 

Citizen BM8180-03E Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A handsome watch with well-balanced dial design
  • Easy to read dial with full numeral markers
  • Super cool lume on all of its hands and markers
  • Sleek and stylish small 37 mm diameter case
  • Total convenience with Eco-Drive solar powered watch movement

Cons:

  • 37 mm diameter case can be too small for some people
  • Mineral crystal is not scratch resistant

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen BM8180-03E watch, get it cheapest on Amazon! Amazon has the largest selection of watches at the best prices. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Citizen BM8180-03E Watch On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Citizen BM8180-03E watch is one good looking watch for sure.

I really love how Citizen managed to create such a well-balanced dial where all its elements are rightly proportioned to each other.

It really looks great, and the overall craftsmanship is just fantastic.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar movement also make this watch a true workhorse – there is no need to tinker about anything.

Just wear it and the watch will take care of itself. The solar mechanism will recharge the watch without you even noticing it.

Now that’s a whole new level of convenience.

For a good looking daily beater watch with a cool solar powered movement, the Citizen BM8180-03E watch is definitely a great choice.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy my Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E review. Let me know if you guys have any questions or comments about the watch.

Drop your comments in the section below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko SNE331 Review – The Affordable Military Solar Watch

Seiko SNE331 Review

 

Hi guys! In this post, I’m going to write about the Seiko SNE331 review, a no-frills military watch by the Japanese brand.

It has a very simplistic and functional design – those big markers and hands on top of a pitch black dial and case. There is no mistaken that this is a military watch that’s made for casual and outdoor use.

But that’s not its only selling point. The SNE331 is powered by solar/light, so its owner does not need to change its battery every few years like normal quartz watches. This effectively make it the best no-frills watch ever for day-to-day use!

And at its current price of around $100, this is the cheapest solar powered watch in the market right now.

 

Seiko SNE331 solar watch

 

Enough with the introduction. Now let’s go into the detail review of this Seiko SNE331 shall we.

 

Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black IP coated stainless steel
Strap: Brown nylon strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with day/date display
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Numeral and index markers (sadly, no lume on these..)

Movement: Seiko Caliber V158 – Solar quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 10 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Seiko Solar Manual: Click Here To Download The Manual From Seiko’s Website

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $305

A Very Simplistic Military Dial

On top of the Seiko SNE331 is a very simple and minimalist dial. The signatures are also very minimal. The dial is not over the top and just look very functional and perfect as daily beater watch.

The black dial has a metallic finish on it which gives a nice light reflection. The markers are cream in color for a good contrast with the black dial.

The markers are also over-sized with explorer type of design. With the 6, 9 and 12 markers in numeral, this helped to make the watch very legible and easy to read. An all index markers will be a bit harder to read, trust me on this =p

The hands are not too big but still legible enough. At the right side is the day and date windows for an added functionality.

Having day/date is a must for an everyday beater watch like this. With it, you can be consistently reminded of the day/date at just a flick of your wrist.

It might seem trivial for some, but lots of people (me included lol!) have difficulty to remember the current day/date. So having a watch with this feature is always a big plus for me.

 

Lack Of Lume On The Markers

Perhaps the only complain about the dial is the lack of lume on its markers. There are lume on its hands but the markers don’t have any lume on top of it, save for small lume pips at the edge of the dial.

 

Seiko SNE331 lume shot

As you can see, the Seiko SNE331 lack some good looking lume on it

 

Understandably, Seiko can’t afford to put more lume on the SNE331 given the low price of this watch. But it’s a loss since the oversized markers will look much much better with a lume on it.

Besides, the lume will really helps when we are in a dark area and need to check the time. Having a lume is a must (at least for me) for any analog watches.

 

(Except for dress watches, of course, since those watches are made to look sleek and stylish as hell. I plan to do an introductory post on dress watches – so stay tuned guys!)

 

You guys can check out the Seiko SARG009 on how gorgeous the dial will looks like if lumes are applied fully on an explorer type of dial.

 

Seiko SARG009 lume shot

Above is the Seiko SARG009 – notice the great difference between these two watches’ lume

 

Black IP Coated Stainless Steel Case

Complementing the black dial of the Seiko SNE331 is a black IP coated stainless steel case. It’s not too big, at just 42 mm diameter with 10 mm thickness which is about the normal size of men’s watches nowadays.

At that size, I’m pretty sure it will suit most men’s wrists effortlessly.

 

Seiko SNE331 on hand

 

The nylon strap is brown in color, and latches to the 22 mm lug width. Being a low cost solar model and geared towards military style, the choice of nylon strap is the best.

But those that want to upgrade the watch’s style can do so easily by changing it to a brown leather strap. That’s a quick styling tips for a watch. A simple strap change-out can dramatically change its look at far lesser cost than buying a new watch!
Seiko SNE331 back
The SNE331 also has an 100 m water resistance rating for your peace of mind. With this rating, it’s basically fine to use the watch even for swimming, though I won’t really recommend you guys to do so.

A swim once in a while is fine, but definitely not frequent. It also helps to protect the watch from water ingress during accidental events such as rain, dropped the watch into a puddle, etc.

Being a low cost watch also has its downside. With the SNE331, it’s mainly in the form of the low scratch resistant mineral crystal and simple caseback without any engraving.

But then, it’s quite understandable this has to be the case since the watch price is much cheaper compared to other solar watches.

 

Seiko SNE331 side watch

 

I need to warn you guys about mineral crystal and it’s low scratch resistant. It’s easily scratched and we should take extra precaution to not bang the watch onto any hard surface.

Heck, even a concrete wall might cause some irreparable damage on it. So take good care of it to avoid being heartbroken later on =p

 

(Read also my post on watch crystals and their pros/cons)

Seiko Solar V158 Movement

Powering the Seiko SNE331 watch is the solar movement V158, built in-house by Seiko. The solar watch is a misnomer since the watch can also be charged by artificial lights such as our normal house lights.

Solar watches are basically a normal quartz watch but with additional components to capture and change light into electrical energy. The electrical charge is then stored inside a rechargable battery of the watch.

From that point onward, the mechanism of the watch is similar to a quartz watch. It also has the same characteristic in terms of great accuracy and others.

Anyone that had owned a quartz watch will know how frustrating it is to suddenly realized that their watch has a dead battery. This can greatly annoy some people especially if they are a bit on a rush at that time.

Solar watches seek to eliminate this by making the watch rechargeable just by putting it under a light. And since most of us will be exposed to light for a long duration in any day, recharging the watch is a breeze.

 

Seiko SNE331 V158 solar charging time

Above is a table showing how long does it takes to recharge Seiko SNE331 solar watch

 

In fact, it’s accidentally done by just wearing the watch and go outside! Suffice to say, solar watches is the best watch for those that want a fuss-free watch for use.

 

Click Here To Download The Seiko Solar Watch Manual From Seiko’s Website

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Anyone excited about solar watches but turned off by its high price should consider it. This Seiko SNE331 is among the cheapest solar watches in the market right now.

 

Seiko SNE331 on hand

 

The simplicity and principle of wear-and-forget-it of solar watches is the main attraction of this watch. If you are sick of frequent dead watches and needing to change their batteries, a cheap solar watch will solve it for you.

Lastly, the simple military style look is perfect for any casual or outdoor use. If you are looking for a no-frills military watch that can be used everyday, this is the watch that you need to check out.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone that wants more style from his/her watch might be turned off by the Seiko SNE331 simple look. Granted, the minimalist design is not everyone’s cup of tea.

 


Watch the video above to have a better look at the Seiko SNE331

 

Seiko SNE331 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use and convenient solar powered watch
  • Simple and minimalist military style dial
  • Cool military watch design and look
  • More affordable compared to other solar watches
  • Day and date display are very useful for its owners
  • 100 m water resistance rating

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal is easily scratched

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like the Seiko SNE331, get it cheapest on Amazon! Amazon has the cheapest price, much much lower than the exorbitant MSRP of $305 on Seiko’s website. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Seiko SNE331 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Seiko SNE331 is a good looking military watch with a simplistic design. It’s not meant as an eye-catcher but rather a true beater watch to be used everyday.

With a solar powered movement, it becomes more convenient than other quartz watches that need frequent battery change. And the 100 m water resistance rating just make the specifications of the watch a true good value for money.

 

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I hope you guys like this Seiko SNE331 review. Let me know what you guys think about the watch.

Drop your comments below =)

Till next time then. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Review (BJ7000-52E) : A Feature Packed Aviator Watch

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Review

 

Hi guys. Today I’m going to write a review about Citizen Nighthawk watch, a long time favorite for watch lovers.

 

So what’s the big deal with this Nighthawk watch?

 

Well, first of all, it’s affordable at around $200-$250 online. And for that price, we’re getting a tried-and-tested Eco-Drive light powered watch (no need to change battery for years!), GMT function, rotary slide rule, a great 200 m water resistance.

And have I mentioned that the Nighthawk looks super cool too? The black dial with white markings and red accent just looks astonishing and could be the reason why it’s called Nighthawk (black dial = night? lol!) Citizen surely knows how to make a damn good looking watch.

With the $200++ price tag, it’s definitely a lot of value for that money – much more value than other watches more expensive than it. It’s quite hard to beat really. Those kind of specs are just impossible to get for that price, and Citizen managed to do so.

Well, enough about the summary of this aviator watch. Let’s get on with the Citizen Nighthawk watch review.

 

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Specification (BJ7000-52E)

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: President stainless steel bracelet with safety lock
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black dial with rotary slide rule
Hands: Sword hands with lume. GMT hands have airplane shaped tips with white/red colors
Markers: Index markers

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive B877
Movement Features: Quartz movement powered by light (natural and artificial light)
Accuracy: Quartz accuracy of gain/lose 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 180 days

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Rotary slide rule, GMT/Second time zone, Screw down crown

Citizen Nighthawk Manual: Download the manual from Citizen’s website by clicking HERE

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $395

 

Cool Aviator Watch Dial

The first thing that I noticed is how cool the Nighthawk watch dial looks like. The black dial is very complicated and busy, thanks to the rotary slide rule and the GMT function at the center, but Citizen managed to make it looks endearing and handsome at the same time.

Not having a bezel make the watch looks bigger as we are looking at the full dial on the 42 mm diameter watch.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch on hand

The Nighthawk looks big but it’s actually a moderate sized 42 mm diameter watch –  It’s all because of the bezel-less design

 

The markers and hands are white colored, creating a good contrast with the black dial. With big hands and markers, it’s not hard to tell time even with on this busy dial.

I like the numeral 12 and 6 of the dial as it makes the watch easier to read compared to an all index markers dial. Citizen uses a stainless steel lining for the markers which is just truly beautiful to look at.

Due to the big lume area application, the lume on the Nighthawk glows brightly in the dark. This is a very important element to a tool watch, in my opinion.

 

Citizen Nighthawk lume shot

The lume on the Nighthawk watch is good enough to tell time in the dark, as expected from Citizen

 

The usage of red accents for the GMT hour markings and on the slide rule is just the additional oomph that the watch needs. Citizen really knows how to play with colors on their watches’ dials (such as the Blue Angels watch) and it shows here.

All in all, the dial of the Citizen Nighthawk is pretty neat. Complicated aviator watch look but still looks sharp and cool at the same time. Totally great as a casual watch, but I won’t mind wearing it to office, or just about anywhere with this handsome watch =)

Great Quality Stainless Steel Case

The Citizen Nighthawk has a 42 mm diameter and 13 mm thickness, which is just about the normal watch size nowadays. It’s not too small but not too big either, though the bezel-less design makes the watch looks much bigger than it actually is.

Its stainless steel case is brushed, a good finishing choice for a tool watch like this. The short lugs is 22 mm width, and comes with a president style stainless steel bracelet with double lock clasp.

The sides of the watch are sharply cut devoid of any curves. But one thing that you guys need to be wary of is the watch crystal on top of it is made of mineral crystal.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch side

 

Well, this is after all, a sub-$300 watch. So it’s practically impossible to get the scratch resistant sapphire on it. Mineral is not as good when it comes to scratches.

Not to mention the raised mineral crystal make it more prone to scratches. It might look cool, but the practicality of such design is just not there.

 

Click HERE to read my article on watch crystal types and their pros/cons

 

200 M Water Resistance Case

One thing that surprises me is the 200 m water resistance rating on the Nighthawk. I mean, usually tool watches like this has 100 m water resistance, but 200 m is just phenomenal!

But I’d also want to point out that while the time adjuster crown (3 o’clock) is screw-down type, the inner bezel rotating crown (at 8 o’clock) is not screw-down type.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch caseback

 

Non-screw down crowns should work fine and does not pose any threat of water ingress, but I’d recommend that you guys get a real diver’s watch if what you’re considering of frequently diving/swimming with the watch.

Not to say the  Nighthawk’s water resistance isn’t good, but I believe a diver’s watch that’s designed for vigorous water activities will be a better watch in this regard.

 

Click HERE to check out my list of the 10 best automatic dive watches under $500

 

A Unique GMT Hands And Markings

One of the useful function that the Citizen Nighthawk has is the GMT function to display a second time zone. On this watch, the GMT hands and markers are very unique and different than normal GMT watches.

The Nighthawk has two set of GMT hands, the small hands with the red and white airplane tips. These hands are used to show the GMT time using the 24-hour time markings at the inner left side of the dial.

The shorter white tip will show the 1 am to 12 pm time while the longer red tip will show the 1 pm (or 13) to 12 am (or 24) time. Normally GMT watches have an extra hand which will make one full rotation every 24 hours.

 

(Read my review of the Seiko SUN019 to see the how a normal GMT watch looks like )

 

With this design, Citizen is able to free the right side of the dial to place their logo, signatures and a date window. It’s very unique and looks great too. Hats off to them for being able to come up with something like this.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch on hand

 

Showing The GMT Time Or Second Time Zone

Traditionally, GMT watches are used by military and pilots to show the GMT (or Zulu time) for their jobs. But as the watch gained popularity among normal people, not all of them need to know what the time of London is all the time (GMT time or UTC+0 is also the time at London).

As it went by, normal people will usually set the GMT hand to a second time zone. A high-flying corporate guy that always fly around the globe? The GMT hand can be set to his/her local timezone so that you can call your kids before their bedtime.

Need to keep in touch with clients on a different continent? With the GMT function, you’ll always know your client’s timezone so that you can avoid calling them during their lunch time.

In short, the GMT function is a really useful tool especially when we need to constantly deal with others in different places with different timezones.

 

Amazingly Useful Rotary Slide Rule

Another thing that makes the Citizen Nighthawk such a useful tool watch is the rotary slide rule. It’s the same type as the Blue Angels in which the slide rule is operated by rotating the crown at 8 o’clock.

There is also another version of slide rule which is printed on a rotating bezel, as made famous by Breitling watches (and the much cheaper Seiko Flightmaster SNA411).

The slide rule is basically 2 sets of logarithmic scales printed on the dial. One of it is on the inner edge of the dial while the other one is on the rotating part.

 

So what does the slide rule do? It’s invented to help pilots make flight calculations swiftly. There are 2 main usages of it namely:

– General Calculation : Multiplication, division, square root, tipping
– Navigation Calculation: Speed, flight distance, fuel consumption, length conversion

 

As you can notice, even though the purpose of the slide rule is for flight calculations, it can also be used for general calculations which is more usable to normal people.

I can imagine using it to do multiplication and division when I’m too lazy to grab my smartphone. It can also be used to tip too! Now that’s something most of us might use.

The only downside is it’s quite complicated to learn. Read my article HERE on how to use the rotary slide rule for more info.

 

Citizen Nighthawk watch Review

Light-Powered Eco-Drive Movement

Underneath the Nighthawk’s black dial is a solar panel that can absorb all light and convert it into electrical energy to run the watch.

It’s based on Citizen’s world famous Eco-Drive technology that’s been around for more than 20 years – so you guys can rest assured that the solar tech behind this watch is proven to be very reliable and robust.

It can work with all types of light – sunlight and artificial man-made light too. You can even charge your watch at the office by exposing it to the fluorescent lamp, though how much charge it’s getting depends on the light’s intensity or how much Lux the light has.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive charging time

Above is a table on how long it took to charge the Citizen Nighthawk based on different types of lights

 

The electrical charge will then be stored inside the watch’s battery. With a single full charge, the battery can power the watch for 180 days. And with a battery life of more than 10 years, there is no hassle to change the battery every few years or so. That’s the convenience of solar watches for you!

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Anyone that loves a busy, complicated but cool looking aviator watch should get this Citizen Nighthawk. Citizen use of the black, white and red colors on the dial is just perfect.

They have made a very technical watch to look functional and stylish at the same time. For a cheaper watch that looks like the Breitling Navitimer, this easily fits the bill.

For those that want more than a normal traditional watch, this is the perfect watch for them. In addition to the normal time keeping, the Citizen Nighthawk also has the second time zone, rotary slide rule and it’s also solar powered. Not to mention the great 200 m water resistance!

All of these are very great functions that make the Nighthawk has so much more value than any other watches out there. If you’re looking for a great value for money watch, this is the one you should seriously look into.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

I’d say those who not prefer a busy dial watch to avoid the Citizen Nighthawk and instead look for simpler dress watches such as the Seiko SARB033, Tissot Visodate and Hamilton Jazzmaster.

In addition, even though this watch looks cool, it’s not well suited for black tie events, so those looking for a watch for that occasion might need to look at the dress watches I’ve listed above.

 


Watch the video above to see the Citizen Nighthawk closely

 

Citizen Nighthawk Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Good looking and stylish aviator watch design
  • Light powered Eco-Drive movement for total convenience of use
  • GMT function to keep track of second time zone
  • Rotary slide rule can be used to make quick calculations
  • A good 200 m water resistance case

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal is raised above the case and easily scratched

 

Like This Citizen Nighthawk? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like and want to buy the Citizen Nighthawk watch, get it cheapest on Amazon! It’s MSRP is around $395 but can be had for less than $250 on Amazon. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Citizen Nighthawk On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, this Citizen Nighthawk watch is a one great value for money watch. Feature packed with rotary slide rule, GMT, 200 m water resistance, solar powered – and all of this in a stylish and cool design – no wonder it’s a fan favorite.

For something out of the ordinary watch, this is the one that you should seriously consider.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy my Citizen Nighthawk watch review. Let me know what you guys think about the watch.

I’ll be happy to read your feedback on this watch =)

Till then. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen Promaster Diver Review (BN0151-09L) : A Good Value For Money Solar Powered Diver’s Watch

Citizen Promaster Diver Review BN0151-09L

Good Value For Money Watch – A Citizen Promaster Diver Review (BN0151-09L)

Looking for a good value for money diver’s watch? Then this Citizen Promaster Diver (model no. BN0151-09L) might just be the one for you.

A full fledged analog diver’s watch with ISO 6425 standard compliance, real good looking blue dial, solidly built casse – all for less than $250!

With this watch (and the Ecozilla for some extent), Citizen seems to be challenging Seiko and Orient on the affordable diver’s watch segment.

 

(Read my list of the 10 best automatic diver’s watches under $500 and you guys will see what I mean)

 

Let’s go to the Citizen Promaster Diver review and find out what makes this watch a great watch for your next diving trip.

Citizen Promaster Diver Specification (BN0151-09L)

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Lug To Lug Distance: 49 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Dark blue polyurethane strap with No-Decompression table
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Dark blue dial (with solar panel underneath it)
Hands: Oversized arrow shaped hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Eco-Drive E168
Movement Features: Citizen’s Eco-Drive quartz movement with Solar/light powered
Power Reserve: 180 days

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Date display, Unidirectional rotating bezel, Screw down crown, ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard compliant, Signed crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon (click below to see the cheapest price), MSRP is $295

 

Sublime And Handsome Dark Blue Dial

The first thing to notice on the Citizen Promaster Diver is the dark blue theme which is on top of the dial, bezel and the strap. It reminds me of my Seiko Sumo which also has the same dark blue matte dial.

And I can say they both look extraordinarily handsome! This type of matte dial is the best when it comes to diver’s watches as it’s not very showy such as the sunburst dials.

The dark matte dial gives the vibe of strictly business and that’s what the Promaster Diver is – a real diver’s watch.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver on hand

 

At the 4 o’clock, a date display is located which adds to the functionality of the watch. This placement seems to coincide with the crown which is also located at the 4 o’clock. Nice touch there Citizen!

The hands and markers are oversized, true to diver’s watch fashion. The markers are index markers with stainless steel linings around them.

The top 12 o’clock marker has a different shape so that it will be very visible in dark when the lume is glowing.

It’s hands are arrow shaped hands with different design and colors. The hour hand has a silver lining while the minute hand has an orange outline. This makes the minute hand pop out to be very visible.

Well, Citizen has been known to play with colors on their watch dials (such as their Altichron watch) so this is not so weird for me.

For a watch that looks perfect for casual and sports use, this Promaster Diver is the one watch to get.

 

Great Diver’s Watch Lume

One of the things that a diver’s watch need to has is great lume. Lume is the unique point about diver’s watches that no other watches has. Besides, a brightly glowing watch lume looks super cool =)

On this BN0151-09L is has just that – a super cool lume thanks to the oversized hands and markers. The luxuriously applied lume paint make for a very glowing watch in the dark.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver lume

 

Citizen opted to use a blue colored lume for the hands and markers which is a nice complement to the blue dial. At the top of the rotating bezel is a lume pip with green colored lume so that divers can still use the bezel in the dark.

 

Solidly Built Stainless Steel Case

This watch also has a solid stainless steel case, befitting of its 200 m water resistance rating. The watch is 44 mm in diameter with 12 mm thickness which is quite an average size nowadays.

The lug to lug distance is 49 mm and I’m quite sure most guys can pull this off (unless you have a very small wrist). It’s nice and sturdily built, something that you will be confident to bring underwater.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver side

 

On top of the dial is a unidirectional rotating bezel that is used to time dives. It has a minute markings at every minute which make the bezel a bit busy. At the sides of the bezel are threads to help users grip the bezel when using it.

 

(Read my article on how to use rotating bezel for more info)

 

The bezel is connected to the mineral crystal at the top which protects the watch from impact and water ingress. The usage of mineral crystal is not something that I like since it scratches easily. I prefer sapphire since that thing will be kept pristine for years to come.

But then we need to remember that this is a watch that’s prices below $250. So it’s quite understandable that Citizen can’t afford to spend the top dollars on the watch specification.

 

(For info on watch crystal types, read it more in my article HERE)

 

The 20 mm lug width of the watch comes with a blue polyurethane strap that seems to match the dark blue dial. On the is a No Decompression (or N.D) table that basically shows how long a human diver can stop at any given depth without having to make decompression stops when ascending.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver on hand

 

It’s quite a long subject to go into so for those that is interested in it, I’d suggest to read this Wikipedia page on the matter for more info.

 

 

ISO 6425 Diver’s Watch Compliant

One of the great features of this watch is the compliance to ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard. As I’ve written in my past article HERE, this ISO standard is used to make sure diver’s watches are fully competent to be used underwater.

The Citizen Promaster Diver complied with this standard which means it’s a great choice for real divers to use. For non-divers or the so-called desk divers, the ISO compliance means this is a tough watch that can withstand any kind of activities you throw at it.

If it is good enough to be used underwater, it’s surely sufficient to be used for that gym/ jogging/ hiking/ camping activities.

 

Eco-Drive E168 Movement

At the heart of this watch is the Eco-Drive E168 movement, Citizen’s own in-house solar powered watch. Well, solar powered is not quite right since the watch can also be recharged by any kind of light.

Underneath the dial is a solar panel that will absorb any light and turn it into electrical charge to be stored in its battery. But of course not all light is the same.

Sunlight has highest intensity (illuminence, as measured by the Lux unit) at 100,000 lux and the watch needs to be exposed to this for only 3 minutes for it to function normally one day. 35 hours of exposure is needed for full charge of 180 days.

On the other hand, normal fluorescent light bulb or lighting in the office/home has only 500 lux and will require up to 4 hours to charge the watch just for one day of use.

As you can see, solar powered watches are quite hard to be charged to full unlike automatic watches that only need a few round of manual winding.

But as long as we are exposing the watch to lights long enough, I don’t think there is any issue in this. I’d think only those that work night shifts will be affected as they won’t get as much night time as other people.

Accuracy wise, the Eco-Drive movement uses quartz as its time keeping mechanism. Being a quartz watch, it’s accuracy is among the best at only +-10 seconds per month. That’s much better than the usual +-15 seconds per day of automatic watches at this price range.

 


Watch the above video to see the Citizen Promaster Diver closely

 

Who Is This Watch For?

I’m sure that professional divers will take a liking to this handsome diver’s watch. The Citizen Promaster Diver is truly befitting its name. The ISO 6425 compliance with solidly built case makes it a good watch for diving.

Not to mention its more affordable price compared to other diver’s watches. I don’t think those that have Rolex Submariner will use their watches for diving and will use a cheaper watch (like this Promaster Diver!) instead lol!

 

Citizen Promaster Diver front2

 

And with a handsome design, it’s also something that non-divers could wear casually and for any sports/outdoor activities. Being a diver’s watch, it’s versatility is its strong point and will look good in almost all settings.

Having an Eco-Drive solar powered movement makes it easy to use without having to change any batter every few years.

For a watch that’s look great, with good specification and easy to use, the Citizen Promaster Diver is the one to get.

If you like the watch, get it cheapest from Amazon (click the link below). The watch MSRP is $295 but usually it can be had for less than $250 on Amazon which is a really good deal to me =)

 

=>Get The Citizen Promaster Diver Here

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Those wanting a more refined and dressy look might not want to get this watch. It’s dial is very simple and sporty with the oversized hands and markers. I’d limit this watch to casual and sports, with occasional office use with the right strap such as leather or bracelet.

For black tie events, it’s better to go with a more simple and elegant watch such as the Seiko SARB033 or Citizen’s Eco-Drive Titanium.

 

Citizen Promaster Diver Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Beautiful dark blue dial
  • Solar/light powered with Eco-Drive technology – no need for battery change for a long time
  • Very long power reserve up to 6 months
  • Solidly built case
  • Great lume effect
  • High visibility due to the oversized hands and markers
  • ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliance
  • Date display is a plus for funtionality

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal is not scratch resistant, but understandable at this price range

 

Final Thoughts

The Citizen Promaster Diver is a good looking watch with its brilliant dark matte blue dial and overall solid craftsmanship. Not just a handsome toy, it’s also a full fledged diver’s watch with an ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliance.

The Eco-Drive movement ensures that the watch is fully charged using solar/light and has a great 6 months power reserve.

And all of that in a watch that costs less than $250. Now that’s what a good value for money is. If you guys are looking for a watch that looks good, has high specification and affordable, this is the watch to get.

 

 

I hope you guys love this Citizen Promaster Diver review. Let me know if you have any comments or questions on the watch.

I’d love to hear from you guys =)

Till next time.
Cheers!

Seiko SUN019 Review – A Kinetic Diver’s Watch With GMT Function

Seiko SUN019 Review

 

Hi guys. In this article, I’m covering on the Seiko SUN019 review, a kinetic watch from Seiko.

From the first look, we can already see how unique and cool looking the Seiko SUN019 is – and it IS unique.

 

 Shroud Case, Kinetic, GMT

I think all these three words (shrouded case, kinetic movement, GMT watch) perfectly summarizes how different the Seiko SUN019 is compared to others out there.

The case has the distinctive shrouded layer for extra shock protection. Seiko fans should know that these shrouded case design is made famous by the Seiko Tuna, and its lil’ brother the Baby Tuna watches.

Powering the watch is Seiko’s own kinetic movement, a hybrid of quartz and automatic movements which we will go in-depth later on.

 

Seiko SUN019 Review

The multi-functional Seiko SUN019

 

Lastly, this SUN019 has a GMT function which can be used to show second time zone or to show the 24-hour time.

I’m pretty sure you guys already know how special this watch is, both physically and technically. But that’s just the summary of it. Let’s check out the full review of this cool Seiko SUN019.

 

Seiko SUN019 Specification

Diameter: 47 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Lug Width: 24 mm
Lug To Lug Distance: 52 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal

Dial: Black dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume, Skeleton hand for GMT
Markers: Raised Circular markers with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 5M65 Kinetic movement
Movement Features: Quartz movement, Watch is powered by wrist movement and turned into electricity
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month (quartz accuracy)
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 200 m

Other Features: GMT function, Date display, Unidirectional rotating bezel, LumiBrite lumes, Meets ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard, Screwdown crown and pusher, Powered by hand movement, Power reserve check function,

Seiko SUN019 Caliber 5M65 Manual: Click HERE to download the manual from Seiko’s website

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $725

Tuna-like Shroud Stainless Steel Case

The stainless steel case of this Seiko SUN019 is encased in a stainless steel shroud meant to provide extra protection against shock impacts. The shroud is attached to the main case by three hex screws which is visible from the sides of the watch.

In my opinion, this watch’s design is unique because Seiko tries to innovate the hugely popular shroud case of the Seiko Tuna to make it look more like a normal watches.

 

What do I mean by that?

 

Notice that the original Tuna has a very straight sides from top to bottom. It’s also very circular, makes it look like a cylinder or a tuna can – see it? that’s how the Seiko Tuna got it’s name lol!

 

Seiko Tuna

Above is a Seiko Tuna. Notice the very circular and straight sides of the watch that make it look very “Tuna can-like” shape

 

But this watch on the other hand has a sloping shroud which makes it look more like a normal watch. The shroud on the other hand is not as obvious as with the Tuna because of this.

 

Seiko SUN019 on hand

On the other hand, this Seiko SUN019 has a traditional oblong watch look. It has the shroud too but it’s not as obvious as the Seiko Tuna

 

It’s because of this that I find the SUN019 a much better looking watch compared to the Tuna – no disrespect to the Tuna or Baby Tuna owners here =)

 

A Large Watch With Great Craftsmanship

As with the Tuna, this watch is also quite big. It has a 47 mm diameter with a 16 mm thickness. It’s totally big and might not fit well with smaller wrists.

Knowing this, Seiko designed the lugs to be short, resulting in a 52 mm lug to lug distance with a slightly curved lugs – this results in the watch being more wearable.

 

Seiko SUN019 from side

 

As with any other Seikos, the craftsmanship in this watch is also great. The shroud has a brushed finish, but the internal case has a highly polished finish which can be seen from small openings at the sides of the watch.

The bracelet is made from stainless steel and features brushed and polished finishes too. It’s quite pretty to look at and make a great combination with the watch.

At the sides are the crown (3 o’clock) and pusher for power reserve check (2 o’clock). Unfortunately the top of the crown and pusher is polished without Seiko’s signature “S” engraving. I’d swear the crown will look much better with that engraving on it.

 

Seiko SUN019 side look

The Seiko SUN019 from the left side. We can easily see the internal case at the center and the two screws holding the shroud to the watch

 

All in all, the watch is a big and heavy watch. It will fit those with bigger wrists. At least 52 mm or 2 inches of wrist diameter is needed to pull this off perfectly.

Other than that, the case is a high quality one. The big bulky size with unique case design will definitely look cool and manly on anyone.

Sapphire Crystal For Maximum Protection Against Scratches

One thing that delights me is that Seiko chose to put a sapphire crystal on this watch, which is something strange for them to do.

It seems they prefer hardlex crystals on their diver’s watch due to its high impact/shatter resistance such as with my Sumo.

While it seems practical for divers, it’s not a good thing for desk divers (or most of us who don’t bring our watches outdoor) as the hardlex is a scratch magnet.

That’s why I’m very pleased to know that this Seiko SUN019 has a sapphire crystal on it. It’s definitely a great material due to its high scratch resistant properties.

 

(To know more about watch crystals, click HERE to read my post about about watch crystal types)

 

Busy But Cool Looking Dial

The black dial on the Seiko SUN019 is quite busy no thanks to the GMT 24-hour markings on the inner part of the dial and the extra GMT hand (more about GMT function in later section of this review).

But then, it still look good. If any, the busy dial complements the highly crafted case giving the watch a complicated cool look, just like how a chronograph looks cool with those extra subdials.

True with any diver’s watch, the markers of this SUN019 are index markers. Those circular markers are filled with lume, an important item to make the markers glow in the dark – giving visibility to its owners.

 

Seiko SUN019 raised markers

If you closely, the markers of the watch is actually raised from the dial

 

One thing that’s very special about the markers is how it’s actually raised from the dial surface. It’s truly unique for this watch to have this.

The hands are oversized hands and also filled with lume. Seiko uses skeleton hand for the GMT to differentiate all three hands. I like how it’s done since it make the watch easier to read.

 

Seiko SUN019 lumibrite

The lume is wonderful on this Seiko SUN019 – thanks to Seiko’s LumiBrite technology and the wide area for lume application

 

One complain from me is how small the date display is. It’s positioned between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers and is easily mistaken with the 24-hour markings.

I’d rather have a bigger date window at the 3 o’clock marker position than this small box. I mean what’s the point of having a date display if it’s too small and hard to read right?

 

GMT Function For Extra Functionality

An extra feature that separates this watch than the other Seiko diver’s watch is the GMT function. It makes the watch more appealing and cool if you ask me.

 

But I bet some of you guys don’t know what is a GMT watch right?

 

GMT is an abbreviation of Greenwich Meridian Time, or the official time of the world. Since the world is round and sun rises from the East, not all places on the world has the same time.

We use the timezones to categorically separate and coordinate the time around the earth. Each timezones has different time and there is an hour difference between adjacent timezones.

The GMT is the time at London timezone since the Greenwich (a place near London) is chosen as the Prime Meridian or the central longitude line of the earth (you guys can click HERE to read my post on this matter for more info).

 

Seiko SUN019 GMT watch

As with any GMT watch, the Seiko SUN019 has an additional hand for GMT function. On this watch, the GMT hand is the skeleton hand to make it easily distinguishable from the normal hands

 

So a GMT watch is a watch that has an additional hour hand (the skeletonized hand) to show the time at GMT+0, the time of London. It’s also interchangeable with UTC+0 (for practical purposes, both are the same thing though UTC system already supersedes GMT..).

The GMT hand is in a 24-hour format (one complete rotation of the GMT hand is 24 hours) as compared to normal hour hand that is in 12-hour format.

Using GMT Feature On This Seiko SUN019

There are basically two ways of using the GMT function in this watch:

 

1- GMT Hand Showing Second Time Zone

The way that pilots and military personnel use their GMT watches is by setting the GMT hand to show the GMT timezone or so called Zulu time.

But, it can also be used to show a different time zone, such as the home timezone for a frequent traveller. It’s fairly easy to do this since the normal hour hand and GMT hand is independent with each other.

Suppose you are a businessman flying around the globe leaving your family behind. It’s a good idea to set the GMT hand to your hometown’s time so that you can call your spouse or kids at the appropriate time.

With this usage, only the normal hour hand will be reset to the current timezone whenever you’re travelling.

 

2- Setting The GMT Hand To Show 24-Hour Time

Another way to use the GMT function is to set it to show the current time to show 24-hour format. The drawback with an analog watch is the watch cannot show information about the AM/PM.

By setting the GMT hand to 24-hour time, the AM/PM can be shown for the owner to easily understand.

 

Refer to the Seiko SUN019 manual for step by step guide to set the GMT hand. Click HERE to download the manual from Seiko’s website.

 

Kinetic – A Hybrid Movement Of Quartz And Automatic

The Seiko SUN019 is powered by Seiko’s own Kinetic movement caliber 5M65, a proprietary watchmaking technology by the Japanese brand.

It’s actually a quartz watch powered by battery. But what makes it special is it uses a special assembly akin to automatic watch’s rotor to recharge the battery as we swing our hands.

The result is a quartz watch powered by our movement. Quartz accuracy with automatic watch’s self powered movement that strips the need to frequently change the battery.

This is a perfect movement for those people that dislike automatic watches because its accuracy is not as good as quartz.

But on the other hand, since it’s a quartz the SUN019 does not has a sweeping second hand. Instead, the watch has the usual tick-tock second hand movement which is not as fascinating (and boring lol!).

It also cannot be manual wind and has to rely on hand movement to charge it. Fortunately Seiko claims that the watch can be charged by a simple swing motion of the watch.

 

Seiko SUN019 kinetic swing motion

Just like an automatic watch, a simple swing of the Seiko SUN019 will recharge its battery using the Kinetic technology

 

In fact, just using the watch while walking for 700 m will give it about 500 swings which is good for 2 days of power reserve. I don’t know about you, but I usually walk much farther than that.

The power reserve can store up to 6 months of charge. By using the top pusher, the current power reserve condition can be checked by observing the movement of the seconds hand.

 

Seiko SUN019 power reserve check

The power reserve indicator chart

 

ISO 6425 Diver’s Watch Compliance

True to the Prospex lineup, this watch also complies to the ISO 6425 diver’s watch specification.

It has a good 200 m water resistance, screw down crown and pusher to ensure water won’t get inside it.

Basically, the watch not only looks good, but it’s also a true deal for those looking for a real diver’s watch to be used.

 


Watch this video to see the Seiko SUN019 up close

 

Who Is This Seiko SUN019 For?

A diver would really find the Seiko SUN019 a good watch for him/her. It’s an ISO rated watch with 200 m water resistance.

Having a protective shroud will also protect it against any impact. It’s over-sized markers and hands will give great legibility underwater and basically anywhere.

Besides divers, anyone that wants a cool and manly looking watch should get this. The big, bulky and exquisite case design make this watch a gorgeous piece of steel.

It’s GMT function adds to the complexity of the dial, which make it cooler in my opinion. Sapphire is a bonus as the watch crystal will most likely remain crystal clear in its entire life.

Anyone bored with the usual quartz, automatic or solar watches should get this as it’s powered by Seiko’s kinetic movement.

I’m an automatic movement guy but to be frank, this kinetic movement is a very cool thing. Not to mention the 6 months power reserve is very good to have.

 

Seiko SUN019 Review lume

 

Who Should Not Get It?

In my opinion, those with small wrists should not use it and go for smaller watches. Some of my best pick is the Seiko Sumo (SBDC033, a diver’s watch) or a Seiko Baby Tuna for a similar shroud case design.

 

Seiko SUN019 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Great looking watch with cool dial and case designs
  2. Sapphire crystal to protect the crystal against scratches
  3. Extra layer of shroud for impact/shock protection
  4. GMT function is very useful
  5. Seiko’s LumiBrite with large marker/hand area give an outstanding lume
  6. ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard compliance
  7. Kinetic movement is unique by Seiko which combines quartz and automatic movements’ characteristics

Cons:

  1. Can be too big and heavy for people with smaller wrists

 

Like The Seiko SUN019? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

You can buy the Seiko SUN019 for the cheapest price on Amazon. The watch is currently listed at a huge discount on Amazon compared to its MSRP of $725. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Buy The Seiko SUN019 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Seiko SUN019 is a unique diver’s watch for sure. It’s big, bulky with the shrouded case and very detailed craftsmanship. Add to that a complex dial, and you have yourselves a cool and manly looking watch.

The usage of kinetic movement also makes this watch very different than other diver’s watches in Seikos large Prospex stable. It also has GMT feature, further increasing its functionality.

For a good looking diver’s watch with unique kinetic movement, this SUN019 is the one to get.

 

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Hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SUN019 review. Let me know what you guys think about the watch.

Drop your comments below will ya =)

Till next time. Cheers!
Isaac