Seiko Baby Tuna Review (SRP641) – A Cheaper Version Of The Famous Seiko Tuna Watch

Seiko Baby Tuna review

 

Hi guys! In this post, I’m going to write about the Seiko Baby Tuna Review (specifically the model no. SRP641 black color). It’s a diver’s watch from the Japanese brand and has a one of a kind look.

I mean, just look at how weird it is. It’s got this protective layer around the case (or what fans will refer to as the shroud) which serves to protect it from high impact.

 

Seiko SRP641 baby tuna black dial

Above is the Seiko Baby Tuna – the protective shroud around its case make it unique, very different than the other Sub-like diver’s watches

 

It’s because of this shroud the watch has a huge diameter of 47 mm, which certainly not a good fit for anyone with a small wrist.

But before we go to the review, let’s go a little way back to 1975, when Seiko first produced the Tuna watch (the watch that started it all).

 

History Of Seiko Tuna Diver’s Watch

In the 60s to 70s, the watch world was engulfed in a race to produce better diver’s watches – watches that can go deeper and deeper under water. Blancpain and Rolex sort of started the race and other watchmakers followed suit.

Seiko produced their first diver’s watch in 1965 with a 150 m water resistance. But of course, that’s not enough especially when the Swiss were producing watches with higher water resistance.

In 1975, the first Seiko Tuna (model no. 6159-7010, now called the Grandfather Tuna) was released. It features the shroud like protection layer around the case, giving it a very unique look.

Legend has it the “Tuna” name came to it because the watch looks like an opened tuna can lol! I can honestly say that Seiko fans have the best creativity in giving nicknames to their favorite watches such as Seiko Monster, Turtle, Sumo and others.

But apart from the shroud which gives it an extra protection against impact, the Tuna also has an increased water tightness and air tightness.

 

Seiko Tuna

Seiko Tuna has long been heralded as one of Seiko’s best diver’s watch around (and with the most distinct look!)

 

This results in it having a 600 m water resistance, as well as not needing a helium escape valve since it won’t allow helium (used in saturation dives) to get into the watch.

This is done by a special L-shaped gasket and construction that helped it being more air tight than normal watches.

The original Tuna also was made in Titanium, which Seiko claimed to be the world’s first diver’s watch made in the lightweight material.

Truly, the Seiko Tuna was a great watch in the history of the watchmaker. Throughout the years, Seiko has updated it with many variations (stainless steel case, gold plating, quartz version, etc.) to widen the model and appeal to wider segments of its customers.

 

Here Comes The Baby Tuna

Seiko Tuna can be said to be a higher grade of diver’s watches from the brand. It’s inside the Marine Master line up, and typically costs from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the various specifications offered.

Tuna watches with Quartz movement will be cheaper, followed by automatic, hi-beat and spring drive movements. The titanium models will also costs premium compared to its stainless steel counterpart.

Realizing the popularity of this model, Seiko decided to make a cheaper version of the Tuna to cater to their fans with lower budget and positioned inside their Prospex (or Professional Specification) line up.

This so called “Baby Tuna” watches are smaller than the original Tuna, with lesser features and overall quality. The movement used is also the 4R36 automatic movement used in Seiko watches in the lower end of automatic watches ($200 to $300) price range.

 

Seiko Baby Tuna review

The Seiko Baby Tuna is what the nickname is – a baby to the original Tuna lol! But even though it’s the downgraded version of the legendary watch, this Baby Tuna still packs lots of punches in it

And unlike the original Tuna, this Baby Tuna does not have the Helium gas air tightness, which means it only suitable for air dives and not saturation dives.

But make no mistake, this watch is still a real diver’s watch. It has 200 m water resistance and complies to ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard – the same features that the other Seiko diver’s such as SKX007, Monster and Turtle have.

The best part about this Baby Tuna (aside from its more affordable price) is the distinctive shroud, which is a one of a kind thing that no other watch manufacturers do.

Well, without further ado, let’s check out the Seiko Baby Tuna review shall we.

 

Seiko SRP641 Baby Tuna Specification

Diameter: 47 mm
Thickness: 14 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black IP coated stainless steel with shroud case
Strap: Polyurethane strap

Dial: Black dial with gold accent
Watch Crystal: Hardlex crystal
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Rectangular index markers with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 4R36 Automatic Self-Wind movement
Movement Features: Japanese made in-house movement, 24 Jewels, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Hacking, Manual winding
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 41 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Day and date display, Unidirectional rotating bezel, Shroud for impact protection, Screw down crown, Seiko’s Lumibrite lume, Complied with ISO 6425 Diver’s watch standard

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $575

 

A Huge 47 mm Case – Thanks To The Shroud Layer

From the first look, we can see that the watch is quite big. At 47 mm diameter (excluding the crown) it’s well bigger than most other watches. And it’s easy to see that the bump in size is due to the shroud case.

The case is not built one-piece with the shroud. Instead, the shroud is put in place around the case by 3 screws around the watch.

The idea of having the shroud is to protect the watch from impact. But in my opinion, I don’t think any great impact will come from the sides as logically, most of the impact should come from the top of the watch, which already is well protected by the bezel and hardlex crystal.

So having the shroud is not that much of a help – after all hundreds of other diver’s watches don’t have them and are working fine.

But I do agree that having the shroud will give this Baby Tuna (as well as the Tuna) its distinctive look that makes them unique. So is the shroud a cosmetic thing? Well, I believe so. Let me know if you think otherwise in the comments section below =)

 

Seiko SRP641 on hand

 

The Seiko SRP641 comes with a black IP coated on its stainless steel case, though Seiko also produced a normal stainless steel version too. The watch is strapped to a polyurethane band via its 22 mm lugs.

Speaking of the lugs, the watch has short lugs to keep the lug to lug distance as minimal as possible to make the watch wearable by normal guys.

Overall, the case is a high quality case, as what we can expect from Seiko. The shroud do give it a very unique look and it’s highly likely you are the only one wearing this watch in your town (unless you are going for a diver’s meetings lol!).

 

Monster-Like Dial Design

The dial is black in color with gold accent around the markers, hands and signatures. And it’s really looking like the dial of Seiko Monster first generation.

I mean the big bulky markers and the bezel markings are almost the same. This makes this Baby Tuna to has quite a busy dial, even though it’s a large watch.

In comparison, the Tuna has circle markers and simpler dial layout which is something that I prefer.

But then again we need to understand that the Tuna is a high end diver’s watch and it’s improper for Seiko to simply copy the dial layout for the cheaper Baby Tuna.

They need to ensure the Tuna brand is not diluted further by making them look totally identical to each other.

That aside, the big over-sized markers and hands give ample of space to put some LumiBrite goodness on it. The result is a very clear and bright lume that’s even visible when the room is mildly dark. That’s Seiko’s lume for you!

 

Seiko SRP641 baby tuna lume

The lume on this Seiko SRP641 Baby Tuna is as bright as what you’d expect from Seiko

 

The watch also has the date and day display – very nifty and convenient for anyone wanting to use it everyday.

Apart from the gold accent of this SRP641, Seiko also produced a total black dial (SRP637) and black dial with yellow accent (SRP639).

 

Seiko SRP641 baby tuna side

 

200 m Water Resistance And ISO 6425 Compliance

As mentioned earlier, this Baby Tuna is a real diver’s watch with all the features. It’s after all inside the Prospex line up of Seiko, famed for its features.

The watch complies to ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard, which means it’s totally okay to use it for diving and other water activities.

Apart from the 200 m water resistance, the Baby Tuna also has unidirectional rotating bezel (to time elapsed diving time), screw down crown and Seiko’s diver’s polyurethane strap.

Seiko 4R36 Automatic Movement

Inside the Baby Tuna is a well-known automatic movement, the 4R36. It’s a staple in all of Seiko’s automatic watches in the $200 to $300 price range.

It’s made in-house with 24 jewels and has 21,600 vibrations per hour. This gives the sweeping second hand a 6 beats per second.

The movement also can be hacked and manual wind, further enhancing its usability. It also has a power reserve of 41 hours, a bit short of 2 days.

 

Seiko Tuna Vs Baby Tuna

So what’s the difference of Seiko Tuna vs its’ little brother, the Baby Tuna? I’ve compiled this list to give a glimpse of what’s the items that Seiko downgrades to make the Baby Tuna as affordable as it is now.

A showdown of the Tuna (above) and Baby Tuna (bottom). Well, we already know which one is going to win =P

 

In summary, the Seiko Tuna has:

1- Higher grade case in the Tuna. It’s larger (at 50 mm diameter) and better finished than the Baby Tuna. The Tuna also has Titanium versions and ceramic shroud versions which basically make the shroud scratch resistant.

2- Higher water resistant with versions of 300 m, 600 m and 1,000 m ratings.

3- Sapphire crystals instead of the not-so-scratch resistant hardlex.

4- Better movement. There are versions of higher grade automatic movement (with 8 beats per second) and even quartz (for those that like a very accurate watch). And there is also the Tuna watch with Spring Drive movement, Seiko’s top of the line movement with the best innovation in automatic watches giving the watch a super smooth gliding seconds hand.

 

Now, the Tuna will cost from $1,000 (the quartz version) to more than $3,000 (top of the line spring drive with titanium case), well more than the Baby Tuna retails on Amazon.

Does the increase in price substantiated the extra features? It’s definitely a difficult question. Let me know in the comments section what you think about the price difference of Tuna vs Baby Tuna and is it worth it to pay more for the watch.

 


Watch this video to see the Seiko Baby Tuna up close

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Smitten by the Tuna’s shroud case but feels that $1,000 is a bit too much to pay for a watch? Then the Baby Tuna is definitely a good choice. Sure, it got a few downgrade here and there but it’s a fact that the Baby Tuna is still a good value for money watch.

Serious diver’s can also find the Baby Tuna a great diving watch. The shroud gives an extra protection (though not much) against impact to the watch.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

While the Baby Tuna is a good diver’s watch with ISO 6425 standard, it’s not to be used for any saturation diving. Helium and oxygen mixture gas during saturation dives can seep into the watch and break it from inside once the diver returns up.

So for those wanting to do saturation diving, it’s important for you guys to use a watch with helium escape valve, or better yet, just get the Tuna =)

I also feel that the Baby Tuna is not as versatile as other diver’s watch such as the SKX007 and Sumo because of the bigger case with the shroud.

So if you are finding a watch to be worn for your office job, then you might need to find a different watch. But for casual and sports activities, this watch is the right one =)

Seiko Baby Tuna Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Distinctive shrouded case is a one-of-a-kind look and protects the case from impact
  • Great craftsmanship with the stainless steel case
  • ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard compliance
  • A good 200 m water resistance

Cons:

  • Hardlex crystal is not great in preventing scratches

 

Like The Seiko Baby Tuna? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you want to buy the Seiko Baby Tuna, consider buying it for the cheapest price on Amazon. The MSRP for this watch is $575 while it’s listed for just aroun $250 to $300 on Amazon! Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Seiko Baby Tuna (SRP641) On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Seiko Baby Tuna tries to bring the much beloved Tuna to the masses, and it’s definitely a good strategy by Seiko. The watch captures the essence of the originial Tuna, especially the distinctive shrouded case.

At just $260, it’s definitely a much affordable watch compared to the Tuna that can cost thousands of dollars. I’ve heard many people say that this Baby Tuna is a stepping stone towards the Tuna lol. How true is that!

 

************

 

Hope you guys like this Seiko Baby Tuna review. Don’t forget to share this if you like it.

Drop your comments below. I love to hear what you guys think about the Baby Tuna =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Orient M-Force Review – (SEL03001B0) An Orient Diver’s Watch

Orient M-Force Review SEL03001B0

In today’s post, I’m going to write about Orient M-Force review, a tough diver’s watch from the Japanese brand. It is widely considered as an upgrade from the Ray and Mako watches.

Movement upgrade with power reserve indicator is the main thing that separates this watch from its “cheaper” siblings.

But what’s more impressive is the fact that Orient mount this watch upgraded specification: ISO 6425 compliance, anti-magnetic and shock resistant – that’s for sure is going to protect the watch from whatever comes in its way.

 

Orient M-Force Review SEL03001B0

 

Now, let’s get to the Orient M-Force review shall we.

 

Orient M-Force Specification (SEL03001B0)

Diameter: 46 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 23 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: Black dial
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume
Bezel: 120 clicks unidirectional rotating bezel

Movement: Orient Caliber 40N5A automatic self-winding movement
Movement Features: 22 jewel movement, Hacking and manual winding, 21600 vibrations per hour, 6 beats per second
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 feet
Other Features: Power reserve indicator, date window, ISO 6425 Diver’s watch compliance, Anti-magnetic, Shock resistant, Screw down crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Diver’s Watch Dial, But A Bit Jumbled Up Design

The M-Force dial is like any other diver’s watch, index markers and hands filled with lume for visibility at night or low light condition.

Dial is made in black color with the seconds hand in red, which is a very nice detail there. There are also date window and power reserve indicator that are very useful to have (more on that later on).

But I bet you could notice by now the dial design is a bit messed up right? It does not look like a normal watch at all.

For a start, the Orient signature and logo is at the bottom of the dial. The date window at left side while the power reserve at top.

 

Orient M-Force On Hand

Now.. which way is up which way is down again?

 

I bet Orient’s designer wanted to make a unique watch but fails terribly. Many times I was mistaken about the orientation of the watch because of the logo at the bottom.

It’s totally annoying and frankly speaking, it kinda make the dial a bit less pleasing – and this is coming from an avid diver’s watch fan.

 

Very Useful Power Reserve Indicator

One thing I want to highlight is the presence of a power reserve indicator at the top right of the dial (once again, why would this be placed here?).

There are markings of 10 to 40 – signalling the power reserve left in the watch (40 is the maximum power reserve of the 405NA movement – scroll down for more info on it).

To have this is god send. Really guys. Now there is no need for many assumptions with an automatic watch. Common questions with an automatic watch owners such as:

 

“How much is the power reserve left?”

“Should I wind my watch before going to sleep? I’m afraid it’ll die since I haven’t used it today”

“Did I fully wind it or not? I would like to wind more but I’m afraid to accidentally overwind it”

 

Such issues with manual winding and power reserve will not occur when our watch is equipped with this feature. No more guessing or whatsoever. Just wind when the power reserve is low (less than 10).

We can even approximate when we need to wind it. Not to mention we can know if it’s going dead and can choose to let it die. No more surprises folks. To me, power reserve indicator is a great tool to have.

Rugged Looking Textured Bezel

Another eye-catching element on the M-Force is surely the textured unidirectional rotating bezel. It’s not an ordinary diver’s watch bezel for sure.

The minute markings are there with a lume pip at 12 o’clock. It’s also manufactured with 120-clicks mechanism for that satisfying bezel usage.

 

Orient M-Foce On Hand

The textured bezel really make the watch look much more rugged and sporty

 

But what’s really interesting is how Orient uses textures on the bezel, making the minute markings sit on lower surface.

The contrasting between the stainless steel finish and black IP coated finish also adds to give this watch a unique character. It gives the Orient M-Force a rugged and edgy look to it.

 

A Big 46 mm Diameter Case

The watch is quite big, at 46 mm diameter, a bit bigger than the average 40-44 mm diameter nowadays. But the lug to lug is not that long, about 4 to 5 mm longer than the diameter, making sure the watch is still wearable even for those with a not so big wrist (cue: me lol).

It’s also beautifully polished and brushed all around with some sublime edges at its sides.

With a 13 mm thickness, this is one heavy timepiece for sure. It also comes with a stainless steel case bracelet which is coupled to the 23 mm lug width.

It’s a normal low end bracelet without solid end links and cheap looking bracelet. Fortunately, a replacement strap can always be found for cheap prices =)

A weird thing I found with the bracelet is it don’t have diver extension. It’s basically a mechanical extension to lengthen the bracelet when a diver put up his wet suit.

It’s very strange that Orient positioned this watch as a true diver’s watch, but lacks a diver extension on the bracelet!

 

Anti-Magnetic And Shock Resistant Diver’s Watch Case

It seems the weight of the watch is not for nothing. Orient has included in the M-Force an anti-magnetic case that will help protect the watch from magnetization (read my article on how magnetization can ruin your automatic watch).

But I would recommend that the watch is not exposed to strong magnets – even though it has anti-magnetic case, we never know if a really strong magnet can still affect it.

The shock resistant inside the M-Force is due to some spring absorber on the balance wheel pivot (also read my article on automatic watch parts and movement to know more about the balance wheel).

Little information is provided on this though (if you guys can point it out for me, I’ll be very grateful). But I believe the system would be just like Incabloc or Diashock shock absorber system in Swiss and Seiko watches.

 

Orient M-Force Review

 

It’s very reassuring to have these two beneficial features inside a mid range automatic watch.

It makes the M-Force not just a great diver’s watch, but also a great sports watch – the shock resistance particularly is very useful to protect the balance wheel from swift hand movements.

 

Sapphire Crystal For Maximum Protection

One last thing that I’m amazed is the usage of sapphire crystal on a $250 watch. Now that is great value for money. It’s very difficult to find any manufacturer that can give a sapphire crystal at this price point.

Even those famous Seiko diver’s watches (SKX007, Monster, Turtle SRP777) are donned with hardlex crystal on top of it – which is just a hardened version of mineral crystal.

Most fans as well as watch manufacturers regard sapphire as the best watch crystal due to its scratch proof. Only a handful of materials (diamond and moissanite) is harder than it.

This means that only those 2 can scratch a sapphire crystal. With it, I can bet that the watch crystal will be like brand new even after years of usage.

 

405NA Automatic Self-Wind Movement

A major upgrade from the Mako and Ray is the usage of 405NA automatic self winding movement inside the Orient M-Force. It has 22 jewel, 21600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second), hacking and manual winding capabilities.

It also has 15 seconds accuracy per day though most owners reported a much higher accuracy (some up to 3 seconds per day).

But of course the best part of this movement is the presence of a power reserve indicator. That alone is a great feature in an automatic watch movement.

To be able to gauge the power reserve left in the mainspring and then show it on the dial is a unique complication that’s very useful, and very rare in watches at this price range.

 

Orient M-Force Review SEL03001B0

 

Who Is This Watch For?

So who will enjoy this watch the best? I believe those that like a good watch for some dives, swimming or any sports can really benefit from the watch.

It’s a great fit for those activities, not to mention it also has the shock resistance that’s very important for any sports watch.

Power reserve and date indicators will be very useful for just about anyone that want to have a functional watch with information on what’s the power reserve now like.

In addition to that, the sapphire crystal is another element that greatly increased the value of this watch. In short, those that want the highest value for money should consider this watch seriously.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Well, for a start, the layout placement of the dial is very weird which can turn off many people (including me!).

If you don’t like the dial layout but love the functionality of the watch (date, diver’s watch, power reserve, etc), then you might want to check out the Orient M-Force Delta which is basically the M-Force but with a normal dial layout.

Alternatively, the Orient Star Retrograde is also a great choice for those that want many functions in an automatic watch. It has day, date and power reserve indicator but in a dressy watch design. Check out my review HERE for more info on it.

 


Watch the video above for a closer look on the Orient M-Force

Pros and Cons Of Orient M-Force

Pros

  • Sapphire crystal is a big bonus for a $300 watch
  • Unique and rugged textured rotating bezel
  • Very useful power reserve indicator
  • Anti-magnetic and shock resistance for greater proctection
  • Solid stainless steel case with 200 m water resistance

Cons

  • Weird layout placement on the dial
  • Cheap looking bracelet
  • No diver extension on the bracelet

 

So Where To Get The Orient M-Force? Check It On Amazon!

If you want to get ahold of the Orient M-Force, I strongly suggest to get it from Amazon. The MSRP for the watch is $715 but Amazon lists it for just around $250 to $300.

Of course the price will fluctuate just like any Japanese watches but then the MSRP $715 price tag is just ridiculous. I mean, with that kind of money, you can actually buy a Swiss chronometer right? Orient really need to stop their absurd pricing lol!

Thanks for online shopping, we can always enjoy cheaper prices of our favorite stuffs =). Click link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Best Prices Of Orient M-Force On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The M-Force is a very capable diver’s watch with numerous functions. Power reserve indicator, anti-magnetic, shock resistance, and ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliance are some of the features that make this watch such a great value for money.

The one area that it’s lacking is the weird layout placement of the dail, though with some time, I think it’ll grow on you. Overall, a great affordable automatic diver’s watch.

 

****************

 

I hope you guys enjoy this Orient M-Force review. For any questions or comments, kindly put it in the comments section below. If you like this article, share it with your social media.

Drop your comments in below =)

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!
Isaac

Bulova Marine Star Review – The Beautiful Oceanic Chronograph

Bulova Marine Star Review 96B256

In today’s post, I’m going to write about Bulova Marine Star review, a beautiful chronograph watch with diver’s watch look. What’s special about this watch? Well, for a start, it’s designed nicely and looks great with modern styling. Just look at that deep blue watch face… Hats off to Bulova’s design team for creating a very exquisite timepiece!

 

Marine Star 96B256 – Beautiful Oceanic Blue Dial

Since there is quite a number of Marine Star watches, I’ve chosen the most gorgeous of them all to review, the 96B256 model with blue metallic dial. The watch is a perfect combination of polished stainless steel case, “marine” blue dial with metallic sunburst effect, white markers/hand and orange accent on the smaller hands.

Despite the elegance of the watch, the Marine Star lineup is supposed to be the brand’s diver’s watch line – except that it’s not really a diver’s watch… More on that later on.. Let’s have a look at Bulova Marine Star review shall we.
Bulova Marine Star Chronograph Review

“.. with dive-look details.” This means the Marine Star watches are not real diver’s watch, just a look-a-like. A real bummer to be honest but the watch sure looks damn good!

 

Bulova Marine Star Specification (96B256)

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: Blue metallic sunburst dial
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal
Hands: Sword hands
Markers: Index markers with lume
Inner Dial: Rotating inner bezel with minute markings
Subdials: Running second hand (bottom), 1/10th second chronograph (right), 60-min chronograph measurement (left)

Movement: Bulova Quartz chronograph movement
Movement Features: 1/10th second chronograph function
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 2-3 years

Water Resistance: 100 m / 330 feet
Other Features: 1/10th second chronograph, Date window, Rotating outer ring for dive measurement

Bulova Marine Star Manual: Click Here For Manual (Source-Bulova Website)

Best Place To Buy: Amazon. MSRP is $425

 

Diver’s Watch With Chronograph Subdials

This Marine Star is packed with diver’s watch look details. It has big index markers and sword hands for optimum visibility. On top of them, lume are applied exhaustively for usage in low light situations.

The biggest attraction is of course the marine blue dial, applied with a metallic sunburst effect on the watch face. I like blue, and I’m really smitten by this watch’s dial color. It just looks totally gorgeous!

The usage of white markers/hands and the orange accents (on the subdial hands, main seconds hand tip, date) really complement the blue dial beautifully. It’s like a work of arts!

Around the outer ring of the dial are minute markings that is can used to track diving time. This outer ring can be rotated by using the crown at top left (10 o’clock) position. I kinda like this outer ring design as it gives more dial area to wonder at that luxurious blue watch face. Not to mention the outer chapter ring is sloped from the dial to the crystal giving a nice 3-D effect.

 

Bulova Marine Star Review 96B256x

It’s a really good looking watch. The oceanic blue metallic dial is very befitting of the “Marine Star” line up. The polished stainless steel case also make it more stylish

 

The 96B256 is a chronograph version of the Marine Star watches (there are also the normal watch version). It has 3 extra subdials: running second hand (bottom), 1/10th second chronograph (right) and 60-min chronograph measurement (left).

It really looks gorgeous and symmetry, save for the date window at bottom right (which is a great addition to function btw). Usage of the blue and white colors are just nicely done. With some orange colors sprinkled on it, the dial design looks perfect. It looks sleek, very sharp and modern.

 

No Minute Markings On The 60-Minute Subdial

The only thing that I’m not satisfied with the dial is the left subdial (60-min chronograph measurement). The markings on the subdial are for every 5 minutes which is not appropriate. I really wonder how can we actually figure out for certain how many minutes has the chronograph run since the markings are every 5 minutes? It should have a marker at every minute.

 

Bulova Marine Star Review

No minute markings on the 60-min chronograph subdial (9 o’clock position). A bad decision that reduces the practicality of the chronograph

 

I believe this is done for aesthetic reasons as putting a marking at each minute will make it look busier. Bulova also wants to make the 60-min subdial to be symmetry with the 1/10th seconds (both only have minimal markings on them). I concede it look great too.

But then what good does it do if we cannot accurately know how many minutes has passed with the chronograph? The minutes are the MOST important measurement. Most people only run their chronographs for a few minutes at a time. To not able to tell it accurately is a real flaw to a chronograph watch.

 

Finely Crafted Case

The polished stainless steel case really just make the Marine Star looks great. The 43 mm diameter case is not too big nor too small, a good size for many men’s wrist. It has a thickness of 13 mm which is just average for a chronograph. The lug width is 22 mm and attached to a stainless steel bracelet.

 

Bulova Marine Star Review

Look at how detail and fine the craftsmanship of the Bulova Marine Star case

 

Bulova certainly put lots of effort on the case. The case is crafted in such a way that it looks being cut by laser. The bezel sides are textured – there is no indication of cutting corners here. Just like the Bulova Precisionist, the brand really knows how to design a good case. Just like the dial, the stainless steel case also looks elegant and sharp.

 

No Screw Down Crown/Pusher

The first thing that I noticed is missing from this “diver’s watch” is the screw down crown and pushers. That’s when I figured out that this is not a real diver’s watch.

The thing is, the crown plus the 3 pushers/knobs are 4 highly critical area for water ingress into the watch. Not having screw down protection on all 4 of them is not that good for sure.

Since it has 100 m water resistance, I think we can use it for swimming (I’ve had a non-screw down watch too and used it for swimming for many times. No issue at all). But to use this watch for deeper dives? Nope. I don’t think that a wise thing to do.

 

Only Mineral Crystal?

Another thing I’m having trouble understanding is the mineral crystal that it has. Mineral crystal is not as scratch and impact resistant as sapphire (read this post on differences between watch crystal types).

But then Bulova listed this at $425 MSRP – perplexing since watches at that price point should always have sapphire instead of the much cheaper mineral crystal. Other brands (even the Swiss) would throw a sapphire for anything above $400.

Fortunately, this watch is also selling on Amazon for a much cheaper $220. If you guys want to buy the Marine Star, I’d suggest to get it from Amazon for cheaper and more sensibly price for the watch.

 

Bulova Marine Star on hand

 

Bulova’s Quartz Movement – Chronograph With 1/10th Second

Inside the Bulova Marine Star is a quartz movement with chronograph. By using a quartz movement, Bulova is able to keep the profile of the watch thinner while also keeping the costs down.

Automatic chronographs are much more expensive with the cheapest ETA chronograph movement can be had at more than $500, but will it comes with lesser function and thicker profile.

In my opinion, a quartz chronograph is the way to go especially if you are limited on budget. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m still leaning heavily of automatic movements as I believe they are more sophisticated, have character and I just love those mechanical moving parts.

 

Bulova Marine Star Review 96B256

Quartz chronographs are the better choice in my honest opinion. More functions, more accurate and much cheaper than their automatic counterpart

 

But for chronographs, I’d prefer a quartz movement because it’s much more functional and can be designed to have lots of functions. And of of course it’s more friendly to our wallet =)

Just take a look at the Bulova Precisionist. It has a 1/1000th second chronograph with very beautiful gliding seconds hand action. Mind you, these are the kind of things can never be replicated by an automatic watch (only to my knowledge.. if there are automatic chronographs that can achieve those feats, I’m sure it will cost a bomb).

Another advantage of quartz movement is how accurate it is. A +-15 seconds per month accuracy is fairly typical for a quartz while an automatic can gain or lose that much in a day. The power reserve of this quartz is around 2-3 years, though it relies on how heavy the chronograph is being used.

 

Bulova Marine Star Review

 

Who Is The Bulova Marine Star For?

If you love blue, then this Marine Star 96B256 is the watch to get. It has that beautiful blue sunburst dial that’s very lovely to look at. Plus, the white and orange colors of the subdials/markers works beautifully with the blue dial for a gorgeous look on the dial.

If you love chronograph with modern style, this is the perfect watch for you. Its strength lies in the beautifully designed dial and detail case shape that’s just gonna attract attention of those that laid eyes on it =)

 

Who Should Not Get This Watch?

But if you want a real chronograph diver’s watch, then sadly this is not for you. Its lack in markings of the 60-min subdial measurement make it not a great or functional chronograph to use. Without screw down crowns and pushers, it’s not a really dependable diver’s watch either.

Some might disagree with me by saying a screw down is not needed for water resistance. That’s true as seals and gaskets can be placed around the crown/pusher stems inside the watch to avoid water ingress. But how long can this last? A screw down is the best solution for good and reliable water resistant watch – the one that diver’s need the most.

 

For the best chronograph watches, check out my compilation here

 

For a good diver’s watch, I’d suggest to check out the Seiko SKX007/SKX009 and SRP777 Turtle, two great diver’s watch with affordable price tags. The Seiko Monster is also a good choice, though it has an aggressive look that might not be everyone’s preference.

 


Watch this video by Bulova of the Marine Star watch

 

Pros And Cons

Below are the summary of pros and cons about this watch. Disclaimer: this is based solely on my opinion. If you guys disagree with me, kindly leave your comments down below. Let’s have a nice discussion about this =)

Pros:

  • Beautiful metallic sunburst blue dial
  • Great chronograph with 1/10th seconds measurement
  • Sleek and elegant watch perfect for sports or casual use
  • Accurate quartz movement

 

Cons:

  • Mineral crystal can be easily scratched and not shatter-proof
  • No screw down crown and pushers
  • Not a “serious” diver’s watch
  • 60-min chronograph measurement subdial only has markings at 5-min intervals

 

Want To Buy The Marine Star? Get It Cheapest On Amazon!

The MSRP of this Bulova Marine Star is about $425 (from Bulova’s website) but we can always get it cheapest from Amazon. Amazon currently lists this 96B256 model for just about $220, almost 50% less than the MSRP. Amazon also has other models of the Bulova Marine Star watches on the site that you can see. Click the link below to check it out!

 

->Click Here To Check Out Bulova Marine Star 96B256 On Amazon<-

 

Final Thoughts

Bulova has created a really beautiful watch in the Marine Star 96B256. It’s metallic blue sunburst dial gives the oceanic look to it, complementing the “Marine Star” name of the line up of watches. Having a diver’s watch and chronograph elements make the watch looks more busy, but elegant and modernly styled. As I’ve mentioned above, if you like blue, then this is the watch to get =)

 

****************

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this article on Bulova Marine Star review. If you have any comments or feedback, just let me know.

 

Leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to subscribe =)

Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko SRP777 Review – The “Turtle” Diver’s Watch

Seiko SRP777 review

In this article, I’m going to write about Seiko SRP777 review, an affordable diver’s watch by the Japanese brand. It’s a step up from the famed Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 with updated movement (7S26 vs 4R36), and of course with a price increase of about $100.

Updated Version Of Seiko 6309 “Turtle”

This SRP777 is actually a new Seiko Turtle diver’s watch, made in homage to the Seiko 6309 that’s popular in the 1970s-80s. The 6309 has this peculiar steel cushion case (the case portion that sticks out from the sides of the watch) that’s well loved by fans. So now you know why its nickname is Turtle.

Seiko 6309 Vintage

A vintage Seiko 6309 – the old Turtle – from the 80s. Notice how Seiko plays safe by copying almost all of the design aspects of this vintage? Call them lazy but if it ain’t broken, why fix it?

Up until nowadays, the demand for vintage 6309 has never faded and it still retails second hand for around $100-$200. Now, I don’t really know how much the watch sells during the 80s, but I bet it must be lower than $200 for sure which means it must retain its value quite well.

Not too shabby for a Seiko eh?

So Seiko noticed this demand and gives what their fans wants: a total re-release of the well loved 6309 with movement update and some minor aesthetic change. The overall look is just about the same though.

They are very careful not to mess it with a watch that’s already great to look at. Plus, they want to capture all those nostalgia that fans have. Now that’s a great marketing strategy.

Enough about the vintage 6309, now let’s take a look at the Seiko SRP777 review, the new turtle diver’s watch.

Seiko SRP777 review turtle

Introducing Seiko SRP777 – the new Turtle

Seiko SRP777 Turtle Specification

Diameter: 45 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Lug to Lug: 48 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Black silicone strap

Dial: Matte black dial
Watch Crystal: Hardlex crystal
Hands: Arrow hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel

Movement: Seiko Caliber 4R36 Automatic Self-Wind movement
Movement Features: Japanese made in-house movement, 24 Jewels, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Hacking, Manual winding
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 41 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: ISO 6425 Diver’s watch compliance, Suitable for SCUBA diving, Seiko’s LumiBrite lumes, Screw down crown and caseback, Day Date function

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Unique Cushion Case

The first thing anyone would notice on the SRP777 is the wide watch base that make it look oversized. But that’s not the truth though. In actuality, the case is just enlarged at the top and tapers down towards the caseback – creating a unique steel cushion case.

It’s definitely a very peculiar design that something those people in Seiko can create ( just like that aggressive design on the Seiko Monster). This cushion case make it looks like a turtle looking from top and sides.

Seiko SRP777 Turtle side

Take a look at the cushion case of this Seiko SRP777 – it’s not that big actually. It’s just have an extending sides that tapers down (something like a turtle shell lol!)

 

One more important aspect is how wearable it actually is. Despite the 45 mm diameter, I believe the diameter at the caseback is only 40 mm. The lug to lug width is 48 mm, giving the watch a more square look. In comparison, most watches with 44 mm diameter has a lug to lug width that’s more than 50 mm.

The short watch makes it easy to fit with most wrists. So don’t let the big cushion case fool you as this is NOT a big watch for sure. It has a 13 mm thickness with 20 mm lug width. A black sillicone strap is used which is great for a diver.

But since it has drilled lugs, strap change is much easier (if you want to use a leather band to make it a work watch, as an example) as the spring bar can be plucked quite easily.

 

Seiko SRP777 on hand

 

As with any mid-level Seikos, the stainless steel case is finished with brushed and polished surfaces. With the SRP777, the top of the lugs/case is brushed while the sides are highly polished.

It’s crown is positioned at 4 o’clock which will not obstruct wrist movement like a normal crown position at 3 o’clock.

 

Legacy 6309 Dial

The dial of this Seiko SRP777 looks alot like the vintage 6309, the watch it’s replacing. Seiko only did some minor changes such as changing the lume pip of the seconds hand to the back tip, adding some markings on the dial such as the Perspex “X” logo (Seiko’s Professional Specification for diver’s watch), “DIVER’S 200m” and “Automatic”. It also has the same matte black dial as its predecessor.

It’s arrow hands are the same bulky hands with luxurious amount of Seiko’s LumiBrite applied on it. The markers are also the same shape as the 6309 version.

As with the hands, the markers are filled with lume. The amount of lume applied on the dial is massive. There is no doubt that this watch will shine brightly in the dark.

 

Seiko SRP777 Lume Turtle

Seiko’s LumiBrite in action. With a normal lighting, it can lasts for one movie screening (you can also expose it to high intensity torchlight to charge it up for brighter and longer lume)

At the right are the day and date windows which are very functional and practical in every sense. I really love this feature on all my work watches as it makes the watch more functions than just telling time.

As I become older, I’m losing my ability to remember what day and date today is (lol!). So having a watch that has all that info is very practical. There is no need to ask around what day today is, or flip open my smartphone to know what date is today.

 

Seiko SRP777 review turtle

 

4R36 Automatic Movement

Inside the SRP777 is the 4R36 automatic self-wind movement, the most important upgrade of this watch over the older Turtle 6309. This is the exact same movement in the Seiko Monster, and basically all other mid-level Seikos in the $200-$350 bracket.

4R36 is actually a downgraded movement from the 6R15 – the movement inside Seiko’s higher grade watches such as the SARB, SARX and Presage lines. It has about the same accuracy of +-15 seconds per day.

The main difference between these two movements are the absence of SPRON510 mainspring inside the 4R36. This mainspring (a proprietary material from Seiko) helped to give the 6R15 a good 50 hours power reserves. Whereas the 4R36 only has 41 hours power reserve without it.

The movement uses 24 jewels inside it, and has 6 beats per second for that sweeping seconds hand action. It also has hacking and manual winding features, something that the older 6309 doesn’t has.

 

ISO 6425 Complied Diver’s Watch

Another great thing about the Seiko SRP777 is it’s complied to the ISO 6425 diver’s watch standard. With it’s 200 m water resistance, there is no problem for it to be used underwater. Countless Turtle fans have expressed how great the watch perform during dives.

Great dial design, super bright long-lasting lume and comfortable on wrist – what else could a diver want? Not to mention it’s much cheaper than those expensive diver’s watches so you won’t really mourn should it got badly damaged lol.

 


Watch this video to have a closer look at the Seiko SRP777

Who Is The Turtle SRP777 For?

It’s definitely for those that want a pure functional diver’s watch, and don’t really care how fanciful the watch is. It’s not the best looking watch for sure: the cushion case is weird, the dial is simple and looks basic.

But this watch is filled with great functionality all around. LumiBrite ensures the lume stays up to hours provided its charged beforehand.

The simple dial gives clear visibility – there is no problem of telling time in any condition with the contrasting markers and black dial. The sillicon strap is to make it easy to fit the watch over a wetsuit.

Just like the SKX007, this SRP777 is a watch purely meant for divers and sportsmen with a good upgrade of movement (hacking and manual winding).

But the cool and stylish look of the diver’s watch means its also a great timepiece for casual or work use –  just change the strap to a leather or Nato and you are done =)

 

Seiko SRP777 leather band

Put a leather band and poof! It transforms into a stylish watch perfect for casual use =)

Who Should NOT Get This?

Basically those that want a more refined dial and case should not get this watch. As stated above, this is a true diver’s watch and not a fancy pretty watch. The turtle casing will turn off many people as the very simple dial will.

For a more beautiful casual timepiece, have a look at the Seiko SARB033, and the SARB017. Both has more beautiful dial design but still can be worn for casual and work use.

 

seiko sarb033

For something prettier, check out this understated but elegant Seiko SARB033

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Unique turtle-like cushion case
  2. Great legibility with big bold markers and hands
  3. Long lasting and bright LumiBrite lume
  4. 200 m water resistance
  5. Diver’s watch with ISO 6425 standard compliance
  6. Very functional with day date displays
  7. Robust 4R36 movement

Cons:

  1. Cushion case is a bit weird and might turn off some people
  2. Too simple dial design

 

Seiko SRP777 on hand side

 

Seiko SRP777 For Sale On Amazon!

If you want to buy the Seiko SRP777, look at Amazon for the best prices. The MSRP of this watch is around $475 (taken from Seiko USA website) while Amazon sellers typically lists it for around $300, and sometimes even lower than that. Click the link below to check out this watch on Amazon.

->Click Here To Check The Best Prices Of Seiko SRP777 Turtle On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

Seiko really have some crazy designers. The Seiko Monster brought a whole new level of design aesthetics that never been seen before. The Turtle on the other hand gives a really unique case design that no one ever thought of.

With this SRP777, fans of the original Turtle 6309 can enjoy their favorite watch with an update look and movement. With so many functionalities, this is a great diver’s watch all around.

 

****************

 

Hope you guys enjoy my Seiko SRP777 review. If you have any questions or comments on the watch, feel free to put it inside the comments section below. Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac

What Is Diver’s Watch?

What Is Diver's Watch

What is diver’s watch? It’s one of the most popular type of analog watches because of its cool and sporty look. It’s also the most versatile – can be worn with any thing for any function (except for black tie events of course). This versatility and coolness helped propel its popularity among watch fans.

Diver’s watch also has high water resistance (usually more than 100m) which is a big plus for those that love swimming. Not to mention since it can go deep down underwater, for sure as hell it can be used for any activities above ground. Versatility is the key again here. Only diver’s watch is suitable to be used for those scuba dives on weekend and is still stylish to be worn for work come Monday.

Seiko SKX007 on hand

Seiko SKX007 – a very popular affordable diver’s watch

 

But how does this magnificent timepiece design come about? What’s the history of diver’s watch?

History Of Diver’s Watch

The history of diver’s watch began in the 1953 when the French elite military diving unit commissioned Blancpain (headed by Jean-Jacques Fiechter at that time) to produce a watch suitable for their marine.

The trend at that time was mainly about dress and aviator watch. Water resistant watches have been in production and tested for a few decades, but none have the look and specification of a diver watch that the French marine need.

In order for a watch to be used for underwater military operations, it need to have high water resistance, big markers, rotating bezel and lume on it. All of these are important for the functionality and visibility underwater.

But these would make the watch thicker and not as dressy – something that made other watch makers to decline this request. But Fiechter, being an avid diver, saw the need to have such watches that is most suitable not only for marine use but also for the divers around the world.

fifty fathoms blancpain

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms – the first diver’s watch produced

And thus the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was designed. Shortly after, Rolex came out with their Submariner and other makers follow suit. Imagine if Blancpain didn’t bother about the French marine request…. the unique and rugged diver watch as we know it won’t exist!

8 Characteristics Of Diver’s Watch

Now, what’s the main characteristics of diver’s watch? In short, there are 8 main traits:

1- Big And Bold Markers/Hands With Lume

The first thing that we will notice with diver’s watches are the big and bold markers/hands which are filled with lots of lume on it. The reason? For greater visibility underwater where the environment would be darker than normal. It really helps divers when the markers and hands are super big and have lume on it.

Another important thing is the seconds hand also need to has a lume applied on it so that divers can know if the watch is running or not. Remember, they are using the watch to time their diving and remaining time underwater. It’s very important for them to know if their watch suddenly went dead.

seiko skx007 lume shot

Great bright lume on the Seiko SKX007

Well, since I’m just desk diving, a lume is not as critical to my life. But I find that having a good lume on a watch (most diver’s watch have fantastic lume btw, as compared to casual watches) will help when I want to check the time in a cinema or at night when all lights are off. For an analog watch, it’s truly a great convenient to has =)

2- Unidirectional Rotating Bezel Watch

What is a watch bezel? Watch bezel is the metal outside of the watch crystal. It can be empty (normally the case with dress watches) or equipped with some functions such as tachymeter scale, slide rule (such as on this Seiko FlightMaster SNA41) or even telemeter scale.

But on a diver’s watch, the bezel will be equipped with an unidirectional rotating bezel with minute markings on it. Watch bezel function is used to time a dive. By rotating the top marker on the bezel to current minute hand, the elapsed dive time can be easily checked on the bezel minute markings.

The rotation is only allowed anti-clockwise so that any accidental movement of the bezel will not lengthen the time, but instead shorten it. It’s better if diver’s cut short their dive than to stay longer than the limit which could spell trouble to them.

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch

Above is Orient Ray diver’s watch. Notice the minute markings on its bezel that can be rotated to track elapsed dive time

A good watch bezel will have crisp clicking movement when we rotate the bezel. It also won’t have much play on it and can be aligned perfectly with the markings. Most low end diver’s watch have lower quality bezel that either

3- Solid Thick Case With Water Resistance

Another characteristic of a divers watch is a solid thick case (usually stainless steel) with high water resistance more than 100 m or 330 feet. 200 m is quite normal nowadays while 300 m is reserved only for the serious diver’s watch. As you can guess, increased water resistance means bigger and bulkier case equals to heavier watch.

On the back of a diver’s watch will normal caseback without any exhibition caseback like most dress watch has.

4- Screw Down Crown

Crown is the knob normally positioned on the right side of the watch. It’s function is to change the time/day/date and also to manual wind an automatic watch. And from water resistance point of view, it’s a very critical area.

Water can get into a watch from any joined locations such as the watch crystal embedment to case, caseback and crown. The watch crystal and caseback is normally sealed using gasket but the crown is more critical as it will be rotated often.

Screw Down Crown

Screw down crown adds protection against water ingress into the watch. Just make sure to tightly screwed it in before going underwater!

In order to ensure there is no water ingress around crown area, a screw down design is generally used. By screwing the crown inside the case with some gaskets and seals, water ingress can be stopped completely.

I have also to say that screw down crown is not a compulsory feature to make sure a watch can be used in water. Personally, I’ve used my cheapo Seiko 5 without screw down crown to swim hundreds of time. And it’s still working fine till today. Even without a screw down crown, most watches has gaskets and seals inside the case around the crown area.

But that’s just a swimming inside a pool though. For a real scuba dive, I’d recommend for a diver’s watch with screw down crown just for extra precaution. Better safe than sorry right?

5- Anti-Magnetic Protection

Another important feature that’s not as widespread used is anti-magnetic protection for the watch’s movement. An automatic watch is very susceptible to magnetization. Don’t ever place your automatic watch near a speaker, TV, etc as the strong magnets in those appliances can magnetized the steel components inside the watch.

This in turn will make the movement erratic and kills its accuracy. But for serious divers, most often than not they will have to use many equipments onboard and this will expose their watch to strong magnets. Due to this, a watch with anti-magnetic protection preferable.

But again even if you are just desk diving (like me), anti-magnetic protection sure won’t hurt =)

6- Impact/Shock Protection

Automatic and mechanical watches are very easy to damage from impact and this is very important for divers that might accidentally hit their watches with something down there. Those hundreds of miniscule parts can get out of order from even drop to the floor if not designed properly. The balance wheel pivot is one of the easiest part to break due to impact.

Watchmakers have developed ways to try to make their watch witstand drops better. Particularly for the balance wheel pivot, a sort of spring (proprietary design such as Swiss’ Incabloc and Seiko’s Diashock) on the jewel of the balance wheel is used to absorb any impact forces.

Incabloc

Incabloc shock protection in the form of “springs” (the gold color) attached to the jewel (pink ruby color at the center)

As a result, modern automatic watches are more impact resistant than vintage ones.

7- Helium Escape Valve

For the most extreme divings at very deep water depths, saturation diving is normally used. It put divers into a pressurized chamber which is then depressurized at steps to reduce the effect on a human’s body.

These chambers usually use a breathing gas mixture which contain helium, an inert gas that’s safe to be pressurized. The thing about helium is it’s the smallest natural gas particles than can easily get into a diver’s watch through very small openings (that not even pressurized water can get into!).

It’s all okay in the depths, but when the diver is going being depressurized, there is a possibility that the helium inside the watch can’t get out safely. The pressure difference (outside lower, inside higher) in the watch might cause damage with the crystal popping out the most frequent case.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Helium Escape Valve

Helium escape valve on the side of Rolex Sea-dweller

Helium escape valve is used to give a way for these helium gases to escape from the insides of a watch and is one of the hallmark for very serious diver’s watch, typically more than 300 m water resistance.

8- Strap Suitable For Using Diving Suit

Last but not least, a suitable strap for diving is needed. For rubber strap with pin buckle, it’s very easy to adjust the length when wearing the wet suit. But how to do that with a stainless steel bracelet?

A fully functional diver’s watches will have a bracelet with diver’s extension. It’s basically a folded link that can be opened to lengthen the bracelet for wet suit. Why I say “serious”? Because most diver’s watch lookalike won’t have this feature =)

ISO 6425 – Standard For Diver’s Watch

ISO or Internation Organization For Standardization is an independent global organization which produces standards for industries to be used globally. It encompasses major industries such as electrical engineering, civil engineering, oil and gas, documentation standards and even diver’s watch!

ISO 6425 is the standard for diver’s watch. Having this certification means the watch complied all of the requirements of the body such as:

  1. Minimium 100 m or 330 feet water resistance
  2. Water tightness in all aspects (dial window, caseback and crown)
  3. Overpressured up to 200 kPa
  4. Unidirectional bezel to time dive duration
  5. Legibility under dark fro time, bezel, and running second hand. For this, a very good lume is needed
  6. Magnetic resistance
  7. Shock resistance
  8. Resistance to salty water

Seiko SKX009

Notice the DIVER’S 200m marking on the dial of this Seiko SKX009. That means this is an ISO certified dive watch. By the way, some watches can also put this marking on its caseback

When a diver’s watch have all of these requirements, it can then be marketed as an ISO certified diver’s watch. The dial can be marked with DIVER’S WATCH X M or DIVER’S X M – replace X with water resistance rating. This is another easy test to know if a watch is a true diver’s watch or just a watch with diver’s watch styling.

Diver’s Watch Brands And Price

Diver’s watch is a distinguished product for a brand as it symbolizes toughness in watch making. But the complexity in design and research costs means that only the biggest watch makers can enter this market. Its also due to this costs that most diver’s watches are expensive.

Rolex, Omega, Blancpain, just to name a few, are some of the biggest names in diver’s watch. For normal people, brands such as Tissot, Victorinox, Certina and Bulova have produced quality diver’s watch that is not as expensive. Finally Japanese watch makers such as Seiko and Orient produced some of the cheapest automatic diver’s watch around.

Rolex submariner 16613

A Rolex Submariner Two-tone which can easily cost more than $10k

A diver’s watch price can vary from the cheap $15 Casio electronic dive watch to the expensive $11k Rolex Submariner. For a good entry level automatic diver’s watch, Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 prove to be very good watches even with their modest price tags.

Important Things To Know

A very important thing to know is the water resistance rating of a watch will not be the same forever because of degradation of seals and gaskets inside it. Because of this, it’s very important to do water resistance test for the watch every year, assuming this watch is going to be used extensively for deep dives. This is also the recommendation from many watch manufacturers.

But for diver’s watch not used for deep dives, I don’t think that’s necessary. I mean if you are going to buy a Submariner but will never let it touch even a pool water, then why do you need to do water resistance test? It’s just going to cost you more money, and if the watch is old enough, it might even break it.

Another important thing to note is to make sure the crown is tightly screwed in before jumping into any water. Most often than not, this is the common reason for diver’s watch failure.

Conclusion

I hope you guys enjoy and learnt about what is diver’s watch all about. It’s a truly versatile watch type and my personal favorite. It’s stylish enough to be used to work, while also solid and robust for extreme activities. Lume is definitely a big plus and it’s just too cool to look at the watch when it shine brightly in the dark.

The only downside with diver’s watch that I can think of is the heavy weight. It’s quite thicker than normal watches to get the necessary robustness for the water resistance. But I’d say you don’t have to worry about that as it will grow on you =)

Drop your questions below if there is anything you want to ask. Feel free to share your past experience on your diver’s watch too. Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac

Orient Ray Review – Comparison Between Two Orient Dive Watches : Ray Vs Mako

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review-comparison-between-two-orients-ray-vs-mako

In this post, i’m going to write about Orient Ray review. After the success of their Mako automatic dive watch, Orient follow up to that with their Ray automatic dive watch line which is basically a redesign of the Mako. Both of these are hugely popular among Orient’s fans – you can see many debate of Mako Vs Ray in watch forums with no conclusion.

Both are actually the same watch (movement and casing are the same) but with major difference in their design. We are going to cover the differences between the Ray vs Mako, but before that, let’s have go through Orient Ray review.

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Review

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Specification

Diameter: 41.5mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug to Lug Width: 46mm
Lug Width: 22mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Rubber strap or steel bracelet options

Dial: Varies (Black/orange matte dial, Blue metallic dial)
Dial Window: Mineral crystal
Hands: Sword shape hands with lume
Markers: Combination of circle and index markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock
with lume
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel with coin edge. 60 clicks

Movement: Orient Caliber 46943
Movement Features: 21 jewels, 21,600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second), non-hacking, no manual winding feature
Accuracy: +-10 to 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Day and date display, screw down crown with Orient engraving, screw down pusher (at 2 o’clcok position) to set day display

Best Place To Buy:

Orient Orange Ray EM6500AM – Amazon at $140
Orient Ray Black PVD EM65007B – Amazon at $300
Orient Black Ray EM65008B – Ebay at $270
Orient Blue Ray EM6500CD – Ebay at $320

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review

Dive Watch With Rolex Submariner Look

The Orient Ray is a beautiful looking watch that has all the classic submariner look – big markers, big hands, and big bezel with minute markings. All about this watch is to make it look like a true dive watch. It is one of the striking difference with the Mako.

The Orient Ray has a 41.5 mm diameter which is perfect for most guy’s wrist. It has a 46 mm lug to lug width, not too long and should stay right your wrist. A bit thick at 13 mm but that’s to be expected for any dive watch. Overall, the watch is designed with perfect proportion and not too big which I really like.

There are 3 variation of the dial: black matte, orange matter and blue metallic dials. All three are actually the same as the Mako with the exception of the blue metallic – the Mako has a matte blue dial variation. On the dial are the Orient logo, “Automatic, “Water Resist” and “200m” signatures. Just like the Mako, Orient chooses to keep the signatures on the Ray to minimum.

The markers of the Orient Ray is a combination of circle markers and index markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. The markers are big and easy to read which is one of the main features that a dive watch should have.

It’s a standard design of many dive watches nowadays which have taken the cue from Rolex Submariner. Lume are generously applied on the markers to give extra visibility in low light condition.

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review-3

The hands of the Orient Ray are sword shaped hands with lume applied on it too. The hands are big and bold, which will give ample of space to put lots of lume on it. The second hand is silver stainless steel. Lume is applied on the tip with red linings. There are also silver borders around the day and date display. These are the details that Orient have put on the Ray which I really like about.

The watch has an 60-clicks unidirectional rotating bezel. The low click count of the bezel is something that does not go well with some people, but you have to remember that this watch is a low end mechanical piece and it will have some flaws so that Orient can keep the price down.

On top of the bezel is minute markers which is bigger than what you can see on the Mako. Legibility is an important aspect of any dive watch. Truly, the Orient Ray is more of a dive watch than its older brother Mako.

Orient Ray With Date Change Pusher For An Unsymmetrical Design

Just like the Mako, Ray also has the pusher at 2 o’clock to change the date. This is due to the old movement that it has though (the new Mako II and Ray II has an updated Cal. F6922 movement that eliminates the pusher). It’s a disadvantage of the movement of course, but the pusher gives the Ray a unique unsymmetrical design that no other watch has.

Water resistance wise, the Orient Ray can go up to 200 m water resistance. The pusher and crown has screw down, which helped to achieve that water resistance. But it has to be noted that the Orient Ray (and also the Mako) is not an ISO certified dive watch.

Even Orient advises that the watch to be used only for skin diving i.e only for snorkeling etc and definitely for deep dives. For a cheap ISO certified dive watch, I would recommend that you check out Seiko SKX007, a tried and tested dive watch that is very popular with divers around the world.

Watch this awesome review of the Orient Ray to have a closer look at the watch

Orient Cal. 46943 Movement

Like the Mako, the Ray is powered by the Cal. 46943 which is a very trusted movement. It has been used for a long time in most of Orient’s affordable automatic watches.

The Cal. 46943 has 21 jewels and vibrates at 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second. It also has a 40 hours power reserve. Accuracy wise, it is accurate up to +-10-15 seconds per day. It is non-hacking (the second hand will not stop when you want to set the time) and cannot be manually wind.

Not being able to hack the movement is not a big deal for me. But to not being able to manual wind is something else. I really prefer a watch that can be manually wind to keep it running so that I don’t have to reset the time when the watch drop dead when I’m not wearing them.

Not being able to manually wind the watch will leave me with no choice but to use a watch winder, which something that I would only reserve for my most expensive watch and definitely not for the Orient Ray.

Different Dial Colors To Suit Your Taste

Just like the Mako, the Ray also is produced with 3 different dial colors: Black, Blue and Orange. The pepsi bezel of the Mako line is not reproduced in the Ray though. Instead Orient released a black PVD case version of the Ray (which really looks cool!). Check out these 4 variation of the Orient Ray below:

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Advantages And Disadvantages

Below are the pros and cons of the Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch:

Pros:

1- A beautiful dive watch with traditional looks
2- Day and date displays are very useful features
3- Unsymmetrical design due to the pusher at 2 o’clock makes the watch looks very different than other diver’s watch (e.g Seiko SKX007, Invicta Pro Diver, Rolex Submariner, etc)
4- Orient Cal. 46943 movement has been used for decades and has a very good track record as a beater movement with good accuracy and robust performance
5- Affordable price makes it a very good first watch for those starting out with automatic watches

Cons:

1- Mineral crystal dial window scratches easily and not as durable as sapphire
2- Non-hacking and no manual winding movement movement
3- Not an ISO certified dive watch

Orient Ray Vs. Mako

I’ve summarized the difference between the Orient Ray and Mako below for your easy reference. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Ray and Mako are basically the same watch (case, movement). What sets them apart are the dial design and bezel.

Orient Ray looks more sporty with the dial and bezel of a traditional dive watch. The Mako has a dressier look with the numeral markers and small minute markings on the bezel.

Orient Ray (left) side by side with its older brother, the Orient Mako (right)

 

CRITERIA ORIENT RAY ORIENT MAKO
Case: Same (diameter, thickness, etc) Same (diameter, thickness, etc)
Markers Circles and index markers which give more sporty vibe and true to traditional dive watch Index and numeral markers – make the watch dressier and more unique
Lume More lume applied on the circle markers giving better lume Less lume applied
Hands Double layer hour hand design. Lume on tip of second hand Normal sword shape hands
Bezel Bigger minute markings on bezel Smaller minute markings on bezel
Momement Same (Cal. 46943 Movement) Same (Cal. 46943 Movement)

 

I can’t say the same for you but for me, I like the Mako more. The design of the Ray is just like any other dive watch out and there is no sense of character in them, to be honest. The Mako is a bit different and stylish. Again, this is just my opinion. Feel free to state your preference of the two in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you guys think =)

Conclusion

Orient Ray automatic dive watch is a beautiful and affordable dive watch by the Japanese watchmaker. It has the traditional dive watch look and a unique unsymmetrical design. It’s not an ISO certified dive watch, but then let’s be honest: how many of us actually deep dive? If you are only desk diving (like me lol), then this is one the watch that you have to check out.

I hope you guys enjoy this Orient ray review and comparison with Mako. If there’s any question, feel free to drop it down below. Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac

*****************************************************

Looking To Buy The Orient Ray?

The Ray is a bit hard to be found as it’s an old model. Orient seems to favor the newer (and pricier) Ray II models currently. Fortunately Amazon and Ebay have them in their listings. Below, I’ve listed the cheapest sellers on Amazon and Ebay for the variations of the Orient Ray. Simply click the links below to go to the sellers page:

Orient Orange Ray EM6500AM – Amazon at $140
Orient Ray Black PVD EM65007B – Amazon at $300
Orient Black Ray EM65008B – Ebay at $270
Orient Blue Ray EM6500CD – Ebay at $320

You might also want to check out these affordable diver watches:

1 – Orient Mako
2- Orient Mako 2
3- Seiko SKX007
4- Seiko SKX009
5 – Seiko 5 Sports SNZH53