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.

 

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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

Seiko Monster Review – The Aggressive Dive Watch

Seiko Monster Review SRP313

Hello guys! Today’s post will be about Seiko Monster review, an entry level dive watch from the Japanese brand. From the first look you will notice that this is a very unique watch with those aggressive styling on the dial, bezel and case – befitting of the nickname “Monster” given to it. Let’s get on to this Seiko Monster review =)

 

Seiko Orange Monster

Seiko Orange Monster – SRP309

 

Seiko Monster 2nd Generation Review

The watch I’m reviewing is the second generation of the Monster with ID code of SRP303 to SRP315. Yes, there are about 5 different variations of the Monster with different dial colors. The most famous is of course the Seiko Orange Monster with the very eye-catching bright orange dial (as shown on picture above).

The first generation of the Monster has watch ID code of SKX779 to SKX781. For those that know Seiko watches well, you might be able to relate that the first gen Monster is related to the famed SKX007 and SKX009 since they share the SKX code series. Both watches are famous for being a cheap workhorse.

This second generation Monster features an upgraded movement (from 7S36 to 4R36) that hack and can be manual wound. It can be gotten for around $200 to $300 on Amazon, though the price can sometimes creep up to $500 depending on stock availability.

An interesting fact is the first gen watches are almost nowhere to be found. I suspect Seiko already stopped production of it – I can’t confirm this though, if any of you have any info about this, please let me know.

 

Seiko Monster first Generation skx779

Seiko Monster First Generation SKX779

 

So scarce is the first gen Monster that the few units left sold in Amazon even lists for $600! Now you don’t have to feel left out since I can assure you the first gen is not a better watch than this second gen from all aspects. But collectors would perhaps have different opinion on this =)

Now, Seiko also produced a third generation Monster, but this time in the SBDC family (SBDC023-025) featuring a higher grade 6R15 movement. The SBDC family is famed for being a “Prospex” line of dive watch models – that’s Seiko’s “Professional Specification” grade of dive watch, a higher grade of Monster which I’ll cover very soon. So now let’s see the specs of this watch.

 

Seiko Monster (2nd Generation – SRP Series) Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Lug to Lug: 47.5 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: 5 variations (black, orange, combination of black and orange,)
Watch Crystal: Hardlex crystal
Hands: Bar hands with lume
Markers: Triangle index markers with lume
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating diver 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: Day/Date feature, Screw down crown, Seiko’s LumiBrite lume on hands and markers, Screw down caseback, Certified ISO 6425 Dive Watch

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

 

Aggressive Dive Watch Dial

The dial of the Monster is the most stand out element that this little timepiece has. It features an aggressive style with the big bold triangle markers (which also looks like fangs) and big hands. Both of them are generously filled with Seiko’s LumiBrite to give extraordinary lume brightness in dark condition.

 

The use of fang like markers really steal the show as its very unique and something out of ordinary. Coupled with the hands, the dial becomes much busier than a normal dive watch would be. At the edge of the dial are minute markings to help with accurate time reading.

 

Seiko Black Monster SRP313

Seiko Black Monster with a red accent that gives it an added dimension to its aggressiveness

 

At the 3 o’clock are day and date display. Some people might say that a true dive watch can only has a date window (something like the Submariner) but in my opinion the day display is a very important feature.

Of course a dial without both will make it much better due to symmetry but to have day/date is going to make your life much easier. Trust me on that =p

 

Seiko monster lume

Seiko’s LumiBrite applied on the Monster will definitely gives a satisfying lume performance

 

On top of the watch is a hardlex crystal. It’s a type of watch crystal that Seiko made specially by hardening mineral crystals. It gives a higher impact resistance while also increase its scratch resistance.

 

Many Dial Variations To Choose From

Seiko produced the Monster with many color variations but the most good looking ones (at least for me lol) is the Orange Monster (SRP309) and the Black Monster with red accent (SRP313).

Seiko Orange Monster

The famous Seiko Orange Monster

 

The Orange Monster need no introduction. It’s the most popular among the lot and most people associate it with the Monster model. In fact, a quick check on Amazon shows this is the most reviewed Monster model (more than 200 reviews) than the average 50 reviews gotten by others.

It’s no surprise as it’s very unique and eye catching. Truly a fun watch to wear for casual weekends.

Black Monster with the red accent is a step up of the normal Black Monster. The red lining along the markers accentuates the fang markers, making them stand out more from the black dial. It’s less striking than the orange one, but still packs a lot of punch nonetheless.

Without a doubt, the Monster is truly a unique watch. The dial design is totally out of this world. Its big fang like markers are really one of a kind that none other watches dare to try. But in doing so, Seiko has managed to capture many fans that love its peculiar style.

 

An Equally Rugged Case

The case of the Seiko Monster is also equally rugged and has that tough unique look, befitting its dial. The first thing that we will notice is the unidirectional rotating dive bezel and sides of the watch that has scallop design with some textures on it.

Those teeth on the bezel gives it an aggressive look while also make gripping the bezel easy. There are also minute markings on top of the brushed stainless steel bezel.

 

Seiko Monster Bezel Sides

 

It’s quite rare to find a watch bezel with stainless steel finish – they are usually painted with the dial color (you can see the black bezel of the SKX009 and pepsi red/blue bezel of the SKX009). Again, this is one part of the Monster that’s very different than conventional dive watch.

The watch diameter is 42 mm, a size that’s just perfect for most men wrists. Its thickness is 13 mm and has lug to lug width of 47.5 mm. It has a 20 mm lug width that comes with either strap or stainless steel bracelet. In short, the watch is comfortable to be worn – as expected of a Seiko dive watch.

A screw down crown is located at between 3 to 4 o’clock position and guarded by another unique crown guard that I’ve never seen before. Seiko opted to use a shroud-like crown guard design that’s extended from the lug, a totally different design than the normal crown guards on dive watches today.

Another detail that Seiko put on this watch is the inward sloping of the bezel that’s help with protecting the crystal somewhat. To make it sweeter, the Monster is a certified ISO 6425 dive watch that’s surely will give you the important assurance if you want to use this watch to dive. It’s case has water resistance up to 200 m.

 

Seiko Orange Monster Nato

For those that dislike the bracelet, a Nato strap is a great combination to the Monster. Since the dial is very busy with those big markers, a plain Nato strap will do well to tone down the overall look of the watch

 

All in all, the case is executed perfectly and looks very sturdy. With an ISO rated dive watch certification, this Monster is certainly going to withstand whatever punishment comes onto it =)

 

Updated Seiko Caliber 4R36 Automatic Movement

Another major difference from the first generation of the Monster (apart from the dial design) is the updated movement 4R36, from the older 7S26 movement (like what SKX007 and SKX009 have).

The 7S26 is bomb-proof, except for the fact that it does not have manual winding feature, non-hacking and lesser accuracy. Other than that, it’s perfectly fine to be used as rough as you could as noted by many SKX owners.

The updated 4R36 is actually a downgraded 6R15 movement or popularly known as Seiko’s answer to ETA 2824. 4R36 is based on the 6R15 (which is mostly used in Seiko’s mid-range watches such as the Perspex dive watches and SARB series).

But the only difference is it does not have SPRON510 mainspring – a proprietary mainspring by Seiko that gives extended power reserve up to 50 hours.

Without the SPRON510, the 4R36 has 41 hours power reserve while all other elements are about the same I believe. It has 24 jewels in the movement while vibrating at 6 beats per second.

Unlike the older Monster, this version has hacking and manual winding, both are the new typical functionality of any modern automatic watches.

As for the accuracy, reports from owners give the Seiko Monster glowing remarks. It’s consistently below 6 seconds per day accurate (that means it will gain or lose not more than 6 seconds per day). It’s a great aspect of the movement that has an advertised accuracy of +-15 seconds per day.

 

Seiko Black Monster Review SRP313

 

Who Is This Seiko Monster For?

So who is this Seiko Monster for? In my opinion, it’s a perfect watch for those just getting into the automatic watch scenario but don’t want to settle for cheap automatics (like the SNK809 which is just around $60).

But with the higher price tag it has it’s own character and certainly much cheaper than other Swiss watches out there.

It’s also a great dive watch for casual use. Those who have dive watches will either hate it (because of its peculiar look) or totally love it (due to its unique un-dive watch like look).

It also has a very distinct design that’s out of the ordinary submariner-like dive watches out there. Being an ISO certified dive watch also makes it a great value for money.

 

Pros And Cons

Pros:
1- Unique and distinct design unlike other dive watches
2- Rugged and sturdy case
3- ISO 6425 dive watch certification
4- Updated movement from the original Monster

Cons:
1- Out of ordinary look with aggressive dial might put off some people

 

Seiko Orange Monster Review 2

 

Seiko Monster Price? Where To Buy?

Amazon is the best place to buy these Seiko Monsters. News that I got is Seiko typically mass produced one model of their watches at a certain period annually and then ship those watches worldwide.

Then they move to manufacture other models. This cycle gives the fluctuating price of their popular watches (SKX007, SKX009) and the Monster is no different.

At the time of writing this article, the price for the SRP313 (Seiko Black Monster with red lining markers) is about $250 which is still tolerable. But what’s shocking is the price of the Seiko Orange Monster (SRP309) that can even reach $500!

Well, the orange monster is the most unique and popular model of the lot, but to be sold at $500 when it can be had for about $200-$300 normally is just insane!

My recommendation for those wanting the Orange Monster is to wait for price to go down when Seiko released the newly manufactured watches into the market. Click the links below if you want to check the watches on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out Seiko Orange Monster SRP309 On Amazon<-

->Click Here To Check Out Seiko Orange Monster SRP307 On Amazon<-

->Click Here To Check Out Seiko Black Monster SRP313 On Amazon<-

 

Conclusion

Seiko Monster is a very unique dive watch that has built itself a massive fan base.

It has an aggressive styling with those fang-like big markers and scallop bezel and case. Built sturdily with an ISO 6425 certified dive watch and 200 m water resistance, this is definitely a great value for money watch.

 

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I hope you guys like this Seiko Monster review post. If you have any comments or questions, please drop it down below. I would love to hear what you guys think about the Monster. Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac

Introduction To Watch Crystal : What Is It, Types, Problems, Repair And Replacement

Introduction To Watch Crystal : What Is It, Types, Problems, Repair And Replacement

What is watch crystal? What is dial window? Can they get scratched or break? Can watch owners repair or replace them? These are some of the questions that anyone wanting to buy or already own a watch will surely have in mind – regardless of automatic, mechanical or quartz watch. Here I will cover all of these questions.

 

What Is Watch Crystal or Dial Window?

A watch crystal (aka dial window) is the glass in front of a watch and is as important as the case to protect the internal mechanism inside. As we use our watch to go to many places, it is the watch face that is most exposed to dirt, rain, water, or even impact from sharp edges. This is the job of the watch crystal – to protect the actual watch face (or dial) from these threats. Because of this, the crystals need to be strong and durable for it to be effective. It also needs to be clear so that we can still look at the watch to tell time. And lastly, it has to be secured to the watch itself to provide any water resistance rating needed.

 

Watch Crystal Types

There are typically 3 types of common watch crystals used in watchmaking.

1 – Acrylic Crystal

Acrylic is basically a type of plastic but not the soft easy to torn of kind of plastic. It is a special kind of plastic with the scientific name of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). A result of the chemical reaction gives a clear, durable and tough plastic which looks more like a glass due to its transparency. It has wide usage in our life today from kitchenware to lab equipment even to decorative items.

 

Lichtenberg figure in block of Plexiglas Acrylic

A typical decoration encased in an acrylic block

 

Acrylic is the among the first material to be used for watch crystals, which is why if you bought a vintage watch, then most probably it has acrylic crystal. Plexiglas and hesalite are some of the trade names for acrylic that is normally used for watchmaking.

Below are the characteristics of acrylic crystal:

  • Cheap
  • Very prone to scratch
  • Very hard (does not shatter or break easily. It’s plastic after all)
  • Looks different than other crystals (mineral and sapphire)
  • Can be molded into shapes (very domed crystals)
  • Warmer than normal glass crystal
  • Will wear and have yellowish fog after some time
  • Not as transparent as other crystals
  • Can be polished

 

Omega Speedmaster Hesalite Acrylic

An Omega Speedmaster with Hesalite acrylic crystal. Notice how domed it is? That’s an added advantage of acrylic – it can be molded into various shapes

 

It might seem that acrylic is not a good material to be used right? Even though it is very easy to be scratched and will wear out with time, it has one big advantage compared to the other crystal types: it can be buffed out. By using polishing material such as Polywatch (more detail below) and Brasso, and some fine sand paper for deep scratches, an acrylic crystal can be made new in just minutes! That’s a very big advantage of acrylic crystal.

Another thing to note is commonly vintage watch has acrylic crystal for good reasons. First, that’s what is accessible at that time (other glass are just too expensive to be used in a watch). Second, acrylic can be shaped into domed crystals with very distinct and gives beautiful reflection under light. It will scratch easily of course, but these watch owners know that acrylic can be polished. Not to mention it also does not shatter like glass will, and have a higher impact resistance than other glasses. If you have a kid with a slippery hand, than this is the watch crystal you need to buy for your kids.

 

2- Mineral Crystal

Mineral crystal is basically glass that has been hardened by chemicals or heat treatment to make it more scratch resistant than normal glass and acrylic. It is also harder to break than normal glass (window glass, kitchenware, etc). Being a glass, the transparency it gives is also much better than acrylic and somewhat around sapphire quality. It is also very cheap, with most of affordable automatic watches using this crystal in their watch.

In terms of performance, mineral crystal is actually not that good. Sure it has a higher scratch resistant than acrylic, but it is still a glass, and glass shatters easily (more than acrylic/plastic). So it sits between the very scratch prone acrylic and the virtually not scratch-able sapphire crystal in scratch resistance, but bottom of the class in impact resistance. The only remedy for a scratched mineral crystal is by replacing it.

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time Hardlex Crystal

Above is Seiko SARB065 “Cocktail Time” with Hardlex crystal. Seiko loves to use it on many of their low to middle range watches

 

Knowing the issues with impact resistance of mineral, some watch companies have made their own proprietary mineral crystals with enhanced properties. Seiko has developed their own Hardlex crystal, which is basically a toughened mineral crystal. It has a higher scratch resistance and higher knock resistance than normal mineral (though not as good as sapphire).

Sapphire_ring

A gorgeous blue sapphire ring gemstone. This baby can cost thousands of dollars while a synthetic sapphire crystal used in a watch can be had for a fraction of the price

 

3 – Sapphire crystal

Last but certainly not the least is sapphire crystal. Most of us knows that sapphire is a type of gemstone that can be in many colors (commonly blue) and is very expensive. Other than being pretty, sapphire also has a unique and desirable trait – it is very hard. It sits at 9 on the mohr hardness scale , below diamond (10) and another material called moissanite (9.5). This level of hardness means that it’s very scratch resistant. It’s also very transparent making it a great material for watchmaking.

But due to its very expensive price, naturally mined sapphire is not widely used until the invention of synthetic sapphire. By producing sapphire synthetically, the production cost is reduced by a lot, making it viable to be used for watch crystal. A lab made sapphire also has the advantage of being more clearer because it does not have impurities usually comes with mined sapphire.

 


A video showing how to synthetically make a sapphire glass in a factory. It’s truly fascinating how the advancement in technology have enables us to make our own gemstone!

 

The high scratch resistance of sapphire crystal makes it a very popular among watch lovers and it is being used in many middle to high end watches. You can own a sapphire crystal watch, use it everyday for years and at the end, it won’t even have any scratch marks on it. It is tougher than mineral but still not as tough to impact as acrylic. A very sharp impact (like dropping it onto the road filled with pebbles – but how can you be so careless like that?) can make a dent to the sapphire. Due to this, watch manufacturers usually give a special treatment to the glass or even thicken it to further toughen it up. One more thing to consider is it’s much more expensive than acrylic and mineral. So please treat your sapphire crystal watch carefully will ya?

 

Tissot le locle T41.1.423.33 Sapphire Crystal

A Tissot Le Locle with a Sapphire crystal. Most of Swiss brands use sapphire on their watches

 

And The Best Watch Crystal Material Is…

So what is the best watch crystal material? Mineral is the worst (not so scratch resistant as sapphire, cannot be buffed out, not so impact resistant like acrylic) but is the cheapest. Acrylic is highest in impact resistant, easily scratched but can be polished, and cheap. Sapphire on the other hand is very expensive but super scratch resistant and somewhat good in impact resistant (higher than mineral, but lower than acrylic).

In my opinion, sapphire crystal is the best for any watch. It’s high resistance to scratches means no heartache when you suddenly noticed a small hairline scratch on your watch. Sure, it’s not as impact resistant as acrylic but what are the odds of you breaking your watch glass? But all these comes with a higher price. But for that, you will get a highly scratch resistant dial window, that is also very transparent.
Problems

2 common problems with any watch crystal are scratches and breaks/cracks. Scratches are very common, not just on the dial window but also on the case and bracelet too. Acrylic is very easy to get scratches – just looking at them can give you one, while mineral is a bit better on this. Sapphire is highly resistant and will give you smooth crystals for years to come.

Watch crystals breaking is more uncommon and can happen to the most unfortunate guy (or if you are not careful with your watches). Acrylic is very hard to break, followed by sapphire and mineral. But another problem with acrylic is it can develop fogging which is typical with any plastic material.

 

Repair or Replacement?

Fortunately for acrylic watch owners, the crystal can still be repaired if it’s scratched or fogged. And it can be done at home, DIY by using polishing products. A very popular polishing products is Polywatch. It is more preferred over other products such as Brasso because it is specially designed for the fine acrylic crystal.

Just apply some of Polywatch onto the crystal and start giving it a circular massage with higher pressure on the scratched area. What will happen is the Polywatch substance will sand down some of the plastic and fill in the scratches. For very deep scratched, you might want to use sand paper first before using Polywatch.

But then will it thin down the crystal? Of course it will. But I won’t be too concerned about that because the thinning is very limited since we are using our hand to polished it. Polishing using machines is the real concern here because it can easily thin the crystal down. The end result is a clear flawless crystal. You can also use this to give life to vintage watches that have fogged acrylic crystal.

 


A video showing how to use Polywatch to polish and remove those scratches. It’s very cheap too (less than $10 a tube) and can be bought from Amazon. The most recommended way to remove those scratches for your acrylic (and is the cheapest way too)

 

Scratches on sapphire and mineral? Don’t bother with Polywatch as it can’t do a thing. The only way to deal with it is by replacing the crystal. There are some ways to polish a mineral or sapphire but these are not easy to do yourselves and will require machining which will thin down your crystal. In any case, it’s much better to replace it completely.

You need to be more careful with broken crystals. The broken shards from crystals (especially glasses – mineral and sapphire) is very small and can get inside the movement and blocking the movements of the gears inside. I would suggest to quickly stop the watch, and then throw the broken glasses off the watch. Be careful not to touch the hands or dial as these are sensitive. Throw off the glasses by flipping the watch upside down. Get a new replacement crystal as soon as possible, while protecting the uncovered watch in the meantime.

 

I hope you guys enjoy and have learned something from this article. It is important for all watch owners to know are the types of watch crystals and what are the characteristics so that he/she will know what to expect from it. And remember that you can easily polish the scratches off an acrylic crystal with just a $10 Polywatch tube and some discarded clothes instead of spending more to get it “professionally” polished or replaced at your local watch shop. Feel free to drop any comments below. Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac.

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time Review – Gorgeous Automatic Watch Under $500

Tissot Le Locle Vs Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time

One Of The Most Beautiful Automatic Watch Under $500 – A Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time Review

Seiko has always make great watches at affordable prices. And this post will dedicated for the Seiko SARB065 review, or popularly known as the Seiko Cocktail Time“. B

eautiful with sunburst guilloche dial, and a price tag that won’t break your bank, there is no reason not to love this little timepiece.

Let’s get on to the Seiko Cocktail Time review, which in my opinion is the most gorgeous automatic watch under $500.Seiko SARB065 review - Seiko Cocktail Time Review

 

In A Hurry? >> CLICK HERE To Check The SARB065 On Amazon.com

 

Before we get to the detail review, let’s have a quick look at what is the SARB lineup all about.

 

Seiko SARB Line – Middle Range Dress Watch

The SARB line is Seiko’s middle range dress watch and one of the most popular watch line among Seiko fans.

The reason for its huge popularity?

It’s downright beautiful, with great craftsmanship but at an affordable price. Some of the most popular watches in this line is the SARB065 (the watch I’m reviewing here), the simple yet elegant SARB033, and the unique SARB017 Alpinist with grean and gold dial).

This SARB065 watch is a collaboration done by Seiko and Shinobu Ishigaki, one of Japan’s top bartender. They teamed up together and released a couple of watches and the most popular is this (which is why it’s nickname is “Cocktail Time“).

For some reason unbeknownst to most people, Seiko only released this watch for JDM or Japan Domestic Market which means it is not available outside of their country. I’m guessing they really like to keep the best watches for themselves.

Now that’s downright selfish! Non-Japanese (like you and me) also have the right to own these gorgeous watches. Fortunately, people outside of Japan can buy this watch through many online merchants, of which Amazon.com is one of them.

 

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time Specification

Diameter: 40 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Band: 20 mm leather band with clasp

Dial: Guilloche sunburst dial
Watch Crystal: Seiko’s Hardlex crystal
Markers: Sword shape markers
Hands: Dauphine minute and hour hands. Black color with blue tip for seconds hand

Movement: Seiko’s Caliber 6R15 with 23 Jewels. 21,600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Accuracy: +25;-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 50 m
Other Features: Date display at 3 o’clock, Exhibition caseback, Non-screwdown crown at 3 o’clock

Where to Buy: Amazon (Click the link below to check its latest price)

 

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail TimeSeiko SARB065 Cocktail Time

 

Gorgeous Design With Sunburst Guilloche Dial

The first thing that you are going to notice is the gorgeous sunburst guilloche dial. The silver dial is designed with lots of fine silver lines from the center of the watch to the edge, a feat that need exquisite craftsmanship to make.

The watch then will just took reflection of lights beautifully and will change it’s appearance under different light points.

Even though the picture above shows it to have a blue dial, the actual dial is white in color. You need to see it in person to really understand the magnificence of it.

I’ve embedded a youtube review of this watch down below that you can see to look at how pretty it really is in person.

 

Seiko SARB065 review - sunburst guilloche dial

Can you see how stunning the SARB065’s dial is.. It’s truly marvelous to look at

 

Small Stylish Signatures

On the Seiko SARB065 dial, you will find the “Seiko”, “Automatic” in italic and “23 Jewels” signatures on the dial. The signatures are beautifully put on top of the dial, and does not obstruct it in any way.

There are also the small words “Japan” and “6R15” on the bottom of the watch, signalling it is made in Japan for JDM and the movement caliber that it has.

Seiko uses wedge shaped hour markers with silver stainless steel color which perfectly complement the sunburst dial.

Same goes for the silver dauphine hands. Only the second hand is different, black hand with a blue tip, a very nice detail.

There is no luminous on the hands and markers, but then again, who needs them on a dress watch? Save those lumes for when you are getting a sporty dive watch.

The design of the watch face is truly beautiful. It’s sort of captivates you to keep looking at it. The attention to detail on the seconds hand tip really blow me away. Only the Japanese are able to give so much detail, at such an amazingly affordable price for a watch.

 

Above is a great video review of the Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time. Notice how beautiful the sunburst dial is. I really love how it catches lights from different angles.

 

Want Your Own SARB065? >> CLICK HERE To Check The Latest Price On Amazon.com

 

Highly Polished Stainless Steel Case

To complement the shining sunburst dial, Seiko opted for all around polished stainless steel case. The case is 40 mm in diameter, and 47 mm lug to lug width (overall length of the watch from top to bottom). In my opinion, it is a good size for a man’s wrist.

One thing that puzzles me is the thickness of 13 mm. 13 mm is a common thickness for many diver’s watch which is why I’m astounded on why a dress watch would have to be this thick.

Since a dress watch does not need to have that much water resistance, it can be thinner, which will give it a sleeker look. But nevertheless this watch still look amazing on wrist.

 

Seiko SARB065 on hand

It can also be paired with different strap colors and will still look gorgeous.

 

The watch comes with shiny leather band, which have a butterfly clasp on it. So you never need to worry about damaging and replacing your leather band, as is the case with normal pin and buckle.

Some people do not like the shining band (me included) but I understand that Seiko wants to make the Cocktail Time a “shining watch” but the shining leather band is just a bit over the top.

Not to mention it looks like a cheap vinyl band. But luckily, a replacement leather band is just $20-$30 away =).

 

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time Leather Strap exhibition caseback

 

Exhibition Caseback To Peek At The Auto Movement

The crown is located at 3 o’clock, the same with the date display. An engraving of “S” can be seen on the crown to denote “Seiko” which is a nice detail.

The watch features an exhibition caseback, a favorite feature of mine. You can see the back of the Caliber 6R15 movement that powers the watch.

But don’t expect too much from Seiko’s exhibition casebacks (at least at this price point). They never did put much effort to beautify the back of the movement for our eye’s pleasure like Swiss manufacturers.

The gears are all the same color, the jewels are not really easy to spot, and the engravings are just minimal.

This is not really a deal breaker for me though. For one, there is absolutely no problem with the movement’s performance (more on that later on).

But then again, the aesthetics of the exhibition caseback is not really prominent, compared to their Swiss competitors.

Luckily, Seiko more than doubled their effort on the other aspects of the watch, namely the gorgeous dial, markers, hands and casing.

These other aspects of the watch are more than enough to cover the little lacking in their exhibition caseback. Besides, how much time do we look at the movement compared to the dial and case right?

 

Caliber 6R15 – Seiko’s Answer To ETA 2824

Powering the Cocktail Time is Seiko’s own in-house Caliber 6R15 automatic movement, Seiko’s equivalent to ETA 2824 movement. This movement is usually used in many Seiko’s mid range watches.

It is essentially a workhouse, and is even used in many diving watches by Seiko (especially the mid-range Perspex line).

That shows just how good the movement is. It has 23 jewels and is automatic and hand winding mechanism, the best of both worlds.

The usage of automatic movement will free its owner of having to change the battery (like in normal quartz watch).

It also has hacking feature that stops the seconds hand when you are adjusting the time. This will enable you to set the time perfectly to the seconds.

The Caliber 6R15 has a 21,600 vibrations per hour, or 6 beats per seconds. The beats will indicate how smooth the movement of the sweeping second hand will be: a higher beat per second will give a more fluid sweeping motion.

With 6 beats per second, this movement is not that fluid to be honest. ETA 2824 with 8 beats per second will have a more fluid motion albeit slightly.

But there are two major advantages of having a lower beat rate. First, the service interval of the watch will be longer as the parts are not moving as much as a higher beat rate movement.

Secondly, the lower beat rate will have more power reserve. The 6R15 has a whopping 50 hours (2 full days!), compared to ETA 2824 with 38 hours (1 and a half day).

 

Caliber 6R15 – An Accurate Movement

The advertised accuracy of this movement is +25 and -15 seconds per day, meaning the watch could gain 25 seconds or lose 15 seconds per day.

But from my experience with my SBDC003 (or Sumo) that uses the same exact movement, the highest deviation that I got is +-5 seconds per day. This is consistent with many reviews by other owners around the world.

The main reason why this is happening is that most movements are designed to be very good at accuracy when dial is being used and also facing up.

When the dial is facing other directions (down, inclined left, etc.) gravity effect of the movement will kick in and reduce the efficiency and accuracy of the watches’ parts.

Not only that, magnetism and lack of power reserve (such as after not using the watch for a day and half) will reduce its accuracy too. Which is why a +-5 seconds in normal usage is a good standard for any automatic watch.

 

Click here for futher info on the Seiko Caliber 6R15

 

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail TimeSeiko SARB065 Cocktail TimeTissot Le LocleTissot Le Locle

 

Side by side comparison of the Tissot Le Locle  and the Seiko Cocktail Time. Which one do you prefer? Let me know in the comments section below =)

Tissot Le Locle T41.1.423.33 Vs Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time

A few weeks back I have reviewed another gorgeous watch, the Tissot Le Locle T41.1.423.33. These two watches are dress watch, both cost less than $500 and this match up is basically a Japan vs Swiss battle.

Both have gorgeous guilloche dial, but one has a subtle dauphine shape hands and markers while the other has black sword hands and roman numeral markers.

It’s also the battle between Cal. 6R15 and Cal. ETA 2824. Both of these two watches are great watches in their own right, but which one is more gorgeous?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But for me, the Seiko Cocktail Time triumphed over its Swiss challenger.

The sunburst dial design of the Cocktail Time is more beautiful than the Le Locle. I love how the guilloche lines of the Cocktail Time covers the whole dial, as compared to the Le Locle, where the guilloche is only present at the center of the dial.

The simple silver sword hands and markers complements the sunburst dial and pretty much complete the watch’s look. It is without a doubt the Cocktail Time wins hands down.

 

Mesmerized By The Gorgeous Sunburst Dial? Where Can I Get One?

Where to buy Seiko Cocktail Time since it’s not sold officially outside of Japan? Don’t worry as the watch is readily available on many online retailers.

If you’re a fan of Amazon, you’re in luck as Amazon also have this watch listed on its website. Check the latest price of the watch by clicking the link below.

 

Seiko SARB065 Cocktail TimeSeiko SARB065 Cocktail Time

 

Conclusion

The Seiko SARB065 is a gorgeous watch and has solid craftsmanship that rivals Swiss watchmakers. It’s robust automatic movement, complemented with its real beauty makes it such a pleasure.

The dial is just extraordinary and really makes it One of The Most Gorgeous Automatic Watch Under $500 in my opinion.

One thing for sure, there will be plenty of people that will stop and look at it and compliment your watch all the time. With a beautiful watch face like this, who wouldn’t?

 

 

I hope you like my Seiko Cocktail Time review and find it helpful. If you have any comments or opinion on this watch, just ask me will ya.

Let me know in the comments section below =)

Don’t forget to share this review and subscribe my site for more great stuffs in the future.

Cheers!
Isaac