What Is The History Of Seiko? – All About Japan’s Prominent Watchmaker

What Is The History Of Seiko

 

Seiko has always been a special watch brand for me. I bought my first automatic watch (you can see it in my about page), a Seiko 5.

At that time, I didn’t really know much about watches and the only reason why I bought the 5 is because it was much cheaper than other automatic watches.

It was about $100 I think and while that was not a cheap price for a watch, it was definitely cheaper than other automatic watch from Swiss/Europe manufacturers.

 

Seiko Presage 2

 

Also, the low price was perfect for me to test the waters (so to speak) with automatic watches. I thought that if this auto watch thing is not for me, at least my losses will only be $100. Oh boy how wrong was I!

As I learn more about watches I began to gain knowledge about other brands and yet, the more I learn, the greater my respect to Seiko.

A watch company with so much range, from quartz to automatic, with different styles: dress, dive, aviator, military – you name it and I’m sure Seiko will at least have one model for it.

They also invented quartz, kinetic and spring drive movements – these are real feats that no ordinary watch company can do. Anyway, let get on with the rest of the article about the history of Seiko.

 

Early History

Seiko was founded in 1881 in Ginza, Tokyo by Kintaro Hattori. A few years later, he produced his first clock with the name Seikosha, which means “House of Exquisite Workmanship”.

 

Kintaro Hattori

Seiko’s founder, Mr. Kintaro Hattori

 

Only in 1924 the first watch under the brand name “Seiko” was produced. In a way, “Seiko” means “Exquisite” or “Success” in Japanese, signifying Mr. Hattori’s ideal to make the highest quality watch for the Japanese people, on par with their Western counterparts.

 

The World’s First Quartz Watch – Seiko Quartz Astron

Released in 1969, the Seiko Astron was the “game-changer” that disturbed the whole horological world and shifts the world towards a more accurate timekeeping.

Quartz watches uses crystal oscillator as its time keeping element which vibrates at over 20,000 times per second.

Seiko Astron First Quartz Watch

The Seiko Astron, the world’s first quartz watch

 

This high frequency contributes to its accuracy (at 10-15 seconds per month) compared to traditional automatic watches’s accuracy (at 5-10 seconds per DAY).

 

You can read my in-depth article on how quartz watch works HERE

 

I’m an automatic watch lover but I surely do love how accurate a quartz watch is. Without this invention, the world will not be as organized as we know it.

Not only that, the low manufacturing costs of quartz watches make it possible for everyone to own a watch. This also helped to improve the society towards a better and organized world.

But they didn’t stop there. Seiko then proceeded to produce the first LCD quartz watch with digital display.

Yeah, it’s frowned upon today for the cheaply kind of look but back in the 70s, it was a revolutionary and futuristic invention.

Just imagine a few years back you’re using the first Iphone when everyone else was using a boring phone. That’s what it felt like to be wearing one of those digital watches when everyone else was stuck with analog watches.

Since then, Seiko had produced many other horological feats. The Seiko Kinetic combines the accuracy of quartz timekeeping with self-winding capability of automatic watches to create a self-charging watch.

Though I like the Solar watches better, the Kinetic do has its own following especially with those that love the feeling of the rotating rotor in the watch.

 

Seiko Spring Drive

Seiko tried to further advances the automatic watches with its Spring Drive, another revolutionary movement that combines the intricacies of automatic and quartz movement.

It’s a normal automatic watch with the self-winding mechanism but have the major change in the timekeeping part.

 

Spring Drive Grand Seiko Rotor

 

Instead of the traditional balance wheel and escapement mechanisms, the Spring Drive uses tri-synchro regulator to give a surreal acccuracy, up to 1 second per day.

What the tri-synchro does is to regulate the speed of the watch based on a feedback loop from a quartz crystal.

It’s actually so much more complicated than this, so I suggest you go to my introduction to Spring Drive HERE if you want to know more about it.

The result is a very accurate watch and since it does not have an escapement, the second hand has the smoothest sweeping action that is almost majestic.

 

Check out the sweeping second hand of the Seiko Spring Drive in the video above. Let me know in the comments below what you think about it.

 

Seiko Group, Seiko Holdings, Seiko Instruments And Epson Companies

By no means is Seiko a simple company. Their watches are known to be practical and easy to use but its corporate structure is quite complex.

Before 2009, the whole company is under the Seiko Group and consists of 3 major entities:

 

  1. Seiko Holdings – markets Seiko watches
  2. Seiko Instruments (formerly Diani Seikosha Co.) – manufactures Seiko watches and other electronics
  3. Seiko Epson (formerly Suwa Seikosha Co.) – manufactures Seiko watches and other electronics / devices. Also popular with the Epson printers

 

The reason why there were two separate companies to manufacture their watches stems back to 1959. Seiko then separated two factories (Diani and Suwa Seikosha) to be independent of each other in order to promote competition and innovation.

 

Seiko Movement

 

Yep, it’s totally unthinkable in current times but looking at the result today with Seiko as one of the biggest watch companies, the decision then could be right decision for the company.

In 2009, Seiko Holdings and Seiko Instruments merged with the latter become a full subsidiary of the former.

Seiko Epson (or usually called as “Epson” only) still manufactures Seiko watches but their entire operations have been streamlined, unlike int he past.

In addition, it also owned Orient watches, another large timepiece manufacturer in Japan.

As you can see, the breadth of Seiko is not just in making watches. Apart from being one of the few companies that produce their watches almost entirely in-house, they also manufacture electronics and devices such as LCDs, sensors, printers, etc.

 

Seiko Watch Prices

Unbeknownst to many, Seiko is not just your cheap or affordable watch maker. It’s in fact a very wide brand, covering the largest range watch prices from the cheapest quartz watch (< $50) to the most luxurious watches (> $100,000).

In my opinion, this side of Seiko is almost the same as the Swatch Group. The behemoth Swiss watch group covers huge watch price ranges under various brands.

It has its cheapest Swatch & Flik Flak brands, to the middle range watches (Tissot, Hamilton), and lastly higher and luxury range (Longines, Omega, Breguet).

This is due to the history of formation of the company that involves various mergers and acquisitions along the way, started from the 80s.

While the Swatch Group is made up of different brands which helped to separate its watches into different price ranges, Seiko lack that clear cut distinction.

It does have different brands for different segments (e.g Alba, Pulsar, Lorus, Orient), but the bulk of its most popular watches are under the “Seiko” brand. However, it does has “Collections” that seek to separate its watches under different categories and price ranges.

 

Some popular Seiko watch collections are:

 

1- Seiko 5 And Seiko 5 Sports

Price: $50 to $200

 

Seiko 5 sports logo

 

One of the more famous line up is the Seiko 5 collection, well loved for its very affordable price for an automatic watch. And yet the 5s do not look cheap at all. Introduced in 1963 with the Sportsmatic 5 name, this line was made to market exclusively automatic watches to the masses, with an affordable price points.

 

Why the 5?

 

The 5 commemorates what Seiko believes to be the key attributes in an automatic watch. Those are:

  1. Automatic movement
  2. Day and date display in a single window/place
  3. Water resistance
  4. Recessed crown at 4 o’clock (not strictly followed in most newer Seiko 5 models)
  5. Durable case and strap

By the way, there’s also the Seiko 5 Sports, a similar brand to the Seiko 5 but with a more sporty feel.

Launched in 1968, it typically has a higher water resistance rating and sport/tool features such as rotating bezel and chronograph.

 

Seiko 5 Sports SARZ005

Seiko 5 Sports SARZ005

 

Without a doubt, the Seiko 5 and Seiko 5 Sports are the best entry-level automatic watch you can get. It’s low price point (typically lower than $200 though most can be had for half of that amount) make it a good candidate for the first automatic watch to be owned by those new to this region of horology.

Not to mention it’s also a perfect choice as a beater watch =P

 

2- Prospex

Price: $200 to $1,000-$2,000

 

Seiko Prospex

 

Prospex (or Professional Specifications) is the tool watch collection of Seiko sitting in the lower to middle range of prices.

Seiko fans will surely know the Prospex from its diver’s watches such as the SBDC033 (Seiko Sumo) and the Seiko Shogun.

 

Seiko Prospex SBDC033 Sumo

Seiko Prospex SBDC033 Sumo

 

One easy way to identify a Prospex watch is by the “X” symbol on the watch dial. Always associated with diver’s watches, but that are not the only thing in this collection.

The prospex line up is also made up of pilot watches and military watches though these are lesser known compared to the diver’s watches.

Unlike the Seiko 5 line, the Prospex line uses other types of movements such Solar and Kinetic.

 

3- Astron

Price: $800 to $3,000-$4,000

 

Seiko Astron

Seiko Astron

 

Astron was the name of the first quartz watch in the world. As mentioned above, it was the revolutionary watch that shifts how mankind would use a watch forever.

Currently, the Astron label is being used by Seiko for their cutting-edge line of watches, Still retaining the analog look, the latest Astron collection features the world’s first GPS solar watch.

To break it down to you, it has 2 main functions:

 

1- Solar watch: the watch has photo-voltaic cells on its dial to absorb lights, convert it into electricity and then store it inside its battery. By doing this, there is no need to change the battery, ever.

 

2- GPS function: The Astron has GPS receiver on it that can set the time of the watch according to the current timezone the watch is in. This is a great feature for those always moving around across continents as the watch will automatically set itself for you.

 

Seiko Astron GPS Antenna

The Astron is the first watch to combine solar and GPS functionalities in a watch

 

Besides these two main functions, the Astron watches also have other features depending on the model such as power reserve indicator, day indicator, date indicator and chronograph.

I really love the stylish and futuristic design of the collection with hard sharp lines all around it. It looks cool and manly, very different than the design of normal watches.

 

4- Presage

Price: $ 200 to $2,000 – $3,000

 

Seiko Presage

 

If the Prospex line is more towards tool/sporty watch and the Astron is a bit futuristic, the Presage line up is the kind that I love the most: dressy automatic watches.

There are lots of gorgeous dress watches in this line in various style and colors. Some of the best watches I’ve reviewed in this site are also coming from this line such as the SARB017 and SARB065 “Cocktail Time”.

Not only that, the more expensive Presage watches also have some complications such as power reserve indicator, chronograph and retrograde indicator.

With brilliant styling and build quality (some of them also have enamel dials), these watches are definitely designed (and priced) to compete directly against the entry luxury models of the Swiss/Europe watchmakers.

Many of the Presage watches uses half-moon second hand tip and slim hands for that classical styling which I absolutely adore.

But some of the watches also closely resembles the Grand Seiko in styling, so much so these are nicknamed the “Baby Grand Seiko”.

The simple yet gorgeous Grand Seiko is well revered among Seiko fans for its great aesthetics as well as top-notch craftsmanship.

So if you’re enchanted by the Grand Seiko but still can’t afford one, you can always shop for a Presage watch (such as the SARX035 or SARX033) in the meantime =P

 

5- Grand Seiko (and King Seiko)

Price: $2,000 to $20,000

 

An important piece of model by Seiko is the Grand Seiko, the brand’s luxury line. First produced in 1960, the Grand Seiko was Seiko’s response to the Western watches in order to show that Japanese can also make a good watch in terms of material, finishing and movement.

 

First Grand Seiko 1960 Ref. 3180

The first Grand Seiko 1960 Ref. 3180, Seiko’s own luxury watch model to compete with the Western watchmakers

 

Until today, the Grand Seiko remains to be the crux of any Seiko fans’ watch collection. Another important aspect to know about the collection is it comes in different movements (quartz, automatic, spring drive) and shape/functionality (dress, sports, dive).

In simplest term, we can say the Grand Seiko is Japanese equivalent to Rolex, so to speak.

 

What about King Seiko?

 

Remember when I mentioned about the two independent factories under Seiko (Suwa and Diani Seikosha)?

 

King Seiko

The King Seiko was made to follow up with the Grand Seiko

 

In the early days, the Grand Seiko was made by Suwa Seikosha. Diani Seikosha then followed suit by producing their own luxury watch, named as King Seiko.

It was discontinued in 2000s as Seiko seeked to streamlined their operation and focus of creating a diverse high-end watches, instead of competing with each other.

 

Grand Seiko GMT

 

Grand Seiko Diver Watch

In recent times, the Grand Seiko has also includes other types of watches such as GMT and Diver’s watches

 

I’m actually glad they decided to retain the Grand Seiko. I mean, let’s face it, “King Seiko” is not a strictly catchy name right? I love the classic look of the watch but I surely don’t want to wear a watch with the KS signature on it LOL!

 

6- Credor

Price: $3,000 to $500,000

 

If the Grand Seiko is the Japanese equivalent to the Rolex, the Credor line can be likened to Europe’s best dress watch makers such as Patek Philippe.

It also has the highest craftsmanship and movement as the Grand Seiko, but the main difference is in their designs.

 

Credor Fugaku Tourbillon

The Credor Fugaku with tourbillon complication

 

While the Grand Seiko is more towards classic and well loved Seiko designs, the Credor is geared towards exclusive dress watches, with heavy use of exotic materials, skeletonized dials and classic European watch designs – the avant garde kind of things.

 

Credor Sonnerie

The Credor Sonnerie that has the majestic skeleton dial with beautiful jewels on full display. Not to mention the very exotic sonnerie complication in it.

 

Not only that, Credor also has watches with crazy complications such as minute repeater, sonnerie and tourbillon. And some of the most expensive watches can fetch up to half a million dollars!!

 

 

As we can see from above, Seiko is a vertical watch company, not different than the likes of Swatch. But it’s origin and affordable watch popularity had people to associate it with cheap (and lower quality) watches.

Yes, it does produce cheap mass produced watches (which sold very well) but that’s not the whole thing about Seiko.

It manufactures watches for the whole range of pricing, from the most affordable to the most luxurious watch.

It’s history as an inventor in horology (first quartz watch, kinetic, spring drive etc.) also cemented its reputation as an innovator that brought revolution to the whole world.

Until today, Seiko as a watch brand had always been placed beneath its Western counterparts in the eyes of the public.

But true watch fans would know more than to underestimate this Japanese watchmaker.

 

 

I hope you enjoy this article about the history of Seiko and learn a little bit about the brand. Let me know if there’s any questions or comments that you have regarding Seiko.

Till next time.
Cheers!

Seiko SSC233 Review – The Stylish Orange-Black Watch

SEIKO SSC233 REVIEW

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 on hand

 

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 Watch Specification

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

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

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

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

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $350

Stylish Orange-Black Dial

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 on hand

 

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

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

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

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

 

3 Subdials with 60-min Chronograph

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 watch front

 

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

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

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

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

Has 24-Hour Time Display, But No GMT?

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

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

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

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

 

Sleek Black PVD Case

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 side

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Well, better safe than sorry right?

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

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

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

 

Seiko SSC233 back

 

Seiko Solar Quartz Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Who Is This Watch For?

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Who Should Not Get It?

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

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

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

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

 


Watch this video to see the Seiko SSC233 up close

 

Seiko SSC233 Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

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

 

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

 

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

Don’t forget to drop your comments below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko SARY055 Review – An Affordable Dress Watch

Seiko SARY055 Review white dial

 

Hi and welcome to my Seiko SARY055 review. This is another great value for money automatic watch by the Japanese brand.

Known as SRP527 in international market, this JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) beauty is quite a nice watch to look at.

 

Seiko SARY055 review front

 

SARY055 And SRP527 – One Watch Two Names

This watch official name is Seiko SARY055, positioned under the Presage line up (the gorgeous looking Seiko SARX015 is also under this series).

The Presage is a very weird line up as it seems to cover many mid-range watches from $200 to $2000. Internationally, the SARY055 is known as SRP527. So if you find this watch at your local Seiko store, you should be able to tell that it’s the same thing.

Why is the name change and what is the difference? Frankly speaking I don’t know why Seiko would do that.

Perhaps the SRP527 is made in South East Asian factories. This is only my hunch though, I’ve yet to see anyone confirming this.

If you know the real reason, do let me know by putting your comments down below =)

 

Seiko SARY055 front

Notice the Japanese (or Kanji) language on the day window of this SARY055 and can always be swap with English. For the international version (SRP527), the day window has English and French languages instead

 

The only aesthetic difference between these two is at the day window whereby the JDM SARY055has dual language day (English and Japanese).

The international SRP527 version has an English + French day window. Everything else is the same between these two.

 

A Cheaper SARB035?

When I first laid my eyes on the Seiko SARY055, I thought it had the wrong name as the watch really looks like the Seiko SARB035, another great Seiko dress watch with white creamy dial.

But looking in detail, it’s apparent that this SARY055 is a different watch, though very similar in style to the SARB035.

It’s same with the use of white creamy dial, but the most telling difference is the blue hands and day date window on the SARY055.

The SARB035 on the other hand has big dauphine hands (with a lil bit of lume applied on the center) and only date window.

 

Seiko SARB035

Seiko SARB035 – The watch that looks very much like the SARY055

 

The next big difference would be the use of 4R36 movement in this SARY055 as compared to the higher grade movement 6R15 in the SARB035.

I strongly think this difference in movement is the reason why the SARB035 has a higher price tag (at $350) compared to the cheaper SARY055 (at $280).

So for those that love the look of the white dress watch of SARB035 but don’t want to fork out $350 on it, the SARY055 is a pretty good alternative if you are okay with the lower specification movement.

Anyway, we will get back on the detail comparison between these two gorgeous dress watches (skip down to the lower half of this review for that).

Before that, let’s have a look at Seiko SARY055 review shall we.

 

Seiko SARY055 Watch Specification

Diameter: 41 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Lug To Lug Distance: 49 mm
Case: Stainless steel with exhibition caseback
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: White sunburst dial
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine blue hands
Markers: Index markers

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
Power Reserve: 41 hours

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Magnetic resistance, day and date window, exhibition caseback
Best Place To Buy: Amazon

White Sunburst Dial

The dial of Seiko SARY055 is a white creamy dial with metallic sunburst effect on it. It’s very clean, very “angelic” looking dial.

It’s just soo good to look at! Not to mention the silver index markers just sort of blend in with the white dial.

The combination of the sunburst dial with the polished case gives a great reflection as the watch catches lights in a beautiful way. It’s truly a good looking dress watch.

 

Seiko SARY055 sides review

 

The hands are dark blue in color. They are reflecting lights, in which most of the time they will appear to be blacks (as in most of the photos here) but at some lighting angles, you can see that they are actually dark blue.

By using a dark blue hands, there is no question at all about the visibility of this watch. It’s totally legible as the dark hands greatly contrasts with the white dial.

 

No Lume On The Dial – A True Dress Watch

On thing that might have different reactions from Seiko fans is there is no lume on this watch. Seiko definitely wants to keep the SARY055 as a true dress watch without any lume on it.

For a start, it definitely give the watch a cleaner and elegant look. The hands are full with the dark blue colors without any white lume on it.

The markers are also free of lume which gives a better aesthetic to the watch in my opinion.

 

Seiko SARY055 Review white dial

 

But without lume, the watch is hardly any use even at minor low light condition such as any electrical trip at your office, watching movies at cinema etc.

This reduces the watch functionality to some degree, though if you always carry a smartphone with your body at all times (which I’m sure you are.. who doesn’t??) it’s not a big deal at all.

Still, some people loves their lumes (including me). Lumes are great, but not strictly necessary for a dress watch like this SARY055.

But if anyone is thinking to have a piece of that brilliant Seiko’s LumiBrite, you might want to look elsewhere (I’d suggest start by some diver’s watches such as the SRP777 Turtle or the Seiko Monster).

 

Day Date Window And High Degree Of Details

Another aspect of the Seiko SARY055 that I like is the presence of day date window at the right hand side of the watch. I can’t say how much functional a watch with day date windows is.

It’s truly make the watch more useful than just telling time, especially to someone with a normal 8-5 jobs like me.

Having a watch with this function reduces my need to have to look at my smartphone just to know what day or date today is.

Not sure about you guys, but I think my ability to remember a date is very poor as I grow up lol! Some study shows that our brain is constantly degrading the moment we hit puberty – so that might be the case here =p

 

Seiko SARY055 review side

 

The amount of detail put on the dial is typical of Seikos at this price point. In addition to the raised index markers, the Seiko sign at the center is also raised and not just painted on top of the dial.

Same case with the day date window. The minute markings at the outer edge of the dial are meticulously put and look very beautiful.

Average Size Watch With 41 mm Diameter

The Seiko SARY055 has a diameter of 41 mm, kinda the sweet spot between the bigger 44-45 mm and small 37-38 mm. Due to this, it appeals to lots of people since most wrists can fit comfortable with it.

With the bigger 44-45 mm diameter watches, you will need at least a 5 inch wrist to pull it off. On the other hand, I think a smaller wrist would do just fine with the SARY055.

It also has a 12 mm thickness and 49 mm lug to lug width. The case is finished with a combination of brushed and polished.

Looking in detail on it, the case design is reminiscence of Seiko’s signature case design with edges and curves around the sides and lugs.

The combo of brushed and polished is well executed in between the surfaces. The Japanese brand really have a knack for case construction.

The case is also anti-magnetic, a very useful thing to have. Magnetization of automatic watch is a very common problem and you might not even realize it until the watch starts to run very slow or fast, way outside its usual accuracy range.

Thus, to have this feature is a very good thing. Even though the watch has anti-magnetic protection, we still have to be careful to make sure it’s not accidentally magnetized by a very strong magnet.

Sapphire Crystal For Scratch Free Glass

As an added bonus, Seiko put a sapphire crystal on top of the SARY055, something that has just increased the value for money of this $280 watch. Sapphire in my opinion is the best material for watch crystals (or the glass on top of it).

It is scratch resistant to most material on earth, and will stay pristine for years to come. It’s not uncommon for a watch with sapphire crystal to look brand new even after more than 10 years of use.

 

(You guys can read my article on types of watch crystals (click HERE) for more information about the watch crystals)

 

Truthfully, I was very shocked to know that this watch has sapphire crystal on it. Seiko has always been stingy on this sort of things and only put sapphire on their more expensive watches.

Cheaper watches will get their Hardlex crystal, which is basically a toughened mineral crystal. It’s great for impact resistance but not so good in scratch resistance.

At this price, I think this might be the cheapest Seiko automatic watch with sapphire cyrstal that I’ve known.

(Though I can be wrong, as I’ve been in so many occasions. Do let me know if you find a cheaper Seiko with sapphire crystal on it!)

 

Curved Lugs For Perfect Fit

Another thing that might have been borrowed from the SARB035 is the curved lugs on this SARY055.

I’ve written about how Seiko loves to make curved lugs on their watches before, and am pleased to see this watch also got it.

As you can notice, the lugs of the SARY055 is extending downwards from the body profoundly. The result is a good hug on the wrist.

This reduces any gaps between the lug and the wrist, giving a better fit to the wearer. It’s definitely something that is very comfortable to be worn!

 

Seiko SARY055 Side Curved Lugs

You can see for yourselves how the lugs of the SARY055 curved down beautifully from its case

 

The watch also has a 100 m water resistance for some peace of mind. There is no screw down crown though, so I will be wary to get this watch close to water.

But then, who would swim or dive with a dress watch? In this regard, the decision to not have a screw down crown is spot on.

 

22 mm Lug Width

One weird thing that I found the Seiko SARY055 has is the 22 mm lug width. With a small 41 mm diameter, to have a 22 mm lug width is very unusual.

The bracelet will look bigger than the watch as a result of this, and break the proportion that it has.

 

Seiko SARY055 hands on

It looks a bit weird to use a 22 mm bracelet on a 41 mm diameter watch. I honestly think the major flaw with the gorgeous SARY055

 

Honestly, I believe Seiko can do a better job in this aspect. The 22 mm bracelet just looks much bigger overbearing the watch, and it’s not a pleasing sight at all.

Again, I might be wrong, but I feel that a 20 mm lug width will look so much better on the watch. Let me know if you guys think otherwise on this =)

On the back of the watch is an exhibition caseback to show the 4R36 automatic self winding movement (more information on the movement at the next section).

Considering the SARY055 cheap price (for $280, it’s still can be considered “cheap” among automatic watches out there), there is not much to expect.

 

Seiko SARY055 exhibition caseback

The caseback of the Seiko SARY055 is not decorated, save for a gold plated rotor

 

So, don’t expect any pretty flashy jewels on the exhibition caseback lol. But Seiko did put a gold plated rotor just to liven things up.

Nothing fancy of course (typical of Seiko). Just some signatures on it here and there but this effort is definitely something good and managed to make upgrade the typical dull silvery movement into something bearable.

Seiko’s 4R36 Automatic Movement

Running the watch inside the Seiko SARY055 is the 4R36 automatic self winding movement. As some of you might aware, this is the exact movement found in many Seiko watches at this price range.

Two examples of such watches are the Seiko SRP777 “Turtle” and Seiko Monster, both are diver’s watch.

What does this means? It basically means for the sake of simplicity, Seiko designed and produced a typical movement (this 4R36) to be used for all of its watches in the $200-$300 range.

They have to design it so that it can even be used for their diver’s watches, watches with the most extreme use. And that is the movement found in this SARY055.

What better assurance than to know the movement in your dress watch is the exact same as inside those diver’s watches?

The 4R36 is a 24 jewels movement and beats at 6 times per second. It’s also hacking and can be manual wind, the basic features in today’s automatic watches.

 

Seiko SARY055 Vs SARB035

Now, let’s breakdown in detail the comparison between these two very similar watches: SARY055 vs SARB035.

 

On the left is the Seiko SARB035 side by side with the SARY055 on the right

 

1 – Dial Design:

Both watches have the same white creamy dial color. The index markers are a bit different with SARB035 has a more rectangle index markers.

It also has lumes on it (on the hands and tip of the index markers). Its hands also is bezeled, creating a very nice 3-D effect look.

There is also no gap between the index markers and outer minute markings on the SARB035. The gap is prominent on the SARY055 and frankly speaking, it makes the watch looks a bit odd with those gaps.

Another big difference is the day date window on SARY055 compared to the date window on the SARB035.

Both have similar dial design but SARY055 has day date window which is very functional. On the other hand, SARB035 has lumes on it, which also makes it functional.

 

2 – Case:

SARY055 has a bigger case (41 mm diameter and 49 mm lug to lug distance) as compared to the SARB035 (with 38 mm diameter and 45 mm lug to lug distance).

In my opinion, this is the deciding factor between these two watches.

While the SARB035 is more elegant and refined with its smaller case (and smaller 20 mm lug width),

The SARY055 is bigger and definitely has more sporty/casual look to it. It’s still an elegant piece, but it’s less dressy if we are comparing these two watches.

And not to mention the SARB035 might look weird on big wrists. This is something that you guys need to consider too.

As much as it’s not very pleasing to look an over-sized watch on small scrawny wrist, it’s also not great to wear a watch that’s too small for your big manly wrist.

Just like a suit, perfect fit is a must and that is the key to great style.

 

3 – Movement:

Last but not least, let’s compare the movements inside these two watches. The SARY055 has 4R36 movement while the SARB035 has the 6R15, which is the better movement of the two.

The 4R36 is actually derived from the 6R15. While the latter has SPRON510 mainspring that gives a good 50 hours power reserve, Seiko uses a normal mainspring in the 4R36 (presumably to cut costs). But it still managed some 41 hours.

Not to mention 6R15 is by far the most accurate of the two. Most owners will report its accuracy to be within +-5 seconds which is very good.

The 4R36 is a bit of hit and miss though. Some people get a great accuracy but some (including me) managed a much less desired accuracy at more than 20 seconds per day.

 

Verdict:

The SARY055 and SARB035 are both similarly styled watches but the smaller size of SARB035 makes it more elegant and dressier as compared to the SARY055 which is more casual looking.

On the other hand, due to this the SARY055 is more versatile and can fit with most sizes of wrists.

Functionality wise, the SARB035 has lumes on it (good for sudden electricity breakdown) while the day date window on SARY055 is very useful to be used to work.

Most of the cost difference between the two watches (SARB035 is about ~$70+ or so more expensive) comes from the better 6R15 movement inside the SARB. It has 50 hours power reserve and much better accuracy.

If you guys want a great automatic movement, get the SARB. But if you are okay with only 41 hours power reserve and lesser accuracy, then this SARY055 is it.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

The Seiko SARY055 is definitely for those that want a good dress watch for everyday use. It’s very handsome with sunburst dial and very functional with the day date window. With an affordable price, it’s a good value for money too.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Somebody that is looking for a more casual and sporty timepiece should definitely look elsewhere as this is not the watch for that. While the 4R36 is a robust movement, it’s not well known for its accuracy.

Thus if you want the best accuracy in your automatic watches, I’d suggest to check out the SARB035 or other Seikos with 6R15 movement.

 

Watch the video above for a closer look at the Seiko SARY055

 

Pros and Cons

Let’s see what are the pros and cons of the SARY055. A bit disclaimer here: these pros and cons are my own personal view of the watch.

If you guys disagree with some of it, leave a comment down below so that we can discuss it further =)

Pros:

  1. Beautiful dress watch design with white sunburst dial
  2. Good average size of 41 mm diameter watch fit for all wrist sizes
  3. Curved lug design to hug the wrist for comfortable usage
  4. Day date window is very useful especially for normal office workers
  5. Use of sapphire crystal that is highly scratch resistant

Cons:

  1. 22 mm lug width is too big and not proportionate to the 41 mm diameter case

 

Seiko SARY055 white dial

 

Like The Seiko SARY055? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

Love the dressy look of this Seiko SARY055 and want it for yourselves or as a present to someone? You can always try your local Seiko dealers but make sure to ask for SRP527 instead for around $350.

They are both the same watch but the SARY055 is for JDM only. Alternatively, you can also get it cheapest on Amazon at lesser than the MSRP price! Click the link below to check out Seiko SARY055 on Amazon!

 

->Click Here To View Seiko SARY055 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

Seiko SARY055 is without a doubt a great looking watch. It’s white sunburst dial is mesmerizing, so as its dark blue hands.

Not only that, it also has sapphire crystal making it a great value for money. With its day date window, this is a perfect watch for daily wear.

 

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I hope you guys like this Seiko SARY055 review. Share this article if you love it. If you got any questions, feel free to ask me.

Leave your comments down below and don’t forget to subscribe =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko SARG009 Review – The Japanese Explorer

Seiko SARG009 Review

The Seiko/Japanese Explorer – A Seiko SARG009 Review

Welcome to the Seiko SARG009 review. In this post, I’m going to cover this Seiko watch dearly called the Japanese Explorer due to its numeral markers and watch design.

Looking at the watch, it’s no wonder why many people will mistook it for being a Rolex Explorer or even a Tudor Ranger. It has that numeral and index marker combination so famously associated with the famed Rolex on top of a deep black dial.

With a not overbearing watch size, the Seiko SARG009 is very much keeping true to the Rolex. One thing for sure, Seiko does not copy Rolex.

Instead of blatantly copying famous watches, Seiko put some effort in order to make the design totally theirs. Looking closely, the Seiko and Rolex/Tudor are similar, but not alike.

Rolex Explorer I

The famous Rolex Explorer I

Some changes can be clearly be seen between them. For instance, the numeral markers on the Seiko SARG009 are at 2,4,6,8,10 and 12 (basically at each even number) while the Rolex Explorer numeral markers are at 3,6 and 9. This is just one of the main difference between these two similar good looking watches.

The end result is a handsome watch that looks as good as the Rolex Explorer, but at a fraction of the latter’s price.

I certainly won’t say the SARG009 can beat the Explorer in terms of fit, finish, movement, and material quality, but at the very least, this Seiko enables fans to own their “Explorer” without taking expensive mortgage =)

Without further ado, let’s go to the Seiko SARG009 review and have a closer look at the watch.

Seiko SARG009 Review

 

In A Hurry? >> CLICK HERE To Get Your Own Seiko SARB009

 

Seiko SARG009 Specification

Diameter: 40 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Lug To Lug: 47 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: Black dial
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Sword style hands with lume
Markers: Numeral markers with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 6R15 Automatic self-wind movement
Movement Features: Seiko In-house movement, 23 Jewels, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Hacking, Manual winding
Accuracy: +-25 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 50 hours

Water Resistance: 100 m / 330 feet
Other Features: Date display, Explorer dial, Exhibition caseback

Where To Buy: Check the watch on Amazon for the best price (Click link below)

 

A Simple Yet Elegant Explorer Style Dial

As mentioned above, the dial (or watch face) is styled after the famous Rolex Explorer. As a result, the Seiko SARG009 has that simple yet handsome dial on it.

The watch face is deep black in color, with minimal signatures on it. There’s also a date window at the right for some functionality.

 

Seiko SARG009 review

 

The markers are numerals markers (at each even numbers) and index markers (at each odd numbers except 3). They are over-sized markers which means there is no legibility problem at all.

These big white markers on top of that black dial really stands out and give this watch its signature look.

 

Seiko SARG099 Lume Shot

The lume on the Seiko SARG009 is very satisfying to look at, thanks to the over-sized markers that gives lots of lume real estate

 

Its hands are also made with the same size proportion. The hour and minute hands are sword style shaped with generous lume applied on it. Lumes are also applied on the markers too.

With Seiko’s LumiBrite lume technology, the lume of this watch is not just brilliant, but also unique because of the generous lume on top of the numeral markers.

 

Great Amount Of Details

Another thing that I love about the Seiko SARG009 dial is how much detail is put into it. The “SEIKO” signature at the middle top is not painted but seems to be a piece of stainless steel glued on it. It gives a very nice 3-Dimensionality to it.

Looking closely, you can also notice that at the middle of the watch the 3 hands circular attachment to the stem are stacked nicely on top of each other giving a very nice pyramid look.

 

Seiko SARG009 dial close up

Notice how the “SEIKO” signature is glued on top of the dial instead of painted like what other watches do. The center connection of the hands are designed to make a circular pyramid. These are some of the easter eggs that the SARG009 has =)

 

Overall, the Seiko SARG009 is a handsome and elegant watch. It’s heavily influenced by the Rolex Explorer, but it also has its own personality to it.

Very great as a casual and even a dress watch for sure. The usage of little details on the dial are so easy to miss, yet it shows just how much effort is put by the Japanese on it. Thumbs up to Seiko for this gorgeous watch!

 

Solidly Built 40 mm Stainless Steel Case

The case of the Seiko SARG009 is a nice 40 mm diameter size. Depending on your taste, it can mean that it’s the perfect size for your wrist, or too small for your liking.

It’s indeed a bit smaller than typical 44 mm watches nowadays but that’s the whole point of the design – to make a small and elegant watch.

 

Seiko SARG009 on hand review

The style can be easily changed just by using a different strap. Look how casual the Seiko SARG009 look on a leather Nato strap

 

In addition to that, the stainless steel case has a 12 mm profile which is not too slim nor too thick. Its lug to lug width is 47 mm, with 20 mm lug width that’s coupled with a brushed stainless steel bracelet.

The lugs are small and short. And with the thin bezel, these accentuates the deep black dial making it more prominent on wrist. There’s more dial real eastate on this watch, and with a great dial like this that’s a really good thing to have.

 

Seiko sarb033 lug curve

Instead of the modern and elaborate case design at the sides of the watch (like the Seiko SARB033 above has), the SARG009 opted for a more traditional case design

 

Like most Seikos, the case finishing is a combination of brush and polish. The top of of the bezel and lugs are brushed while the sides are polished.

The sides are normal with little curvature, devoid of any spectacular edge design like what the SARB033 has. While the SARB033 sides and case is more modern, I think this SARG009 is more refined, kinda like what vintage watches had.

 

Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal

A great element that this Seiko SARG009 has is the sapphire crystal on top of it. The slightly domed sapphire is the best choice in terms of scratch resistance and longevity.

Seiko typically put their Hardlex crystal (which is a hardened Mineral crystal) on their mid-level watches so the choice to put sapphire on this one is a great relief.

 

Read this introduction to watch crystal that I’ve written for more info about types of watch crystals and its pros and cons.

 

On the crown is an “S” engraving signalling Seiko, a normal detail on their mid-range watches. The crown is not screw-down type though. Even then, the watch has 100 m water resistant for peace of mind.

On the back of the watch is an exhibition caseback that’s showing the back of the 6R15 automatic movement inside it.

 

Seiko Cal. 6R15 Automatic Self Wind Movement

Running the watch inside the SARG009 is the ubiquitous Caliber 6R15 which is an in-house automatic self-winding movement by Seiko.

This is one of the unique trait of all Seiko watches – the movement engine are develop and manufactured by the company itself, something that not all major watch brands can brag about.

It surely gives a different feeling to wear a watch that you know is built almost completely by the company itself.

Going back to the movement, it has 23 jewels inside it and designed to beat 6 times in a second. Not a high beat movement for sure, but Seiko says this design will greatly reduce the stress on the movement by 25% as compared to the typical 8 beat movements that Swiss watches has.

 

Seiko SARG099 Open Caseback

There is an exhibition caseback at the back of the Seiko SARG009 for its owners to look at the automatic movement

 

The result is longer service life and more robust movement. Well, Seiko is well known to be making workhorse watches that don’t need to be serviced for years. With the 6R15, it surely looks like they are taking that route again.

Inside the 6R15 is also the proprietary SPRON510 mainspring which gives it a great 50 hours power reserve. It’s truly a step up against the ETA 2824-2, the other ubiquitous movement from the Swiss which only has a meager 38 hours.

Accuracy wise, it’s not the most accurate with published gain/lose time of 25 seconds per day. But most owners of the 6R15 movement reports higher real life degree of accuracy of up to +/-4 seconds per day.

 

Some Note About Accuracy Of Automatic Watches

One thing about non-Chronometer watches are that they are not designed to be accurate at all positions of the watch (such as dial up, dial down, vertical, left side up, right side up, etc.) and are usually set to one or two positions only. So the published accuracy rate is the maximum gain/lose time at its worst position.

One way to ensure an automatic watch keeps great time is by keeping notes of how it fare at different positions. There are lots of apps that can help with this (simply search “watch accuracy”).

Test the watch at different positions using the help of the app and you will know what’s the position that gives the best accuracy for the watch. Then, simply use that position a lot (i.e if the dial down is the best, then store your watch dial down etc.). This will make sure the watch is the most accurate most of the time.

Seiko SARG009 review on hand

 

Who Is The Seiko SARG009 For?

So who should get this watch? I think those that want a Rolex Explorer but are held back due to its price tag can get the Seiko SARG009 as a cheaper alternative. It has a great style and character of its own that won’t lose to the Rolex in my opinion.

Even for those that never know what the Explorer is can get this watch solely for its good looks and more classical size. It has a great fit and finish on it that’s just great value for money.

Additionally, it also has a date window and superb lume on those big markers/hands that’s just very functional to have – for example, a well charged Seiko’s lume will glow throughout one movie showing.

 

Who Should Not Get This?

In my opinion, those that prefer bulky watches might not find this Seiko SARG009 to be that attractive. It has a 40 mm diameter which is the smallest size nowadays for men’s watch. Those with very big hands might find the watch to be dwarfed on their wrist, which is just not a good thing to do.

As much as the watch is gorgeously designed, a fitting watch to the wrist size is a more important aspect just like how a designer brand suit won’t look as good if its fit on the body is not correct.

Read more about the things to consider when buying yourselves a wrist watch here.

 

Pros and Cons Of The SARG009

Pros:

  • Elegant and simplistic Explorer design watch with Seiko’s own touch
  • Great visibility due to over-sized markers and hands
  • Substantial lume performance
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal
  • Open caseback
  • Huge 50 hours power reserve

Cons:

  • Can be too small for some people’s wrist

 


Watch this video to see the Seiko SARG009 up close

 

Smitten by the SARG009? Where To Buy It?

Feels like the simple and elegant Explorer dial of this Seiko SARG009 is the one you’ve been looking for? Well, you can get it now from Amazon. Amazon usually has the cheapest price of Seiko JDM watches among all other online stores. Click the link below to check it the latest price on Amazon.

->Click Here To Check Seiko SARG009 On Amazon<-

 

Note: Amazon can be a bit confusing sometimes. They list the SARG009 as a Seiko 5 Sports, which I believe is not accurate. Seiko 5 Sports is the cheapest grade of automatic watches by the Japanese brand, as compared to the SARG line which is at mid-level grade.

Cheap, but still full of value. The SNK809 and SNZH53 are some of the models of Seiko 5 with great design and high value for money.

 

Final Thoughts

Seiko SARG009 is a great looking watch for sure. It’s simple, and yet handsome with that contrasting black dial and white hands/markers. It’s similarity to the famed Rolex Explorer is telling, but with touches by Seiko to fully claim the design their own.

With great craftsmanship and detailing both on the dial and the case. In addition, it has a full fledged automatic self-winding movement.

Without a doubt, this is a good value for money watch, just like how the other JDM watches (SARB017, SARB0033, SARB035, SARB065 etc) from Seiko has been.

 

 

 

I hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SARG009 review. Drop your comments and feedback of the watch down below will ya. I really love to hear what you guys think about the SARG009.

Share this post on social media if you enjoy it. That will really help me out =)

Till next time. 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.

 

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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 SSC017 Review – Seiko Solar Dive Watch

Seiko SSC017 Review

 

In today’s post, I’m going to do a Seiko SSC017 review – a watch that’s popular among Seiko fans because of its cheap price, high amount of features and quality.

It’s also one of Seiko solar dive watch, a great combination of Seiko’s own solar technology with its dive watch technology (such as the SKX007 fame).

So what do we get from the SSC017? In summary this is an ISO complied fully functioning dive watch, huge 200 m water resistance, accurate quartz chronograph movement, solar powered (very convenient as it take out the disadvantage of having to change a quartz watch battery), super bright LumiBrite lumes, 5 beats per second sweeping chronograph seconds hand.

And most important of all the cool sporty dive/chronograph watch look that it has!

Without any delay, let’s look at the Seiko SSC017 review, another great value for money Seiko solar dive watch.

 

Seiko SSC017 Solar Dive Watch Specification

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with dive extension

Dial: Black dial
Watch Crystal: Hardlex crystal
Hands: Arrow hands with lume
Markers: Circle markers with lume
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating dive bezel with minute markings (black and blue colors)
Subdials: Running second hand (left), 24-hour time (right), 60-min chronograph measurement (bottom)

Movement: Seiko Caliber V175 – Solar quartz movement
Movement Features: Solar powered, Chronograph function with 1/5 second increment, 6-month power reserve
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 6 months (for a maximum of 1-hour chronograph used everyday)

Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 feet
Other Features: Date feature, Chronograph, Dive bezel, LumiBrite luminous material on markers and hands, Solar powered quartz movement, Meeting ISO Standards for dive watches, Screw down crown and pushers, Energy depletion warning

Seiko SSC017 Manual: Link 

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Dive Watch + Chronograph Dial

The dial of the SSC017 is a cool looking watch face with black background color. Due to its chronograph function, the dial is a bit busy with 3 additional subdials: running second hand (left), 24-hour time (right) and 60-min chronograph measurement (bottom).

 

Seiko SSC017 Review

 

On top of that, it also has the typical dive watch dial: big bulky hands and circle index markers – both filled with Seiko’s famed LumiBrite lume.

With the amount the lume is applied, I’m quite sure the luminiscent will be able to hold on for quite some time. The 24-hour time inside the right subdial is very convenient which I really love.

 

Seiko SSC017 Lume

Lume shot of the Seiko SSC017

 

There is also a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock markers, but it’s too small in my opinion. Using a black background for the date window also make it kinda blend in with the black dial and thus making it harder to look at.

The main seconds hands stem are blue in color which is a very nice detail to complement the blue bezel. Blue hand is also used at the bottom subdial for minutes measurement.

At the edge of the dial are minute markings with 5 fine increments between them for the 1/5 second chronograph measurement.

Looking carefully, you are going to notice that the dial consists of two layers: the upper layer is the outer edge until the markers and a lower layer for most of the dial. Quite a nice touch there Seiko!

 

Seiko SSC017 Dial Dagram

Diagram on what’s what on the Seiko SSC017 dial

 

All in all, this is a very cool looking watch. Well, it sure is. It combines the two most cool looking watch designs – dive and chronograph – giving us a a great combination of both.

 

200m Water Resistant Case

The casing of this Seiko SSC017 is made of stainless steel with polished finishing.

Unlike the higher grade SARB lines, the case of this watch is straight, without any beautiful curves and cuttings. The sides feel down from the bezel straight to the bottom plate and is highly polished.

It has a diameter of 43 mm with 13 mm thickness. Not a small watch by any means but still very wearable.

It’s quite thick for a quartz watch but since it’s a chronograph with Solar and 200 m water resistance, I would say the thickness is just about right.

 

Seiko SSC017 On Hand

 

Lug width is 20 mm and it comes with a polished and brushed stainless steel bracelet out of the box. Seiko doesn’t skip out on the bracelet as it has a dive extension located near to the clasp.

This extension will lengthen the bracelet’s length and normally used by divers to wear the watch above their wet suit. Not bad eh for a $200 watch?

Another great thing about it is the 200 m water resistance rating which is assuring. Not to mention it also qualifies with ISO 6425 dive watch requirements making it a great choice for divers.

The crown and chronograph pushers are all screw down type, so it’s best not to use those underwater.

 

Seiko SSC017 Back

 

The diving bezel has a black and blue colors which is a very nice design. I’ve seen other models of this having different bezel color (green, red, etc) but somehow I like the blue one the most (which is why I’m reviewing the SSC017 lol).

It seems that I’m not along in this regard as Amazon shows the blue variation is the most popular among other Seiko solar dive watches.

Seiko Solar Quartz Chronograph Movement V175

Inside the Seiko SSC017 is the V175 movement, a Seiko Solar quartz chronograph. What I love the most about this movement is the solar bit – there is no need to change the battery like normal quartz.

And of course the quartz movement comes with a very high accuracy ( +- 15 seconds per month) compared to an automatic watch (read this article for more comparison between quartz and automatic).

And if you are wondering whether the watch has any power reserve, the answer is yes. But unlike normal 40 hours power reserve of an automatic, this watch has 6 months power reserve that’s absolutely terrific.

And to charge it back again is very simple. Just use the watch outdoor under bright sun and it will charge automatically. It can also be charged by exposing to normal light but it’s not as effective though.

 

Seiko SSC017 Power Recharge Guideline

Table showing the recharge time required for different light intensity (lamp, sunlight, cloudy). For full info, read the Seiko SSC017 Manual here.

 

If the power reserve goes very low, the seconds running hand (left subdial) will start to move at 2-seconds interval and the chronograph can’t be used.

It’s meant to conserve power and also let the users know about the low power reserve. By then, what we have to do is just to expose it to bright sunlight for just a few hours for a full charge. Voila! It couldn’t be easier!

 

1/5 Seconds Chronograph

We know that quartz movement has that tick-tock seconds hand action right? Well the Seiko SSC017 watch is also the same with the running seconds hand at the left subdial.

But the great thing is the chronograph seconds hand (the bigger blue hand) is a moving at a 1/5 second rate which means it’s actually sweeping with 5 beats per second.

Now that’s a great thing that I really like. Firstly, it will be more accurate than a normal 1-second increment chronograph.

Secondly, it’s just look much better! Granted the beat per second count is still fairly low but it’s still a sweeping seconds hand =)

 

Seiko SSC017 Side

 

Operating the chronograph is fairly easy. Top pusher is used to start/pause the stopwatch while the bottom pusher is for resetting it. The chronograph will record only up to 1-hour measurement.

It’s a bit low, frankly speaking, but most normal watch users will not have to measure time more than that. If you need to measure more than 1-hour due to work, hobby etc, then you need to find different chronographs for that.

One improvement that I think Seiko should implement is to make the chronograph seconds hand the running seconds hand too. By doing this, they can free up the left subdial for maybe 6-hour time measurement subdial.

Of course in doing so, they need to have a different pusher to change the mode from normal watch to chronograph watch.

And while at that, make the running seconds hand has a sweeping motion with 8 beats per second – which will definitely cut the power reserve.

But since it is solar powered, there is no problem with recharging. I’m definitely okay with just barely a month of power reserve, as long as I can have that beautiful sweeping seconds hand. Hope somebody from Seiko will read this =P

You can download this Seiko SSC017 Manual for further info about the V175 movement.

 


Watch the video above to see the Seiko SSC017 in action 

 

Who Should Get The Seiko SSC017?

So who should get this watch? Solar powered for a long lasting and easy recharging, chronograph for time measurement, accurate quartz movement, sweeping chronograph seconds hand, 200m water resistance.

And a cool looking dive and chronograph watch. If you tick yes for all of that then this is the perfect watch for you.

This Watch Is NOT For……

It’s not for those looking at normal watches. As mentioned earlier, the SSC017 is a combination of dive and chronograph watch.

But it does not have the full feature of both (due to size constraint etc.). For a start, it does not have a tachymeter scale normally found in chronos. So if you watn a full fledge chronograph, then this might not be what you’re looking for.

 

(Read my article here on the best chronograph watches as alternative to the SSC017.)

 

Pros And Cons

Pros:

1- Cool looking dive watch with black and blue colors
2- Bright LumiBrite lume on the markers and hands
3- 1/5 seconds increment chronograph gives a beautiful sweeping hand motion
4- Solar powered giving it high power reserve and easy recharging
5- Huge 200m water resistance rating
6- Accurate quartz movement

Cons:

1- Not a full fledged chronograph

 

Where To Buy Seiko SSC017? What’s Its Best Price?

So where to buy this cool Seiko solar dive watch? Currently Amazon has the best price for this Seiko SSC017. It’s listed on the website for way less than its MSRP of $425. Click the link below to check it out on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check The Best Prices Of Seiko SSC017 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

What’s left to say about this amazing watch? I, for one, really love its very cool look of dive and chronograph watch combination.

The solar powered movement is another huge plus to this watch as there is no need for any battery change or anything. Having a sturdy base with 200 m water resistance rating also makes it a very robust watch.

Overall, the Seiko SSC017 is a perfect for your casual and sports events. And I won’t even be surprised if anyone wears this to office.

I can imagine it looks great with suits too. At its current price range, this could just be the most value for money watch ever with its long list of features.

 

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Hope you guys love this Seiko SSC017 review. If you have any questions or comments regarding this Seiko solar dive watch, feel free to drop it down 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

Seiko SARX015 Review

Seiko SARX015 Review

Welcome to Seiko SARX015 review, in which I’ll go in depth about a very eye-catching dress/casual watch from the Japanese watchmaker. It has a unique vertical textured pattern dial, a design that is synonymous with Omega Aqua Terra watches. Let’s get on to the Seiko Presage SARX015 review and look at what does this remarkable watch has to offer.

 

Seiko Presage SARX015 Specification

Diameter: 39.5 mm
Thickness: 11.2 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet

Dial: Black greyish textured dial
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Bar hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 6R15 Automatic self-wind movement
Movement Features: Seiko In-house movement, 23 Jewels, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Hacking, Manual winding
Power Reserve: 50 hours

Water Resistance: 100 m / 10 bar / 330 feet
Other Features: Luminous hands and markers, Date display, Exhibition caseback, Magnetic resistance

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Seiko SARX015 Review

This Seiko SARX015 is part of the Presage line up, a very wide range of Seiko watches

 

Seiko Presage Collection

The SARX015 is part of Seiko Presage Collection but what is it all really about? The Presage is actually Seiko’s middle range watches and covers watches from $200 up to $2000, which is quite a large area to cover. The main difference with the SARB line is how they are more sporty looking while the Presage line have this more premium and dressy look to them.

While the lower to mid range of Presage line is comparable to the SARB, the upper line of the Presage features more refined design, material and higher grade movement – a stepping stone of sort before going to the Grand Seiko models. If the SARBs can be said as poor man’s Grand Seiko, higher level Presage watches are middle class Grand Seiko.

 

Beautiful Textured Dial

The first thing that most people will notice on the Seiko SARX015 is the beautiful textured dial. The dial is black grayish in color and has these numerous black lines running vertically throughout it creating a very impressive and distinct look.

For those familiar with Omega watches, they might notice that this dial design is actually similar to Omega’s Aqua Terra textured dial. But the Aqua Terra is more refined and beautiful with its sunburst effect on top of the textured dial. And not to mention it will cost at least $4000 =P

Omega Aqua Terra Skyfall Daniel Craig James Bond

Above is Omega Aqua Terra Co-Axial watch (the one worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall). An absolutely stunning watch

On top of the dial are index markers made from stainless steel. The markers are slightly protruding up giving it a nice unique look. I really like how the markers are positioned in between the dial and the outer dial. At the end of the markers are some lume pips applied. The hands are slim and not over-sized.

It’s also quite unique with the small void space at the starting of the hands – adding bits of detailing that I really love to has in a watch. Small amount of lume are also applied on the hands for some visibility in low light condition. But I bet those lume won’t really last as its not applied in big amounts like what we can always see in dive watches.

Seiko SARX015 Lume shot

Lume on the Seiko SARX015 – even Seiko’s famed lumibrite can’t make it glow bright if the application is not sufficient. But then, who needs lume on a dress/casual watch? 

The slim hands with the markers really accentuate the image of the watch to be more dressy and have that classy look. A date window is positioned at the 3 o’clock for some functionality. Overall, the highly detailed dial with vertical lines pattern is absolutely stunning and beautiful to look at. The amount of detailing put out into the dial, hands, markers have really make it such an unforgettably eye-catching watch.

 

Solid Stainless Steel Case With Sharp Edges

Another distinct design on the watch is the boxy edges of the watch is constructed. Seiko really has a penchant in making beautifully crafted cases. Just look at their SKX007, SARB033 and SARB017. Their watches generally have distinct case design unlike other watch makers that are more lazy in this aspect with their normally straight cut of the watch sides.

The case is another unique thing about the watch with its sharp cut edges and layering of polish & brush finishings

The SARX015 sides are vertical but it then slopes upward to connect to the top of the watch. The same goes with the lugs – the case slope downward from the watch bezel towards the lug end. These slope are cut so straight and sharp, giving the boxy and edgy look of the case. To sweeten it more, Seiko finished the case with a mix of brush and polish surfaces making the watch looks very sophisticated.

Seiko SARX015 On hand

It has the standard size of today’s men watch – there should be no problem to fit with most men’s wrist

The diameter is 39.5 mm, a nice size for most wrists. It has 11.2 mm thickness with 20 mm lug width coupled with a stainless steel bracelet. The bracelet is another unique bracelet as it has a boxy look to complement the case.

The whole surface of the bracelet is brushed, saved for some inner edge of the links that are highly polished. This exquisite detailed craftsmanship makes the bracelet a unique and beautiful sight.

 

Sapphire Crystal And Anti-Magnetic Case

At the top, the watch uses sapphire crystal as the watch glass. The use of sapphire is totally appropriate for a watch of this price in my opinion. I also like sapphire because of its high scratch resistance (read my article on different types of watch crystals here).

The bezel holding the crystal is highly polished and this make the watch more shiny and dressy. At the back is a hardlex crystal open caseback to allow people to peek the 6R15 automatic movement inside.

Another interesting thing about this watch is that its built with magnetic resistance in it. This is a very nice feature as its owner does not need to worry too much about accidentally magnetizing the watch.

As I’ve written here, watch can be magnetized by putting it close to strong electrical magnets such as speakers or fridges. The magnetized watch movement will behave erratically and is one of the common problem for highly inaccurate watches.

All in all, I really love the watch case of this Seiko SARX015. Some people might be turned off by the straight cut boxy look but I feel this is much more unique and different than most watches we see today.

For those that are afraid the watch face is very dressy, worry not as the edgy case also make the watch more sporty, and can be worn for casual events. Hats off to Seiko for tirelessly giving out beautifully crafted watches at a lesser price than what the Swiss might charge us.

 

Seiko Caliber 6R15 Automatic Self-Wind Movement

Inside this watch is the Caliber 6R15, Seiko’s own in-house automatic movement. Being an automatic, this means the watch can automatically recharge itself by simply wearing it. Wrist movements will rotate the rotor inside it and wind the mainspring. This mainspring is the source of the energy of the watch – no need to change your watch’s battery on this one folks. You can read my article on how automatic watch works (link is here) for in-depth explanation of how it works.

The movement has 23 Jewels and vibrates at 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second. This means the sweeping seconds hand is actually ticking 6 times in one second. Truthfully speaking, Swiss watches that typically has 8 beats per second will produce smoother and more fluid sweeping seconds hand.

But Seiko’s reasoning for the 6 beats is to reduce the strain on the movement to extend its life. Its just like a car, if you drive it more, it will accumulate more mileage and that will shorten its lifespan. Using 6 beats movement also enable it to have a higher power reserve (50 hours) than typical Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement with 38 hours.

Seiko SARX015 Review

 

One important thing I have to stress here is how this movement is very commonly used in many Seiko dive watch with up to 300 m water resistance. If it is robust and suitable to be used in the most extreme condition, its more than qualify to be used in any other situations normal people might use it for (work, dinner, casual events, sports, etc.).

 

Who Is This SARX015 For?

Without a doubt, those that loves a sharp and stylish watch should definitely get this. It has a very cool dial with those laser cut case. It’s really a stylish watch and perfect for any dress or casual situations.

Not to mention it has the same style with Omega’s Aqua Terra watches. The SARX015 can be a stepping stone before jumping the gun on the Omega =)

 

Who Should Not Get It?

For starters, I think those that want a watch with lume should stay away from this watch. The lume on it is weak and definitely not long lasting. I’d suggest for those that want a decent lume to look at diver’s watches (such as the Seiko Monster or Seiko Turtle SRP777).

 

Can’t Resist The Charm Of This SARX015? Get It Now From Amazon!

If you really love the pattern dial of this Seiko SARX015, get it from the comfort of your home by buying from Amazon. This is a JDM (Japan Domestic Market) model and it’s not sold outside of the country.

Luckily there are many online retailers that market it to Seiko fans all over the world. Amazon has almost always have the best price for the SARX015 compared to other online sellers.Click the link below to check out this watch on Amazon.

->Click Here To Check Out Seiko SARX015 On Amazon<-

 

Conclusion

Seiko SARX015 is definitely a good looking watch. It has the unique vertical line pattern dial and perfectly designed watch face. With a boxy cut case that is finished with combination of polishing and brushing, this is definitely an eye-catching watch.

Featuring the robust 6R15 automatic movement, there is no question on how great the performance is going to be. All in all, it’s an exquisite watch for the sub-$500 price tag, a true high value for money.

 

 

 

I hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SARX015 review. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Drop your comments/questions down below and don’t forget to subscribe =)

Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko SARB035 Review – White Version Of The Popular SARB033

Seiko SARB035 Review

The White Seiko SARB035 Review

In this article, I’m going to write about Seiko SARB035 review, which is the white version of the highly popular Seiko SARB033. The Seiko SARB series of watches is one of the watch world little known secret. High quality automatic wrist watch with exquisite fit and finish, gorgeously designed but comes at an unbelievably affordable middle price range.

And that’s just what the Seiko SARB035 is – a good looking dress watch, with quality case craftsmanship and the robust 6R15 automatic movement. And all of these in  an affordable price range, much cheaper than what the Swiss will charge for the same quality of watch =)

Without further ado, let’s look a the Seiko SARB035 review and you guys will surely understand why I give it such good words.

 

Seiko SARB035 Review

Seiko SARB035 Specification

Diameter: 38 mm
Thickness: 11.2 mm
Lug To Lug Width: 45 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Case: Polished and brushed stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel braclet

Dial: Creamy white dial with date display
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 6R15 automatic self-wind movement
Movement Specification: 23 Jewels, 21,600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Manual wind, Hacking feature
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Accuracy: +25-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 100 m or 330 feet
Other Features: Date display at 3 o’clock, Exhibition caseback, Non-screw down crown, Luminous hands and markers

Where To Buy: Amazon

 

Before we get into it, let me give some primer on what the “SARB” actually means. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip this part to go to the main review.

 

Or Just Check Out The Watch Here >> CLICK HERE To Check The Price of SARB035 on Amazon

Seiko SARB Series

The SARB, SARG, SARX series are highly unknown in the world of watchmaking, and for good reason. Seiko are a very  productive company with thousands of models. It’s a good thing but when some of their products are quite similar to each other, it’s quite hard to differentiate which is which.

They are very popular with their Seiko 5s models – very cheap automatic watches, cheap quartz models and their top of the line Grand Seiko (will set you more than $5000 a piece). But the middle range watches are largely absent from our mind and eyes though.

And this is what the SARB line is: the middle range watches from Seiko. Typically priced at $300 to $500, they are the highly regarded for their crisp and detail craftsmanship (on both dial and case). Not to mention it’s also very good looking and have the robust 6R15 in-house automatic movement by Seiko.

Some people even went so far as to say the SARB models can even beat Swiss watches double their price! Now that’s a huge good value for money. Just take a look at two other models that I’ve reviewed (SARB033 and SARB016 Cocktail Time) and I’m sure you will agree to this.

Another Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Watch

A big reason why they are not popular is because they are JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) models, meaning Seiko only produces these watches to be sold in Japan. Now that’s a big loss to us right?

I really don’t know what they are thinking. If they will just flood the whole market with SARBs helped by some aggressive marketing, Seiko would be far more successful worldwide not just for cheap watches, but also for automatics and collectors worthy watches. Just like the Quartz revolution, Swiss brands will be wiped out completely again (at least the lower priced ones…).

Fortunately, the advent of online shopping has made it easier to buy stuffs from other countries. Because of this, the SARB models are more accessible than before to every Seiko fans all over the world.

 

Seiko SARB035 Review

 

The SARB is not the only model line up by the Japanese brand that isn’t marketed worldwide. The SARG (such as the simplistic beauty SARG009),  SARX (e.g the matrix looking SARX015) and some Seiko Perspex diver’s watches are exclusively made for Japan market only.

Seiko SARB033 Is Simple But Has Highly Detailed And Elegant Dial

The Seiko SARB035 has a traditional and classic look in its dial. It’s very simple, clean and not cluttered – perfect for those that prefer a watch like this. But despite that, it has the elegance and sharpness to it, contributed by the clean cut stainless steel dauphine hands and index markers.

The dial is white with a subtle hint of yellow-cream colors. I really love how pretty the dial color is. It got a brightness and the creamy color is very pleasing to the eyes.

The hands are sharp, with lume applied on top of it. Same as the index markers, a bit of lume is applied at the end pointing towards the center of the watch. The use of lume makes the watch usable in dark, and a bit sporty with more casual look.

I also really like how the index markers got some little ridge at the center. This detail adds some texture to an otherwise boring markers. Minute markings are placed at the edge of the dial for accurate time reading while date display is positioned at 3 o’clock.

 

Seiko SARB035 Review - Lume

Lume shot of the Seiko SARB035. Nothing to shout about the lume but it give a bit of practicality in low light situations

 

What I love the most about the SARB035 (and also SARB033) is the sapphire crystal. I’ve talked in length about various watch crystals and how sapphire is the best to keep off any scratch from your watch glass.

So it’s very nice to see Seiko moves away from their Hardlex crystal (which is still a mineral crystal that can be scratched easily) to the more expensive but undoubtedly superior sapphire crystal.

Overall, the dial is very gorgeous to look at, thanks to the beautiful application of cream white color on top of it as well as the laser cut hands and markers. It’s very simple and elegant to look at. Very dressy but also a bit casual look due to some lume on it.

Baby Grand Seiko?

Again, like the Seiko SARB033, the SARB035 watch also borrows inspiration from the Grand Seiko which is a very beautiful watches. Don’t believe me? Take a look below:

 

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 White- similar to SARB035

Shown above is the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat, a very beautiful watch by Seiko. It’s less sporty and more dressy to me though – there is no lume and the lugs are straighter than the Seiko SARB035. Nevertheless, the similarity in the dial design is very prominent until it is being dubbed “baby Grand Seiko”.

 

Beautifully Crafted Stainless Steel Case

The 38 mm diameter stainless steel case of the Seiko SARB035 is beautifully crafted, and very sturdy to hold too. It has an 11.2 mm thickness with lug to lug width of 45 mm. The lug width is a 20 mm, and fits a stainless steel bracelet.

The big and wide lugs are curving downwards, as if to hold the wrist in place. This gives it a very unique look and sleek looking. It’s also very comfortable to wear too!

A very astonishing fact about the watch case is how the detailing and finish is done. Seiko makes the top of the lug brushed, while the top of bezel and sides of the watch highly polished. The multi-layered brushing and polishing finish of the case is very pretty, not to mention how detail the craftsmanship of these Japanese are.

Adds on with a nicely done Seiko “S” engraving on top of the non-screw down crown, this is a watch with very high level of detailing done by the watchmaker.

 

Seiko SARB035 Review Lug

Just like the SARB033, the lug of this Seiko SARB035 also is curving down to hug our wrists for more comfort and greater fit

 

The big lug makes the watch a bit more sporty though. It’s not a totally sleek dress watch, but a hybrid which is very good as people can use this watch for almost all function and events.

To make it sweeter, the watch also comes with 100 m water resistance and an open caseback to view the automatic movement from the back.

To sum it up, the watch case is a product of great craftsmanship with beautiful and detailed finishing. For this price, it’s totally unbeaten.

 

Seiko SARB035 Review open caseback

Exhibition caseback of the Seiko SARB035 features an un-decorated Seiko Caliber 6R15 automatic self wind movement

Seiko Cal. 6R15 Automatic Self Wind Movement

The automatic movement inside this watch is Seiko’s own in-house movement, the 6R15 caliber. It’s the middle range automatic movement by the company and is typically used in their SARB line. A great thing about this movement is that it is also used in Seiko’s mid-range diver watches.

That shows how robust and tough the movement is. If it’s good enough to be fitted into a watch that’s designed to be used in rough condition, I’m definitely sure it will be up to task with the more mild environment that future SARB035 will use it for.

The movement has 23 jewels with 21,600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second. It’s a slower beat movement than most Swiss watches that usually comes with 8 beats per second. This results in it having a less smooth sweeping second hand compared to the Swiss.

But on the other hand, this lower beat movement gives it a higher power reserve (50 hours – compared to 38-40 hours of Swiss ETAs) and a longer service period.

It also comes with manual winding and hacking features, which are very helpful (and some sort of compulsory for any movement in this modern age).

Side by side comparison of the SARB035 (top) and SARB033 (bottom)

Seiko SARB035 Vs SARB033

So which one is better – the SARB035 or the SARB033? The match up between these two “twins” cannot be avoided. This is a very common questions among watch lovers and the comparison that I have written below is my personal view of both watches. If you guys  don’t agree with it, feel free to let me know in the comments section below =)

Both of the watches are basically the same. The internal working mechanism and case construction is totally alike. But it’s apparent the only difference between these two watches are the colors of the dial.

The SARB033 is the one with black dial while SARB035 has a white creamy dial. All others (case, dimensions, hands, markers, movement) are basically the same.

In my opinion, the white dial of SARB035 is dressier while the SARB033 with black dial is more versatile and can be used in more casual places. Not to mention how sharp the SARB033 with black dial looks. It’s just truly amazing and so elegant.

This by no means the SARB035 is inferior though. It is the dressier watch of the two and I really like how the white creamy dial and the stainless steel markers/hands just sort of blend in with the dial. It reminds me of another great dress watch which is the Tissot Visodate.

To sum it up, SARB035 is dressier and will do much better in black tie events and such. But for versatility of use and style, it is the win of SARB033 and its sharp black dial.

What do you guys think about these two watches? Do you agree with me? Let me know what you guys think by commenting below.

 


Above is an excellent side by side video comparison of both watches.

 

 Seiko SARB033 (Black Dial) Seiko SARB035 (White Dial)

Thinking Of Getting the Seiko SARB035? Buy It From Amazon!

As a JDM watch, it is hard to get a hold of it unless you are buying from internet. But being a JDM watch also has its perks – there is a high chance that you are the only one wearing it in your town. The only way to get your hand on a JDM watch is by going to Japan to buy it yourselves, or buy from a reputable online store.

Most online retailers has Seiko SARB035 in it, but I’ve found Amazon to usually give the best price. Click the link below to see the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check The Best Prices Of Seiko SARB035 At Amazon<-

SARY055 – A Cheaper Version Of SARB035

If you like the SARB but feel it’s a bit expensive, you might want to check out the Seiko SARY055 (I’ve written a review of the watch HERE) for less than $300. It also is a dress watch, in fact it’s a truer dress watch than the SARB since it does not have any lume on it.

The dial is also white in color, with sunburst metallic effect on it. Not only that, it also has day date window which gives a great functionality as compared to the SARB035 that only has date window.

 

Seiko SARY055 watch face

Seiko SARY055 – the cheaper version of SARB035

 SEIKO SARY055

The SARY055 and SARB035 also differ in watch size. While the SARB is a more classic size, the SARY055 is more modern at 41 mm which also makes it more casual watch.

So why the difference in price between these two watches?

The answer lies in the 4R36 movement inside the SARY. While it’s a good movement, it’s still not up to the 6R15 in the SARB. It also only 41 hours power reserve compared to the 50 hours in the 6R15.

And of course, the finishing on the SARY055 is not as good as on the SARB035.

 >> For More Info, read my full review of the Seiko SARY055 HERE

 

Conclusion

An absolutely gorgeous watch. That’s my personal view of the Seiko SARB035 and I’m sure many will definitely agree with me. What more can be said of the captivating creamy white, simply stunning dial design. It’s really great to look at, just like the Grand Seiko look that it’s based on.

The case is meticulously fabricated with inter-layering of brushed and polished finished. The dedication to detail for this watch is really outstanding, and put forth again the high quality craftsmanship of the Japanese.

 

 

I hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SARB035 review. Feel free to drop your comments on this watch and subscribe to my site by entering your email in subscribe section at the right sidebar.

Drop your comments at the box below and don’t forget to subscribe =)

I’m looking forward to hear from you guys. Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic Military Watch Review

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

 

In today’s post, I’m going to write about Seiko 5 SNK809 review, a very affordable automatic watch with military styling which comes at a very affordable price.

It does not have the trendiest look to be honest, but it’s very popular due to its simple style, versatility, low price and utilitarian look & function.

Let’s get on with the Seiko SNK809 review and have a closer look at why is it one of the best affordable automatic watch around.

Update: I’ve recently featured the SNK809 in my list of the top 10 automatic watches under $200. You guys can check the article HERE.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Specification

Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 18 mm
Lug to Lug: 42 mm
Case: Gray matte stainless steel case
Strap: Black nylon strap with pin buckle

Dial: Black military style dial
Dial Window: Hardlex crystal
Markers: Numeral markers with lume pips
Hands: Arrow hands with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 7S26 Automatic Self-Wind Movement
Movement Features: 21 Jewels, non-hacking and non-hand winding, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 30 m or 99 feet
Other Features: Date and day display, Date can either be in English or Spanish, Exhibition caseback, Lume on hands and markers

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Best For: Anyone looking for a no frills watch for casual wear or outdoor/sports activities. Also perfect for those first getting into the automatic watch world due to its very low price.

Seiko’s Version Of Military/Aviator Watch

This Seiko SNK809 watch is Seiko’s version of military and aviator watch. These watches are actually the kind of watches that was mass produced during the last wars to be used during battle.

Soldiers on the front line needed a watch that is very legible with big markers and have some lume on it for low light visibility.

The watch also must be lightweight to not impede movement of the soldiers, preferably automatic movement so that it won’t require any battery change and of course very tough and able to withstand harsh usage.

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363

Hamilton Khaki King Officer military watch. A very similar looking watch – but costs at least 4 times the Seiko SNK809

 

I’ve reviewed some of these military watches such as the Hamilton Khaki King and Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage but it was the Hamilton Khaki King Officer that really is similar to this watch (except that it is much more expensive, about $200 on Amazon). Notice how they both look similar with the simple dial concept.

The SNK809 also has the same military/utilitarian look that prioritizes function over form. It’s not the best good looking watch, but it is something that you used when you want to get things done.

The dial of this watch is black, with numeral markers (60-minutes as main markers with 12-hours as inner markers). It’s easy to read with the contrasting black and white markers.

I don’t really like the usage of 60-minutes as the main marker because it’s not a normal watch design. It’s very strange but I guess those pilots and armymen have their own reasons for that.

I would prefer a 12-hour markers as the main marker with the minutes placed at the inner dial instead. I can say this is the only thing that I don’t like with the simple and fully functional dial.

There are day and date displays which are very useful in my opinion. These function is very handy especially if you are in a working environment and you need to attend meetings, write reports, etc.

To have day and date function is hugely useful and I couldn’t recommend enough that all working guys should at least wear a watch with this function to your office.

There are lume pips above each markers and lume applied on the arrow hands which I don’t think will lasts long (it’s a really cheap automatic watch after all!). But it’s always good to have it instead of nothing at all right?

The dial window is made of Hardlex crystal, Seiko’s proprietary crystal which supposed to have high resistance to impact.

I thought they will use the cheap mineral crystal but no, they use their Hardlex (which is much better btw) instead.

To sum it up, the dial is not the best looking watch out there, and it’s never intended to be good looking.

It’s very functional with big markings (though I certainly prefer 12-hour markings as the main one), day and date windows – perfect for casual, outdoor and sporting activities.

Wearing it to work? Dress it up by strapping a leather band and you are good to go.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

Gray Matte Stainless Steel Case

The Seiko 5 SNK809 is encased in a stainless steel case with a gray matte finish that really suits well with its military/field theme.

I definitely prefer the surface to be brushed as it will give the natural stainless steel look that feels more refined, but this matte finish looks fine too.

It’s very small – at 37 mm diameter, 11 mm thick and 42 mm lug to lug – these are the kind of watch dimensions from decades ago and I have to tell you now that not all wrist can fit with this watch.

For those with big wrists, your destiny lies with other 40+ mm diameter watches instead. It also have a solid construction, which is totally needed for a military watch and perfect for extreme activities.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review
Seiko SNK809 on a Nato strap. It really wears small though it fits well with the wrist above. You might want to consider wearing this watch if you have a larger wrist than this. Featured above is the watch on Nato strap – it will also look gorgeous on leather band too =)

 

The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock, a different design than normal crowns. Seiko like to do this for many of their diver watches and truthfully, I believe crowns for watches is better positioned here.

I don’t like the normal right position (3 o’clock) for a crown as it will disturb our hands when we are flexing it upwards.

The crown will just obstruct the hand’s movement and trust me, it won’t feel nice. The crown at 4’clock like this watch here is the best in terms of comfort though not the best looking design because it’s not symmetry.

One “flaw” that I have to say about the crown is it’s too small. It is much smaller than normal crown and I’m sure most guys will have trouble using it.

The watch comes with an 18 mm black nylon strap with pin buckle. One nice thing about the strap is the Seiko engraving at the buckle – it’s very nice to have this small detail for a $60 watch.

Another great thing about this very affordably priced watch is the presence of open caseback. Now how is that for a watch at this price eh?

You get a fully functioning caseback that exhibits the Seiko Caliber 7S26 movement inside. I’ll tell it right off the bat – the movement isn’t as pretty as what you will see in Swiss watches but then to have an open caseback for a watch at this price point is just mind blowing.

The steels at the back around the open caseback is also polished, so you will see some nice transition between the top and sides that have matte finish with the polished stainless steel back. Totally a nice touch by Seiko there.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

 

It also comes with an unimpressive 30 m water resistance. I would have liked it to be at least 100 m rated so we can use it to swim.

That way this will be the perfect watch to use – above ground and under water. But then Seiko must have their own restrictions in terms of costs while designing this watch.

A higher rated water resistance will mean more seals need to be applied with special design of the case. Just remember to take off the watch whenever you are going to swim, shower or even washing your hands.

 


Watch the unboxing review video above for a closer look at the Seiko SNK809

Robust Seiko Caliber 7S26 Automatic Self-Wind Movement

Inside the Seiko SNK809 is the highly robust Cal. 7S26, an inhouse automatic self-wind movement by Seiko. Thing is, this is the same movement inside many Seiko’s popular diver watch (SKX007 and SKX009) which are ISO 6425 certified diver watch.

Now that should be something right? If it’s good enough to be used for a diver watch that can sustain that harsh use and high water pressure up to 200 m, this definitely means it is a very robust movement.

The movement has 21 jewels, with 6 beats per second (meaning you can see the sweeping seconds hand is actually ticking 6 times in a second).

It’s inferior to Swiss movement that typically has 8 beats per second (and much smoother sweeping seconds hand) but the lower beat rate means lower mileage of the watch over time, and longer movement life without needing of service.

And that’s a true fact. Many SKX007 that was bought 20 years ago are still running fine until today.

Apart from that, it also has 40 hours power reserve and a modes +-15 seconds per day accuracy. A huge disadvantage with the movement is it’s non-hacking and non-hand winding.

The non-hacking part is not so important. It’s just to stop the seconds hand when setting the time for accuracy. But the non-hand winding means you cannot hand wind the watch by rotating the crown.

The only way to recharge the watch (or mainspring to be accurate) is by wearing it. As mentioned in my post about why to wind automatic watch, I prefer to keep my watches running all the time for convenience purposes.

But don’t let my opinion sway yours on this watch though. It’s still a great movement with long history of usage in the harshest environment and should serves you well.

 

Where To Buy Seiko 5 SNK809?

This watch is currently retails at an MSRP of $150 but you can get it way cheaper at Amazon. Click the link below to check out the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To View The Best Prices For Seiko 5 SNK809 On Amazon<-

Final Verdict

Seiko SNK809 is definitely a worthy military/field watch to have a look at. It’s very cheap, with all the right designs. It’s also quite small, so for those with large wrist it might not wear well on you.

Simple dial design for easy time reading with impact resistance hardlex crystal is a bonus. Not to mention the robust and reliable 7S26 automatic movement – the same movement in many Seiko’s affordable diver.

It’s best for those looking for a tool watch and don’t mind the plain and simple look. It’s also a very good watch for those starting into the automatic watch world due to it’s very cheap price.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SNK809 review. If you have any questions drop it below. If you own this watch, please share your experiences with it. Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Cheers!

Isaac