Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige Flieger/Pilot’s

Review Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige

snk803_dial

For years I have wanted this watch.  It was almost my first automatic watch, it lost out to my green military style 5.  It is a Flieger or pilot style watch.  It is a wonderfully clean design and has been made by many manufactures for many years.  This Seiko example, the SNK803 has been in production for many years and uses the (now classic) 7S26 movement.  My newest watch in my collection is about the most factory fresh models I haver ever worn.  It was made in September of 2013, and now on my wrist as of December 2013, so less than three months since it left the factory in Malaysia.  Interestingly, it is a 7S26C, not sure what has been updated, but the movement seems well finished and decorated for an entry level movement.  But, let’s start with the outside. The dial for this watch is beige/cream colored with stark, black printing.  The printing is Seiko perfect, with no flaws visible, even under a loupe.  The Seiko and 5 shield are applied.  What makes a pilot’s style watch unique is the emphasis on minutes instead of hours, instead of hours, like standard military watches.  The hour makers are contained inside of a clean circle.  The minutes are printed at 5 minute intervals, and have tick marks for every minute.  There is no chapter ring.  The 0 minute mark is a triangle.   As you can see, the hands are Flieger extended diamonds and the second hand has a red tip and a large, luminous tail.  The hands are filled with luminous material and show up well in all lighting conditions.  There is the classic Seiko 5 day and date window.  My only complaint is that, while there are luminous pips on every hour, there is no indication of what ‘up’ is on the watch in total darkness.  A small complaint, and not unique, as several of my watches have the same issue.  The bezel holding the flat, hardlex crystal matches the body of the watch well.  The crystal has very little glare and is typical of a watch in this price point.  Overall, a very clean, classic design.

snk803_crown_side

The case of the watch is bead blasted stainless steel.  The small, unsigned crown is at the 3:48 position, which is typical of most Seiko 5’s.  Since the movement can not be hand wound or hacked, the small crown is not a big deal and is slightly recessed.  The offset crown and the little projection make is very comfortable to wear and it never digs into your wrist.  The lugs are 18mm and slightly turned down.  The case is only about 37.5mm in diameter, so modern small for men, but good for those of us with smaller wrists, including women.  My wife tried this watch on, and it looked perfectly acceptable.  It is only 10.5 mm high, so it hides well under long sleeves.  The watch wears well is is fairly light on the nylon strap.

snk803_back_movement

The case back is a hardlex, display type showing the brand new 7S26C.  It seems a little better finished than the A and B version, and apparently, there are some other improvements as well.  It is a very tried and true design, a direct descent of the Seiko 5’s of 50 years ago!  It lacks hacking or hand-winding, but, if you are a classic 5 fan, they are part of the charm.  The watch winds quickly via your body motions.  This particular movement seems well adjusted from the factory, I have worn it more than a week and have not had to adjust the time yet, so it must be less than 5 seconds a day of variation.  As with every Seiko, it is all stainless steel.  No base metal here.

snk803_buckle

Last, but not least is the nylon, two ring, strap.  It is very heavy nylon with two steel keepers.  One is fixed, the other floats.  The buckle is signed Seiko and it, and the keepers are all bead blasted to match the finish of the watch.  It is comfortable to wear and should last for many years.

Seiko_Box_Closed

Seiko_Box_Open

Probably the most remarkable thing about this watch is the price, less than $60, shipped, from Amazon.  At this price point, it is just a remarkable deal to get a Seiko Automatic for about the same price (actually, less than) a Timex or Fossil, or other fashion watch brands.  Seiko, unlike many others, is a true watch manufacture, with all in house movements and more than 100 years of watch making experience.   As you can see above, even the presentation box is nice quality.  No cheap, plastic box, but a good quality box and pillow. Try getting that with a $60 Timex.

This watch happens to be a replacement for my departed Timex field watch.  After its fourth battery change, the quartz module decided to strip some gears and not work any more.    It will be interesting to see what this watch looks like after 15 years of service, with no battery changes to wreck the seals and warp the movement.

Overall, this watch is a fantastic deal, looks great, and is a must buy for pilot watch lovers.  It comes in black, blue, and green as well, so if you want more of an authentic Flieger, Type B look, the black one matches up pretty well.  I am very pleasantly surprised by the accuracy so far, and I have already put it though its paces.  Shovelling snow with it on, going sledding, and doing ordinary daily activities without missing a beat.  If you need a practical watch that will far outlast the Chinese made specials, look no further than a Seiko 5.

 

Features:
Case: 37.5mm diameter, stainless steel, 30m water resistance.
Back: Hardlex exhibition back, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Automatic, 7S26C, Seiko in-house design. No handwind or hacking.
Complications: Day of week, Date
Other: Luminous hands and markers, Lumibrite.

 

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Seiko 5 Sports SRP273K1

seiko_dial1

This is a very unique watch, insomuch that it was paid for by you, the readers of watches.cyberphreak.com! The small ads you see on the side and bottom of the page generated enough cash to fund the purchase of this watch, so, a big Thank You, to all you kind followers out there. Now, off to the watch.

This is a Seiko 5 Sports, a SRP273K1. This watch is my second with Seiko’s new line-up of entry level automatic movements, the 24 jewel 4R36A. While the 7S26/36 is a solid movement, it lacks hand winding and hacking, both of which the 4R35/36 provide. The 4R35 has date only, the 36 has day and date. While what is on the inside is important, it is what is on the outside that you notice.

The dial of this watch is deep black, with lime green markings. The contrast is very deep and makes the watch very easy to read. The hour markers are Arabic numerals, with the 12 and 6 O’clock markers larger for easier time telling. All hour markers have a luminous dot between the marker and the chapter ring. The chapter ring has a lot going on. There is a 24 hours scale, in addition to second markings, and finally, 1/6 of a second markings to match with the long seconds hand. The dial is quite verbose, with Seiko, the 5 shield, Sports, Automatic 24 jewels, 100M and a box around the day and date window.

The hour and minute hands are large, Skelettform, filled with luminous material. They are, thankfully, appropriately long. The hour hand extends to the hour makers, and the minute hand extends all the way to the chapter ring. The seconds hand is a simple stick with a large, circular, luminous tail. It also extends to the chapter ring. That is one thing I really like about Seiko watches, nearly all of them have correctly proportioned hands to the dial. For the day and date, the day of the week dial is black, and the day dial is white. This is a nice touch, since there is no hour maker at the 3 O’clock position.  The hands are well filled with LumiBrite and glow for several hours, even exposed to just indoor lighting.  Not as well as my Diver’s, but good enough for most people.

seiko_crown

The case is a pleasingly modern 39.5mm in diameter, stainless steel.  It actually wears larger than 39.5mm.  The top and bezel are brushed, the sides are polished.  The crystal is Hardlex and flat.  Glare is rarely a problem with Seiko’s Hardlex, even with flat crystals.  The bezel makes the watch wear bigger than it actually is.  The crown is unsigned, but very large and easy to wind.  This is important since you can hand wind this watch.  I think my largest complaint with my Omega is that is is pretty hard to wind, especially compared to this Seiko, which cost a twentieth the price.  The lugs are 20mm and are drilled through, to make for easy band changes.

seiko_back_movement

The case back is an exhibition, Hardlex and polished stainless steel.  It shows the latest entry level automatic movement from Seiko, the 4R36.  It is simply, but well finished with laser sharp markings.  It appears to have a bit more polished parts and finer finishing on the bridges, as compared to the 7S26/36.  The 24 jewel movement keeps good time with a 40+ hour power reserve when fully wound.  Hacking and hand winding are standard now.  This particular watch is running a little fast, about 20 seconds a day, but I am sure it will settle down after a few more months.  Seiko tends to set the timing a little fast from the factory since they know when the movement breaks in, it will slow down a little.  In this view, you can see the large, deeply knurled crown as well.

seiko_buckle

 

Finally, we have the 3 ring, Zulu, nylon band.  The rings and buckle are stainless steel and highly polished.  The buckle is signed Seiko.  The green stripe perfectly matches the green markers and hands of the watch.  The black matches the dial.  It is also the thickest nylon band I have ever seen.  Seriously, it makes makes every after market band I have seen look like a joke.  It is 20mm the whole length.

This watch is a great sports watch, true to its name.  It is easy to read in all lighting conditions, and is a nice, modern size without being overwhelming for smaller wrists.  The watch feels like a quality piece, with the small touches like the band being perfectly matched to the dial of the watch.  The movement upgrade from the previous generation of Seiko 5 Sports is very welcome, and did not significantly increase the price of the watches with this new line of movements.  It has received a lot of wrist time over the past few months and pairs well with casual clothing.  A dress watch, this is not.  See this review for it’s dressier brother.  I am very happy wearing this watch and recommend it to anyone looking for a field/military style watch.

Features:
Case: 39.5 mm diameter, 13mm thick, Stainless Steel.  100M water resistance.
Back:  Hardlex display, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: SEIKO 4R36, 24 jewel automatic,  hand winds and hacks.
Complications: Day, Date
Other:  On Seiko Zulu nylon heavy duty strap.

 

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Timex Blue Vintage

Review Timex Blue Dial Vintage

Blue_Dial_1

As part of my expanding vintage watch collection, I have added a Timex hand-wound watch watch.  Not sure what year, but it looks like it is from the early to mid 1970’s.  If I ever open up the watch, I will update this review.   It has a very clean look, with a simple case, identical to my Mickey Mouse watch, which is also from the early 70’s.  . The dial is a deep blue with a hint on purple.  There are block Arabic numerals at the hours, with no chapter ring or minute markers.  The dial is simply marked TIMEX, nothing more.  The hands are stark white sticks and are very easy to see against the dial. The case is 34mm diameter without and 36mm diameter with the crown, and wears quite small.  It is chrome plated over base metal.  This watch would be considered a ‘mid-size’ now.   The lugs are 18mm. Movement wise, it is an ordinary 22 movement hand wound only, no date. The watch starts instantly when wound and has good power reserve and accuracy.

Blue_Crown

The crown is unsigned, which is to be expected.  This watch was probably worn very little, there is no brassing on the chrome plate for the crown, showing it was rarely wound.  The crystal is domed acrylic and was in perfect shape when I purchased the watch, another indicator that the watch was worn little.  Blue_Dial_Back

The case back is a simple, snap on type, stainless steel.  Simply marked TIMEX, CRM PL BASE METAL BEZEL, STAINLESS STEEL BACK.  The watch came on its original, plastic band, very clean.  If this watch was worn more that 50 times before me, I would be shocked.  I put is on a nylon Zulu band, which I think compliments the dial well and makes it wear a little bigger.  The original plastic band was unwearable, at least to me.

I am very happy with this watch, super simple and easy to read.  My only complaints would be no date and no luminous material on the dial.

Features:

Features:

Case: 34mm, base metal with chrome plating.

Back: Stainless, marked TIMEX, CRM PL BASE METAL BEZEL, STAINLESS STEEL BACK.

Crystal: Acrylic with a light dome.

Movement: Hand winding only, Timex no-jewel pin lever escapement. Caliber 22, 18000 BPH.

Complications: None.

Other: Currently on Zulu nylon band.

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Gallery Rado Homage

Gallery Rado Sinatra Homage

Gallery_Dial

I received this watch as a gift from my father in law. It is a Gallery all ceramic watch, which is an homage to a Rado Sinatra watch.  The entire watch is ceramic with a sapphire crystal.  The dial of the watch is a simple black, with gold rectangular hour markers.  The hour and minute hands are gold plated tapered stick design, and the seconds hand is a simple stick as well.  The rectangular case limits the length of the hands.  The case is 32.5 x 31mm.  There is a small date window at 6 o’clock, with a white date wheel.  The crystal is thick, lightly domed sapphire and flows into the integrated bracelet of the watch.  The dial is framed with a black bezel, there is no minute chapter ring.  There is no luminous material.  The dial is simply marked Gallery and Ceramic.  Overall the dial is clean and the time is easy to read in most lighting.
Gallery_Case_Back

The case is all ceramic, including the case back.  The back in held in place with screws, something which is unique in my collection.  The back is laser marked, Gallery All Ceramic, Sapphire Crystal, 3ATM water resistant, Japan Movt.  This homage to Rado does them proud, since they used similar, scratch proof materials.  Rado has always specialized in scratch proof watches, including using tungsten and all ceramic watches. The Japan movement indicates this watch has a Seiko or Miyota quartz movement, I will take a look when I do the first battery change and update the review then. So far, the accuracy is very good, gains about 10 seconds a month.

Gallery_Crown
The crown is interesting, ceramic hexagonal shape and is easy to use. The date is quick-set when pulled to the first  position.  Unsigned, but I would not even know how you could sign this crown.
Gallery_Deployant

The deployant is two button with no safety lock.  It hides very well and is signed with Gallery.  The entire bracelet exterior is ceramic.  The inside has stainless steel links that hold it together.  It was surprisingly easy to re-size and is pretty comfortable.  A point to mention is that is has not shown any desk wear, which is typical of steel and gold watches.

This is an interesting watch.  I only have one other rectangular watch, so it is a good addition to the collection.  The watch has a very good heft and feels well made.  It is an homage to a classic watch, so you can’t go wrong.  It looks like an expensive bracelet when worn and still looks like brand new.

Features:
Case: 32.5x31mm,  all ceramic.
Back: ceramic, held by 4 screws
Crystal: Sapphire, domed.
Movement: Japan Made battery quartz, maker unknown.
Complications: Date
Other: All ceramic construction.

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Bulova Dress

Bulova Dress Watch

Bulova Dial

I have had this piece for quite some time now, but I have not had a chance to actually review it.  It is a Bulova dress watch from 1960.  It has an M0 date code.  The dial is wonderfully simple, silver, with alternating finishing at the cardinal points.  The hour markers are gold plated applied sticks, except for 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, which are diamond shaped.   There is no luminescent material anywhere.  The dial is only marked Bulova and Swiss.  Clean and simple.  The hands are gold plated lancette, hour and minute only.  I am not sure if this watch ever had a second hand, but it is long gone in the last 53 years.  There is no chapter ring, but the bezel has 60 flutes for the minute markers.  The crystal is domed acrylic and required very little polishing.  The lack of lume is probably a saving grace of this watch, since there was none to degrade, the dial is in amazing condition.  It is hard to believe this watch was made when Eisenhower was president!

Bulova Crown

The case is base metal(?) with a very healthy gold plating.  Being a hand wound watch, it is pretty darn thin.  0.205 inches (5.25mm), without the crystal, 0.355 inches (9mm) thick, with the crystal.  The lugs are 19mm, so pretty easy to find a replacement band.  The crown is unsigned and quite brassed over, really no gold left on there.  To be expected with a hand wound watch half a century old.  The watch is currently on ostrich pattern leather and suits the watch well.

Bulova BackBulova_Movement

The case back is screw down and stainless steel.  Simply marked on the outside with Bulova Swiss.  The movement is a work of art, an 11 AFC, 17 jewels, made in Switzerland.  The plates gleam like they are brand new and the gear train appears to be possibly gold plated, or brass with a hell of a shine.  The balance has micro adjustment screws and shock protected jewels.  It is a shame this watch does not have a seconds hand, it appears to be very accurate, but is hard to tell without the running seconds hand.  There is no markings of the last service date.  The movement is held in place with a metal spacer ring.  This was a very nice quality watch when it was produced.

All in all, a very nice dress watch to wear.  It keeps excellent time, is fairly thin, and easy to read.  It has no complications, but, it is the lack of gimmicks makes this watch a real classic.  Sometimes I wonder about what history this watch has seen.  Is the original owner still alive?  (Probably not.)  Was someone wearing it when man landed on the moon?  Was it worn to their or or a daughter’s wedding?  Who is to know?  I know that I will take care of this little machine until I can pass it down to my own son.

Features:
Case: 34mm,  gold plates base or stainless.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down
Crystal: Acrylic, domed.
Movement: Bulova 11 AFC, 18,000 BPH movement, 17 jewels Swiss Made, shock protected, hand wind.
Complications: None
Other: On Ostrich Pattern leather band,  19 mm lugs.

 

 

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Pulsar PT3035

Been slacking on the watch reviews, but with my distant birthday, I received two new watches, and I have had one in my watch box that deserves some attention. Interestingly, they are all Seiko movement chronographs, so I get to compare and contrast. This is article two of three.

 

pulsar_front

Above is my first Pulsar watch, the PT 3035.  Pulsar is one of Seiko’s watch brands.  The least expensive Seiko are Lorus, to compete with Timex price points ($20 to $50), next up is Pulsar, which are positioned against Fossil and many many other fashion watches ($40 to $150).  Seiko branded is the next tier up, with a huge price range point from $70 to $7,000, and finally Grand Seiko, which can go toe to toe with the finest Swiss watches, and can go into the hundreds of thousands of dollar price range!  This, however, is a simple Pulsar Chronograph, and for what it is, it is a very impressive watch with a much better bang for the buck than Fossil or similar fashion watches.

The dial is a radial is matte plastic, black with concentric rings. There are three sub-dials: 9 O’clock is the minute accumulator for the chronograph, 6 O’clock the second accumulator, and at 3 O’clock, a 24 hour indicator.  Being only a one second chronograph, the long seconds hand is not a chronograph hand, but the running seconds hand.  The chapter ring is a bright orange,  with markers for every minute.  The hour and minute hands are a unique, cut out design, which was unexpected.  They have a high polish.  The seconds hand is tipped in a matching orange and has a lumed tail. The hour and minute hands also have luminous tips.  The hour markers are bold and have a generous amount of  Lumibrite and last a good amount of time.  Not as good as a diver, but very respectable for the price point.  The bezel is fluted, but sadly, does not rotate.  I think it is the one area they really had to cut corners on.  The date window is at the 4:30 position. Overall, the dial is relatively uncluttered for a chronograph and is well balanced. There is no luminous material.

The movement is a 1 second, 1 hour step back movement. The upper pusher starts and stops the chronograph, and the lower pusher resets. The hands have to wind all the way back to zero when the chronograph resets, which is a contrast to the fly-back on my Seiko and Omega chronographs.  Not a huge deal, but it does take some time to reset the chronograph.

pulsar_bracelet_back

The case is stainless steel, 44mm in diameter. Brushed on top with a high polish on the sides. The case back is stainless and screw down and marked with the Pulsar, 10ATM water resistance, with the cool two waves design.  I am very impressed with the overall fit and finish at this price, much better than a comparable Fossil.   The crown is pleasantly detailed and styled and easy to use.  The pushers are polished, but do not click when pressed.  They feel like a membrane push-button, which is what they probably are. The lugs are 22mm to make for easy bracelet to strap swaps. The bracelet is heavy and well made.  It is what I like to call pseudo solid link.  It is a folded link, but done in such a way it looks solid, with no exposed folded metal, also similar to Fossil and fashion watches. The end links are hollow.

pulsar_clasp

The deployant clasp is a two push button design without a safety lock. It is marked deeply with Pulsar and has a brushed finish and appears well made.  It has two micro adjustment holes, making sizing acceptable but not that .  It is comfortable to wear and easy to use.

This watch is a great value for the money, I believe it easily tops a Fossil or similar fashion watch in the same price point.  The movement is what sets it apart, since it is a genuine Seiko movement and is sure to last for years. The overall presentation of the watch is excellent, and the unique hands and dial are original and not an homage that I can find.   It is bold and an eye grabber.  Although there are some compromises due to cost savings, it does not feel cheap.  A great watch at a competitive price.

Features:
Case: 44mm diameter, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Battery Operated Quartz, Seiko in-house design. 1 hour, 1 second chronograph.
Complications: Date, 1 second, 1 hour chronograph, 24 hour indicator.
Other: 20mm folded link bracelet, stainless steel.

 

 

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Waltham Vintage Black Dial

Vintage Waltham Black Dial.

black_waltham_front

What we have here is a classic, Swiss Made, Waltham watch from the late 50’s or early 60’s.  It features a clean, black dial, a hand-wound movement and classic look you have to pay big money for in a modern equivalent.

The dial is a charcoal black and has held up very well, with no discolorations.  The hour markers are applied rectangles, except for 12, 6, and 9 O’clock, which are a neat, blocky font.  The hour and minute hands are simple sticks, with lume.   The second hand has a red arrow tip, which really stands out against the dial and adds a lot of character to the watch.  An easy to read date window in located at 3:00.  The lume on the hands and dial are pretty much dead, which is to expected to a 50 year old tritium marked watch.  The dial is simply marked Waltham and Incabloc, 17 jewels.  t -Swiss -t, indicating a tritium lume.  The crystal is acrylic and lightly domed.  It was in pretty rough shape when I bought it, but I got most of the worst scratches out.

black_waltham_crown

The case is chrome plated base metal  The case back is stainless, screw down and marked Waltham, Base Metal Bezel, Stainless Steel back.  The crown is signed with a W and is easy to wind and set.  The movement is a 17 jewel Swiss, with incabloc.  The is some brassing on the crown, which is to expected.  The lugs are 17mm, which means you are squeeze in an 18mm leather band.  I have the watch on aged Fossil leather.  The movement keeps good time and seems to have at least 36 hours of reserve.  It tics at 18,000 beats per hour.  The date is semi quick-set, using alternating between 10:00 and midnight.

black_waltham_back

This is a classic looking watch, but may be a little small for modern tastes, at 34mm. Luckily, with my smaller wrists, it looks fine.  It has held up quite well, and looks good on the wrist.  It is one of the few Swiss made watches in my collection, and I enjoy wearing it in my rotation of watches.  It does get at least  one or two days of wear a month.  I have about four Walthams  in rotation in my collection, and I am happy with every one of them.

Features:
Case: 34mm,  chrome plated base metal.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down
Crystal: Acrylic, domed.
Movement: Waltham 18,000 BPH movement, 7 jewels Swiss Made, hand wind.
Complications: Date.
Other: On Fossil leather band,  17 mm lugs.

 

 

 

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Watch Review Seiko SSB041

Been slacking on the watch reviews, but with my just passed birthday, I received two new watches, and I have had one in my watch box that deserves some attention. Interestingly, they are all Seiko movement chronographs, so I get to compare and contrast. This is article one of three.

brown_side_view

First off is a watch my lovely wife got for me, a brown Seiko chronograph, the SSB041. This is my first Seiko branded, quartz chronograph. I wanted a brown dialed watch, since I didn’t have any in that color, and I wanted a chronograph, with a 1/5 of a second feature, and a tachymeter scale. This watch fits the bill nicely.

brown_beauty_shot

The dial is a radial sunburst brown which shifts colors depending on illumination. The outer tachymeter chapter ring is in a matte finishing and compliments the dial. The watch has three sub dials. At the nine o’clock position minutes accumulator for the chronograph function. At the six o’clock position is the running seconds dial, and at the three o’clock position is a 24 hour dial. Each of the sub dials uses a simple, white painted stick hand which contrasts very well against the dial.  The hour and minute hands are dauphin style with a white stripe running down the center.  The 1/5 second chronograph hand is a simple stick with a large tail.  This tail is needed  for the fly-back mechanism.  The hour markers are simple, highly polished sticks.  The date window is at the 4:30 position.  Overall, the dial is relatively uncluttered for a chronograph and is well balanced. There is no luminous material.

The movement is a 1/5 of a second, 1 hour fly-back movement.   The upper pusher starts and stops the chronograph, and the lower pusher resets.  The hands fly back instantly to 0, and do not step back meaning it is done mechanically, not with stepper motors. When activated the chronograph hand advances in very even, 1/5 of a second steps, very closely resembling a mechanical chronograph.

The crystal is flat Hardlex, typical of Seiko and covers the tachymeter scale and is held down with a polished bezel.

brown_back_and_bracelet

The case is stainless steel, 40mm in diameter.  Brush on top with a high polish on the sides.  The case back is stainless and screw down and marked with the usual Seiko, 10ATM water resistance.  The quality is typical Seiko, very very good for the price point.  The crown in unsigned, but large and easy to use.  The pushers are polished and have a solid click when depressed.  The lugs are 20mm to make for easy bracelet to strap swaps.  The bracelet is a obviously inspired by Omega Speedmaster bracelets with a combination of polished and brushed links.  The bracelet tapers to 18mm at the clasp.  The bracelet is folded links, with a brushed finish on the sides.  A solid link bracelet would be nice, but as is typical, would not be found in a watch at this price point.  It does not grab hairs and is good quality with only minor squeaks.  The end links are hollow.

brown_clasp

The deployant clasp is a two push button design without a safety lock.  It is marked deeply with Seiko and has a brushed finish.  As you can see in photo above, you can see the alternating polished and brushed finish very reminiscent of Omega bracelets.  It has three micro adjustment holes, making for easy sizing.

Overall, this is a very easy watch to live with, and my first new Quartz watch in a long time.  Honestly, I only trust one brand of quartz watches, and that is Seiko.  The movement is made in Japan and so far is dead on accuracy wise.  The 1/5 of a second tic is a great way to get a mechanical look without the mechanical price.  Startlingly, the Seiko has a cleaner sweep chronograph than my Omega!  (Which tends to have some jitter, typical of 7750 based chronographs.)  The watch is well balanced and not terribly large.  If you have typical or smaller wrists, this watch will wear well.  I am looking forward to years of trouble free accuracy and reliability.  Again, thank you to my wife for another wonderful watch.

Features:
Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Battery Operated Quartz, 6T62, Seiko in-house design. 1 hour, 1/5 second chronograph.
Complications:  Date, 1/5 second 1 hour chronograph, 24 hour indicator.
Other: 20mm folded link bracelet, stainless steel.

 

 

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Watch Review, Seiko SARY005

Seiko SARY005, Presage, Silver Dial

For our upcoming 10th wedding anniversary and Christmas 2012, my beautiful wife gave me this Seiko Automatic dress watch, the SARY005 aka SRP119J1.  It is a watch designed for the Japanese domestic market and, to be honest, the photos really don’t do it justice.  First, let’s start with the dial.

It is an extremely detailed dial, the center is intersecting circles.   Moving outward are concentric circles so fine they looks like the grooves in a compact disk or DVD.   They even produce rainbows when twisted in the light.  Finally, the minute chapter ring is separated by a precision ring and has a brushed finish.  There is a date window at the three O’clock position.

The hour markers are Roman numerals and applied.  They are the most clear cut markers I have seen on any watch, with laser sharp edges.  They have a mirror polish and stand out shockingly well against the dial.  The minute chapter ring uses Arabic numbers every five minutes and they are a subtle blue to match the hands.  Between the number markers are six tic marks between two printed rings.  These match exactly with the 1/6th of the second sweep of the second hand.

The hands are an iridescent blued steel, Seiko dauphine.  Seiko has their own version with the tail squared off.   The minute and seconds hand extend almost to the chapter ring, making it very easy to tell the time and are almost twice the length of the hour hand.  The seconds hand is stick with a very long tail.  The tail ends with a ring which perfectly bisects the transition between the inner and outer part of the dial and add a lot to character of the watch.  There is no luminescent material anywhere on this watch.

Next up we have the case, crystal, and crown.  The crystal is flat sapphire with what appears to be anti-reflective coating.  It is totally invisible at most angles.  It is held in place with a very unique bezel I have never seen before.  It is narrower at the top and flares out to the diameter of the case.  The case is 40mm in diameter, but wears surprisingly small with the very down turned lugs.  The lugs are 20mm and are drilled through, making band replacements much easier.  I like 39 to 40mm watches, just the right size for smaller wrists.  The crown is unsigned, but very easy to wind the watch with.  Oh yes, you can actually hand wind this watch. The case is stainless steel, 10 ATM water resistant.  The bezel and top  of the watch are polished , the sides are brushed from top to bottom.

Continuing to the back and bracelet, the case back is solid stainless steel, screw down, and simply marked SEIKO, Sapphire crystal, Made in Japan with the case number, serial number, and water resistance of 10 Bar.  It would of been nice to have a transparent back, but the simple steel keeps the watch thinner and has a timeless quality to it.  The bracelet is an elegant brushed and polished affair, with a signed two button clasp.   The bracelet also has solid end links, so no squeaks or wobbles there.  It is very flexible and comfortable to wear and is only second to my Omega in quality.

Beating at 21600BPH inside the case is a newer in-house Seiko movement, the 23 jewel 4R35.  This movement is a descendant of the 7S36, but adds the very important hand-winding and hacking functions.   This is an significant upgrade to compete against ETA and Miyota automatics, which can at least hand wind, and usually hack (second hand stop).  The accuracy rating is pretty low, but so far I am running a very consistent +9 seconds a day.  Power reserve is 41+ hours, same as the 7S series, but at least you can hand-wind it and don’t have to use the backwards pressure trick to stop the seconds hand.   I really hope Seiko converts all of their 5’s to this more practical design.

To sum it all up, this is a very elegant, high quality Seiko that moves from being a watch to a ‘timepiece.’  Side by side against my Omega, which costs more than 10 times as much, it looks just as good, or better made.  One thing is certain, it is much easier to read and more manageable on the wrist.  The styling is a pure, modern dress watch with a definite nod towards Cartier styling.  The size is  just right and I love wearing it.

Features:
Case: 39.5 mm diameter, 11mm thick, Stainless Steel.  10 Bar water resistance.
Back:  Solid Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, with anti-reflective coating.
Movement: SEIKO 4R35, 23 jewel automatic,  hand winds and hacks.
Complications: Date
Other:  On solid end link stainless bracelet.

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