Amongst the Japanese watchmakers, Seiko is one of the most well-respected brands in the market. Since its founding in 1881, Seiko has developed a truly massive catalog of versatile, durable, and high-quality watches. Whether you are looking for the best diver watch, a trusty sports watch, or a dress watch for all your formal events, Seiko has got you covered.
Out of Seiko’s extensive, diverse lineup, the Seiko SUP880 is one of the brand’s most well-received dress watches. This timepiece is an instant stunner, packed with practical features and a chic, fancy aesthetic. The Seiko SUP880 is actually a Cartier-inspired dress watch, which explains its classy, fashionable influences. Without further ado, let us explore the Seiko SUP880, including its specifications, price, and everything it has to offer.
Right off the bat, the Seiko SUP880 shows off a handsome and captivating design that simply elevates any sort of formalwear. As mentioned, this watch is inspired by the Cartier Tank timepieces and as such, it bears a strong resemblance to those watches, especially in terms of its unusual square-shaped case and cabochon spinel crown. From its gold-tone stainless steel case and classy, vintage-influenced dial to its suave black leather strap, everything about the Seiko SUP880 simply screams elegance.
Anatomy of the Seiko SUP880
Case, Caseback, and Crown
Inspired by the Cartier Tank, the Seiko SUP880 is one of the fanciest, most exquisite dress watches that Seiko has ever released. It is presented in a slender 28.5mm square-shaped case, with a gorgeous polished gold finish that gives the watch an appealing, gleaming lustre. Its size is perfect for those with smaller wrists, or for anyone who enjoys wearing slimmer dress watches. The lugs of this watch have a thinner, rounder shape, and a fixed bezel is placed on top of the Seiko SUP880’s case, protecting the sides of the dial from any impacts.
One way in which the Seiko SUP880 distinguishes itself from the Cartier Tank is in terms of the build of the case. Whereas the Cartier Tank has a flatter shape, the Seiko SUP880 has thicker edges on the left and right that protrude outwards, past the flat surfaces of the watch crystal and caseback. It looks almost like a dial surrounded by four thick walls, giving off an impression of sturdiness and well-built durability.
On the right side of the watch, you can find a small crown. This crown is designed the same way the crowns of the Cartier Tank watches are. It comes in a gold-tone, with fine grooved edges that allow wearers to grip and turn the crown more easily. At the tip of the crown is a protruding black cabochon spinel, much like the blue spinels that can be found on the Cartier Tank pieces. Fitted on top of the case is a layer of Hardlex crystal, which protects the dial from scratches and impacts. This is another difference between the Seiko SUP880 and the Cartier Tank, which is equipped with a more expensive sapphire crystal.
The underside of the Seiko SUP880 is sealed with a solid gold-tone stainless steel caseback. Engraved on the caseback are the watch’s details, such as its movement, serial number, waterproof rating, and more. This caseback is also firmly screwed-down, preventing any dust and moisture from seeping into the watch and damaging its inner mechanisms. With its screwed-down caseback and crown, this watch has a solid 30-meter depth rating. This water resistance capacity is fairly standard for a dress watch like the Seiko SUP880 and is enough to withstand a few splashes and rain.
The dial of the Seiko SUP880 is elegant and stylish. It contains a number of vintage-influenced components that add to the watch’s whole old-school aesthetic. For instance, this dial comprises slender Roman numeral hour markers and thin Feuille hands in a striking black tone, bolstering the classiness of this dial. The dial’s soft white finish is also decorated in a pattern of light grey stripes. This renders the watch more refined and graceful while also making the dial look less boring and plain.
Inside the Seiko SUP880 is a robust in-house V115 solar quartz movement. This caliber is equipped with a pack of solar cells, which are used to convert light energy into electrical energy. With this incredibly innovative feature, wearers can charge the Seiko SUP880 using any light source, be it natural or artificial light. As such, you will never have to worry about replacing the battery of the Seiko SUP880. This makes the Seiko SUP880 a very environmentally-friendly watch too since it reduces battery wastage.
When fully charged, the V115 solar quartz movement possesses a power reserve that can last for up to 12 months. As a quartz caliber, the V115 movement showcases trademark precision. It has an impressive accuracy rate of +/- 15 seconds per month, so you can definitely rely on the Seiko SUP880 for precise timekeeping.
The Seiko SUP880 is coupled with a classic alligator leather strap in black, completing the watch’s very quintessential aesthetic. This strap is equipped with a pin buckle made of gold-tone stainless steel, which keeps the watch tightly secured to your wrist. This strap is extremely comfortable against the wrist and is perfect for your next dinner party.
As with most Seiko watches, the Seiko SUP880 is available at a very reasonable price. In fact, the Seiko SUP880 is famously known as a budget-friendly version of the Cartier Tank watches, which it was inspired by. The Seiko SUP880 is priced at just $110, which is incredibly affordable, considering the watch’s fancy, chic style, and top-notch quartz movement.
Alternatives to the Seiko SUP880
The Seiko SUP880 is, without a doubt, a very classy dress watch. It embodies Seiko’s signatures of adept craftsmanship and constant innovation, with its elegant design and powerful solar movement, and its accessible price is just the cherry on top of the cake. Nevertheless, let us not forget that each person has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to wearing a watch. For those who like the Seiko SUP880’s style but want something a little different, we have curated a list of three excellent alternatives that you can check out below.
1. Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004
As we have talked about extensively above, the Seiko SUP880 was inspired by the Cartier Tank collection. As such, the Cartier Tank is simply a natural alternative to the SUP880. In particular, we recommend the striking Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004. With its classic gold and black colourways and high-quality materials, this watch is the best luxury alternative to Seiko SUP880 you can find.
This Cartier watch utilizes a 38.4mm square-shaped case made of solid 18K yellow gold, coupled with an aged-looking black alligator leather strap. Compared to the Seiko SUP880, the size of the Ref. W5200004 is considerably larger and it can fit wrists of virtually any size. Wrapped around the dial is a fixed bezel, also made of 18K yellow gold. On the right side of the watch, you can find a yellow gold crown with an inset cabochon spinel. This cabochon spinel comes in a deep blue hue, setting up a satisfying contrast against the luxurious yellow gold case.
The dial of this watch is also a little different from that of the Seiko SUP880, but it shows off the same vintage charm. This dial has a handsome, metallic silver finish. It is adorned with thick Roman numeral markers, white and black minute tracks, and blued steel sword hands that add a burst of personality to this watch face. Protecting the dial is a layer of sapphire crystal, which is the most expensive watch glass available. This is because sapphire crystal is exceptionally strong and scratch-resistant, with only diamond being capable of scratching it.
Driving this watch is an in-house Caliber 690 quartz movement. This powerful quartz caliber is held together by eight jewels and has outstanding four-year battery life. In addition, it comes with a 30-metre depth rating, enabling the watch to survive some showers and downpours.
As a luxury alternative to the Seiko SUP880, you can purchase the Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004 for around $6,749 USD. Its more exorbitant price is well worth it, considering the first-rate materials used to craft this Cartier watch.
2. Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00
Next up, we have the Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00. This is also a dress watch, albeit with a quirkier design that caters to younger and more modern audiences. It immediately stands out, thanks to its uniquely-shaped case. This watch is housed in a 39mm rectangular stainless steel case, which curves slightly at both ends, conforming nicely to the slopes of your wrist. This Tissot piece is paired with a fashionable alligator leather strap in light brown.
The dial of this watch showcases a sleek silver finish. It is decorated with large Arabic numeral markers in a curling, stylized typeface that give this watch face a very playful, Willy Wonka-esque aesthetic. Towards the center of the dial, you can find a black minute and hour indices and Poire Corps renflé watch hands made of blued steel, which add a pop of colour to this black-and-white dial.
Powering this Tissot Heritage watch is a first-class caliber ETA 901.001. Held together by three jewels, this is a quartz movement with an extended battery life of 132 months. In addition, this watch also has a 30-metre depth rating, like the Seiko SUP880.
If you are looking for a simple yet fun dress watch, then the Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00 should definitely be on your radar. It sells at approximately $479 USD.
3. Hermes Heure H Ref. HH1.110
For another classy, opulent alternative to the Seiko SUP880, check out the Hermes Heure H Ref. HH1.110. This timepiece from the prestigious Hermes brand boasts a very unique design that even manages to stand out from the Seiko SUP880 and Cartier Tank watches. Instead of having a simpler square-shaped case, the case of this watch is designed to look like a stylized capital “H”, with the wide, protruding lugs forming the ends of the letter. This timepiece comes in a slender 30.5mm stainless steel case and a warm leather strap in light brown. A layer of sapphire crystal is attached to the case and serves to protect the dial from any external damage.
This Hermes Heure H watch also shows off a minimalistic yet attractive white dial. The center of the dial is decorated with a faint grey guilloche finish. It has a very straightforward layout, consisting of black Arabic numeral markers in a wide typeface and silver sword hands. Inside this watch, you can find a reliable quartz movement. It has a battery life of 24 months and a 30-meter water resistance capacity.
This Hermes watch is available for around $2,049 USD.
On the whole, the Cartier-inspired Seiko SUP880 is definitely an interesting entry in Seiko’s catalog. It retains the classy, refined nature of its source inspiration while also using simple, more affordable materials to create a more budget-friendly piece. Seiko even managed to upgrade the Seiko SUP880 by incorporating its own innovative solar technology, which makes the Seiko SUP880 a worthy investment indeed. If you want a reliable, hardy dress watch that looks fancier than it costs, you should definitely consider purchasing the Seiko SUP880.
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Featured image courtesy of (/user/TheFoxyGentleman/) on Reddit.
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