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  2. Seiko Captain Willard: Reviewing One Of Seiko’s Most Unique Vintage Divers

    Seiko Captain Willard: Reviewing One Of Seiko’s Most Unique Vintage Divers

    Those who are familiar with Seiko will know that its extensive catalog has produced some of the best dive watches on the market. Seiko has an amazing reputation amongst enthusiasts and collectors because it is a true master of the horological craft. At present, the brand has hundreds of diving timekeepers in its portfolio, with many, like the Seiko Tuna or Seiko Samurai, even serving as horology icons. One of Seiko’s most popular dive pieces today is the Seiko Captain Willard, which is known as a quintessential diver in the watchmaking world. In fact, the original Seiko Captain Willard is also referred to as the basis for all the Seiko diving watches that came after it because of its impressive, unparalleled qualities that were ahead of its time. With all that said, let us take a closer look at what the Seiko Captain Willard has to offer and figure out what all the hype is truly about. Seiko Captain Willard: A Brief Background The Seiko Captain Willard, also known as the Seiko 6105, was released back in 1968. This was around the same time as the Vietnam War, which is a historical event that is most often associated with the Seiko Captain Willard. However, contrary to popular belief, the Seiko 6105 was not actually used by many soldiers during the conflict. There is no historical evidence that the Seiko 6105 was sold or given to US troops during that time. Instead, it was the Seiko 5 that was a more popular choice amongst soldiers during that period. That said, the Seiko Captain Willard quickly gained fame in another way. Why is it Called the Seiko Captain Willard?  As mentioned, the original name of the Seiko Captain Willard is the Seiko 6105, which is simply just its reference number. The Seiko Captain Willard gained both its popularity and its nickname from a blockbuster film called Apocalypse Now, which came out in 1979. This movie featured a soldier named Captain Willard, played by Martin Sheen, who took part in the Vietnam War. Throughout the film, Captain Willard totes the Seiko 6105, which of course caught the interest of many watch enthusiasts. Apocalypse Now was a defining moment in the history of the Seiko 6105, and since then, people have referred to it as the Seiko Captain Willard. A Closer Look at the Seiko Captain Willard Now that we know the origin story of the Seiko Captain Willard, let us take a closer look at its impressive design and technical specifications.  Case  The Seiko Captain Willard 6105 is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case that boasts a cushion-shaped, asymmetrical structure. This gives it a large, chunky, and brazen look that is bound to catch the eyes of everyone. Despite its size, the Seiko Captain Willard is actually known to be quite easy to wear, thanks to the ergonomic build of its case, which molds itself quite comfortably to the shape of the wrist. Aside from that, this watch also boasts unmatched durability, befitting its robust exterior, as it showcases a superb resistance to scratches, shocks, and impacts. Lastly, protecting this watch’s face from any external damage is Seiko’s trademark Hardlex crystal, which possesses anti-reflective properties that promise the wearer a clear and highly legible view of the dial. Bracelet Moving on to the bracelet, the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 comes with a striking rubber strap in black that perfectly complements its daring exterior. This black rubber strap shows off a bold and intricate waffle pattern, giving the watch a sportier, more outdoorsy aesthetic. Since the Seiko Captain Willard is a vintage timepiece, this unique band is actually now considered quite rare and valuable, so count yourself lucky if you manage to come across one of these. Dial and Bezel The dial of the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 also showcases a dauntless, rugged design that goes well with its case and bracelet. Like most divers out there, this model has a rather straightforward face that optimizes legibility. It comprises large hour indices in the shapes of rectangles and squares and silver-tone blunt hands, all of which are coated in lume for excellent visibility even in the dark. And while the Seiko 6105 does not come with any overly fancy complications, it does include a standard date window at 3 o’clock, outlined in silver, which adds to the watch’s functionality. On top of that, the Seiko Captain Willard also comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel that is fitted with a black ceramic insert. This bezel bears luminous elements and clean, legible white indicators for a handy elapsed time scale, making the Seiko 6105 the ideal diving watch. Movement  In order to match the robustness of its exterior, the brand made sure to equip the Seiko Captain Willard 6105 with an equally impressive interior. The Seiko Captain Willard is powered by an in-house Caliber 6105B. This well-crafted automatic movement consists of 17 jewels and has a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). It also possesses a decent power reserve of 32 hours, making it quite durable and reliable. Reputation Produced only from 1968 to 1977, the Seiko Captain Willard definitely raised the stakes for future diving watches. It was able to acquire such a unique and highly-regarded reputation because it was built on three main pillars: pop culture, history, and excellent craftsmanship. To this day, the Seiko Captain Willard continues to be known as one of the best vintage divers that one could only dream of adding to their collection. Price Range  According to old Seiko catalogs, the original retail price of the Seiko Captain Willard was around $95 USD. Of course, since it has been out of production for more than 40 years, this watch has become considerably more valuable today. At present, the resale cost of vintage Seiko Captain Willard watches on the secondhand market is set at around $1,000 USD to $2,000 USD, depending on the seller and the condition of the piece. Modern Variations of the Seiko Captain Willard If you are looking for contemporary variations of the Seiko Captain Willard, worry not! We will also be taking a closer look at the modern Seiko Captain Willard options available to you.  1. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1 First up, we have the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1, which is an exceptionally robust, professional-looking watch. Compared to the original Seiko 6501, this modern variant looks a lot more polished because of its sleek all-stainless-steel look. This is a great choice for those who want a more subdued, versatile version of the ever-so-famous Seiko Captain Willard. This watch comes in a 42.7mm cushion-shaped case and bracelet, both made out of polished stainless steel. This is sharply contrasted against a rotating bezel with a jet-black elapsed time scale insert. This bezel has jagged, teeth-like edges, which ensure that wearers can grip and turn it easily. The dial also comes in a striking matte black hue, complementing the bezel. This watch face is quite similar to that of the original Seiko 6501; it has the same luminous hour indices in square and rectangle shapes, blunt hands, and a date complication. However, this dial also differs in having slightly thicker hands and doing away with the silver outline around the date display. Powering this Seiko Prospex watch is an automatic 6R35 Caliber. As a modern in-house Seiko movement, this caliber has an outstanding 70-hour power supply, which is a massive improvement from the original Seiko Captain Willard’s 32-hour power reserve. It also possesses a solid 200-metre depth rating, which is quite standard for a good dive watch. Priced at $1,079 USD, this is a fail-safe option for all Seiko Captain Willard enthusiasts. 2. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111, which is actually very similar to the aforementioned model. Just at a glance, you can tell that it shows off the same build and design as the Captain Willard Ref. SPB151J1. However, the Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 differs in having a different colorway and case finish, which gives it a more casual aesthetic and vibe. The Seiko Captain Willard Ref. SBDC111 is housed in a 42.7mm stainless steel case and bracelet, both of which show off fine, satin-brushed finishes. This is coupled with a rotating, dark blue elapsed time scale bezel. The dial also comes in a handsome dark blue shade that wonderfully matches the bezel. This dial is adorned with thick luminous hour indices in the shapes of squares and rectangles, broad silver-tone blunt hands, and a compact date display at 3 o’clock. It also runs on the self-winding 6R35 Caliber. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement boasts a 70-hour power supply and a 200-metre depth rating. With its suave silver-and-blue color combination, this $1,399 USD Seiko Captain Willard model serves as the ideal everyday timekeeper. 3. Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC109 Our last modern Captain Willard is the Seiko Prospex Captain Willard Ref. SBDC109, which is definitely the most unique-looking out of the three models mentioned in this shortlist. This is an instant stunner, with its handsomely rugged design and sporty elements. Of the contemporary Seiko Captain Willard models, this variant is arguably the most popular, and for very good reason. This Prospex watch utilizes a 42.7mm satin-brushed stainless steel case, paired with a comfortable black silicone strap, much like the original Seiko 6105. Fitted on top of its case is a unidirectional rotating bezel, which bears a dark green elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic. The dial of this watch, likewise, comes in an alluring dark green hue that stands out strongly against the silver-tone case. It is furnished with pronounced hour indices and broad blunt hands, all of which are generously coated with lume. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a small rectangular date aperture. Underneath this stylish watch face is an automatic 6R35 Caliber. It has a water resistance rating of 200 meters and can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound. If you want a more casual and sporty version of the Seiko Captain Willard, you can get your hands on this model for approximately $1,289 USD. Is it worth it?  If you are still debating whether the Seiko Captain Willard is worth your time, here are some reasons that should further convince you: Rich Heritage. As we have discussed in this article, the Seiko Captain Willard has a very colorful history to back it up. Much of its popularity was the result of it being featured in the movie Apocalypse Now, which even made this watch relevant to the pop culture world. Aside from that, the Seiko Captain Willard is also often associated with the Vietnam War, because its peak coincides with the same period. With such a rich heritage, it is no surprise that people have continued to rave about the Seiko Captain Willard to this day. Excellent Reputation. Having a few minutes of fame is different from being graced with an established reputation, the Seiko Captain Willard definitely has the latter too. While it may have caught the attention of people due to non-horological factors, it would not be such a highly regarded watch to this day if that’s all there was to the Seiko Captain Willard. Fortunately, the Seiko Captain Willard is able to back up its fame with top-notch features and functions that set the bar for future dive pieces. This has led to an untouchable reputation for both the Seiko Captain Willard and even its modern variations. Who should get the Seiko Captain Willard?  Seiko Patrons. This is a no-brainer. While it is a herculean task to acquire every legendary Seiko watch to ever exist (after all, there are many), the Seiko Captain Willard should be pretty high up on any true fan’s list of must-have Seiko timepieces. This well-established model took the world by storm back in the 70s and its popularity has only continued to this day. With its especially unique history, this is a timekeeper that should be on every Seiko patron’s rob list. Film Buffs. As we mentioned, the Seiko Captain Willard has strong ties to blockbuster film Apocalypse Now and that makes it a fantastic piece of merchandise for fans of that movie. Film buffs who love owning unique and exclusive merch will surely salivate at the chance to get their hands on the watch worn by Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard. Diving Professionals. Of course, even those who do not care about the Seiko Captain Willard’s heritage will also surely enjoy this watch. Its modern-day variations come with durable exteriors, superb features, and solid 200-metre water resistance ratings. According to user reviews, the contemporary Seiko Captain Willard models are also very comfortable to wear and exhibit great functionality when used underwater. Final Thoughts Ultimately, the Seiko Captain Willard is one of the best pieces to ever be produced by the Japanese brand. It has a bold and stunning exterior that perfectly complements its robustness and impressive functionality. If you are on the hunt for a gorgeous and reliable diver watch from Seiko, the Seiko Captain Willard should definitely be on your radar!  Photo Credits: Watchshopping Site, eBay, and Google Image Interested in Japanese masterpieces? Check out our article on the Grand Seiko Snowflake!

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  4. Dive into the Ocean with the Powerful Seiko Tuna

    Dive into the Ocean with the Powerful Seiko Tuna

    Seiko is home to many iconic watches, each with its own very memorable nickname. In fact, one of the brand’s most well-known models is the Seiko Tuna, with its distinctive design and unique heritage. Hailing from the Seiko Prospex collection, the Seiko Tuna is a very popular timepiece amongst watch enthusiasts and continues to be quite relevant today. With all that being said, let us take a look at this renowned Seiko Tuna diving model and see what it has to offer.  Brief Background on the Seiko Tuna Back in the 1970s, Japan was going crazy about both the diving sport and divers watches. It was around this time that the first-ever Seiko Tuna, known today as the Tuna Grandfather, was released to accommodate that hype. Seiko wanted to introduce a unique-looking dive watch that would display impressive functionality under any circumstances, which led to the creation of the Seiko Tuna. The Seiko Tuna was nicknamed such by watch enthusiasts because of its case bore an uncanny resemblance to tuna cans. While not everyone loved the Seiko Tuna’s unconventional design right off the bat, it would eventually become one of the brand’s most popular diving models.  Since it first came out decades ago, Seiko has released numerous variations of the Seiko Tuna. It currently offers 13 different Tuna models in its catalogue. While all of these Seiko Tuna watches share a unique and robust build, each and every piece comes with a different vibe and varying mechanisms as well. We will delve deeper into the different Seiko Tuna models in a moment, but for now, let us focus on the classic Seiko Tuna S23629J1.  A Closer Look at the Seiko Tuna Exterior The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 has a very thick, tough-looking, and distinctive exterior, which is a common denominator for all the Tuna models. As mentioned earlier, its rounded, stout build looks similar to tuna cans, which is why it has been given the Seiko Tuna nickname. Despite its peculiar appearance, you can tell with just one glance that it is a robust timepiece fit for serious divers and professionals as well.  The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 comes in an oversized stainless steel case with a diameter of 47.7mm, a thickness of 14.1mm, and a standard lug width of around 22mm. As a bulkier timepiece made of stainless steel, this Seiko Tuna timepiece has a certain degree of heft to it that makes it feel quite substantial around your wrist. However, Seiko also pairs it with a ridged black silicone strap, making it look sportier while also giving it a lighter profile. This bracelet ensures that wearers will not have too much difficulty toting the Seiko Tuna around, while also providing utmost comfort both on land and in the water. Fitted on top of the Seiko Tuna S23629J1’s case is a unidirectional rotating stainless steel bezel bearing a black ceramic insert. This insert is very scratch-resistant and has large, highly legible white markers for the elapsed time scale, so wearers can track the amount of time they spend underwater. Finally, the watch face is protected by a layer of sapphire crystal that has been treated with anti-reflective coatings. This prevents any light glares from distorting the wearer’s view of the watch face, allowing for optimal readability. On the right side of the case, you can also find a stainless steel crown, placed unusually at 4 o’clock. While the placement of the crown is not quite typical, it is actually more practical, since the angle ensures that the crown will not dig too deeply into the skin of your wrist. This crown is well-sized, with deep grooves that make it easier for wearers to grip and turn the crown. Dial The dial of the Seiko Tuna S23629J1 follows a very straightforward layout and is in keeping with the watch’s generally oversized look. It shows off a jet-black background that is contrasted well against large geometric hour markers and bold arrow hands, all of which are coated in Seiko LumiBrite and outlined in silver, so it is easier to read even in dark environments. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a sizeable day-date window with white text. Technical Specifications When it comes to Seiko Tuna S23629J1’s technical details, this model is equipped with a well-crafted, in-house 7C46 Caliber. This is a quartz movement that has an excellent accuracy rate of ±15 seconds per month and a superb 5-year power reserve. Lastly, as a diving watch, the Seiko Tuna S23629J1 also comes with an excellent 300-meter water resistance rating.  Price Range  The Seiko Tuna S23629J1 retails at around $1,760 USD. However, the average price for the Seiko Tuna series as a whole range from $460 USD to over $4,600 USD, depending on the model you are looking at and the specifications it has. 5 Best Seiko Tuna Models Now, let us take an in-depth look at some of the most outstanding variations of the Seiko Tuna.  Seiko Prospex Professional Diver’s Tuna SLA042J1 Starting off with the Seiko Prospex Professional Diver’s Tuna SLA042J1, this is a larger, bolder, and more luxurious-looking version of the Seiko Tuna. It has rose gold tones scattered all around, which really complements the darker black hues of the watch’s design.  This watch comes in a massive 52.4mm black stainless steel case, along with a black silicone strap and a rose gold rotating bezel with a black elapsed time scale insert. With its size, this Tuna variant is best suited to those who have thicker wrists, or people who love wearing big watches. The dial has a similar layout as the Seiko S23629J1, with a black backdrop against oversized luminous hour markers in geometric shapes and arrow-shaped hands. One difference is that, unlike the Seiko S23629J1, this watch only has a simple date aperture at 3 o’clock. Driven by an 8L35 Caliber, this watch has both automatic and manual-winding capabilities. It also has an improved water resistance rating, which is capped at an incredible 1,000 meters, and a substantial 50-hour power reserve. Retailing at around $4,670 USD, this is the ideal Seiko Tuna piece for those who want a classy dive watch that can truly go the distance. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1  Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1, which is just as rugged but also a lot more casual-looking than the previous model. This watch’s two-tone rotating bezel really adds a fun and more laidback vibe to the whole piece, which is great for those who want a dive watch for daily wear.  The Seiko Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1 is housed in a smaller 43mm stainless steel case and paired with a silicone strap in dark blue. As mentioned, it has a two-toned rotating bezel that flaunts an attractive combination of dark blue and muted yellow. This watch’s black dial is slightly different from the aforementioned Seiko Tuna model. It consists of thick luminous hour indices and large blunt hands, plus a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. Running the watch is an automatic 4R35 calibre with a 41-hour power reserve and a solid 200-meter water resistance capacity. If you want a diving timepiece that can double as an everyday watch as well, you should definitely consider this $589 USD Seiko Tuna model. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SNE541P1 Meanwhile, the Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SNE541P1 has a very cool and stylish exterior that is especially popular with younger audiences. While it looks just as tough and powerful as the other Seiko Tuna models, this particular piece has a very distinctive, modern-looking design that stands out from the rest.  The Seiko Tuna SNE541P1 is presented in a 46.7mm stainless steel and plastic case, an accordion-style silicone bracelet in black, and a handsomely brushed stainless steel rotating bezel. It also comes with a more contemporary dial. This dial showcases a textured black finish complemented by slimmer luminous hour indices, thick blunt hands, and a rectangular date aperture outlined in white at 4 o’clock. This watch has a 200-meter depth rating and is also powered by a V157 solar quartz movement, which means that it can be handily charged by any light source. For just $460 USD, you can get your hands on this fashionable yet durable Seiko Tuna watch. Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SRPE29K1 The Seiko Prospex Street Series Tuna SRPE29K1 is quite similar to the Seiko Tuna Safari Edition SRPF81K1 as they both exude fun and casual vibes. However, this model shows off more rustic-looking elements that are very reminiscent of the outdoors. The Seiko Tuna SRPE29K1 comes in a 43.2mm stainless steel case with a two-tone brown and dark blue rotating bezel, and a dark beige silicone strap. The dial, which has a similar beige shade, possesses a straightforward layout with blunt luminescent hands, rectangular hour indices, and a day-date display. Underneath this watch face, you can find an automatic 4R36 caliber with a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance rating of 200 meters.  This everyday Seiko Tuna model has a price tag of $569 USD. Seiko Prospex Diver Tuna SBDX035  Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex Diver Tuna SBDX035, which is easily the most marine-influenced model out of the five listed here. This is primarily because it is a limited edition piece that was created in celebration of the 55 years since Seiko’s first diving watch was released in 1965.  The Seiko Tuna SBDX035 is presented in an oversized 52.4mm titanium case in blue, paired with a matching blue silicone strap and a rotating bezel also made of titanium. Despite its large size, this Seiko Tuna watch is actually quite easy to carry around, thanks to its lightweight titanium profile. The dial showcases a deep blue hue that is consistent with the rest of the watch and has bold hour markers in various geometric shapes, luminous arrow hands, and a date display outlined in white at 3 o’clock. Inside this watch is a self-winding 8L35 Caliber with a 50-hour power reserve. It also gives the watch strong anti-magnetic properties and an impressive 1,000-meter water resistance capacity. If you want a truly reliable and robust diver’s watch, you should definitely get this $4,549 USD Seiko Tuna piece. Alternative Models If you are having a hard time getting your hands on a Seiko Tuna watch, or you are looking for something similar from a different brand, check out these two alternative models that you should definitely consider. 1. OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Ref. 210.22.42.20.01.002 The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Ref. 210.22.42.20.01.002 is a classic and more luxurious alternative to the Seiko Tuna. While it is not as robust-looking as the Seiko Tuna, it is just as cool and reliable. This OMEGA Seamaster watch comes in a 42mm stainless steel and Sedna gold case, making it smaller than any Seiko Tuna piece. This is paired with a sleek black rubber strap and a rose gold rotating bezel. Fitted on top of the bezel is a gleaming, polished black elapsed time scale insert, with painted indicators in a matching shade of rose gold. The black dial features a wavy teak pattern with luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, large sword-shaped hands, and a compact date window at 6 o’clock. Meanwhile, underneath this elegant watch face is an automatic Omega Caliber 8800 with a 55-hour power reserve and a substantial 300-meter depth rating. If you are looking for a sturdy, high-end alternative to the Seiko Tuna, this $7,200 USD Omega timepiece should definitely be on your radar. 2. Ulysse-Nardin Diver Chronometer Ref. 3203-950 The Ulysse-Nardin Diver Chronometer Ref. 3203-950, on the other hand, is a more casual-looking alternative that would be great for everyday use. While it is also a luxury piece, this diver’s watch is packed with impressive features that will surely make people fall in love.  This Ulysse-Nardin Diver watch is presented in a 42.2mm stainless steel case along with a fabric strap and a rotating bezel that both come in black. The dial is slightly more complex than the other watches on this list, with thick sword hands, luminous geometric hour markers, a retro magnified date window, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. All of these functions run on an automatic Ulysse Nardin Caliber UN-320 with a 48-hour power reserve. This is the perfect, vintage-inspired alternative to the Seiko Tuna, and you can get it for around $9,600 USD. Final Thoughts After seeing the diversity that comes with the Seiko Tuna, there’s no question why it is such a highly-regarded model in the watch community. Not only is it unique in terms of design, but it’s also a reflection of Seiko’s dedication to providing fans with a wide selection of well-crafted, sturdy diver’s watches. If you are just getting into diving or starting your collection of underwater timepieces, the Seiko Tuna is certainly one worth checking out.  Photo Credits: Watch Shopping Site & Official Seiko Site  Want to expand your knowledge about watches? Check out our article on the Tudor Black Bay Chrono. 

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  5. Seiko King Turtle: A Guide To One of the Brand’s Best Divers

    Seiko King Turtle: A Guide To One of the Brand’s Best Divers

    As one of the most famous Japanese watch brands in the world, Seiko is known to carry some of the most beloved icons in watchmaking history. It has a vast and incredibly diverse portfolio that consists of exquisite timepieces for everyone. The watches Seiko creates have a unique ability to appeal to both the masses and to luxury enthusiasts, giving them an indisputable reputation. One of the most popular Seiko models ever made is the Seiko King Turtle. This is a renowned diver watch with a distinct and sporty design. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Seiko King Turtle. A Brief Background on the Seiko King Turtle Given its pristine reputation and diverse catalog, it is no surprise that Seiko also has a number of excellent diving watches under its belt. In fact, the brand has well over 50 years of experience in making quality divers, such as the Seiko King Turtle. The Seiko King Turtle was first released in 2020, but its history dates back to as early as the 1970s. That is because the Seiko King Turtle serves as a slightly different variation of the popular Seiko Turtle, which was first launched in 1976. With the famous Seiko Turtle name backing it, it is no surprise that the Seiko King Turtle was a hit right from the start. As of today, there are four known Seiko King Turtle models. We will be taking a closer look at each of these models in a moment. Seiko Turtle vs Seiko King Turtle Since the Seiko Turtle and Seiko King Turtle models both belong to the same family; most of you would probably think that they cannot be that different from each other. And indeed, you would be right. The reality is that most people would not notice the differences between the Turtle and King Turtle unless they look really closely. The most striking contrast between the two is that the Seiko King Turtle is made of more premium materials and elements. From the case and bracelet down to the dial, each component of the Seiko King Turtle was upgraded to be a better version of its predecessor. In fact, the Seiko King Turtle’s superior quality is the very reason behind its well-deserved royal title. A Closer Look at the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03 In this section, we will be reviewing the most classic variant of the Seiko King Turtle: the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03. Case  The Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03 is housed in a 45mm stainless steel case. This sturdy case takes the form of a stout cushion shape, which resembles the shell of a turtle, hence its King Turtle name. This case also measures 13.2mm in thickness, which is a pretty standard size for a robust diving watch. Fixed on top of the case is a redesigned bezel with a jet-black ceramic insert, which is highly scratch-resistant and stands out strongly against the watch’s all-silver exterior. The bezel has distinctly ridged edges that look like the sides of a gear. These provide wearers with a better grip, so they can grasp and turn the bezel more easily. On the right side of the case is a sizeable crown, placed unusually at the 4 o’clock position. Like the bezel, this stainless steel crown also has grooved edges, much like the sides of a bottle cap, which allows wearers to grip it more easily. When you flip the watch around, you will find a screwed-in caseback made of solid stainless steel. This caseback is carefully engraved with the Seiko King Turtle’s details, along with Seiko’s iconic diving watch emblem. Dial The Seiko King Turtle has a unique matte black dial that is characterized by its iconic, handsome waffle design. As a dive watch, this dial also has a very straightforward and easy-to-read layout, comprising large geometric hour markers and pronounced arrow-headed hands outlined in silver. These hands and markers are all generously coated with lume, allowing for unparalleled visibility even in poor lighting conditions. You can also find a magnified day-date window at 3 o’clock, with clean black text against a white background. Bracelet Finishing off the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03’s robust look is a three-link stainless steel bracelet with a sleek, polished finish. This bracelet features a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release, which keeps this bracelet securely fastened to your wrist. It is also equipped with an extender, so you can quickly and easily adjust the length of the bracelet to fit your wrist more comfortably. Movement Like the other Seiko Turtle models, the King Turtle belongs to the brand’s Prospex collection. The Seiko Prospex series is chockful of affordable, hardy timekeepers able to withstand all sorts of different adventures. Thus, even though the Seiko King Turtle is a dedicated diver made for the ocean, it is also equipped to tackle challenges on land or in the air too, thanks to its powerful Seiko Caliber 4R36. The Caliber 4R36 is an in-house automatic movement that comes with manual-winding capabilities too. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement boasts a substantial 41-hour power supply. In addition, it provides the Seiko King Turtle with an impressive water resistance rating of 200 meters, or 660 feet. This allows you to bring the King Turtle with you on all your fun watersports or deep-diving trips. Price Range  Seiko has always been known for its budget-friendly watches, and the Seiko King Turtle is no different. Even with its distinctive design, high-quality materials, and sturdy build, the Seiko King Turtle has a price tag of just $625 USD. This is a very reasonable price for such a well-crafted and reliable icon. Other Variations of the Seiko King Turtle Now that we know a little more about the Seiko King Turtle, let us take a look at some other variations of this iconic model. Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05 First up, we have the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05, which was released at the same time as the Ref. SRPE03. While it has a similar build as the Ref. SRPE03, this watch gives off a completely different vibe. With its silver and military green colorway, the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE05 simply exudes casual, masculine ruggedness. This watch is presented in a 45mm cushion-shaped case made of stainless steel, coupled with a dark green silicone strap. Fitted on top of the dial is a stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic insert for the elapsed time scale. The dial, which also comes in military green, showcases a handsome waffle pattern. It comprises large arrow-headed hands, hour markers in various geometric shapes, and a magnified day-date window. Like its sister models, this watch is also driven by an automatic 4R36 caliber that has a 41-hour power reserve and a 200-meter water resistance rating. The Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE05 is slightly cheaper than the Ref. SRPE03, retailing at $595 USD only. Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE07 For a slightly different Seiko King Turtle model, take a look at the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPE07. This watch has a simultaneously sporty and smart-casual aesthetic that goes extremely well with casual or everyday outfits and would look good at a nice dinner party too. It also boasts a robust build and a clever ocean-themed design, which makes it especially appealing to both casual and professional divers. This watch comes in a 45mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case, paired with a ridged black silicone band. Fixed on top of the case is a stainless steel bezel fitted with a ceramic blue insert. This matte blue insert bears pronounced, highly-legible indicators in beige for the elapsed time scale. Unlike the aforementioned King Turtle pieces, this watch showcases a patterned dial that depicts magnificent ocean waves. This sunray blue dial is also adorned with large arrow hands, geometric hour markers, and a magnified day-date display at 3 o’clock. Underneath this sleek watch face, you can find a Seiko Caliber 4R36. This self-winding caliber has a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance rating of up to 200 meters. With a price tag of $490 USD, the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE07 is easily one of the best, most affordable divers out there. Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPG19K1 Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex King Turtle Ref. SRPG19K1. This is a special edition model crafted in collaboration with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The overall build of this watch is similar to that of the Ref. SRPE03, but this Seiko King Turtle PADI watch also comes with a more distinct, original design. This watch utilizes a 45mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case, coupled with a matching three-link stainless steel bezel. On top of the case, you can find a stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic insert. The bezel showcases indicators in silver and sky blue for the elapsed time scale. These indicators cast a satisfying contrast against each other, while the light blue accents also help add a pop of color to this otherwise monochrome watch face. Like the Seiko King Turtle Ref. SRPE03, the dial of this watch shows off an embossed waffle design. However, it differs in that this dial’s waffle design is in the shape of a globe. This dial also contains bold luminous hour markers, a magnified date window, and a three-hand system with silver and blue accents that give this dial a more playful edge. This watch is driven by an automatic Seiko Caliber 4R36. Held together by 24 jewels, this movement has a 200-meter depth rating and can last for up to 41 hours when fully wound. Aside from being the newest King Turtle model, it is also the most expensive, selling at around $720 USD. Is the Seiko King Turtle Worth It?  If you are still uncertain about whether the Seiko King Turtle is worth the purchase, here are some reasons to help you make your decision.  Good Reputation. If you are a serious collector, then you know the importance of reputation in the watchmaking world. It may seem like a shallow thing to take into consideration, but a watch’s reputation actually affects many other factors, including its credibility, resale value, and more. That said, you really do not have to worry about this with the Seiko King Turtle, because this watch has a very decent reputation in the watch community. It is a true icon of durability and robustness for all the divers out there who want nothing but the best on their wrists. Reasonably Priced. Whether you are looking for a durable diving timepiece or a sports watch with a well-crafted design, the Seiko King Turtle is a fail-safe option that will not break the bank. The models in this series all fall within the $450 USD to $750 USD price range, which is quite affordable when you consider the Seiko King Turtle’s amazing specs and iconic reputation. You are also guaranteed to get the most out of what you paid for since this is the type of watch that can be passed on from one generation to the next. Reliable Diver. Last but not least, the Seiko King Turtle is worth it simply because it is a reliable and durable diving watch. It is equipped with a well-crafted mechanism that powers all of its excellent functions. Everything about the Seiko King Turtle’s design and build is also purposefully chosen to adapt to the harshest diving conditions. Final Thoughts The Seiko King Turtle is arguably one of the best diver watches out there that will not cost you thousands of dollars. It serves as a good option for those who want a trusted and reliable diving watch that has a reasonable price tag. Ultimately, if you are on the hunt for a good companion to accompany you on your underwater adventures, you will not go wrong with this watch. Photo Credits: Seiko Official Site and WatchShopping  If you want to know more about diving watches, check out our article on the Orient Mako II. 

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  6. Casio Rangeman: A Review of the Brand’s Toughest Watch

    Casio Rangeman: A Review of the Brand’s Toughest Watch

    Casio is widely regarded as being home to some of the toughest watches in the world. While this Japanese brand has numerous refined collections that have greatly contributed to horology, it only truly made a name for itself with its legendary Casio G-Shock collection. This is a line of exceptionally rugged tactical timepieces designed to survive any sort of harsh conditions. One particular high-caliber watch in this collection is the Casio Rangeman GW-9400. Equipped with G-Shock’s famous triple sensor technology and a robust build that is virtually unmatched in the watchmaking world, the Casio Rangeman has become the perfect companion to professionals and adventurers working in extreme conditions. In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Casio Rangeman GW-9400, including its specifications, price, and just what makes it so popular. Brief History of Casio G-Shock Rangeman  In 2013, Casio launched a new series of modern G-Shock watches. Known as the Master of G line-up, these new additions to the G-Shock collection were notable as they came with Casio’s newest, state-of-the-art triple sensor technology. Among these watches was, of course, the Casio Rangeman GW-9400. Today, the Casio Rangeman has become the most coveted model out of the many G-Shock watches in existence. It is the number one pick amongst outdoorsmen and sportsmen of all categories. With its superb features, rugged, combat-ready profile, and accessible price, the Casio Rangeman’s popularity is truly no surprise. Anatomy of the Casio GW-9400 Rangeman Case and Bezel Photo from Watchshopping.com All of the Casio Rangeman GW-9400 watches are built using solid resin cases. The Casio Rangeman’s case is incredibly thick, which provides greater protection against shocks and impacts. They also tend to be large, measuring around 53mm to 55mm in diameter. However, despite their robust sizes, the use of resin means that the Casio Rangeman is actually very light, weighing around 93g, so you can still wear the watch comfortably for extended periods of time. The Rangeman’s thick case is also constructed to have a more three-dimensional profile, with the dial being submerged and surrounded by layers of resin so that the screen of the dial is always protected. As a digital watch, the Casio Rangeman comes packed with an array of useful functions. As a result, the case is also crowded with pushers and buttons that allow you to control these features. For instance, a larger, protruding pusher located at the 3 o’clock position allows you to access the triple sensors’ different modes. Other pushbuttons can be used for the watch’s chronograph functions, to change between different time zones, and so on. You also don’t need to fear being confused by all these buttons and features. The pushers on the Casio Rangeman are all carefully labeled in clean grey and white typefaces, allowing you to get the hang of this watch very quickly. Dial As previously mentioned, the Casio Rangeman has a digital dial that is filled with useful features. It consists of a layer of scratch-resistant mineral glass, with a gray backdrop text in a highly legible, typical black font. Casio opted for a digital dial instead of an analog one because they wanted to optimize this watch in terms of readability and ease of use, so as to better serve the adventurers and hikers that were the main target audience of the Casio Rangeman. With a segmented digital dial, wearers could take one quick glance at the watch face and immediately see all the information they needed. In order to accommodate all of the functions the Casio Rangeman has, the dial is split into four different screens. When in the default modes, the screens each display the time, day of the week, the month and day, and a chronograph display. By pressing the different pushers on the side of the case, you can change the modes of the watch to bring up different types of information such as the compass, the barometric pressure readings, and so on. Movement The Casio Rangeman’s impressive functions are all driven by a high-performing quartz movement. As a quartz caliber, it offers a superlative accuracy rate of ±1 second per day, or ±15 seconds per month. It is also equipped with an incredible 8-month long battery. If necessary, you can also turn on the watch’s power save function, which allows the Casio Rangeman to last up to 23 months when fully charged. Furthermore, this is a solar movement, so you can charge it with solar power, simply by exposing it to light. Bracelet Photo from Watchshopping.com The Casio Rangeman GW-9400 also comes with an integrated resin band, which completes the watch’s sporty and rugged aesthetic. This strap is ergonomic and feels comfortable against your wrist even after hours of use. A stainless steel buckle keeps the strap securely wrapped around your wrist. Resistance The Casio Rangeman GW-9400 is not called one of the toughest watches in the world for nothing. With its sturdy resin case, Casio designed this watch to have water, mud, and shock-resistant properties. It can withstand low temperatures of up to -10°C or 14°F and is water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters. Whether you are diving, swimming, hiking, or doing any other outdoor adventure, this timepiece is the best partner you could have, since it can take a beating and still remain functional no matter what you put it through. That said, make sure to give your Casio Rangeman a good rinse afterward so it always looks clean and pristine. Functions First off, the Casio GW-9400 Rangeman is one of the first timepieces to ever feature the brand’s triple sensor technology, which means that it is equipped with a barometer, altimeter, and compass functions. These are essential to those who are out and about in their adventures. Aside from this, the watch also contains sunrise and sunset data, a thermometer, and Casio’s MultiBand 6 technology, which allows the watch to keep precise time by staying calibrated to surrounding radio waves. This watch also comes with features that are incredibly useful in everyday life. These include a chronograph stopwatch that can measure up to 1000 hours, 31 different time zones, a countdown timer, 5 daily alarms, a full auto-calendar, and much more. With everything that it can do, the Casio Rangeman is a watch that is truly meant to serve you and make your life easier. Best Casio Rangeman GW-9400 Models Now that we have established the Casio Rangeman’s impressive specifications and everything it can do, let us take a look at some of the best GW-9400 models available right now:  1. Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF Photo from Watchshopping.com The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is an instantly recognizable G-Shock model with its rugged, mostly grey build, which is complemented by some vibrant red accents. This is one of the most sought-after models of the Casio Rangeman for the power and practicality it boasts. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF comes in a 53mm case and strap, primarily crafted from resin, rubber, and silicone. These are materials renowned for being highly flexible, hypoallergenic, and having excellent water-resistant capacities. Its digital screen displays the hour, minutes, seconds, date, and day of the week and is filled with grey hues of varying shades. This is complemented by bright red accents dotted around the watch, in the form of red texts and a red stripe around the stainless steel pusher, which serve to brighten up this Casio Rangeman and enhance its sporty look. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is equipped with an in-house quartz Caliber 3410. This powerful movement ensures top-notch accuracy, with a precision rate of ±15 seconds per month. It also offers Multiband Atomic Timekeeping and a 200-meter water resistance capacity, making it an ideal piece for your next water adventure. This Casio Rangeman retails at around $449 USD, which is a very budget-friendly price for such a tough watch. 2. Casio Rangeman GW-9400DCJ-1JF The next watch on this list is of the best Casio Rangeman models is the GW-9400DCJ-1JF, also known as the Rangeman Desert Camouflage. This is another powerfully-built Casio Rangeman with a design that is based on the camouflage uniforms of military units assigned to work in the desert. As the newest member of the Master of G sub-collection, this Casio Rangeman piece was crafted with desert adventurers and military soldiers in mind. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400DCJ-1JF comes with the standard black resin case with some carbon fiber inserts to better reinforce the case’s sturdiness and resistance to shocks and impacts. Its strap is different from other Rangeman models, coming in a light brown camouflage pattern that blends into its desert surroundings. This Rangeman piece has a stunning digital dial with sharp black text and a lighter-colored background than the Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF. This dial is protected by a flat layer of scratch-resistant mineral crystal. In addition, you can find gold and beige-toned markings all over the thick resin bezel, complementing the softer hues of the dial and the resin strap. The Rangeman Desert Camo GW-9400DCJ-1JF comes at a slightly more expensive price tag of $770 USD. 3. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400-3DR Last but certainly not least, we have the all-green Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400-3DR. This watch bears the standard Rangeman build but stands out with its unique, forest-themed colorway. It is a tough-looking watch equipped with innovative features that correspond to its price. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400-3DR features a case and strap both made out of dark green-coated plastic resin, paired with a mineral crystal that provides the digital dial with greater protection. This watch is slightly larger than the aforementioned models, coming in at around 55.2mm in diameter. It is a rugged, sturdy timepiece that can withstand shocks, mud, low temperatures, scratches, and even has a water resistance rating of 200m. As with other versions of the Rangeman, the GW-9400-3DR is equipped with a solar-powered quartz movement and the brand’s famous triple sensor technology. You can purchase this watch for approximately $300 USD, making this the most affordable Rangeman piece in this guide. Final Thoughts  While there are other durable and rugged watches out there, there is still no timepiece that can be as tough and reliable as the Casio Rangeman. Equipped with the G-Shock’s impressive technological innovations and signature robust build, this is the best survival watch to use in any and every adventure. Furthermore, with its very accessible price range, virtually anyone can own a Rangeman of their own.   Featured image from Casio Official Website. All images courtesy to Casio’s Official Website unless stated. Want to know more about other toughest watches from the Casio collections you should never miss paying attention to? Check our guide about the Best Casio Dive Watches.

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  7. 10 Best Seiko Chronograph Watches for Your Different Needs

    10 Best Seiko Chronograph Watches for Your Different Needs

    Did you know that Seiko was responsible for the creation of the world’s first-ever quartz chronograph? That very timepiece, the Seiko Astron, contributed greatly to the brand’s success as a renowned Japanese watchmaker today. There is no doubt that Seiko’s century of experience in watchmaking has made them one of the top watch brands alongside names such as Casio and Omega. Over the years, Seiko has become a well-established company that makes some of the best and most affordable chronographs in the market. The brand is also known for its prolificness, and it has a very diverse range of chronograph offerings, catering to all sorts of needs such as diving, formal events, aviation, and more. As such, we have gone over Seiko’s catalog and curated a list of 10 of the best Seiko Chronograph watches available today. Here is a quick overview of what you can expect in this article: Best Seiko Chronograph for Everyday Use: Seiko Brightz SAGA197Best Seiko Chronograph for a Formal Event: Seiko Presage Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited EditionBest Seiko Chronograph for Diving: Seiko Prospex SBDL065 Diver Solar Chronograph & Seiko Prospex SSC807J1 Chronograph DiverBest Seiko Chronograph for Pilots: Seiko SNA411 FlightmasterBest Vintage Seiko Chronograph: Seiko Prospex SSC739P1Best Seiko Chronographs for Traveling: Seiko Astron 8X Series SBXB009 & Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH001J1Best Affordable Seiko Chronographs: Seiko Prospex Chronograph SC741P1 & Seiko Alarm Chronograph SSC141Top 10 Best Seiko Chronographs for Your Needs Best Seiko Chronograph for Everyday Use: Seiko Brightz Wave Solar Radio SAGA197 Photo by Watchshopping The Seiko Brightz chronograph watches are some of the best models for everyday wear and we have picked one that is sure to meet your daily needs. The Seiko Brightz Ref. SAGA197 is a robust and professional-looking timekeeper. Despite its standard 43.6mm build, this Seiko chronograph does not feel heavy on your wrist at all, with its lightweight Diashock-coated titanium casing and bracelet. Its exterior is sleek and well brushed, with polished and trimmed central links. This Seiko Chronograph model features a bold black dial that is versatile enough to match any style, whether it is a suit and tie or a casual shirt and shorts. The majority of the dial is taken up by three chronograph sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, which can be controlled by the pushers on the left and right side of the case. At the very rim of the dial, you can see markings indicating 25 different cities, which allows the wearer to track 25 different time zones. The watch’s bezel also comes with a rotary slide rule, which you can use to do calculations such as addition, division, multiplication, and conversions. Powered by the Caliber 8B92, a solar quartz movement developed by Seiko itself, this Seiko Brightz Chronograph for your everyday needs retails at a price of $819 USD. Best Seiko Dress Chronograph for Formal Events: Seiko Presage Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited Edition Photo by Watchshopping Seiko’s Presage collection is designed to be the brand’s line of fashionable and elegant dress watches. The quintessential Seiko Chronograph representative from this collection has to be the Presage Chronograph Ref. SARK015. It is a limited edition piece inspired by the brand’s Crown watches from the 1960s. This model stands out from the rest with its sleek, modern looks and high-tech features. This Seiko Chronograph comes in a 42.3mm stainless steel case with well-shaped lugs paired with a black Cordovan strap. It boasts an ivory tint dial, featuring double-ridged hour markers and luminous sword-shaped hands. This is contrasted with a bold and striking matte black bidirectional bezel, with rugged teeth-like edges that provide wearers with a better grip. This Seiko Presage watch is powered by an automatic Caliber 8R48, which allows the column wheel and vertical clutch to accurately function. Finally, it bears an exquisite Zaratsu polished finish, commonly found in the luxurious Grand Seiko pieces, which adds to this watch’s dressy and sharp aesthetics. You can purchase this Seiko Chronograph for approximately $3,679 USD. Best Seiko Chronographs for Diving: Seiko Prospex SBDL065 Diver Solar Chronograph & Seiko Prospex SSC807J1 Chronograph Diver Photo by Watchshopping For this section, we offer two excellent Seiko Chronograph dive watches that will make excellent underwater companions. First up is the Seiko Prospex SBDL065 Diver Solar Chronograph, which belongs to the limited edition Prospex Black sub-collection of dive watches from Seiko. This Seiko Chronograph dive watch is highly durable, with its 44.5 stainless steel case that is coated in a hard black layer, designed to support safe and convenient diving in the deep seas. This Seiko Prospex model is a solar chronograph, with a dial designed to display maximum legibility during deep-sea diving. Its hour markers come in large geometric shapes that are generously filled with LumiBrite, allowing the watch to stay brightly lit up even when underwater. Its luminous hands also come in silver and vibrant orange to better contrast against the watch’s black dial, so that wearers can read the watch face more easily and quickly. As a top-notch dive watch, this Seiko Chronograph has a secure screw-down crown and caseback, which contribute to its substantial 200-meter water resistance capacity. This Seiko Chronograph diver has a price tag of $929 USD. Photo by Watchshopping The next dive chronograph from Seiko we are looking at is the Seiko Prospex SSC807J1 Chronograph Diver. This is yet another limited edition piece that is inspired by Japan’s famous Iriomote Island. Most professional divers have probably heard of this island before, as it is home to an abundance of marine life and is a popular destination for diving. The watch’s island green dial is representative of the island’s scenic greenery and ocean depths. This Seiko Chronograph watch has a bulky stainless steel case that measures 13.7mm in thickness and 44.5 mm in diameter, so it will feel quite substantial on your wrist. Its green Sunday dial has large sword-shaped hands and bold hour markers in the form of geometric shapes, all of which are coated in LumiBrite. At the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock markers, you can find three small chronograph sub-dials in grey that blend in well with the vibrant green backdrop. This Seiko Prospex watch typically comes with a stainless steel bracelet, but you can also opt for a green silicone strap that is highly resistant to saltwater and does not retain moisture instead. Powered by a Caliber V192, a solar quartz movement with an accuracy of +/-15 seconds per month, this Seiko Chronograph dive watch has a solid 200-meter water resistance capacity. It retails at a fairly affordable price of $789 USD. Best Seiko Chronograph for Pilots: Seiko SNA411 Flightmaster Photo by Seiko The Seiko SNA411 Flightmaster is one of the best chronographs for pilots in the market. Reliable, masculine, and very affordable, the Flightmaster has almost everything you need in a pilot’s watch. This Seiko Chronograph pilot watch has an exterior made entirely of stainless steel, with a sturdy stainless steel case that measures 42mm in diameter and 13mm in thickness. The watch’s black dial is busy and jam-packed with features, as it comes with three chronograph sub-dials, a tachymetric scale, luminous hour indices and sword-shaped hands, and a date display at 3 o’clock. A bright yellow seconds hand also helps add a splash of quirkiness to this otherwise monochrome watch. It is also equipped with a slide rule bezel which works as a handy navigational tool for calculating speed, distance, and height. This Seiko Chronograph pilot watch runs on the brand’s Caliber 7T62, which is a quartz movement that gives excellent precision and a water resistance capacity of 200 meters. You can purchase this aviation watch for a very budget-friendly price of $255 USD. Best Vintage-Style Seiko Chronograph: Seiko Prospex SSC739P1 Photo by Watchshopping If you are a fan of quintessential looks, check out the vintage-inspired Seiko Prospex SSC739P1. This solar-powered Seiko Chronograph has an old-school and timeless look that is sure to elevate your style, no matter what you are wearing. This Seiko Prospex watch boasts a 44mm stainless steel case with a layer of hard black coating, improving the case’s durability and allows for less visible scratches. Its vintage vibe is enhanced by a brown calfskin leather band, which is one of the most comfortable strap materials for watches. This watch also boasts a dark green dial that blends well with its three light grey chronograph sub-dials. Its white sword-shaped hands and organised Arabic numeral hour markers are heavily reminiscent of old-school military dial layouts, adding to the watch’s classic aesthetic. These indices and hands are also coated in LumiBrite paint for improved visibility at night. The Seiko Prospex SSC739P1 is powered by the Caliber V176, which is a solar-charging quartz movement that has an accuracy of +/-15 seconds per month. You also do not have to worry about using this vintage-influenced piece outdoors, as it has a handy 200-meter water resistance rating, and its battery can last up to 6 months without being charged. You can purchase this Seiko chronograph watch for approximately $429 USD. Best Seiko Chronographs for Travelling: Seiko Astron 8X Series SBXB009 & Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH001J1 Photo by Watchshopping With regards to the best Seiko chronograph watches for travelers, there are two great options available. The first is the Seiko Astron 8X Series SBXB009, which was picked because its features and build are all extremely helpful for travelers. This model has a sleek black titanium case with fairly large size of 44.6mm. This is paired with a smooth three-link bracelet with no sharp edges, so it will fit comfortably on your wrist. Like the case, the bracelet is made of lightweight titanium, so this watch will not feel too heavy despite its larger size. Keeping the watch’s all-black theme consistent, the Seiko Astron 8X also comes with a sunburst black dial with silver accents on the luminous indices and hands. This model features automatic time adjustment, depending on which time zone you are in. It also has an in-flight mode if you need to avoid any interruptions from electronic devices during your travel. On the bezel, you can find a litany of airport codes marked. These indicators guide you in setting the time for 39 different time zones, making this the perfect Seiko chronograph for frequent travelers. All these functions are made possible by the watch’s GPS Solar 8X82 movement. This multifunctional Seiko Astron watch retails at around $2,229 USD. Photo by Watchshopping Another chronograph that is great for traveling is the Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH001J1. With this watch, your international travel experience is guaranteed to be hassle-free. This titanium chronograph watch actually bears very similar specifications and functions to the previous Seiko Astron model, but this is an upgraded piece that belongs to Seiko’s 5X Series. It has a smaller case size of 42mm and is powered by a Caliber 5X52 GPS solar movement instead. As such, it has unique functions including a perpetual calendar (up to February 28, 2100), power save function, and a reception result display. You can purchase this Seiko chronograph for $1,999 USD. Best Affordable Seiko Chronographs: Seiko Prospex Chronograph SC741P1 Photo by Watchshopping If you are working with a limited budget, here’s a high-quality yet affordable Seiko Chronograph option for you. The Seiko Prospex Chronograph SC741P1 is a 2019 Special Edition model that was released for the brand’s “Save the Ocean” campaign, an environmentally-friendly initiative aimed towards promoting marine conservation. This Seiko Prospex watch comes in a 43,5mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link bracelet. In keeping with the campaign’s theme, this watch features an ocean-inspired blue dial and a two-toned blue-and-grey bezel. Its gradient blue dial is a reflection of the seas, with a pattern of thick wavy lines that resemble ocean waves. The handset of this watch is also designed to look like the shape of the caudal fin and dorsal fin of a shark. On the dial, you can find three contrasting black chronograph sub-dials, along with bold hour markers in the form of white geometric shapes. On top of its stylishness, the affordable Seiko Chronograph is also the perfect companion for outdoor adventures. It is equipped with a 200-meter depth rating, a Hardlex mineral glass for greater dial protection, and LumiBrite coatings on the hands and indices for improved visibility. Powering this timepiece is the V175 quartz calibre which is a solar-powered movement that can go for six months without recharging. You can purchase this useful and budget-friendly Seiko Chronograph timepiece for $489 USD. Photo by Seiko Another affordable chronograph option is the Seiko Alarm Chronograph SSC141. This model comes in a 42.5 mm stainless steel case with a deep blue dial, featuring luminous silver indices and sword-shaped hands. On the very edge of the dial, there is a tachymetric scale, which allows you to easily keep track of elapsed time. The bulk of the dial is taken up by three sub-dials, which can be found at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock markers. These include the 60-minute counter, a split time measurement, and a 12-hour alarm. This solar-powered watch is run by the Caliber V172T and has a price tag of approximately $375 USD. Seiko’s Innovation with Chronographs The 1940s–1960s Photo by Seiko Along with many other brands in the industry, Seiko started creating chronographs equipped with Japanese technology. The brand’s first chronograph was developed in the 1940s with a pocket watch design. In 1969, Seiko chronograph watches surpassed Swiss-made pieces when the brand released the Caliber 6139, which is the first-ever automatic chronograph movement. This caliber was equipped with a column wheel and a vertical clutch, which was a huge improvement for tool watches since it allowed for more accurate time measurements. In fact, the column wheel and vertical clutch are still essential components in high-end chronograph pieces today. Seiko’s 6139 series, also known as the Speed-Timer, was considered the brand’s quintessential vintage watch. It was designed with a chunky 40mm case, with an aluminum tachymeter bezel, a winding crown, and chronograph pushers located on the right of the case. It was offered in various dial colourways, such as blue, yellow, and silver. Its watch face also featured a day and date display, along with a 30-minute sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The 1970s–1980s Photo by Seiko In the following decade, Seiko launched the 0634, which has the distinction of being the world’s first digital quartz watch with a chronograph. The 0634 watch is essentially a multi-functional digital piece with an internal light for luminescence in poor lighting conditions. This milestone led other brands to start developing their own quartz digital chronograph watches as well. In 1982, Seiko also created the world’s first portable television watch with a chronograph complication. Aside from its chronograph feature, this watch was also fitted with a tuner, headphone jack, alarm, and calendar. This unique creation was quite an achievement, not just for Seiko but also for Japan, as a country of advanced technology. A year later, the Japanese brand released yet another quartz chronograph, but with more innovations. This was the world’s first analog quartz watch with a chronograph function, designed by the famous Italian car designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. This groundbreaking piece was a result of Seiko’s expertise in quartz technology and mechanical chronograph watchmaking. The 2000s–present Photo by Seiko In the early 2000s, Seiko showed their mastery in making chronographs yet again when they released the Spring Drive Chronograph collection. This was a selection of watches with the ability to display elapsed time more accurately, with a precision rate of +/-1 second a day. Since then, Seiko has only continued to enlarge their catalog of chronograph offerings, equipping them with more state-of-the-art technology and stylish designs. Seiko Chronographs: Multi-Function Timepieces for Everyone With over 100 years of experience in watchmaking, Seiko has gained credibility as a brand and as an international watchmaker. Ever since the invention of quartz watches, Japanese watches have been dominating the market with their advanced technology and keen attention to detail. The same, of course, applies to the chronograph watch market. Seiko chronograph watches prove that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars just to satisfy your desire for a well-crafted, reliable chronograph piece. Featured image by Lucas D. of Unsplash.com Can’t get enough of chronographs? Check our full list of chronographs watches and see which one suits you best. 

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  8. Citizen Promaster Tough: A Guide to the Most Durable Sports Watches

    Citizen Promaster Tough: A Guide to the Most Durable Sports Watches

    The Citizen Promaster Tough collection is built to last and perform beyond expectations. This range is home to some of the sturdiest and most affordable timepieces in the industry today. Indeed, if taken care of properly, Citizen Promaster Tough watches could easily last you a lifetime despite their inexpensive prices. For this reason, the Citizen Promaster Tough is also known to be one of the brand’s most popular watch lines. In fact, two of the Citizen’s best-selling watches, the Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E and the Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, can be found in this collection.  Today, we will be walking you through the Citizen Promaster Tough, including its outstanding features, six of its best models, and everything they have to offer. Read on to find out how these watches compare against other famous Japanese brands like Seiko and Casio. How Tough is the Citizen Promaster Tough As per its name, the Citizen Promaster Tough is a collection renowned for its highly durable watches. Non-chronograph models in the Citizen Promaster Tough line feature monocoque cases, which are two-piece constructions with no caseback at all. The cases are made of stainless steel, which provides maximum rigidity, anti-magnetism, and excellent shock resistance. The cases also have a Super Titanium™ coating that is five times harder than the usual stainless steel case, preventing the watch from accumulating rust and scratches over time. This coating is even hypoallergenic, so you will not have any problems wearing the Promaster Tough watches on your wrist for hours at a time. Meanwhile, the chronograph pieces in the Citizen Promaster Tough collection are also resistant to magnetic fields and scratches. However, these watches instead feature ion-plated stainless steel cases with Duratect™ coating. This Duratect coating is known to be harder than stainless steel and has hypoallergenic properties to boot. Both the chronograph and non-chronograph models in the Promaster Tough line can be paired with two different straps. Wearers have a choice of a sleek stainless steel bracelet, or a hardy and comfortable CORDURA® ballistic fabric strap. Finally, in terms of their technical specifications, all Citizen Promaster Tough watches are equipped with the brand’s famous Eco-Drive movement, which means they are all powered by light energy. As such, these Citizen Promaster Tough timepieces do not need any batteries and can function as long as they are exposed to any light source. The Promaster Tough watches are also equipped with water resistance ratings of 200m. This allows the wearer to enjoy extreme water adventures without worrying too much about their Promaster Tough watch suffering water damage. Moreover, Super-LumiNova® coatings are placed on all the indices, hands, and hour markers, allowing for optimal visibility in low light conditions. 6 Best Citizen Promaster Tough Watches We have curated a list of 6 of the best Citizen Promaster Tough models available. As befitting a watch from the Promaster Tough collection, all of these watches are remarkably durable and have highly legible, easy-to-use time displays.  1. Citizen Promaster Tough Chronograph Ref. CA0727-04E Eco-Drive The Citizen Promaster Tough Ref. CA0727-04E Eco-Drive is a chronograph piece for men that can be used during your everyday routines or during extreme adventures with friends. This watch boasts a 44mm black stainless steel watch with surface hardening treatment. The great thing is, even if you have sensitive skin, you have nothing to worry about since this model has hypoallergenic properties. In addition, the watch’s matte black dial is enclosed under an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. This sapphire crystal provides protection from scratches and allows for great visibility even under bright light glares. On the dial, you can find large Arabic numeral hour markers and hands that are generously coated with Super-LumiNova. The black case is paired with a brown Cordura ballistic strap made of woven nylon, which is a great material in terms of water resistance. Meanwhile, the watch’s 60-minute chronograph, 12/24 hour features, and date display are all powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology. This watch retails at $550 USD. 2. Citizen Promaster Tough CA0727-12E Eco-Drive Introduced in 2019, this Citizen Promaster Tough CA0727-12E is another chronograph model with military-inspired aesthetics. It comes in a 44mm stainless steel case in black with an added surface hardening treatment. It has rugged and robust aesthetics and is designed for men who love to go on wild escapades. On the right of the case, you will find a textured crown, with an oversized crown guard and pushers that are meant to provide an easy grip when adjusting the time and date. This is paired with a matching black bezel that is marked with a 6-minute scale in white for a perfect and more readable contrast during deep diving. Moreover, this watch also has a black dial with bold silver-toned markers, a sizeable date display at 3 o’clock, and a chronograph feature. The chronograph function comprises of three textured subdials placed at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, giving an accurate presentation of the elapsed time, hour time, and minutes. These functions are driven by a solar-powered caliber B612. Lastly, this model is paired with a camo-patterned ballistic nylon strap. This strap even has polyurethane material on its edges for better comfort and durability.  You can purchase this watch for just $275 USD. 3. Citizen Promaster Tough Stainless Steel Chronograph CA0720-54H Eco-Drive The Citizen Promaster Tough CA0720-54H model is the stainless steel variation of the previous watch. If you are looking for a sleeker, more professional looking chronograph watch, then you simply have to get this piece. It features a 44mm silver-toned stainless steel case with a layer of hardened coating as well. The main difference between this model and the Promaster Tough CA0727-12E is that this one uses stainless steel for both the case and bracelet. In addition, its dial comes in a different hue of light blue-grey. This watch retails at a slightly higher price of $297 USD. 4. Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E The Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E watch is one of the best picks for people seeking a durable yet classic watch option. This men’s watch comes in a 42mm monocoque stainless steel case with a surface hardening treatment. In addition, the exterior is coated with Super Titanium™ as well. This watch boasts a straightforward black dial with silver-toned hands, hour indices, and a date display at 3 o’clock. It also has a vibrant red seconds hand that adds a splash of color to this otherwise monochrome watch face. This model is powered by a caliber E168. Unlike the models in the Citizen Promaster Tough collection, this watch stands out as it does not utilize light energy, but instead has an analog quartz movement with a six-month continuous operating time. This Promaster Tough watch costs $495 USD in retail. 5. Citizen Promaster Tough Green BN0211-09X Eco-Drive This model is the military green version of the previous model stated above. Like the Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, the Promaster Tough Green BN0211-09X Eco-Drive has a 42mm silver-toned stainless steel case with surface hardening treatment. This is paired with a green ballistic strap that adds to the watch’s rugged aesthetic. This makes the Promaster Tough BN0211-09X an ideal field watch since it is very comfortable and durable, and even fits the theme of a field watch with its colorway.  This watch also has a 10.75mm thick dial that comes in an army-green hue. In lieu of the usual numeral hour markers, this dial boasts wide silver-tone indices and hands. In addition, you can see a compact date window located next to the 3 o’clock marker. The watch’s hands and hour indices are also generously coated with Super-LumiNova feature to allow for high visibility in the dark as well. Moreover, a caliber E168 powers this Citizen Promaster Tough model with a rechargeable cell. For $425 USD, you can purchase this rugged field piece. 6. Citizen Promaster Tough All-Black BN0217-02E Eco-Drive If you prefer a more simple and minimal timepiece, then the Promaster Tough All-Black BN0217-02E should be your pick. With its bold all-black aesthetic, this a great option if you want to prevent visible scratches and rust from being noticed on the case. This watch consists of a black stainless steel case, a matching black Cordura® ballistic fabric strap, and an analog dial. This is contrasted against silver-toned indices, hands, and a date display outlined in silver for better readability. Like the Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, the Citizen Promaster Tough All-Black uses a caliber E168 to power its time and date functions. It retails at a price of $450 USD. 3 Alternative Models to Citizen Promaster Tough If you enjoy the features that the Promaster Tough offers, but find that it is not quite your style, fear not! Here are three excellent alternatives which are just as rugged, durable, and functional as the Citizen Promaster Tough. 1. G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio Watch Ref. MRG-7700B-1BJF Image from Watchshopping Worthy of being number one on the list is the G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio. Coming from a fellow well-known and reliable Japanese brand Casio, you can safely depend on this hardy G-Shock watch regardless of whatever conditions you are in. The G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio comes in an oversized 46.8mm titanium case with a hard coating, making it highly resistant to scratches and rust. The dial boasts a hybrid analog and digital time display, with a black LCD screen under the skeletal hands. Aside from that, you can also find handy features like a perpetual calendar until the year 2100 and a power reserve indicator on this dial. While this watch is quite large, it is relatively understated and will not look too flashy — thanks to its sleek, monochromatic appearance. When it comes to the technical details, this model is equipped with a quartz movement that is powered by solar energy, making it an eco-friendly watch like the Citizen Promaster Tough. It is also equipped with a water resistance rating of 200m, so it is great for extreme water activities. For $1,649 USD, you can enjoy the toughness and functionality this piece has to offer. 2. Casio Pro Trek Ref. PRW-60T-7AJF Image from Watchshopping Another option that you should consider is the Pro Trek Ref. PRW-60T-7AJF. This Casio men’s watch is a great digital sports model. It is equipped with the brand’s new Triple Sensor Version 3 engine, which includes a digital compass, a thermometer, and an altimeter. In addition, this solar-powered watch comes with additional key features like a chronograph, an alarm, a world time function, cold resistance, and much more. This hardy and robust sports watch can work as your best companion for outdoor adventures. In terms of its specifications, this Pro Trek watch also has a large case size of 47.2 mm, so it is best suited for those with average-to-large size wrists. The case and bracelet are both made out of tough, scratch-resistant stainless steel, reinforcing this watch’s status as a tough outdoor watch. It is also incredibly convenient to use because it is equipped with a backlight which can illuminate the dial whenever you need it. You can purchase this Casio piece for $609 USD. 3. Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph 3580 Series Ref. XS.3581 Image from Watchshopping The Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph 3580 Series Ref. XS.3581 is a good pick if you want a straightforward analog watch over a digital or hybrid one. This model features big and bold numerals on its unidirectional bezel and dial. Moreover, all of the markers come in white and are placed against a black background for a perfect contrast. The highly luminous markers and hands also add to the watch’s legibility; in fact, according to Luminox, this watch can glow 100 times brighter than other luminous timepieces. This Luminox watch comes in a robust 45mm carbon fiber case, which makes it durable, lightweight, and very easy-to-wear. This Luminox Navy Seal piece is powered by a Swiss quartz movement that provides a 200m water resistance capacity and two years of battery life. Rest assured that you can rely on this watch since it is inspired and approved by military forces such as the US Navy SEALs and US Air Force Pilots. This Luminox timepiece retails at $429 USD. Final Thoughts The Citizen Promaster Tough watches are the perfect choice if you are looking for a watch that is highly resistant to everyday wear and tear. A watch that cannot keep on ticking when faced with the toughest conditions is not one you should consider. As such, you cannot compromise on a watch’s durability and functionality simply for aesthetic purposes. If you want to have strength, functionality, and affordability all in one piece, then the Promaster Tough watches should be your go-to choice.  Photo credits: Citizen’s official website unless stated. If you want to know more about Citizen watches, check out our guide to Citizen NY0040.

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  9. 5 Best Seiko Credor Watches and Why You Need One Now

    5 Best Seiko Credor Watches and Why You Need One Now

    Credor is not a brand people hear a lot about. People often call it Seiko Credor, which is unsurprising, as it is a brand under the Seiko Corporation as well, much like Grand Seiko. We also know that the watches from the Credor brand have quite a steep price hike compared to most Seiko timepieces. Of course, this leads many people to think twice about Credor. Why do these timepieces, ostensibly under the Seiko brand name, have such high price tags that they could almost be considered luxury watches? We’ll tell you why: because it’s Credor — a Japanese legend. Credor or Seiko Credor? Seiko got the name Credor from the French phrase “Créte d’Or.” It means “the ultimate of the gold”, which makes sense considering the prices of the watches from this brand. In 1974, Seiko founded this company with the idea of producing watches made only from precious materials. This allowed the brand to completely embrace the Japanese aesthetic values — simple, delicate, beautiful. In the beginning, Seiko only used precious metals in Credor watches. However, more recently, you can also find stainless steel pieces in the Credor selection. Nonetheless, all Credor watches are premium timepieces — high-quality, lavish, and truly elegant. What makes Seiko Credor such an icon in the industry, despite its underrated status, is that it brings together everything Seiko is known for, while also boasting an added element of glamorous luxury. It carries more traditional craftsmanship in terms of its designs. However, inside the Seiko Credor watches are contemporary movements made with cutting-edge technology. Seiko Credor shows where 100 years of watchmaking expertise — shared between the companies operating under Seiko — can truly take a brand,. Sure, it might be more appropriate to call the brand Credor, but attaching the Seiko namesake just feels right. It is a Seiko Corporation brand, after all. In fact, Seiko used to put its logo in the dial of Credor watches as well. However, around the early 1980s, the dials of Credor watches became populated by the brand’s own “Golden Peak” logo and name, instead of Seiko’s. This “Golden Peak” Credor logo is the embodiment of a mountain that represents where Credor sits in terms of watchmaking — the summit. The logo comes with three stars on top that represent the three main tenets of Credor as a brand. The first tenet relates to creating designs that are unique while still keeping in mind the Japanese aesthetic ideals — delicacy, precision, and attention to detail. Secondly, a Credor watch must be precisely made and feature modern technology available at the time of its making. Finally, despite being an independent brand, Credor must always utilize the decades of Seiko’s history and heritage as a watchmaking company, including its craftsmanship and artistry. The Japanese DNA in Seiko Credor Watches Why the Seiko Credor is not as big in the west as it is in Japan is not a mystery at all. Sure, it is not typically marketed as a worldwide brand, but that is because Seiko Credor watches are never meant for anyone else. Seiko Credor is as Japanese as it gets — both in terms of inspiration and market-wise. It is made by Japanese watchmakers for the Japanese people. However, this does not mean that Seiko Credor timepieces should never be owned by anyone who is not Japanese. Instead, it just means that the timepiece you are getting is unapologetically Japanese. To say the least, a Credor watch is Japanese culture interpreted into a functional and elegant timepiece. That also applies to the watch’s technical aspects. This is what makes Seiko Credor such a unique addition to anyone’s collection. It is also a wonderful investment for the future. Many brands have changed their ideas over the years as modern technology dawned, but not this one. Designers and watchmakers at Credor do not compromise on its tenets. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world, and there are many ways a designer and engineer can apply modern technology without having to mess with the traditional aesthetics of a Credor watch. That said, the conservation of the brand’s philosophies does come with a price — and a hefty one at that. Seiko Credor watches are not your typical everyday timepiece. If you keep that in mind and set your expectations right, you will soon understand why Seiko Credor is one of the most sought-after luxury watch brands today. Seiko Credor’s Thin Movements Precision may be one of the tenets of Seiko Credor, but there is something else it is known for: its movements. What impresses patrons of the brand most about its movements are its dimensions. Yes, not just the prowess and accuracy they hold, but the way they are built. Seiko Credor movements are some of the thinnest watch movements you can find, not only in Seiko but also in the entire watchmaking industry. For instance, Credor Caliber 68 series movements sit at 1.98mm thickness. That makes this caliber the fifth thinnest mechanical movement in the world. Every component of this caliber was cut in 1/100mm units, forming a stunning movement that perfectly fits Credor’s standards. Even the quartz movements from the brand are exquisitely thin. The Caliber 6720, a quartz caliber introduced in 1980, is still the world’s thinnest quartz movement today, weighing in at only 0.89mm! These movements from Credor definitely prove that you do not have to produce a chronometer-grade movement to make waves in the industry. Thin movements equate to sleek watches with crazy good dimensions. These help keep Credor’s watches truly stylish. However, do not be fooled into thinking aesthetics are all Credor watches have going for them. After all, Seiko Credor still has that Seiko name attached to it. This assures anyone that the brand produces only high-caliber movements. These movements will perform beyond any expectations and can even surpass Swiss standards. 5 Best Seiko Credor Watches 1. Credor GCBE993 To begin the list of all the Credor watches you need to check out, we introduce the GCBE993. The Credor GCBE993 is a fairly straightforward watch, but it still has the artisanal flair you would expect of a Credor timepiece. It comes with the brand’s iconic “Raden dial.” Raden is a traditional Japanese decorative technique. As the process goes, artists place a delicate inlay material on a surface before polishing it with a few layers of lacquer. The Credor GCBE993 measures a slim 37mm in diameter and comes with compact tapered lugs. Additionally, the 6.5mm thickness makes it a fine, slender timepiece perfect for dressy occasions. This is a watch that stands out, especially as a conversation starter piece, thanks to its exquisite and unique Raden dial, which is undoubtedly the star of the timepiece. On the dial, right above 6 o’clock position where the seconds sub-dial sits, is a delicate pattern made from gold. Against the black dial backdrop, the flecks of gold look almost like stars floating in a dark, lacquered night sky. The markers at 12, 3, and 9 o’clock also draw some attention, for they are not applied nor printed. Instead, they are hand-drawn by artisans at Credor. This is one of the reasons why Credor is such a popular brand for collectors — every piece is a work of art. With such fine details, only experienced artists can craft this Credor timepiece. Just a little distraction or mistake could easily ruin such a beautiful and precise watch. The movement of the Credor GCBE993 can be seen through its exhibition caseback, giving you a glimpse of fine Tokyo stripes and vibrant blue screws. Even though the movement of this watch is thin, it still possesses beveled bridges, so light can play gorgeously across the surface of the movement. In addition, it only weighs 45g so it is ultra-light and slides right under the cuff. This watch costs around $8,600 USD in retail. 2. Credor GBLT999 Eichi is a Japanese word that means “Wisdom” in English. This is is also the name of the brand’s most popular timepiece. The second Eichi II was a true masterpiece that quickly caught on for many collectors. Crafting this watch requires an artist’s attention to detail, along with the technology used to its advantage. The Credor Eichi II GBLT999 is a model created especially by Seiko Corporation’s Micro Artist Studio. In this watch, you can get a glimpse of how Swiss watchmaker Philippe Dufour influenced the artists at Credor. This timepiece took the first generation Eichi watch and improved upon it. These upgrades include the placement of the power reserve display on the watch. Eichi I has it right on the dial at the 10 o’clock position. The Eichi II, on the other hand, chooses to put it on the underside of the watch, giving the dial a clean and symmetrical finish. The Eichi II was launched to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the brand’s foundation, as well as the 15th anniversary of the Seiko Spring Drive movement. For this timepiece, Credor utilized a modified version of the Spring Drive movement, using a hand-polishing technique that both gave it an unmistakable shine and improving its durability and operability. In addition, Credor also gave the movement a truly dynamic finish with some chamfering. With regards to the dial of the Eichi II, Credor went for a more muted, minimalistic aesthetic, with only deep blue markers, tempered hands, and a delicately-painted Credor logo against a stunning white porcelain dial. This is a beguiling dial that you simply cannot take your eyes off. Do not be shocked that this watch costs around $52,500 USD in retail. This is a pretty reasonable price, considering its sturdy, lightweight platinum case and high-caliber Spring Drive movement. 3. Credor GCCD993 Next up on the list, we have the limited edition Credor GCCD993 that was inspired by the gorgeous colors of the dawn. There are only 60 pieces of the GCCD993 available in the market, but that is not the only reason why this timepiece is so valuable. As is the case with most Credor watches, the dial of this watch is impressive in itself. It boasts a blue enamel dial that gives the illusion of a deep body of water right before the dawn of winter. This dial employs the use of impressive in-house enameling techniques. Craftsmen from the Ando Cloisonné Company are the ones responsible for the dial of this watch, creating beautiful gradients that are actually unique to Credor as a brand. They do this by layering four glazes. This technique gives the dial depth, adding an impression of increment radiating outwards from the center of the dial. This gives way to the octagons carved on the sterling silver base of the dial. You can get this limited edition timepiece with either a classy crocodile leather strap or a sleek stainless steel bracelet. With such an intricately crafted design, it is no surprise that the retail price of this watch starts at $16,600 USD. 4. Credor GBLS998 The Eichi II was impressive but wait until you meet the GBLS998, Credor’s Minute Repeating timepiece. This watch has the same incredible embellishments you can expect from Credor, but it also has an additional spec that makes it a true collector’s must-have. I am talking about the minute repeating complication that is known in the industry as a complex complication. The GBLS998 a bit bigger than other Credor models, but it is designed that way so that the minute repeater can function well. It has a cool and clear tone when the gongs hit, thanks to blacksmith Munemichi Myochin, a blacksmith and the 52nd head of the Myochin Family known for their stunning creations. The Myochin family is known as the House of Iron and they are known not only in Japan but also all over the world for their finely-tuned chimes, which they have also applied to the GBLS998. With the combination of the Myochin family’s techniques and the powerful Spring Drive movement, the Credor GBLS998 is a watch that boasts the purest chimes you could possibly find in a minute repeater. Along with the crisp acoustics of the watch, you will certainly not hear any interference from the movement either. There is a lot more to discover about this watch, and to hold it in your hand and experience its chime is the only way to really appreciate this timepiece. The Credor GBLS998 retails at around $400,000 USD. 5. Credor GCBD999 This is, perhaps, the most modern-looking watch from Credor. All the other watches we have discussed carry more traditional, conservative designs. The Credor GCBD999, however, embraces modern technology in all its aspects. This watch boasts a ruthenium black skeleton movement. This gives the watch a dressy look without having to take away from its spirit. It feels a lot like staring into the water’s surface when looking at this watch. It has curves that meet unexpectedly, and the fine bridge connecting the movement to the case as well as the metal frame supporting the caliber give this movement a modern edge. This intricate timepiece is a great alternative to models you might find from Piaget or Jaeger Le-Coultre. This watch was only recently launched, but it is definitely one to keep your eye on. It costs around $16,600 USD in retail. Cost of Seiko Credor Watches As of the writing of this article, you can find more than 80 models on Credor’s website. Their prices range from between $2,000 USD to $600,000 USD. Credor’s catalog offers a diverse range of watches that prove that Credor does not settle. The brand does not box itself into a certain market, nor is it afraid to take things down a notch when necessary. It can be intimidating to explore the entire range but you will definitely enjoy falling down the rabbit hole of Seiko Credor watches. Top 3 Alternatives to Seiko Credor There are a variety of reasons why the Seiko Credor might not be your cup of tea. It could be due to the fact that Credor falls on the more expensive side of the scale. Others simply do not get along well with the Japanese identity of the brand. Or, you might be looking for something just like the Seiko Credor. No matter what your reasons are, here are the top 2 alternatives to Seiko Credor, and one watch from each brand that you should definitely add to your collection today. Hajime Asaoka Photo from Hajima AsaokaIf you are looking for a brand of the same caliber as Seiko Credor, Hajime Asaoka is the one for you. This Japanese brand is well-known for its impressive collection of watches. However, just like Credor, this brand does not joke around when it comes to its price. Designer Hajime Asaoka established the eponymous brand, with self-taught knowledge in Haute Horlogerie, in 2005. The launch of the brand truly disrupted the Japanese watchmaking industry. Asaoka started out with a tourbillon watch, then proceeded to make many more noteworthy timepieces. Hajime Asaoka, unlike other brands, does most of the work himself, which explains the price of his watches. Like Roger Smith, he is an independent watchmaker who creates watches with a contemporary flair. You can expect Hajime Asaoka watches to cost around $50,000 USD or more. While it may sound like a lot, many collectors swear by this watchmaker for its precise timekeeping and quality pieces. Hajime Asaoka Project-T Tourbillon Photo from Hajima AsaokaOne of Hajime Asaoka’s most impressive watches is the Project-T Tourbillon watch. It is a traditional watch complication, given a contemporary twist with a modern design. Among its many quirks include the ball bearing located on the right side of the tourbillon’s upper bridge. This watch operates at 18,000 beats per hour, and has a power reserve of 40 hours. In this watch, you will find 13 ball bearings as well as 13 jewels. Hajime Asaoka used ball bearings instead of jewels because, according to the designer, they are lot more reliable and efficient than synthetic ruby jewels. These unusual ball bearings were made by Yuki Precision. If you are not familiar with the name, Yuki Precision holds the Guinness World Record for producing smallest ball bearings ever. They have crafted minute, 1.5 mm outer diameter ball bearings that have been used for fidget spinners. In addition, the Project-T Tourbillon watch also boasts a deep black dial with DLC processing which highlights the gunmetal features of the watch. This eye-catching timepiece costs around $80,000 USD in retail. Orient Photo from OrientIt is impossible to talk about the Japanese watchmaking industry without mentioning Orient. This brand is not the most popular of the bunch but it is definitely one that collectors enjoy. Orient provides intricate designs that range from affordable to high-end. Unlike brands such as Citizen and Casio, Orient focuses more on mechanical watches. This makes them one of the most affordable brands in the market. You simply cannot find mechanical watches from other brands at this price point. Orient designs also tend to lean more on the conservative side as well. Rather than the Japanese style and artistry exhibited by Seiko Credor and Hajime Asaoka, Orient watches tend to be closer in design to traditional Swiss timepieces. That said, the combination of Japanese craftsmanship and quintessential Swiss aesthetics does make Orient timepieces extremely appealing to collectors as well. Orient Star Mechanical Classic Photo from OrientOrient Star is the brand’s representative model, which truly helped it rise in the industry. The Orient Star Mechanical Classic RE-AZ0001S is powered by a hand-wound movement that gives it 708 hours of power reserve. This practical feature is all thanks to its new silicon escape wheel, which allows the watch to be lighter. The silicon escape wheel also gives the watch even better accuracy compared to other movements. It has an accuracy of +15 to -5 seconds per day. Aesthetically speaking, this Orient watch is stunning. It features a skeletonized dial that comes in stunning bronze and blue hues. It also has a hint of a spiral shape, reminiscent of the Milky Way. In keeping with the watch’s theme, there is also a noticeable comet-shaped component at the 9 o’clock position. The gold version of this watch costs around $2,600 USD, while the stainless steel version in silver-tone costs around $2,000 USD. Seiko Credor: Ingenious and Dignified We have all seen what Seiko can do in terms of technology. That said, perhaps the Seiko Credor line is proof that the watchmaking industry is more than just technology. Instead, horology is about heritage and art as well. This brand truly embraces the Japanese culture and puts forward its philosophies with great care. If you are looking for an individualistic luxury watch with its own unique character to add to your collection, the Seiko Credor is it. Everybody loves Seiko! Check out our review of the 6 best Seiko Kinetic watches and the top 3 Grand Seiko watches. Photos courtesy of Credor.

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  10. Seiko SNK809: All About The Best Starter Watch

    Seiko SNK809: All About The Best Starter Watch

    In the watchmaking world, there are certain essential know-hows you want to be aware of if you are at the start of your journey as a collector or an enthusiast. For example, one important detail you need to know is which timepieces are accepted or highly regarded by those in the watch community. While looking through hundreds and thousands of models might seem like an impossible task, starting off by doing research on beginner’s watches will serve as the foundation you need for everything else. With that being said, a handful of the most popular and wide-acclaimed starter timepieces are actually from the Japanese brand Seiko, which is why, today, we will be delving into one of their most marketable beginner models, the Seiko SNK809. Seiko: Through The Years Since their foundation back in 1881, Seiko has become one of the go-to brands for many watch patrons, and for good reason. The Japanese company has a very rich and colorful heritage that has helped shape who they are today. Just like most success stories out there, Seiko’s tale began with a determined protagonist called Kintaro Hattori.  At 21 years old, Hattori opened his very own shop in Tokyo where he sold and repaired all types of timepieces. This business endeavor did better than he could have ever imagined, and in a couple of years, he was able to upgrade to a factory that he dubbed the Seikosha. Seikosha is an amalgamation of two Japanese words that roughly translate to success (Seiko) and house (sha) in English. While it might have seemed like just an old factory to some, the Seikosha symbolized so much more for Hattori and his brand. With the opening of the Seikosha, opportunities came left and right until, eventually, Hattori was able to manufacture his first clock.  The years that followed came with both successes and challenges for Seiko. For example, in 1913, they launched the Laurel, which was the first wristwatch to ever be manufactured in Japan. A decade later, Seiko suffered a massive setback when their entire factory was destroyed by an earthquake. Seiko continued to push forward despite this, releasing the first timepiece with their official Seiko brand name on it in 1924. However, come the 1940s, and Seiko was one of the businesses negatively affected by the World War. These are just some events, out of many others, that makeup Seiko’s interesting history over the years. In a span of 140 years, Seiko has become one of the most established watch manufacturers in the industry. The Japanese brand is known as an innovator that produces accessible timepieces with unmatched quality. From leading the quartz revolution to the creation of numerous digital and analog models, these milestones and breakthroughs have helped in cementing their well-deserved status today. Ultimately, Seiko is a strong and unshakeable presence that is at the forefront of watchmaking, along with other renowned names like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Currently, Seiko offers a vast selection of timepieces that are further categorized into the following collections: Astron, Prospex, Presage, Lukia, Premier, and 5 Sports.   All About the Seiko 5 Sports Collection Our main watch for today, the SNK809, is actually a part of Seiko’s 5 Sports series. This iconic range is arguably the most popular one in the Japanese brand’s arsenal and has been for around 5 decades now. It was first launched in the 1960s and immediately took the world by storm with its unique principal attributes.  This Seiko 5 Sports is called such because it showcases 5 qualities, namely: an automatic movement, a day-date display, excellent water resistance, a deep-set crown, and a durable overall exterior. These features are the very foundation of the collection and can be found in every Seiko 5 Sports model.  Moving on, the Seiko 5 Sports is also considered something of an umbrella, with a bunch of other watch lines under it. These different sub-collections can be distinguished through the first couple of letters on the watch model’s name. For example, at present, the main Seiko 5 Sports pieces in production are those from the SRPD (2019) and the SRPE (2020) lines. On the other hand, they also used to offer the SNK series, which was once one of their most loved selections but is currently not being manufactured anymore. And the model of discussion today, the Seiko SNK809, is from this SNK sub-collection. Unfortunately, this means that the Seiko SNK809 is no longer available directly from Seiko, but we will focus on that later on.  Seiko SNK809: A Closer Look Now that we have established a more solid background about the brand and the collection, let us delve into the Seiko SNK809 itself. As mentioned, the SNK809 belongs to the Seiko 5 Sports range, specifically as a part of their SNK800 line. It was launched around the mid-2000s, along with other models in different color variations. In addition, the SNK800 timepieces primarily showcase aesthetics with an overall vibe that can only be described as something similar to military or field watches. If this is your first time hearing about the Seiko SNK809, it is probably not what you have been expecting after reading about how well-loved it is among watch enthusiasts. While it may not have a particularly avant-garde design or super-advanced mechanisms, the beauty behind this particular timepiece truly lies in its simplicity. Factors like its straightforwardness, accessibility, and how it boasts excellent craftsmanship are just some of the reasons why the Seiko SNK809 is considered one of the best introductory watches out there.  So, let us take a closer look, shall we?  Case First and foremost, the Seiko SNK809 is the picture-perfect example of a watch with a very versatile case. It has a diameter of around 37mm and a thickness of 11mm which makes it quite ideal, in terms of comfort and look, for those with either small or average-sized wrists. In addition, this watch also weighs a total of approximately 50 grams, making it incredibly lightweight and ergonomic.  When it comes to the materials used, the Seiko SNK809 features a 315L stainless steel case with a matte finish. Moreover, protecting the dial is a Hardlex crystal that is kept in place by a fixed bezel. Hardlex is a type of watch crystal specifically used by Seiko for their timepieces and, while it is not as popular as sapphire glass, it definitely does not lose out in terms of durability. In fact, Hardlex is known to be more shatterproof than other crystal materials. As mentioned earlier, one of the key pillars of the Seiko 5 Sports lineup is the unique placement of its deep-set crown. This is clearly seen with SNK809, whose crown is situated at 4 o’clock like the other Seiko 5 Sports models, as opposed to the usual 3 o’clock position seen on the vast majority of timepieces.  Lastly, behind all of this is a transparent case back through which you can get an up-close and personal view of the SNK809’s well-oiled mechanisms.  Dial Moving on to the face of the watch, the SNK809 comes with a strikingly simple and straightforward dial in black. It follows an analog layout with Arabic numerals, luminescent hands, an inner circle featuring the hour markers, and an outer circle with the minutes. Also, going back to the attributes of the Seiko 5 Sports collection, this model has a day-date display at 3 o’clock.  Strap As previously mentioned, the Seiko 5 SNK800 series was released in multiple color variations. The strap and the dial would typically come in the same shade, giving it a slightly monochromatic palette. The Seiko SNK809 was paired with a plain black canvas strap. While this may come off as a little boring to some, Seiko probably opted to go with this because they had the timepiece’s robustness in mind above all else. I personally think that the strap goes really with the sleek titanium case and jet-black dial, especially since it gives off strong military watch vibes. Regardless, for those who want something a little more exciting, there is always an option to swap the band for one that you prefer more.  Technical Details While Seiko is known for producing excellent dive watches, the SNK809 is not one of them. That said, as part of the Seiko 5 Sports range, it does still have water-resistant properties, but only up to depths of 30 meters. This means that the SNK809 can withstand splashes here and there, but should not be used for any underwater activities like swimming or diving.  Furthermore, the Seiko SNK809 is equipped with an in-house 7S26 caliber which follows an automatic movement. This mechanism features 21 jewels, a daily accuracy of -20/+40 seconds, and a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Lastly, it also boasts a rather impressive power reserve of up to 41 hours.  To put it simply, the Seiko SNK809 comes with great technical specifications, especially for a starter watch.  Price  The Seiko SNK809 was priced at approximately $100 USD when it first came out. While it is still in the same price range today, you can definitely get it at a lower cost from resellers online, depending on its condition. Its affordability from the get-go, paired with its amazing quality, is why the SNK809 is considered by many to be an excellent choice for a starter watch.  Who should get the Seiko SNK809?  Watch Collectors (Beginners). The Seiko SNK809 is widely known as a great introductory watch for those at the start of their watch collection journey. There are many factors that contribute to this reputation, such as how it exhibits quality Japanese craftsmanship, its affordability, and its unassuming aesthetics. If you are a new watch collector, you should definitely look out for this timepiece, because it makes for a solid addition to your personal range. Patrons of Seiko. For a brand that has been in the industry for over a century, it is only expected for Seiko to have a long list of iconic timepieces. While the SNK809 did not break any world records, it still became one of their most popular watches. This model is definitely a must-have for fans of the Japanese manufacturer, just because of its sheer impact on the watchmaking community which can still be felt today. Those on the Hunt for an Affordable, Quality Timepiece. This one is self-explanatory, especially after discussing the specs and affordability of the SNK809. Needless to say, it would be difficult to find a timepiece that shares the same excellent craftsmanship, reasonable price, and solid reputation as the Seiko SNK809. Where to get the Seiko SNK809? As previously mentioned, Seiko has stopped manufacturing the SNK series, which means that the SNK809 cannot be purchased directly from Seiko anymore. However, with a simple Google search, you will find that you still have a chance to get your hands on an SNK809 timepiece through online resellers. In addition, this particular model is currently available on Amazon for around $94 USD.  Be that as it may, if the SNK809 pieces online are not accessible for you, we have compiled a list of alternative models with a similar vibe to the SNK809 that you might want to check out. 5 Similar Models  Here are some watches that can serve as excellent alternatives to the Seiko SNK809.  Seiko 5 Sports SRPG33K1 Starting off with a watch from the same family as the SNK809, the Seiko SRPG33K1 is a very similar model in terms of the overall design. This watch makes for a great, more vibrant alternative that is readily available right now.  The Seiko SRPG33K1 comes in a stainless steel case along with a nylon bracelet in green. The forest green dial, which is protected by Hardlex crystal as well, features luminescent hands, Arabic numeral markers, and a day-date window at 3 o’clock. However, some notable differences are that the Seiko SRPG33K1 has an additional 24-hour dial layout and its crown is positioned at 3 o’clock.  When it comes to the technical specs, The Seiko SRPG33K1 still follows an automatic movement but is powered by a 4R36 caliber instead. The SRPG33K1 also has the same 41-hour power reserve but provides a better water resistance capacity at 100 meters.  Seiko 5 Sports SRPE69K1 Next up, we have another piece from the Seiko 5 Sports range, called the SRPE69K1. This model has a distinctly different design but gives off the same robust military watch vibe as the Seiko SNK809. It is a lovely option if you want a watch with a perfect balance of similarities to and differences from the SNK809.  The SRPE69K1 is presented in a stainless steel case paired with a black nylon strap. Its dial, which features a matte black finish, consists of hour markers in various shapes, slightly rounded hands, a minute track on the rim, and a day-date window. The layout of this model is definitely less busy than the SNK809’s, but it also comes with the signature crown positioning at 4 o’clock.  Moreover, this particular watch is powered by an automatic 4R36 caliber with a power reserve of 41 hours. Lastly, it boasts an excellent water resistance capacity of up to 100 meters as well.  Orient Sports RA-AC0H03B10A The Orient Sports RA-AC0H03B10A is a relatively popular model from another Japanese brand. It practically follows the same dial layout as the Seiko SNK809, which is why it is on this list. This timepiece is definitely an excellent alternative to check out as well! The Orient RA-AC0H03B10A comes in a stainless steel case with a classy leather bracelet in black. Much like the SNK809, its dial consists of luminescent hands, Arabic numeral markers, an inner circle for the hours, and an outer circle for the minutes. Aside from the crown position, the only other difference between the two watches is that this Orient model only has a date window rather than a day-date display.  Furthermore, the RA-AC0H03B10A is powered by an automatic F6722 caliber with a power reserve of 40 hours. It also has a water resistance rating of 100 meters, which means it can be used for various water activities.  Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler BM8180-03E The Citizen Chandler is a military-inspired model, just like the Seiko SNK809. This is the perfect accessible alternative for those who want a more sustainable option.  The Chandler comes in a stainless steel case with a woven strap in an army green shade. The black dial features Arabic numeral markers, large luminous hands, and a day-date window at 3 o’clock. This layout is similar to the SNK809, as this model also has hour markers on the main face and minute markers on the outline of the dial.  Unlike the SNK809, the Chandler is equipped with Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which utilizes light energy to power the watch. Lastly, just like the many other models on this list, it also boasts a 100-meter water resistance rating.  Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical H69439531 The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is the only option on this list that is not from a Japanese brand. Regardless, it is a suitable alternative because it also draws inspiration from the military, which happens to make up a huge aspect of Hamilton’s heritage. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical features a stainless steel case paired with a brown NATO strap. The black dial consists of a minute track on the outline, a 24-hour layout, luminescent hands, and Arabic numeral markers. Unlike the SNK809 and the other models previously mentioned, this Hamilton Khaki Field does not have a day-date window.  In terms of movement, this watch is powered by an H-50 caliber that boasts an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. It has a 50-meter water resistance rating, which is just slightly better than the Seiko SNK809.  Final Thoughts  The Seiko SNK809 is one of the best affordable starter watches out there. Regardless of whether you are a collector or not, this particular timepiece is one that you should not miss out on if you want a good quality watch at a reasonable price. Aside from that, it also has a good reputation in the watchmaking community, which makes it even more appealing than it already is.  Photo Credits: Seiko, Amazon, and Official Brand Websites Want to read more about Japanese timepieces? Make sure to check out our article on the Orient Kamasu.

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  11. Seiko SARB017: The Iconic Alpinist Watch

    Seiko SARB017: The Iconic Alpinist Watch

    The Seiko Alpinist line is home to many high-quality Japanese hiking watches. Amidst the various stunning models, the collection contains the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist. Created in 2006, the Seiko SARB017 is probably the most iconic piece in this renowned series. While the main purpose of this timepiece is to be a reliable timekeeper for mountain climbers, it also carries an exclusive and luxurious design that keeps wearers and on-lookers constantly fascinated, no matter how many times they look at it. Even though the Seiko SARB017 was discontinued a few years ago, it continues to be highly sought-after by all sorts of enthusiasts and collectors from the watch community.  In this review, we will be inspecting the various specifications of the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist, to see just why there is so much undying hype surrounding this timepiece. Furthermore, we will also be taking a look at some excellent alternative models from the Seiko Prospex and the Citizen Automatic lines, to see how they compare against the Seiko SARB017 in terms of quality, characteristics, and price. Without further ado, let us have a go at the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist. Specifications Case Dimensions Most people would agree that the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist perfectly hits the sweet spot with its size. The SARB017 features a proportionate, well-sized case that measures 39mm in diameter, including its crown. It has a thickness of 12mm and has a slim lug width of 20mm. Lug-to-lug, the SARB017 measures around 47mm, which is also quite reasonable. In terms of weight, the watch weighs 79g, so it does not have much heft at all, which makes it light and easy to carry around on your wrist. Altogether, the timepiece can certainly fit comfortably on all kinds of wrists without looking too meagre or too bulky. Additionally, the Seiko SARB017 has a good curvature profile on its lugs, which makes it fit more cleanly on owners with small wrists while still being adequate to wear for those with larger wrist sizes. This model is pretty slim and compact, so you will not have to worry too much about accidentally bumping the wristwatch into things. Stainless Steel Case and Bi-directional Compass Bezel Seiko crafted the case of the SARB017 entirely out of stainless steel. Smoothly beveled throughout, the steel casing showcases a sleek exterior with a blend of brushed and polished surfaces that play around with light nicely. Fixed on top of the case is a stainless steel bezel that fits the watch case perfectly. The bezel of the Seiko SARB017 serves a unique purpose. While its outer portion is stationary and does not offer much beyond the protection of the dial, the inner section of the bezel wields the SARB017’s internal compass. The internal compass contains the directions, indices, and degrees that you can usually find in most compass watches. Printed in clear white and red, the labels are pretty small-scale but are still legible enough for wearers to easily read. The internal compass is neatly designed and does not compromise the dial’s elegant aesthetic. With the bi-directional compass bezel, wearers can use this Seiko timepiece to navigate through all sorts of terrains. For those who plan on bringing the Seiko SARB017 to their expeditions, this is a very welcome feature indeed. On the right side of the timepiece are two screw-down crowns. One is positioned at 3 o’clock, while the other can be found at the 4 o’clock position. The 3 o’clock knob carries a delicate “S” engraving and allows for manual hacking and winding. Those who possess this watch will know that turning the 3 o’clock crown also produces a distinguishable noise. Surrounding it are adequately-sized crown guards large enough to protect the crown well without hampering the wearer’s grip. The 4 o’clock knob, on the other hand, is used to manipulate the internal compass bezel. At first, wearers may find the compass a bit tricky to use, as the watch does not feature a compass hand, which can make it a little complex to read. In this case, the Seiko SARB017 comes with an instruction manual that informs users on how to operate the bezel. If you do not have the manual, there are also guides and videos online, made by owners of Seiko SARB017 timepieces, that will help you get accustomed to it. On the back of the SARB017 timepiece is a solid stainless steel caseback, which is screwed down for maximum security. While it would have been rather delightful to be able to view the movement through an exhibition-style caseback, the solid steel rear ensures that nothing can enter the watch from the outside, keeping the inner mechanisms safe from damage.  While the Seiko SARB017 is technically a mountaineering watch, it bears a water resistance capacity akin to that of a diver’s timepiece. Locked by screw-down crowns and a solid steel caseback, the watch can withstand up to 200m/20atm of water pressure. With that much water resistance, wearers can bring the SARB017 to any water sports and activities, from washing their hands to shallow diving. Honestly, this water resistance rating is more than enough for a wristwatch made for the mountains. Green Sunburst Dial The true highlight of the Seiko SARB017 is its dial, which features a green sunburst surface that plays around with light spectacularly. Depending on the light and angle, the face of the watch can promptly change from bright and pleasant emerald green to darker and more sincere jade green. On the outer rim of the watch dial, you can find a date window at 3 o’clock, Arabic numerals, and hour markers, all with gold-colored accents. Towards the center of the green watch face is an exclusive handset showcasing cathedral-themed minute and hour hands. There are not many inscriptions labeled on the dial. The only engravings you can find are Seiko’s signature and a few specifications about the watch’s movement and water resistance. As with many of Seiko’s models, the SARB017 uses the brand’s patented and eco-friendly LumiBrite technology for its luminescence. Seiko has always done a fantastic job when it comes to applying lume to their various watches. Though the lume pips of the SARB017 are pretty minuscule, the dial still manages to glow impressively in the dark. However, there is one downside. While the brightness does not disappoint, there is a bit of a problem with the watch’s overall legibility. Due to how Seiko designed the pips of the SARB017, identifying where the watch hands are pointing to can be a challenge in very dark environments. For a situation like this, you would probably have to take a closer look to really puzzle out the time. On the whole, the dial is not just lovely but also pretty well-balanced. Bearing only the essentials of a traditional Seiko watch, the dial is clean, uncluttered, and easy to read and admire. Along with the inner compass bezel, the Seiko SARB017’s dial looks unique while still remaining modest and elegant to the eyes. Sapphire Glass The Seiko SARB017 uses a sapphire crystal to protect its gorgeous green dial. Knowing how luxurious this material is, it can be relatively uncommon to find sapphire glass in a watch of this category and price range. Of course, with its luxury comes quality. As many of us are aware, sapphire glass is virtually scratch-proof. Rated “9” on the Mohs scale of hardness, the scratch-resistance of sapphire glass can only be outdone by diamonds. Keep in mind, however, that the sapphire crystal of the SARB017 does not come with an anti-reflective coating, so you might find yourself impeded by light glares in brightly lit areas. The sapphire crystal is flat and slightly raised above the case, which neatly matches the simple, measured, and elegant aesthetic of this Seiko watch. Seiko Calibre 6R15 Operating beneath the beautiful emerald green dial of the Seiko SARB017 is a Seiko Calibre 6R15 movement. Like many of the brand’s in-house movements, the automatic Calibre 6R15 uses the Seiko Diashock anti-shock system. This prevents the movement’s mechanisms from accumulating excess wear and tear. Paired with a power reserve that can last the watch up to 50 hours, the Calibre 6R15 can produce a total of 21,600 vibrations per hour. In terms of its precision, the Seiko 6R15 has an accuracy of +25/-15 seconds per day. Though it is an automatic movement, the Seiko 6R15 also has manual winding and hacking capabilities, which allows wearers to adjust the time more accurately. Patterned Leather Strap Seiko pairs the SARB017 with a classic brown patterned leather strap. That said, despite its comfortable fit, many owners of the Seiko SARB017 found the leather band to be a not-so-favorite part of this watch. This is largely due to the strap’s slightly plastic feel, which makes it a little stiff to wear. Thankfully, this wristwatch has a universal 20mm lug width, which allows users to easily replace the patterned leather strap with any other kind of after-market strap of their choice. As such, you can decide to either keep the strap or swap it for some other bracelet that perfectly suits your preferences. Price Before Seiko discontinued the SARB017 in 2018, the timepiece would retail at around $450 USD to $550 USD in Japanese domestic markets. Furthermore, as a member of the prestigious Seiko Alpinist line, this Seiko wristwatch is not something you can find just anywhere. Thankfully, there are sellers online who are currently in possession of a number of Seiko SARB017 pieces. Due to its demand and rarity, dealers tend to sell this Seiko timepiece for a much higher price than retail. An unworn SARB017 would generally cost you between $890 USD and $1,400 USD. If that seems a little too expensive for your budget, do not fret, for we have also found a Seiko SARB017 in good condition, selling at just $579 USD.  Alternatives Can’t find the watch anywhere? Not a fan of certain specifications? Whatever the case may be, we have prepared for you a list of excellent alternatives that nicely match the sleek aesthetics and overall feel of the SARB017 while costing you only a little more or a little less. Note that the prices listed below are approximate values as prices can vary depending on the dealer. Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1 – $700 USD Just at a single glance, anyone can see that the Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1‘s resemblance to the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist is uncanny. Before we proceed, you might be wondering why this Seiko Prospex model has two reference numbers. To make things clear, SBDC091 is the original reference number used locally in Japan, while SPB121J1 is its international reference number. Factually speaking, both reference numbers are correct. Seiko released the SBDC091/SPB121J1 in 2020, under the Prospex line. This timepiece was dubbed the Seiko Prospex Alpinist and features a slew of refined specs and up-to-date technology while still retaining the excellent qualities of the original 2006 model. So, just what is new with the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091/SPB121J1? Several things, to be precise. First of all, this 2020 Alpinist edition is a millimeter thicker than the SARB017. Instead of having a leather strap like the previous SARB017, Seiko couples the SBDC091/SPB121J1 with a new leather band made of calfskin. The calfskin band bears a lighter shade of brown and feels much smoother and more comfortable than the 2006 variant. Aside from that, the SBDC091/SPB121J1 also carries a new and improved sapphire crystal, which Seiko has treated with a layer of anti-reflective coating. With the addition of a cyclops lens on the sapphire crystal, wearers can also have a better view of the date window. As you look at the beguiling green dial, you will notice the Seiko Prospex logo and other compact inscriptions.  The differences don’t just stop there. Underneath the dial is an automatic Seiko 6R35 Caliber that runs numerous mechanisms within the timepiece. Compared to the 6R15 Caliber of its predecessor, the slightly larger 6R35 contains 24 jewels and has a power reserve that can last a whopping 70 hours. With the addition of 20 more hours of power reserve, owners of the SBDC091/SPB121J1 will not even have to wind their watches on the weekends. Apart from those differences, the 6R35 works just as well as the 6R15. It is just as accurate in timekeeping and produces the same number of vibrations per hour. That said, another difference between the two Alpinist models lies in their rear cases. While the SARB017 uses a solid stainless steel caseback to cover its hind end, the SBDC091/SPB121J1 showcases the beauty of the Seiko 6R35 movement through a highly secure see-through rear case. Lastly, we can compare and contrast the availability of the SARB017 and the SBDC091/SPB121J1. Since Seiko ceased production of the SARB017 back in 2018, stocks are limited, which, in turn, has affected its pricing. As stated previously, most SARB017 timepieces these days can cost you anything between $890 USD and $1,400 USD. On the other hand, if you find that a little exorbitant, you can opt for the SBDC091/SPB121J1 instead. Since the SBDC091/SPB121J1 is still being produced by Seiko and is, therefore, easier to find. It retails at a more budget-friendly price of $700 USD. Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X Mechanical Field Watch – $170 USD If you are on a budget and cannot deal with the Seiko SARB017’s elevated prices, Citizen has a neat and affordable alternative for you. The Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X is a green dial compass watch that proves to be highly competitive despite its lower retail price of $170 USD. That said, compared to the Seiko SARB017, the price of the Citizen NJ2198-16X does reflect some cuts in terms of quality. So, what are we getting from this watch with the $170 USD price tag, and how exactly does it fare against the SARB017? Let us find out. The Citizen NJ2198-16X comes in a 46mm stainless steel case. It has a bottle cap rotating compass bezel with very pronounced directions and degrees printed in white. Since this is a timepiece that costs less than $200 USD, it is no surprise that the watch uses a mineral crystal instead of luxury-grade sapphire. Mineral crystals are certainly more limited in terms of resistance, but they can still handle some light scratching. Furthermore, they might actually be more impact-resistant than sapphire glass is. The NJ2198-16X also boasts a screwed-down solid steel case rear which has a smoothly polished surface and some inscriptions on its outer rim. With all its exterior components, this Citizen watch is water-resistant up to depths of 100m. Citizen pairs the NJ2198-16X with a textile black and white leather strap. Apart from sharing the same green hue, the dial of this Citizen watch is quite different from the Seiko SARB017. Its boasts sizable Arabic numerals and thick hour indices. There is not much on the dial, except for the brand signature and the “automatic” specification of its movement. The true standout of the dial is its eccentric handset. It has a stubby minute hand and a red-outlined hour hand that resembles the standard-issue dark lightsaber of The Empire in Star Wars. The second hand has a white bubble and a red tip on its end. Visually, the dial comes off as a little plainer than both the SARB017 and its 2020 re-edition. Still, it does not look bad at all, with a clean aesthetic and well-spaced elements that are easy to read. Controlling the different gears and mechanisms of the NJ2198-16X is an automatic Citizen 8210 Caliber. Held together by 21 jewels, this mechanical movement produces 21,600 vibrations per hour and is manually hackable. It also possesses a power reserve of up to 40 hours. Not bad for a $170 USD timepiece.  While the Citizen NJ2198-16X is not quite up to par compared to the Seiko SARB017, it still proves to be an efficient timekeeper at a much more affordable price. If you are on a tight budget and appreciate its looks and qualities, the Citizen NJ2198-16X remains a good option. Final Thoughts Many would consider Seiko an underrated brand, not just because of its popularity, but on account of its reputation. As many of us know, Seiko, and Grand Seiko, are known for making stellar timepieces that step up to the quality of the likes of Rolex and Omega. Unfortunately, Seiko is commonly associated with mall brands, which, does not give it the same prestigious image as other Swiss watchmakers. Those who know the Japanese brand well agree that Seiko does not get the credit it rightfully deserves. All things considered, no words can rightfully describe how astounding this Seiko watch truly is. For something as relatively affordable as it is, you cannot go wrong with the Seiko SARB017. Boasting numerous hiking capabilities while still appearing sleek and stylish, it is easy to see why everyone wants to get their hands on this brilliant Seiko timepiece. Whether it is for navigating the mountains or upping your dress game at prestigious events, the SARB017 can get the job done right. It is a shame that, with its discontinuation, this iconic watch is not so easy to find nowadays. That said, while the Seiko SARB017 is indeed a rare specimen, its alternatives, the Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X and the Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1, are easier to find and are pretty nifty as well. Want to learn more about watch movements? Why not check out the most iconic caliber of them all, the Valjoux/ETA 7750. All photos credited to WatchShopping.com

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