Most helpful positive review
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Great value, Durable, excellent visibility
on August 18, 2014
First just a bit of history, I am a Rescue Diver with PADI and have been since 1990. I have been a dive watch lover since I was a very young boy. I have and have had many, many dive watches, Seiko Pro DIvers, the first Citizen analog Aqualand with the depth gauge built in, several Luminox watches, many G-Shocks as well as some more expensive brands such as Breitling etc. This is stated only to allow you to know that I am not a novice to dive watches and dive watch design. I am a heavy equipment Salesman in Florida by trade and am constantly on, around and under machinery. I needed a watch that was reliable and fairly tough. I am not intentionally rough on watches but the environment I am in can be tough just by its nature.
After really researching my next watch purchase I kept coming back to this watch. As I am, sure you have read this watch is big. I am 6'2" and around 220-225. It fits me well. I do not know my wrist size. It sits tall on the arm, so much so that you have to adjust your movements of your watch arm as it can hit things, a week or so in and I was adjusted. There is a design feature that I think some folks don't quite understand regarding the crown. The crown of this watch is on the left hand side. Many reviews indicate that this was done for comfort. Rest assured this may be so but this would be a secondary reason. The crown is on the left as this watch was specifically designed to be a professional commercial divers watch and is ISO certified as such. This is a rough job, welding, working with large tools, hammering etc. all under water. The crown is on the left side specifically to keep it from being damaged during this type of work. Yes it also will keep it from digging into your hand as well. The watch is quite simply profoundly robust. I see some complain that this (the crown being on the left side of the watch) makes it tough to adjust and with it on I can see that being the case. All that you have to do is just slide it off and make the adjustment. In my opinion this is a small thing and should not really detract from the overall watch enjoyment.
Also as you might have read it has a very specific band and band attachment system that is not like any other. This design is an extremely stout band mounting system which falls in line with its build quality overall. It does represent an issue if you want to change bands however. Fortunately there are some adapters that can be bought to enable the use of other popular bands (a short visit to any dive watch forum and you can secure this information). I myself do not find the standard band that uncomfortable. I can see if you are between the sizing holes (one too lose and the next too tight) how it could be however. The band is extremely strong, it would take an enormous amount of force to cause this band to break.
One very important feature of any dive watch to me is the luminosity of the hands and markers and their ability to remain legible for long periods of time. This watch is still very easy to read in the morning when I wake up. And by this I mean all of it, I can even make out the second hand ticking away in the morning. Even the small dot in the bezel @ 12 is very legible. This is anywhere from 6-8 hours after I go to sleep, so it is really excellent in this regard. If you come from a bright day outside into an area that is darker, say like going into a restaurant, the watch looks almost radioactive as it glows super bright. The color of the lume is different than most other watches as it is a light aqua blue color. For me the ability to still read the time early in the morning is very important. Having this luminosity for diving, working at night etc. is a great feature. I wanted something that has a lot of contrast and that I could simply glance at and know the time. This watch delivers this in spades. The orange minute hand along with the white hour hand and the watch face make attaining the time instant upon giving it a glance. .
The watch is accurate to about 4 seconds a month which is excellent by any standard. This accuracy and the knowledge that the watch should give me between (at least) 15-20 years of service before it needs anything in the way of service (assuming nothing drastic happens obviously) are very reassuring due to the Eco-Drive system. I have several friends who have eco-Drives, some for over 12 years now, and none of them have ever had an issue. Be advised however that this watch nor any Eco-Drive watch should be stored in a dark area for any extended length of time. It would seem that most all who have had problems have had problems due to the watch being stored to the point where it loses its charge. Under normal circumstances all the watch should need is good light and to be re-set, but it does appear that sometimes they have to be sent in. One very neat feature of this watch is how it communicates its status to you. Once the charge level goes below a certain level the second hand will start to move in 2 second intervals. If it has gone dead it has another staggered pattern that it moves in that indicates that it knows it has lost time and needs to be re-set. None of this should be an issue for me as I intend on wearing this watch every day.
I had read before purchasing this watch that that it was possible and likely that the second hand would not line up exactly with each minute mark and mine is this way. It is a little off (just a touch) to the right but you really have to look closely to notice this. And the bezel does have a slight clacking sound if you give it a light rap with your fingers but it works very well and is 60 clicks per revolution. Sure it would be great to have the 120 click silky smooth action of the Seiko divers watches but for the excellent build quality of this watch I am fine with it as it is. If the watch was at a higher price point then this would be a little more of an issue. I think the majority of the money on this watch is spent on the case and movement. Most watches at this price point have some trade offs and I personally am fine with it the way it is. I was able to get the minute hand absolutely right on the minute marks when the second hand reaches 12 and this is much more important to me (it did take me a few times).
My decision came down to the Seiko Monster or the Ecozilla. In the end I went with the Ecozilla as many of the Seiko Monster owners report that the watches are not terribly accurate. This is not a knock on Seiko as I love Seiko and I think that the Monster represents an outstanding value. I am very particular about a watches accuracy, 4 seconds a month is much easier for me to deal with than minutes a month. Still I love the Seiko Monster and will eventually buy one as I love the automatic movement.
This is truly an exceptional value watch. The build quality in this price range, in my opinion, is unmatched. You get a watch depth rated to 984 feet (round it off to 1000 to be a simple figure), a 6 mm crystal, outstanding lume and accuracy, and one of the more rugged watch cases around. I know it is not for everyone and I myself don't think it is a "Beautiful" watch. What I do know is that I have a watch that is extremely robust in its build quality, extremely accurate, that I can dive with, work with and read early in the morning, that should provide me with years of service.
All in all I really like it.