84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
After owning this product for a little over a year, beating it up day in and day out, and also having comparing it to countless other watches I've decided that my old review (4 stars) was still unfairly low, as this watch is an uniquely excellent product. As I noted in my old review, I am hard on watches. My job can involve running, heavy lifting, squeezing into tight places, climbing, ect, and this means my watch is subject to bumps, scrapes, excessive movement, and sometimes harsh chemical cleaners, ect. I can also be pretty active and spend time outside when I'm not working. Because of this, I'm hard on watches, and I have wrecked many an inexpensive wristwatch before its time. This watch has shrugged off pretty nearly everything I could hand it, and apart from being slightly grimy and having a small scratch on the crystal that I can just barely see at certain angles, it has been pretty much untouched. There are some less expensive watches that can handle my abuse (see the Casio G-Shock I reviewed), but here I have a watch that looks great with my best suit after a year of such abuse, and that is what makes this a remarkable product. My general impression now, is that Seiko generally gives you a lot of quality for the money. They build virtually everything that goes into their watches in-house (I think the only exception is possibly some of the lubricants), and this was my reasoning when I selected the brand. A closer look at the particulars of this watch would have confirmed my impression. It is an ISO certified Dive Watch, actually built for serious use. While I don't dive, and have no special interest in diving, that cert means that the watch was specifically built and tested to withstand a lot of the abuse I'd put it through (physical impact, obviously water pressure, impact to the crown, magnetic resistance, thermal shock, band strength, ect). Still, lots of companies make things they label as a "dive watch", this thing is impressively capable. Every aspect of it has proved to be of the highest quality. The crystal is very thick, and made from a special formula Seiko calls "Hardlax". Hardlax has a moh's hardness of 7, which means it is far harder than traditional "mineral" crystals, which are only a 5 on the moh's scale. It is considerably softer and less scratch resistant than a quality sapphire crystal (moh's 9), but is supposed to be tougher (less prone to cracking). [*Note, Seiko 5 Series watches with "Hardlax" crystals just have regular mineral crystals. Kinetic Divers and other more expensive Seikos have the Moh's 7 Hardlax. This may or may not be the same thing as a K1 tempered mineral crystal on a European or American watch.]The markings are very clear and easy to read (as you'd expect on anything that calls itself a dive watch), and Seiko's Lumbrite glow in the dark markings are the best I've ever seen. They are always easily visible in the dark. The band is also extremely strong. The clasp is very strong because it has both the "deployment" style lock, and a backup outer clasp that folds in the opposite direction. It is also attached to the watch itself with the most massive spring clips I've ever seen. The typical rotating bezel is flawless as well, it is easy to turn, but exhibits no play. Finally the quality of the movement appears to equal the quality of the case and band. This is an autoquartz watch (Seiko Kinetic) which I am a huge fan of. Modern (post 2000) watches should basically never need a battery change, as they are continuously recharged, and will still hold an 80% charge after 20 years. This movement makes such a watch very easy to maintain, there is no battery to change, but if you don't wear it for a few days, it does not run down like a mechanical watch. Plus quartz watches are way, way more accurate than mechanical watches. And this one has been uniquely accurate for me. I have only ever had to reset it for daylight savings time. Otherwise, it absolutely has not changed by so much as 20 seconds in 6 months. I have no explanation for this, as there's no indication the watch is thermocompensated (and those cost a fortune so far as I know), but it's yet another reason why this watch deserves a perfect rating from me. The kinetic mechanism does make a slight but noticeable sound when you move the watch (which was why I previously gave it 4 stars), but in light of how perfectly the watch seems to function, I no longer felt like I could deduct a star for that issue. What's left to quibble about then? Well, it would be nice if there was a perpetual date version of this watch, but then again, I don't see many dive watches with that feature at any price. Also, at this point I wish it was available in more than 1 style. If there was also an orange face, or a blue face/ "coke bottle" bezel version of this watch, I'd buy one in a second, even though it now appears the one I have may very well last me a lifetime. The only other reservation I have in recommending this watch is, that different people buy watches for different reasons. This is not going to delight an hourhologist who collects expensive Swiss pieces. The movement would cost a jeweler maybe $100. But for anyone looking for a great looking, absolutely bulletproof dress/dive watch at a reasonable price, with the convenience and accuracy of an autoquartz movement, this is pretty nearly the perfect watch. Seiko's MSRP is perfectly reasonable for something this well made, and Amazon knocks more than 40% off of that! No watch is perfect for everyone, but this watch is perfect for me, and probably for many other people as well.
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2007
Ever since my Seiko "Orange Monster" (SKX781) quit I had been looking for a dive watch to replace it that was both more accurate than an automatic (my Monster would usually be off by five minutes each week) and yet not require a battery change. Changing batteries is both a pain and not eco-friendly, and I just plain hate doing it. I looked for about a year at the Seiko "Black Knight" kinetic (SMY089) that Princeton exclusively offers as well as Citizen solar-powered (Eco-Drive) dive watches, liking neither options especially well. I wanted a big, solid diver with a little certain something extra - much like my Monster - and the Seiko SKA371 seems to be it.
First, the watch seems quite well made. It is much more finely finished than my Monster and light-years ahead of Citizen's watches as far as build quality goes. The bezel moves smoothly with solid clicks, and it does not inadvertently turn like my Monster's bezel used to. Second, this is a heavy watch! It is significantly heftier than my old Monster. I happen to like that, but other folks may not. The band, like the other Seiko bands I have worn, it high quality. It does not often pull hair and the clasp is solid and strong. The crown is easy to grasp and turn, yet it screws down to prevent accidental time changes and makes the watch more water resistant (200 meters). The hour and minute hands glow brightly at night and so do the indexes. The second hand is very pale and hard to read in total darkness, but that does not bother me. The substantial case-back is slightly curved to fit on the wrist better and is pretty thick - the mineral crystal is too. When one reads the time it seems that you are looking down into the watch; I would think such a thick crystal would be hard to crack. The kinetic movement feels neat moving back and forth and keeps good time (it is quartz-based after all).
There are only two things I am not thrilled with, and they are minor. One is that I do not care for the shape of the hour hand. The other is that I wish the bezel came up a little further than it does to help protect the crystal from scratches (although I do not have any yet).
Overall the Seiko SKA371 is a nice looking watch that I do not mind wearing to the office while at the same time being an extremely rugged timepiece that should work well in the field or ocean.
There is one thing about Princeton Watches though. While I like them, and they have watches other companies do not, they call to confirm your order. This was problematic for me because I am rarely home and it delayed my shipping (after complaining they still shipped my order UPS 3-Day Air while not charging me for it), and it seems to defeat the whole point of ordering Online. If they need to talk to you over the phone, why not just accept phone orders only? Again, I still think they are a good company, but people should keep their policies in mind when ordering from them.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
This is a large watch (see customer images)! I love it though. I'm 6'2", and this watch fits me perfectly. On smaller guys, it might look overbearing. The watch is large enough to where some of my cuffed, long-sleeved shirts wouldn't fit over it. I've had to move the buttons to the edge of the cuff to accommodate. Like others have mentioned, it's a bit heavy, but I've gotten used to it. What prevents me from giving the watch a 5 is that there is a clasp on the inside of the watch which puts pressure on your wrist (see customer images). It leaves an indent on your skin after wearing it for awhile. I've had the jeweler loosen the band enough to where it's comfortable, but my skin still gets indented from it. However I've gotten used to it and it's not uncomfortable.
The Kinetic Direct Drive powers the watch well. When received, it was charged for one month. After wearing for a day, it was charged for 6 months. The only button on the watch shows how much power it has charged. It is somewhat disappointing that the button only has one function (that you won't use too often), but it's better than nothing.
Besides those points, this is a great watch to own. It's accurate, stylish, and functional.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2012
Wouldn't you know it, as soon as the warranty expires, the watch failed to hold charge. Otherwise, this is a sharp looking watch with a nice solid steel band. It is has very classic dive watch aesthetics. The hardlex lens is pretty scratch resistent (Seiko's name for mineral crystal). The bezel is functional and rather striking--turns in clicks. The back caseback is fairly thick with rounded edges and a nice logo engraved in the center--I like! Only downsides to the watch is that it is fairly thick (and unnecessarily so since the quartz movement is not that thick) and that the deployant clasp is thin and cheap.
FIXED: Found a replacement capacitor/rechargeable battery for the 5M62 movement in it. It's 3032.44Z Seiko Kinetic capacitor if you want to know the part number. Although the battery can be found separately for cheaper, buy the Seiko replacement part because there is a thin metal piece glued to the battery that is also on the Seiko replacement battery. Also, when changing the battery, you need to remove 3 small screws and need a very, very fine flat head screwdriver--almost as thin as a blade! These screws are very small and light--they go flying if you even breath on them so don't lose them. You have been warned. The replacement cost me $25 shipped.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2009
I'm a bit of a watch enthusiast and have high standards when it comes to anything that I slap on my wrist for daily wear. I spent a lot of time researching this particular model, and finally pulled the trigger. The watch arrived in record time and in perfect shape as expected; when it comes to convenience, quality and reliability Amazon scores really high marks in my book.
This watch is very heavy and quite large, much heavier and larger than comparable models from Seiko such as the SKX007, or the 'Black Monsters', which I also own.I have a large wrist and the watch fits me nicely, but people with a small wrist might want to stay clear of this particular model or run the risk of having their wrists rubbed raw by the sheer heft of this watch. I had to remove one link from the band to size it to my needs. Once adjusted, the watch feels great on my wrist, very comparable to the feel of an Omega Planet Ocean - solid, hefty and confident.
I don't much care for the 'skeleton' type hands, I would have preferred the regular 'solid' type hands. However, given the watches excellent lume, I can clearly read it in the dark, and the visibility is on par with my other Seiko dive watches. Also, I would have preferred the crown to be located at the 4 o'clock position, but that's again a minor issue.
The craftsmanship and finish of this watch is what impresses me most, the finish of the watch is FLAWLESS.
Seiko once again outperforms my expectations, and I'm very happy with this purchase.
The watch is very accurate, and only loses half a second per week, which is phaenomenal for any quartz watch.
A word about Kinetics: Any Kinetic watch with the 5m62xx movement such as this one, will have to have it's battery replaced in about 8-10 years time. The 'Kinetic Storage Unit' in this watch is a Li-Ion battery, and eventually loses the capacity to hold a charge. I really think that the advertising regarding Seiko Kinetics is misleading, many people buy Kinetics under the impression that they will never have to replace any battery, when it's clearly not true.
NOTE OF CAUTION: Unless you're an expert, do not attempt to resize the band yourself, this watch uses the dreaded but very reliable Pin/Collar combination to securely attach the links to each other; it's very easy to loose the very, very small collars, and they're very difficult to replace since they have to be ordered from specialty shops.
You should spare yourself the trouble though and just have it resized at your local jewelers:)
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
This is my first watch review, so I am new at this. I have been collecting watches since 1975. I have many Seiko's, and divers, kinetics, automatics, and so on. I chose this Kinetic version over the automatic diver version mainly due to the details of the face. I liked the raised markings, round hour markers, big hands, date window, solid metal band, double flip lock, expansion bit, and more. I have the 'Pepsi' version of this same watch as well. Both are excellent, and I get complements on them. My co-workers are used to me going around with a different watch and comment on what I am wearing, and point out if I do not have on a watch that day. It is a large watch, a bit heavy if you are used to plastic watches, and thick so you may have to get used to not banging it on doors or scraping it on walls. I saw some questions about the date window. It is small (I am getting older), plus it is white on black. I installed a large size date magnification bubble on both my watches. I will try to post a picture of it if I can - It does help a lot. A good jeweler should be able to do this for you. There are women's versions of kinetics, but I do not know if they make a diver for women. Some ladies these days prefer larger watches as jewelry. My suggestion is to look around some jewelry stores and try it on, and get a better look at it. I always offer to buy it from them at the Amazon price first. Almost every time, they can not or do not have the decision power to match an Amazon price. I also try to match prices on the Bulova Precisionists, but same story. A neat fact: This one came packed in the new White Seiko box with a pillow & booklets. A nice touch. Note: When sizing the metal band, there are tiny sleeves used to hold the link pins in! Do not lose these! I hope this review was helpful!
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2009
I'm posting my observations on my purchase of a Seiko SKA371P. First a little background. Got to admit that I've always been a "dive watch" aficionado. In a past "life" I needed a large watch with good lume and easy to read at a glance. Seiko dive watches fit the bill. Well, the demise of my Seiko automatic dive (can't think of the model but it had day/date; rotating bezel; black dial and originally came with a rubber watch band) watch accelerated my decision. It was a good watch but within the past month it would fall 15 min behind. Anyway, even though my life has changed my original requirements haven't: dive watch style; good lume; date; bracelet (not rubber this time); black face; rotating bezel; and automatic....no batteries; and affordable. After trolling a few watch forums I came across a couple threads that had great reviews of the Seiko SKA371. I found my watch!
Now I had to find out where to purchase it. Finally settled on Amazon and one of their vendors...WatchZone. Purchase price was reasonable ($210...can I divulge that???) and included shipping. I ordered it and then it was time to wait. Well, I chose standard shipping and it just took forever. Next time I'll spring for 2 day! Watch arrived by UPS and of course no one was here to sign for it but my neighbor was there for me. I've got to go show him what he signed for over a beer or two! Plain brown cardboard box with lots of security tape (Do not sign for this if the tape has been cut) that was thankfully intact. Inside the box was stuffed a UPS plastic bag with the little air pockets. Inside of that was the blue Seiko box with the white cardboard surround. Opened it up and there it was on its pillow. Warranty, and Seiko Kinetic cal. 5m62 & 5m63 Diver's watch instructions, and a Seiko Elite Club application (should I send this in???) of yes it had the green tag with SKA371 $475.00 suggested cal 5m62 with the bar code.
The watch was perfect. No scratches, no imperfections that I could discern. The bezel moves like silk! I also appreciate that the "teeth" on the outer edge are large and easy to grip. As has been noted the watch face is very deep and looks great. One of the features that attracted me to this watch was the skeleton hands. I know that this is a "like it or hate it feature" but I do like it and really like the stubby hour hand with the round lume on it. Another feature that I believe has been overlooked are the circular lumes on the hours. First they have some depth to them as they appear to be a bit domed and secondly they are surrounded by a chrome ring. This in my opinion makes for a very handsome face. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this could function as a dive watch but is really a "dress watch" in disguise! Well, I took it to a jewler (Seiko AD) who I've done some business with (jewelry for my wife.....expensive jewelry) and he sized the bracelet for me for free. This guy just earned my business for jewelry for now and the future. Fact is I had to go back twice to get it right. The first time it was too loose and I found that the watch was just beating the top of my hand. Others have mentioned, this is a heavy watch. Now it's pretty tight with no movement and I'm pretty happy. Gosh, I haven't mentioned that the bracelet is wonderful. Very heavy and well made and I love the style with the big links. Clasp has the push down lock and also the squeeze button secondary lock to release. Perfect.
Quibbles/Changes. Very few. I wish that the watch had the day along with date but I can live with just the date. I'd like it a tad larger though (tired old eyes you know....wait long enough and you'll get there). Crown, I wish it were repositioned at the 4 o'clock position...just my personal preference. Wish that the crown shoulders were a bit more integrated into the watch case. They seem to be a bit of an after thought. Just not smoothly integrated. Skeleton hands, I like them but might be nice if they had lume along their entire length. I believe I saw a lume shot of an Oris that had skeleton hands with lume along the entire length and they were very prominent. Lastly, how bout some engraving on the top of the crown? Well, got to remember the price point on this watch and well, maybe asking too much.
Conclusion. This is a great watch regardless of the purchase price. It's got style and is flawlessly manufactured. As for precision, I've always liked the quartz second hand tick, tick (BTW time is hack-able) and accuracy is spot on. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quality dive watch with some style. I found out after I ordered my black face that you could also get this in "pepsi" version(red/blue bezel) and a yellow face version with black hands and there is also a titanium "look" version too. Additionally, you can get it with either a ss bracelet or a rubber band. I'd recommend the ss bracelet but that's me. Hmmm, I'm thinking bout that yellow one.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2011
Received the SKA371 approximately two weeks ago. Been wearing it every day since.
This is a very good watch to this point, and I don't foresee any problems in the future. Had never owned a kinetic model before and was curious.
I do, however, have a couple of complaints. The watch is listed on Amazon as 45mm. Nowhere does it say, "with the crown." Most watches are measured without the crown, e.g., "45mm without crown, 48mm including crown." This watch is actually 42mm, 45mm with the crown. Therefore, I was somewhat disappointed when I received it. Amazon needs to be a little more diligent with its product descriptions. Still, I liked it enough not to return it.
Second, wasn't sure at first if I would like the skeleton hands. My biggest concern was the lume and the short stubby hour hand. Wish that the hour hand had been a tad longer, but the lume is applied generously on the hand ends making for relatively easy nighttime viewing.
The case and bracelet are well made, but then I have never personally owned or seen an ill made Seiko case. The rotating bezel is firm but smooth turning. As someone else mentioned, I wish that the bezel protected the crystal. It doesn't.
One thing that I particularly like is the power reserve feature. It is simply a button that when pushed fast forwards the second hand anywhere up to thirty seconds. Where it stops a long the way to thirty seconds is what your power reserve is. Thirty seconds equals four to six months. The second hand then stays motionless until the actual time catches up to it then it begins its little bunny hop again.
Accuracy is excellent. Have not conducted any real testing on it as yet, but from my casual observance it appears to still be right on the money.
Some have written that this is a large and heavy watch. I would have to politely disagree. A forty-two millimeters diver is not large. It does have some heft to it, but not overly so for what it was designed for. For those who have not experienced diving watches before it might take a day or two before the weight becomes unnoticeable. But, it is not that heavy.
During my diving days, when a watch was important to divers, I used an automatic Seiko 150m WR diver. Never had an issue with it. I'd probably still be wearing it today if it hadn't finally gone belly up and the O-ring was no longer available (according to an authorized Seiko service center). It is hard to beat Seiko for great divers at realistic prices. In fact, it is hard to beat Seiko, period, in divers.
BTW, I test my divers now by submitting them to a shower head nozzle. If there are any leaks this will usually make them apparent. It has survived this make shift test intact.
I would recommend this watch without any hesitations, provided you know what the true size of it is. LP
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2009
I own more then my fair share of Seiko watches, (and if you have read my other reviews, you know that I am a watch collector of higher end watches, mostly dive watches.) and this is one of the most impressive Seiko's that I have owned thus far! Let's start with the basics, it is an above average dive watch for this price range, it looks fantastic, and it functions beatifully, as well as being stylish and functional. It is a heavy duty watch, that looks great and feels like a much more expensive watch. The more Seiko's I own, the more impressed I am with them. I believe that Seiko is one of the most underrated companies I have come across in years. If you buy this watch or one of their many other dive watches you will see what I am talking about, they are just a great watch and the wonderful thing is, is that few people know of this quality, so the prices are still reasonable.
Be prepared to own a fairly large watch, and it has the weight to prove it as well. It is a hefty watch, but after a while you get used to it. Don't let the size or weight defer you from this baby, as it is a very nice feeling watch and it has great looks! You will be happy! Overall, I would red'mnd this watch to just about anybody. And I believe that for the price, this is overall an amazing watch for the price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2014
I have a small collection of Kinetic & Automatic watches from Seiko. I picked this up almost a year ago to further round out my collection and I have been very pleased with it so far. If you are looking for a large, but not ridiculously large, watch that has a fair amount of heft and has noticeable build quality at an affordable price this could be a serious contender for you as well.
I'm sure you already know, but just in case, Kinetic watches convert motion into energy and store it to power the quartz movement. This particular watch is supposed to last 6 months on a full charge (with no movement) before going dead. While I have yet to have it run to exhaustion, it's hard to measure this if you rotate through watches and wear this a few days and then switch through several others for several weeks then come back to it. It's just never sat in my case for 6 solid months. In order to determine the rough level of charge there is a button (seen in the picture above the crown). Push it and the second hand will swing up to 180 degrees to denote the remaining charge. I expect that every 5 min mark represents a month worth of charge.
The watch itself is very clean and easy to read. I'm a little disappointed that it only offers the date (with no day display), but this isn't a deal breaker for me. The band is heavy steel, you will feel this on your arm. As someone who almost always sleeps with my watch on, I find this watch to be the regular cause of "dead arm" if I fall asleep wearing it. If you have the tools and like to adjust metal watch bands to better fit you at home, beware this does not use the simple tension rods you may be familiar with. Instead this uses a straight rod and a secondary cylinder (female end) which prevents the pin from pushing straight through the band. It's not too hard to get together, but they are tiny and are prone to roll off into oblivion if you're not expecting them when you pop the pin. Once they fall off a table/desk it's no fun trying to find them.
The watch band also has a small secondary clasp which will increase the band size slightly to help fit it over a wet suit. While I am SCUBA certified, I haven't been able to dive lately so I have yet to put that to the test. I will say that so far it's almost impossible to depress the spring pins to open up the clasp with fingers alone. While I appreciate that anyone wearing this watch wouldn't want it to open on it's own... having to have a set of tools handy whenever you wanted to utilize this band extension is equally problematic.
The nice thing about buying Seiko watches direct from Amazon is that you do enjoy a 3 year warranty on the purchase. If you buy from a third party seller, be aware that you may or may not have warranty coverage and it will almost certainly be through that seller and not Seiko. If they are reputable, that is probably just fine... if it's some here today gone tomorrow outfit and your watch goes south you could be footing the repair bills yourself.
All in all, I enjoy wearing this watch from time to time. It dresses up and down very well so it could be a great gift for the watch lover in your life that may be an avid outdoors-man or a business professional (or maybe he's both). It's hard to go wrong with Seiko in my opinion for fine watches in this price point. I love Omega and Rolex, but it's a lot less painful to have a beautiful collection of $200 - $500 Seikos as opposed to $2000 - $5000 Omega/Rolex.