89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2009
....a short and sweet story about this model of Seiko watch. In February of 1978 I was in a specialized unit of the Air Force and had just arrived at Clark Air Force Base in the Phillipeans. I needed a good watch as my old Timex had just broken. I went to the BX and bought this watch for $110. Most expensive watch I had ever owned but I needed a good one and figured this was it. I wore that watch on my left wrist everyday, all day for 22 and a half years! There is no embellishment here. I sent it in every 5 years or so for a cleaning and adjustment and that's it! How many bands did I replace? I couldn't tell you how many bands and band pins I replaced on that watch. It went with me everywhere through my youth to middle age. It is truly like an old friend - the things we had done and the things we had seen - death, destruction, sea depths, high altitude, girl friends, wives, marriages, divorces, child birth, child graduation. Incredible! The day the jeweler told me it was wore-out and could no longer keep good time was the day I put it in my safety deposit box.
---I bought the same model watch the next day. It has been on my wrist, ticking away, since June, 2000 - just as faithful as my old friend who now lies resting after a long and storied career.
If you need a good watch and one that will last, I can recommend this one.
89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2005
I've been a fan of divers watches since college days. I first ran across a Seiko 150m model about 1988 and I've since come to regard this SKX173 200m as THE classic dive watch. Not only is it great for water activities and sports, but it's also great for dry land functions such as telling time and looking cool.
The automatic mechanical power isn't just some outmoded watch technology from the past. It's fascinating to have this intricate and accurate time-machine on your wrist. And the auto-winding mechanism is a real plus. If, like me, you find yourself the owner of multiple watches in these days of expensive batteries for quartz models, replacing power cells can become a high-priced hassle. All you have to do is wear this watch and move around normally and it runs without a thought. The only downer for me is that I want to give my other watch models some wrist time too, so then things tend to run down. But then, just pick it up, set it, strap it on, and off you go. I have always found it quite accurate enough for my ordinary time-keeping purposes.
One of the classic and attractive feature of diver watches is the rotator elapsed time bezel. If you like the countdown timer feature on your digital watch, this rotator simply does the same thing in an analog way. Just turn the 0 indicator to the preset position of the minute or second hand and WATCH (yes, pun intended) how much time goes by. There is also a a version of this elapsed time ring in red (from 0 to 20 secs.) and blue (from 20 to 60 secs.). If you want a slightly different dive-watch look, I've found that these replacement rotators are readily available on the net.
The jet-black face makes for a bold, easy-to-see-at-a-glance contrast with the square-cut hour markers and attention-grabbing hour and minute indicators. Another plus here is long lasting glow in the dark visibility. Some other brand's marine model I've got has markers that fade to invisibility after an hour or so in the dark. You can tell time on this watch all night long and even, I suppose, in murky water. There's even a luminous dot at 0 secs. on the elapsed time rotator.
The 22 mm. black rubber waterproof strap, held in place by heavy duty, industrial strength spring pins, makes a great looking match with this steel and black watch. And apparently Seiko diver straps are indestructible. Other rubber straps seem to be programmed to serve their brief time and then self-destruct. But even the band I've used on my Seiko 150m for 16 or 17 years shows no sign of cracking or breaking. After wearing this watch for a while the heavy strap seemed to mold itself to the size and shape of my wrist. It just sort of makes itself at home on your arm.
The steel case has a great look of solidity and a pleasant heftiness. It's big (42 mm across) but not geeky big, just the right size and weight to project a certain masculine handsomeness. A nice design touch is the position of the crown at 4:00 instead of the usual 3:00, not only a nice and noticeable difference, but it doesn't cut into the back of your hand in case of hard work or heavy lifting (one of my favorite watches to wear to the gym). BTW, the crown is only for stetting the time and date, as it's not needed as a winder.
In case you can't tell, I really like this watch. So much so that I also got the more recent model SKXA35 with the bright yellow dial (See it on Amazon. Really cool too!).
With the quality and durability of this SKX173, you're in for some long-term watch fun and interested comments like. "Great watch! Where'd you get it?"
Good price and good deal too. Hey, man, go for it. Get this watch!
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2007
First, I love this watch. It has become my everyday wearer, and I suppose that is the highest praise from a watch nut. If you think you would like a diver's watch, consider the SKX173.
Looking through the other reviews, there seems little new ground that I can cover, so I'll just gush for a while.
The nighttime luminosity is excellent, the watch uses Seiko's Lumibrite, which is an organic luminous material. It is not radioactive and works very well. In any ambient light, the matte black dial with clear, tasteful luminous markers and dissimilar hands ensure that you always have the time at a glance. The absence of shiny metal surrounds for the hour markers keeps the dial look clean. The large arrow shaped minute hand is effectively differentiated from the hour hand so that I never confuse the two. Luminosity of dial and hands are roughly equal. If anything, the hands appear brighter. The luminous dot and bold triangle on the bezel also assures that you are able to track elapsed time in any lighting condition. The 120 click unidirectional bezel moves smoothly and with just the right tension to assure that accidental turns are minimized. I use that feature every day. I find a watch without a rotating bezel to be less useful unless it is a chronograph. Exposure to sunlight or light high in UV (fluorescent, for example) charges the luminous material. I have no trouble seeing the time at night. The flat crystal sits slightly below the bezel, which should help prevent scratches. Though, you can catch a reflection from it if the light hits it just right. I like a day and date function on a watch. Most diver's watches don't display the day. I love the blue Saturday and red Sunday. I like that there is not a ring around the date window, again a very clean design. The absence of a date magnifier keeps the look classic and businesslike.
I swapped out the as delivered rubber strap with a Seiko jubilee style bracelet with flip lock clasp. I found that dresses the watch up nicely and is very comfortable. The strap is great, and conforms to the shape of your wrist after a while, I just prefer a metal bracelet. The crown at 4:00 is large, with fine grooving affording a good grip and is not irritating at all. Thanks to the domed back of the watch, it sits high enough on the wrist so that the crown doesn't form that annoying little callous on the back of one's hand. For a watch this large, it is surprisingly comfortable. My wrist measures 6 1/2" around, so I have relatively small wrists. My Omega Seamaster GMT was as large, yet the back so flat that this was a constant issue. My Rolex GMT had a sharper, smaller crown with coarser serrations, but sits high enough so that is not a problem. The SKX173 crown guard is a visually delightful and wonderfully functional design that I have not seen work as well in any other watch. A terrific feature that is underreported, IMHO. I remember thinking, on taking the watch out of the box, "Now this is a crown guard..." It has never snagged on anything. Even if you don't scuba dive, a diver's watch has a tougher, thicker case /crystal and excellent sealing system, affording maximum protection for the movement within. It just makes sense if you want trouble free operation.
A lot of concern has been expressed about timekeeping, so I should address that. Due to the Seiko Magic Lever winding system and despite the low mass rotor of the 7S26 movement, winding for me is efficient. I find it will maintain a full wind on a winder at 650 turns per day, bidirectional- same as a Rolex. The Omega GMT wouldn't maintain it's level of wind at 650 TPD. If the watch is fully wound, I find it runs a little slow (-3 to 4 seconds per day). Catching up those few seconds is easily accomplished by resting the watch crown down. I have not set the watch in two weeks, and it is currently indicating within a few seconds of the correct time as checked against an atomic clock using just these two simple tricks. In essence, fully wound, a little slow; not fully wound, a little fast. Your mileage may vary. Some combination of rest position and activity level will dictate your actions if you want the watch to be spot on. This is excellent performance for an unadjusted mass produced watch and says a lot about Seiko's design talents and quality control. The 21,600 BPH (6 ticks per second) movement ensures lower stress than a high beat movement, increasing longevity. The lack of a hack feature can be overcome by applying slight backward pressure on the crown during setting. Care should be used to not have the watch run backward at this point, because that is bad for the escapement. This works best if the watch is not fully wound. I do not often use this approach, since I can speed the watch up or slow it down in use to achieve a good synchronization within a few days.
All in all, an excellent watch and an exceptional value. I would highly recommend this watch to anyone desiring a classic diver's which will be a faithful companion in your daily life. Great looks, functionality and an outstanding value.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2009
I felt the urge to clarify some points after having read the complaints from those that apparently know nothing about mechanical watches. No offense, but a little research before purchasing your first mechanical watch might be a good idea.
An automatic watch will not be as accurate as a quartz. These watches (with the Seiko 7S26 caliber movement) usually gain or lose around 15 seconds per day on average. That is absolutely normal. If you desire improved accuracy, you could have the movement regulated (which should cost under $10). But, if you expect to set the time and not have to re-set it for a long time, then a mechanical watch is not for you. A mechanical Rolex usually won't be as accurate as a Casio quartz on a monthly basis. That is simply the nature of a mechanical watch.
These watches have about a 48 hour reserve, when fully wound (which takes about a full day of wearing it). You'll either want to wear it at least every other day, or get a winder, or expect to have to re-set the time & calendar within 2 days of not wearing it. You also can't manually wind this watch. You gently shake it for about 30 seconds.
Another important thing to know is that you should not change the day or date when the watch time is between 9PM - 4AM (when the calendar is in transition). Doing so can damage the calendar mechanism. This is mentioned in the manual, but not everyone reads manuals. The date should change at midnight, but the day slowly changes till about 3AM.
All of this may sound negative, but it's not. It is exactly what is expected from an automatic watch (of any brand) in this price range.
Some people feel they have been ripped off if their Seiko watch, which they assume must be made in Japan, is made elsewhere, such as Malaysia. Seiko has factories in many countries, and they all have the same high quality control standards. There have been no proven quality differences between a Seiko that's made in Japan, and one that's made in Malaysia or Singapore.
I own many Seiko watches, including this model. I have been very pleased with all of them. Seiko makes quality watches (both mechanical and quartz) at very competitive prices.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2007
I've had this watch for around 18 months now. It's tough, looks good and doesn't have a mark on it yet. It loses out in two places though. Firstly, it has remarkably short "standby" time. Take it off early on a Friday night and then sleep late on Saturday and it's more than likely to have stopped. Take it off for a day to alternate with a dress watch and there's no chance it'll still be going. Secondly - I've been spoiled by electronic watches and not having to adjust the date at month end on 28 and 30 day months so that's a pain. On the other hand, the ripoff prices I have to pay to have the battery in my Citizen changed (along with the mandatory water seal testing) make it well worth the hassle.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2005
When I'm wanting to dress down but want a quality time piece...I take off my Omega and put this watch on...Japanese movement rivals that of swiss...I've owned this watch for ten years and It still looks new...If you are starting a collection and want some japanese pieces in it then this is a great place to start....it is a collectors Item.....buy with confidence!......
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2006
Reading through some of the reviews posted here it sounds like some people purchased this AUTOMATIC watch without realizing that you have to keep wearing it to keep it running. It's a little bit absurd to give a watch 1 star for doing what it was designed to do-stop running if nobody wears it. Just for reference, I own the orange face version of this watch with a metal strap (same exact watch other than color and strap selection).
Anyways, the power reserve on this watch is approximately 2 days (this may vary a little). This is a fairly good (but not quite excellent) power reserve for a mechanical automatic watch.
Annoyingly though, this watch has a tendency to run fast when it is not constantly being worn, so as it runs out of power it begins running faster and faster.
If I neglect to wear it for a day or a day and a half it will pick up a few minutes-after many weekends I end up having to slow it back down 5 minutes. It is much more accurate when worn every single day.
The only other criticism I have of this watch other than its tendency to run a little fast, is that it is a little bit difficult to pull the crown out to the middle position (for adjusting the day/date)-it's fairly easy to overshoot it. But this is more a minor annoyance than a serious issue.
These minor annoyances aside, this watch looks fantastic and feels wonderful. On top of all this, it's a genuine diver that'll go to 200M without problem-with a movement that's stood the test of time. No, the movement is not the most accurate or up to date-but if accuracy is what you really want automatic watches are never going to be quite as good as quartz watches anyway.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2005
I have had this watch for 15 years and it still keeps time as well as it did on day one. This is a timeless design. My father has had his for 20+ years and my brother and I both have had ours for over 15 years. This watch is hassle free with no battery to replace. It is a great looking watch and can stand up to the elements. I know because I have put mine to the test many times and it is still ticking. If you are looking for a great watch, look no further.
30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2006
Now that I've worn the watch for a week and a half or so, I can say that I stand by my original assessment below. I wear the watch over 12 hours a day comfortably. I've exercised in it, swam with it, and basically did all the things life throws at you with this watch on my wrist and it never presented a problem but there are two caveats. First, it doesn't fit well with a suit and tie...I've worn it but it does catch a bit on dress shirt cuffs due to its sizable face. Second, given my smaller wrists (see below) I wear it on one hole for normal wear and then have to tighten it up one hole if I'm doing any kind of physical activity. In the end, these are two minor issues that really don't bother me.
The watch, thus far, has kept perfect time...let me repeat that...perfect time...my guess is that others who've reviewed this watch probably don't wear it long enough to keep this automatic properly wound...again, I wear it at least 12+ hours a day...when I get up and then when I go to bed.
Last, I want to repeat that this watch is a great looking watch. The pic on my computer gives it an almost dark-brownish look...it's not...the bezel, face, and band are dark black.
Read what I wrote below for my first assessment but, once again, this is a serious watch for a GREAT price...enjoy!
While I've just received this watch I wanted to comment on my first impressions for those of similar physical type and for those wanting to use the watch as I will. I will update my review after a period of time.
Right out of the box I immediately took note of the heft of the watch, the fact that the watch is sizable (right on the edge of being too large but doesn't cross the line!), and that the band is a bit long for MY wrist...but, for me, that's fine as I will explain later. I'm around 5 foot 10 and 185 pounds but my wrists are more skinny than the average man so this watch would look fantastic on larger men or on anyone with average to larger size wrists. It is a flat out GREAT looking watch on the wrist...the picture does not do this watch justice. The simplicity of this watch is its strength...I don't want bling...I want my watch to reflect down to earth, attractive, functionality...and this watch does that in spades.
Now, I am a certified diver and I will use this watch as an every day watch as well as a dive watch so the longer band is great for my purposes when I use a wet suit. The bezel moves so smoothly and the size of the face as well as the visibility of the hands and dial are terrific even in the dark.
In the short time that I've worn this watch it has met all my expectations but I'll put it through its paces over time and I'll revise my review at a later date...
Thus far...this is a no-brainer buy...
39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2007
I have had an early version of this watch for 17 years, and when it malfunctioned, I decided it was time to get a new one. The previous watch had been repaired 2 times earlier, and unfortunately every time I got it back from COSERV, it would be less and less accurate, thus I decide to get a new one. The new one was made in Maylasia vs Japan (I have read on this site that one needs to be concerned about that), and was lighter in weight, but kept time well for about one week. I bumped the watch on a table (nothing severe, the previous watch endured much more) and it immediately started gaining more than 10 minutes per hour. I had high hopes that this watch would at least meet, and hopely exceed the durability of the previous watch, but it did not make it passed one week of casual wear. I returned it in disappointment.