on April 15, 2006
Bought the watch from Amazon Sunday evening and it arrived on Thursday evening with the 5-day delivery service. I've had it for a few days and I am extremely happy with it. I also own a Rolex Submariner, Breitling Chronomat, Omega Seamaster Chrono, Citizen Nighthawk, and some assorted Casios and Timexes. This Seiko automatic watch ranks just a hair below the $2000+ Swiss watches, but for under $200, it's an unbelievable value. The quality and workmanship are excellent for a price in this range. For example, the second and minute hands line up exactly with the hash marks; when the second hand hits 12, the minute hand is algined precisely with the minute hash mark. Wow, I've seen $1000 Swiss quartz watches that don't do that. The assembly of all the components look top notch. The rotating bezel has a precision feel and the click-stops align exactly with the hash marks on the dial. The alphanumeric markings, Lumbrite markers, and hands appear of high quality. Seiko's cost savings is in the omission of hacking of the second hand, but slight backwards pressure does stop it for setting the time. Also, the black-on-white day and date although easy to read appears to be imprinted on cheapy white plastic. The bracelet has solid stainless steel links, but the weight and chrome finish are slightly on the budget side. The watch appears to run fast by about 1 second each day, which is pretty good for a mechanical watch since I had a Timex quartz with an analog face that ran fast by about the same increment. I love the orange face and chrome bezel with recessed, black painted numerals and hash marks. The watch supplied by Amazon came with a Seiko box, instructions and warranty and does not appear to be a gray market watch. I saw the watch for cheaper on eBay but they were coming from overseas, so I paid a few bucks more from Amazon located in the US. All in all, I am very satisfied with this Seiko watch and Amazon service.
on March 10, 2007
From the moment you first hold this watch in your hand, you realize it is a quality timepiece. The first thing that strikes you is its large size and heavy feel, yet despite that, it feels comfortable on the wrist due to its fine balance.
The bracelet end links (those that attach to the watch case) are solid rather than formed sheet metal like you will find on most other watches in this price range. The pins holding the bracelet to the watch are the sturdiest I have ever seen. Each of the bracelet's subsequent links is also made from a solid piece of steel, not folded sheet, each component being feather-edged to prevent it digging into the wrist. Its removable link pins are of an unusual machined pin and collar design which, though fiddly to remove and replace, nevertheless ensure that the pins remain under-flush and secure when correctly installed. The bracelet is perfectly flush on the side that contacts your wrist making it feel very smooth during wear.
The clasp is very high quality, having both a fold over security buckle, which deploys with a satisfying click, and an Omega style double button catch. The security buckle closes onto a spring pin whose ends are spherical thus ensuring a tight fastening which should not wear with use. All in all these features add up to a watch that is very quiet on the wrist, the only faint sound coming from its automatic winding mechanism.
Finally the bracelet incorporates a clever hidden diver's extension (to allow the watch to be worn over a wet suit).
The watch case, back and bezel are made from stainless steel. The case has an attractive mix of polished, brushed and machined finishes which all add to the feel of quality and function. The overall impression is that this is a precision instrument rather than a fashion piece; that's not to say though that it would look out of place with a dinner jacket any more than a wet suit.
The unidirectional bezel is of a heavily scalloped design, protected by bezel-guards which extend upwards from each of the lug pairs. The lower guard also functions as a crown guard and, all in all, the impression is of a case machined from a solid billet of steel. The bezel sits slightly higher than the domed crystal, thus providing protection from scratching and the crystal itself is of a proprietary Seiko material "hardlex" which, as I understand it, is better at resisting scratches than mineral glass but less susceptible to shattering than sapphire.
The luminosity of this watch is astounding due partly to the use of Seiko's proprietary "lumibrite" paint but also to the large coated areas on the hour markers and hands.
The bezel only turns one way, as a safety feature for timing dives, and feels silky smooth, the best I've experienced on any Seiko or Invicta diver. It has 120 clicks per revolution and is nicely aligned with the face.
The watch uses the 21 jewel Seiko 7S26 movement running at 21,600 bph (that's 6 ticks per second). It is non-hacking which means that the second hand does not stop when the crown is pulled out. Although this makes it difficult to synchronize, if a slight backward pressure is applied to the fully extended crown, it is possible to stop the second hand. The watch can not be hand wound but the self winding mechanism is very efficient and I have found that it has a power reserve of at least 24 hours. The 7S26 has been around for many years and has a reputation for ruggedness and reliability.
There are several reviews where people complain of poor accuracy. Typically, when new, automatic movements will be set to run fast at the factory because they tend to slow down after a few weeks of use. I own three watches with the 7S26 movement and after their breaking in period all are now keeping time to within 10 seconds per day.
I have a few thoughts on accuracy. You have to ask yourself how accurate does your watch need to be? If it is running 10 or 20 seconds fast per day then set it one minute slow and you will only need to re-set it once every week or two when it has advanced to one minute fast. If you need more accuracy then, unless you are willing to pay at least five times as much for a swiss watch, then buy a quartz.
Finally, if you do a search on the Seiko Monster you'll quickly come to realize that in its various colours, these watches are firm favourites amongst those who frequent the many watch forums. I would highly recommend that you purchase one and see for yourself!
on August 12, 2012
As someone who just recently became interested in wristwatches, I began looking around for a high quality diving watch in anticipating of a trip to the Caribbean. The Seiko line of "Monster" watches seemed very popular, and so I took the plunge and went with the Orange Monster over it's more sedate brother the Black Monster. I'm glad I did.
The first thing to know is that this watch is heavy. You definitely feel it on your wrist, and I suspect it would make a presence even on a person with large wrists (I happen to have fairly small wrists, so it makes even more of a presence on me!). However, the heft never feels bulky or uncomfortable; it just feels SOLID, and that's a good thing. I will say, I was surprised that the watch does not sit higher on the wrist, so it can easily slide beneath a shirt cuff if necessary. But the construction of the watch, from the bezel to the case back to the bracelet itself, gives it a fantastic feeling of sturdiness. Exactly what you want in a diver. It's smartly designed, too. The crown (which is screw down) is located at 4 o'clock; a nice touch, so it doesn't dig into your hand when you bend it. The little things make a difference.
The face itself is clear and very readable. No numbers here, just big lume dots to indicate the hour with a day and date window at three o'clock. A nice touch is that Sat and Sun are in different colors (blue and red, respectively) which, although it's a little thing in the grand scheme of life, makes the weekends a little more unique. Also, for those who need it, the day is also available in Spanish.
I need to take a moment to mention the lume. I had read that it was impressive, even saw YouTube videos of it. None of those images do the brightness justice. It's unbelievable how bright it is. Just 10 minutes or so in the sun literally provides hours of brightness. I am not exaggerating when I say that during a recent power outage, I used the lume from the Orange Monster to help me navigate a dark closet and find a flashlight. It's that bright. I'm sure over time that this will fade somewhat, but even if it eventually ends up at 70% of what it started at, this will be a watch that you'll have no problem reading in the dark (or under water...it is a diver after all!).
The bezel is unidirectional and has 120 clicks. It has just the right amount of give, and is not so easy to turn that you'll bump it out of position, but not so tough to turn as to need a wrench. The bracelet feels very sturdy, and has a nice safety clasp to ensure that the release buttons don't accidentally open the watch. For those who do dive, a diver's extension allows it to fit over your wet suit.
It's an automatic, so don't expect the precision of a quartz. However, I have found the accuracy to be well within the posted range. Watching the second hand sweep across the dial is so smooth its hypnotic. My experience with the power reserve is that it's a respectable 36 hours or so. I have a couple of different watches in rotation, so occasionally this one runs out of juice and stops. However, it's easy to set and start again, so no worries there.
All in all, the high rankings both here on Amazon and at other locations are entirely justified. The Orange Monster is the real deal, and is exceptional quality at a ridiculously reasonable price. Sure, a Rolex Submariner might be the more prestigious dive watch. But in my divers I want reliable and durable with a heavy dose of personality, and so the Orange Monster fits the bill.
on January 8, 2006
Finally, I received my "Orange Monster". It's a beauty. I couldn't wait to put it on, so I adjusted the bracelet (this is tricky because's a new design). What a bracelet, extension and all. Only the bracelet is worth $200! And there I was going to the dark room. The luminous on this watch is something else, surpassing my expectations. I believe Seiko uses "Lumibrite" on this watch, which is a newly luminous paint developed by Seiko harmless to humans that absorbs the energy of sunlight or artificial light in a short time and stores it to emit a light in the dark. By the way, Seiko manufactures all its components. The dials says Diver's 200m and the caseback, SCUBA DIVER'S. This watch means business eventhough I don't plan on going snorkeling in a while. This is a 42mm (46.5mm including the crown)in diameter, 12mm in thickness, and 160g hefty watch. My Seiko "Knight" and "Superior" weight 170g each, the "Land Shark" 185g, and the "Samurai" 190g. So you know. The engine on the Orange Monster is the reliable, 21 jewel, 21600 vibes/h 7S26 workhorse: consistent, precise, quiet, and durable. After 24 hrs. the time is withing 1 sec. Usually Seiko's 7S26 needs settleting. I paid $195 from Watch Pavilion and it came with a nice non Seiko box, and no papers. I guess this watch is not for sale from authorized distributors in the USA. Anyways, Watch Pavilion gives you a 30 day money back guarantee, and you know SEIKO gives you 1-year worldwide + 2-years in USA. An instruction booklet, and a watch tool (to safely remove the links) was included. Summary: For the price of a brand new Rolex Submariner Date ($4,400), I could buy 22+ Seiko Diver's, watches that can last a life time.
on July 5, 2008
I have had my Seiko "Orange Monster" for a few months now, and I have come to understand why it has such a following. First, why orange? There are allegedly technical reasons to make diving watches with orange faces - I'll leave those for serious divers and, perhaps, physicists. An orange watch face is amazingly bright. If the treatment of the hour markers and hands is done correctly, there will still be good contrast and consequently, ease of reading the time instantaneously at a glance; this watch face is done right. The luminescent markers are large and the 6:00,9:00 and 12:00 o'clock markers are distinguished by size and/or shape so that even in total darkness at 3:30A.M., you will be able to pick up and orient the watch correctly to read the time. Like all externally-charged luminous watch faces, these markers fade during the night, but in complete darkness, I have literally awakened at 4:30 A.M. and still been able to read the time without effort. This is in part due to the excellent luminous substance used, and in part because the hour- and minute hands are large and of radically differing shape. I have tritium-luminous watches on which the hour and minute hands' illumination is of identical width and almost-identical length. In the fog of disturbed sleep, it takes the brain a few seconds to interpret subtle differences. The "Monster's" luminosity, though not as bright as tritium after a few hours, is still much easier to read!
Next, what about accuracy? There are about 86,400 seconds in a day. As noted by one source, if a watch is 99.9% accurate, it can be a minute and a half "off" after 24 hours. Think about this and you will appreciate the phenomenal accuracy of quartz watches. These Seiko mechanical movements are mass-produced by machine, and they are nowhere near as accurate as even a "middle-grade" quartz movement. What can you expect? I have two older-style Seiko divers which use the same mechanical movement, although supposedly an earlier "A" version. The worst of these consistently averages a 7 - 9 second gain per day. The other loses an average of 4 - 6 seconds per day. Newer watches are supposed to have a "B" version of the same basic movement ( I have NO idea what the difference might be ). My Orange Monster has, after "break-in", averaged daily gains of 1.5 - 3.5 seconds. NOTE: I say "averaged". This is the key. If you continuously monitor your watch for gain/loss, you will go crazy. Mechanical movements vary their speed in response to motion and position. You will read reviews here and elsewhere which tell of "tricks" used to speed-up or slow-down a watch. Usually these consist of leaving the watch overnight in some specific position ( flat on it's back; face-down; on it's side, either crown-up or crown-down, etc ). The averages I give for my watches are obtained by wearing the watch normally and setting it down at night flat on it's back with the face up. This is just, for me, the natural way to handle a watch - no strategies to fool the physics of all those little wheels, gears, escapements, and levers inside the case.
Finally, THESE WATCHES LIKE TO BE USED. Everyone mentions ( or gripes about ) the fact that Seiko's moderately-priced mechanical movements can't be hand-wound. The watch must be wound-up by the "automatic" mechanism. Normally this just naturally happens when you wear the watch - if you wear it enough hours during the day ( come on, gentlemen, at least eight! ). Before you can begin to even think about measuring accuracy the watch must be FULLY-WOUND. Then, it will exhibit a 36 - 40 hour power reserve, and show some consistent pattern of timekeeping. Don't buy this watch and put it in a drawer. If you own only one automatic watch, and wear it every day, you will be happy with it and it will never stop unexpectedly. If you own more than one, get a winding machine.
I am completely satisfied with my Orange Monster thus far. It's bright face gives it a "presence" on the wrist that other watches just don't have. Since it seems to run a little fast, I set it one minute slow and by the end of the month, it is one minute fast. Better than expected. More than this, the automatic movement is somehow alive in a way that quartz watches can never duplicate. The second hand sweeps rather than jerks. Also, ( if this appeals to you ) you have the satisfaction of knowing that the watch on your wrist, though mass-produced, is just a little different from every other....
on November 8, 2006
Don't leave home with out one !
Hold's up to a Lot of abuse also , Trust me - I've put it through a lot.
on September 23, 2007
I purchased this watch from Amazon Prime to replace a quartz Wenger. First of all, I was very impressed with the overnight delivery for only $4.00. Secondly, I like this "automatic" (self-winding) better than any watch I have ever owned. It is comfortable (albeit heavy) and I have received nothing but complements from my friends & associates. Over the period that I have owned this watch, it has gained only 12 seconds per week(very impressive for an analog watch). It has never "died" overnight and as a matter of fact I didn't wear it one day and it was still running the next. I have yet to use it for scuba so I can make no statement on its water tight integrety (I will update this comment when I do).
The only caution that I make on this watch is the beautiful stainless band. It comes from Seiko big enough to fit your ankle. The pins to adjust the band are different than any that I have seen. They are a 2 part pin and spring collar. When you push out the pin, the spring collar (about 1/2 the size of a grain of rice) comes free. When I was sizing my band, I lost 3 of them. I recommend buying the Deluxe set with the band adjustment tool, the band removal tool and the rubber watch band. It only costs about $30.00 more and it would give flexibility to your watch plus make it much easier to adjust the band.
In closing, I like this Orange Monster so much that today I purchased the Black and will buy the Blue if it becomes available again.
Update: After 4 months of wear, My Orange Monster still ROCKS.
on January 25, 2009
The Orange Monster by Seiko is really something special. If you begin to poke around the internet like I did, you will find a tremendous number of reviews, which are almost universally positive in their take on the Monster. My review is no different in this respect as I have nothing but good things to say about my experience (almost).
First of all the shipping, World of Watches could be a bit zippier, but you will find they always have it delivered within the range given by Amazon by UPS, and that is very well packaged and protected. The first thing you will be likely to notice when taking this watch out of the Box is the weight, this is a hefty, manly watch by all standards. The second you will probably notice is the superb bracelet and how large it is. I have read in many places that the band is hard to adjust, but just don't listen to them. I used a pair of pliers and two regular sewing needles and I had no trouble at all sizing the band. It also has a micro-adjust near the clasp and a diver extension, making this the best-fitting and most comfortable watch I have ever owned.
The outside has a very rugged appearance, with bold lines around the bezel and the unique bezel guard, and the interesting orientation of the crown at the four o'clock position (so it won't dig into your arm, I did not know if I would like the crown position at first, but it is actually now my preference). The glass (Seiko Hardlex) is domes and recessed a bit so the bezel protects it from scratching. The Hardlex crystal appears to be very thick and gives the impression of extreme durability.
The band is beautiful and the BEST bracelet I have ever seen on a watch. The clasp is double locking, all the pins are very sturdy and never work themselves out and all he links are solid Stainless Steel. I have read in other places that this band trumps some bands on swiss watches that are 5-10 times more expensive than the Orange Monster.
O.K. now to address the movement (7S26), it is automatic and seems to have a very generous reserve power time. You can take this watch off with a full charge and expect it to run for about 2 days or a little more. It is non-hacking (the second hand does not stop while setting the time) which can be a bit annoying, but has not been a significant issue with me thus far (also, backwards pressure on the crown when fully extended will stop the second hand- I would NOT advise this however as it could permanently damage the movement-at least I think it could). As far as accuracy goes, it could be better, but it could also be a lot worse. I have monitoring mine closely for the month that I have owned it and find it is slowly becoming more accurate. When the Monster first arrived it ran 17 seconds fast per day, and now its down to about 14 seconds. I have read that the watch can slow for up to six months and will generally settle in at under 10 seconds fast per day. Don't let the accuracy stop you for a second-the movement is really one of the strongest parts of the watch and has been shown to be one of the best automatic movements out there (within this price range).
Next, the illumination for the hour markers on the dial and the hands is INSANE. It is, by light years, the best illumination on ANY watch I have ever owned. Typically, I put the watch directly under a fluorescent bulb for about three minutes or less. Now. after a full nights sleep (lets say 8 hours) the hands and markers are still STARTLINGLY visible in a dark room (I'm trying to remember, I think the proprietary paint that Seiko uses is called lumibrite-I'm not sure). I would buy this watch just for the lum, but remember the great looks, movement, hardlex, the perfect bracelet and the ORANGE of course. And finally we come to the bezel:
The bezel of the Orange Monster is really a perfect piece of engineering. As I said before, it protects the crystal from scratches and is itself protected by a heft bezel guard (look at the pictures). The watch and bezel have notches in them, which line up ever time the arrow on the bezel lines up with a 5 minute mark (5, 10, 15 and so on) and makes turning and gripping the bezel much easier. Also, not that there is a dot of the lum paint at the 12 mark on the bezel so it is also visible in the dark. The bezel is another strong point, I find myself turning it absentmindedly through the day just because it moves so smoothly and makes a nice sharp clicking noise).
I've had the legendary Orange Monster for a month now, and I already know that this is my new watch. I'm planning to buy the black monster this year, 2009, before I go to college in the fall so I will have a pair of these Monsters. This is a watch I could see having for the rest of my life. Buy it, I would by willing to pay twice what Amazon is asking for this watch. If mine ever breaks (which I highly doubt) I'll buy a new one without hesitation.
I've had MANY compliments about this watch, from family and friends and from a lit of people at my High School. Expect this watch to get noticed, it really is visible on the wrist, especially with the orange.
I Have been swimming with the watch. I spent three days in a hotel a couple of weeks ago and probably spent about 8 hours or so in the pool. I wore the monster the whole time-it was wonderful-didn't have to worry about it (especially with the 200M water resistance rating).
Date works well and the day can shows up either in English or Spanish-you set it- and Saturday is blue, Sunday is red, and all the other days are black.
Crown screws down, but feels a little wobbly when unscrewed and extended to set-not really a problem.
I've now had the watch for two years and still wear it at least once a week. The accuracy has greatly improved over time, settling into a sort of sweet spot, maybe around ~1 minute per month! Still love it. Automatics are really the way to go; excellent timepiece.
on September 11, 2006
I've had both the Orange Monster and the Black Monster for almost two years (when they first came out). I have some very nice watches (and expensive), but the "monsters" are my favorite. I use the Orange Monster as my everyday watch. It has seen duties swimming, snokeling, ATV's in Cabo, working in Bermuda, Mexico, Bahamas.. on boats and beaches. It may gain or lose a few seconds, but overall is both nice-looking and practically bombproof. The orange version is a little more bold, but don't be put off by the color. People love the looks.. and so do I. The black version is more traditional. You'll be happy with either one. Best quality and value in a mechanical dive watch.
on April 9, 2007
I'm a regular collector of diving watches and this is one of my favorite ones. There is something about diving watches that is really attractive though it could be subconscious and because of the fact that you can get it wet and it would still work. This watch feels rock solid like it just came out from a huge chunk of metal. For such a quality feel, the price is super amazing. I would have to go for my Submariner for a similar feel and on some days, I prefer the feel of this than of my Submariner! The luminated markers are the brightest I ever seen on any watch, diving or non-diving. Clasp is super-awesome, better than the Submariner. Bracelet is not as nice looking but ok. The moveable bezel has the best click of any of the diving watches I own and this is the least expensive dive watch of all but unfortunately I paid a little too much. The only downside and may not be for you if you don't adjust your bands, but if you do, it's a chore. I spend hours trying to do this and was only successful after improvising as the linking system is very unusual.