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 June 14, 2005
Seiko's SKX781 "Orange Monster" is achieving cult status among automatic sports watch collectors and avid SCUBA divers. Along with a similar style in black, Model SKX 779 (Black Monster) and the 300 lucky owners who collected a limited edition "Yellow Monster" some years ago - Seiko has produced a classic sports watch for the ages.
Even those who collect automatic sports watches or chronographs that cost into 4 figures view this watch as a MUST HAVE for their collections (along with the Invicta Pro series dive watches). Like my commuter car Toyota RAV4 - a "beater" for everyday travel to the office - a "beater" watch with style, elegance, color and practicality for $200 or less is a rare find. This is a watch that makes a clear statement on your wrist!
As an avid SCUBA diver - a water resistant watch to 660 feet is almost a standard when looking for dive watch purchase features. When the stainless steel band has a triple lock, a deployment clasp for wetsuit, softly rounded comfortable links coupled to a massive free uni-directioinal rotating bezel - most of us take notice. Combined with a "flamethrower" glow in the dark dial - beautiful orange face and overall massive sculpted stainless steel case - you have a winner.
The WOW factor on this time piece is way up there. This watch is not Seiko of America standard stockage - but must be dealer ordered from Seiko Japan or Gray market wholesaled from Japan or Singapore dealers. It is also made for the China and Far East Market from a Seiko factory in Singapore. Both Japanese and Singapore factories turn out highest quality timepieces. Amazon's vendor sponsor - where I bought my watch - charges a fair price and has provided excellent service (sent me the Japanese factory made model).
The day, date feature ("complication") is clearly readable without the "Rolex" type magnifier bubble (aka "cyclops"). The 42mm stainless steel case (43mm with crown), uni-directional bezel can be joined either with a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap. The bracelet is a 70.00+ separate order item - while the Seiko rubber strap is only a $25-30 saving when choosing your order. Make no mistake - this is an imposing timepiece. Many prefer the Black (Monster) version as the orange dial is an aquired taste for some of us.
Internally- the 7S26 automatic movement is the one found in all styles of the under $300 Seiko diver watch model range. While not Seiko's premier automatic watch movement - it is a tried and true lifetime (with proper service) movement. It has a smaller than average weighted rotor - can be immediately charged with just a few brisk shakes before mounting on your wrist - and can be put on all watch winders to keep it fully charged and ready to wear. This movement - to save money in manufacturing - cannot be manually wound. Day date must be adjusted on all months not 31 days long. Use of plastic day/date internal rotors are self lubricating and will stand a lifetime of wear. Any criticism of the watch can be found in this area - the mechanism taking up to 3 hours to change the day/date at midnight.
Possible downside of this watch:
1. NOT a quartz - but a spring wound auto-wind.
2. Thick and heavy - not suitable to all folks who like a THIN, light watch. Tough to fit under a shirt cuff - unless you're a pirate.
3. Not Seiko's most precise auto-wind movement. Still - a tried and true reliable performer - but not a chronograph time keeper.
4. Crystal "Hardlex" watch face not as scratch resistant as Sapphire watch face from dive watch competitors (such as Invicta).
5. Can't manually wind movement (as in Invicta 8926 series).
Available from Amazon vendors (where I purchased mine) or other US dealers - prices vary $40 or more. Gray Market from Hong Kong or Singapore may save you up to $80 from authorized US dealers - but may present the owner with warranty and service acceptance problems from authorized Seiko repair facilities here in the states should something go wrong.
[I'm a contributing member of InvictaTalk.com, InvictaWatchForum.com, and TimeTechTalk.com and invite all affordable watch lovers to learn more about Seko, Citizen, Invicta and other fine watches sold on Amazon.com]
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 February 23, 2007
I've had a lot of watches in my life. Some dressy, some functional, and some practically indestructible. This watch is a combination of all these factors. Very solid feeling (and much heavier than my titanium dive watch). Looks great and functions well. I also like the wetsuit link which allows a quick adjustment to fit over your wetsuit. The orange face is very legible, and at night, the watch glows almost bright enough to read by! The clasp is very secure, with a dual button release and an extra clasp to prevent accidental opening. Day & date are easy to adjust and very readable (much better than my Citizen). This is a solid performing watch and worth the money!
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 August 20, 2009
I've been a Seiko owner for decades, never an issue. Then I started buying the larger diving watches. I owned the Seiko Men's "Black Monster" Automatic Dive Watch #SKX779K1 purchased on feb 6th 2009. By July 14th the day/date had stopped working on the watch. Sent in for repair, was fixed through warranty by World of watches' cost $10 in shipping...but was repaired. The day I sent in the watch, I ordered another Seiko Men's "Oragne Monster" auto dive watch direct from Amazon. Within 30 days of purchase the bezel froze up and is locked. It does not turn what-so-ever, and is a major feature of this watch. Sent in the watch for what I believed to be a warranty issue and this was the reply I got back:
Dear Coserv Customer,
Below please find COSERV's NON-WARRANTY Repair Estimate. ALL WORK IS ON HOLD pending notification from you. You can either reply to this e-mail or you may call us at 1-800-722-4452 with your decision. If you call us, please refer to our COSERV SERVICE MEMO so that we can easily access your repair.
In the event we do not hear from you within 30 days of the "Date Received" your timepiece will be RETURNED UNREPAIRED.
COSERV SERVICE MEMO: NJ-5063088
DATE RECEIVED: 08/19/09
RETURN VIA: CODUPS
ACCOUNT NO: 2222226
JOB #: JEDINY
CASE #: 7S260351
SERIAL #: 8D1727
GUARANTEE: OUT OF WARR.
Thank you for your loyal patronage. We look forward to being of service to you.
After phoning the NJ Seiko repair center, I was told the bezel is a cosmetic problem, and is not covered under warranty...even if the watch is only days old.
Seiko has lost me as a customer forever. For two watches to break at the same time is beating the law of averages. For Seiko not to warranty this is not only upsetting, but has me left of in limbo on the repair. I would not recommend this watch to anyone, especially if your life depends on it. The time on the movement is not NASA perfect, but can be lived with. The watch failing under prestine conditions is a major factor, it cannot be relied on for performance; and Seiko cannot be relied on for warranty issues on these "Monster" watches with Japanese movements. Very disappointed and let down. It's a great watch while it's working, once it breaks YOU will be left holding the bag. Hope this helps someone out there with the decision they will be facing after purchase.MJ.
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 April 6, 2009
I would probably opt for the black version but since I have other black/white watches the orange was a nice change for my collection.
As others have said, it is a nice band for the money. The fit and finish isn't that great but it is nice enough especially for the price range. My security clasp was off so I am getting a new band. I did modify the band so the clasp was non-issue.
Nice big beefy feel to it. It has an impressive stout look and feel to it. The bezel is a joy to turn, easy and nice clicks. Screw down crown. The watch sets easy enough when reading the instructions for language selection.
I wont go in to great detail about the movement but casual observation: My high end watches have more beats per minute by far. The second hand sort of lumbers around the dial. It's slow enough to where it could be mistaken as a quartz watch. It's hard to gauge the accuracy since this watch does not have a hack function (Edit, with slight pressure while turning the time backwards, the second hand will stop or a little more pressure and it actually shows the second hand running backwards (freaky). Regardless, I can now test and see how accurate it is).
Dial/hands: Good stuff, the lumen is bright as a torch after being charged. I believe the longevity is adequate as well. None of it looks to be cheaply made. A huge plus is that this baby is easily readable. At a quick glance you know what time it is. In low lighting it is also impressive.
We will see what sort of beating this watch can take. I bought it to put in a rotation with my other watches to decrease the odds of beating up one of my more expensive watches. It looks great and is running great. I will update my review if anything changes.
Setting this watch is not a pleasure, you have to pull easy on the crown or you end up changing the wrong thing. Not a big deal.
I went to check out my monster in the watch winder today and it had stopped somewhere along the way and lost three hours. It was running when I was looking. I set the time again and put it back in the winder. GRANTED, my winder was set up to run 12 hours a day. I figured I wouldn't run it a full 24 so that it could "rest" and it wouldn't put as much wear and tear on the motors. Oh well, back to 24/day with the winder and I will see if the monster keeps running. Another note, I have 4 watches in the winder (the other three all have ETA movements) and none of them had lost any time. hmmm... Still, for under $200 *shrug*.
04/29/2009: The newness of the watch is wearing off and I still like its look quite a bit. I am still not impressed with the movement. I bought a Hamilton King Khaki auto (used) and it is much nicer and cost me $60 more. It was worth the $60 more. The Seiko hasn't stopped since my winder was set for a 24 hour cycle, which is a good thing. I would recommend buying a used Swiss made auto. Just my preference based on my experience, don't beat me up. Here is why.... If you look just at the reviews here on Amazon, some folks got a watch that worked well but kept poor time. Others got a watch that kept great time but had flakey problems. A google search shows the same thing. The inconsistency of the product makes it hard to recommend. You may get lucky and get a good one (I feel I got sort of lucky but not unlucky enough to throw it in the garbage).
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.