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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2014
DESCRIPTION: The revised Seiko SRP307 "Black Monster" with the new 24 jewel 4R36 mechanical automatic movement replaces the legendary SKX779 "Black Monster" with the venerable 21 jewel 7S26 movement. Externally, the two watches are very similar, with the most notable changes being removal of minutes/seconds numbers from the watch face and use of a knurled rather than ridged stem on the new version. Internally, the changes are much more dramatic. The new 4R36 movement adds the ability to stop or "hack" the watch at any seconds position, allowing precise time setting, and it also adds the ability to hand wind the watch, both of which were missing in the 7S26 movement. Just as important, the 4R36 movement appears to have much better accuracy (ability to keep good time) and isochronism (changes in timekeeping due to state of wind and watch position), right out of the box. For those not familiar with this iconic and inexpensive timepiece, the Black Monster is an armored stainless steel dive watch advertised as waterproof to 200 meters (658 feet). It is both rugged and reliable, but was not particularly accurate - until now. Its markers and hands rest under a domed mineral crystal on a black watch face and are coated with a generous amount of LumiBrite, allowing them to glow perceptibly for hours after exposure to light. Hours, minutes, seconds, day and date are indicated - day and date through a window in the watch face at the 3 o'clock position. The crystal is further shielded by a sloped and very rugged unidirectional, stainless-steel timing ring whose inner ridge is lower than the outer ridge - the exact opposite of most dive watches - to protect the crystal. The timing ring moves only counter-clockwise, 120 clicks per revolution, and is very smooth and well damped in operation. Massive ridges on its outer edge provide ample grip, even with gloves on. Timing marks are deeply engraved into the steel and filled with black paint for better contrast. The 12 o'clock timing position features an inlaid LumiBrite dot, for readability in complete darkness. Surrounding the timing ring is a ridge of stainless steel armor protecting the upper and lower thirds of the ring from accidental movement or impact - another unique feature of the "Monster". The watch stem, used to set the time, day and date is at the 4 o'clock position and is protected by its own ridge of armor at the top and by the timing ring armor ridge at the bottom. The watch stem is large and knurled in a fine diamond checkerboard pattern that provides excellent grip and screws down to provide a positive water seal. The watch back is domed to resist pressure and screws onto the watch case as one piece. The model and serial numbers are stamped onto the back along with Seiko's "breaking wave" logo for its dive watches. Overall the watch body and timing ring feature a mixture of polished and machined matte finished steel. The metal bracelet is equally robust, with solid machined stainless steel links, including solid end links. It is attached to the watch body with conventional spring pins. Links are fastened to each other using the Seiko pin-and-collar system that is quite difficult to adjust, but very strong and reliable once correctly assembled. The clasp is made of stamped stainless steel and is of the double fold-over type with twin squeeze-to-release locking buttons on the inner catch. It features four micro-adjustment positions set by spring pin and a rather flimsy looking snap-out diver's extension that is reinforced by a steel hook when not deployed.

PERFORMANCE AND IMPRESSIONS: This watch is called the "Monster" for a very good reason - it looks like one. With no concessions to popular style, it defines a unique and iconic look all its own, written in the robustness, boldness and practicality of its design. And it takes some getting used to. Perhaps that's why its appreciated even by collectors of much more expensive timepieces. If ever there was a tool watch designed by an engineer, this is it, particularly with the new 4R36 movement, whose performance now matches the very high standard set by the watch case and bracelet. My previous experience with the old 7S26 movement (in two Seiko SKX173 style dive watches) was that accuracy out of the box was 20-30 seconds per day with a variance of about +/- 12 seconds - not stellar. I purchased two of the new "Monsters", the SRP309 orange faced version and the SRP307 black faced version ("Black Monster") at a 2-for sale in December 2013. Both have the Japanese built version of the 4R36 movement. The Orange Monster has so far shown an accuracy of -5.5 seconds per day when on a winder and +5.5 seconds per day in normal use. The Black Monster is even better at -1.0 seconds per day on a winder and -4.0 seconds per day in normal use - meeting several Swiss COSC standards - a remarkable performance for a low-cost, mass-produced mechanical timepiece. After three and a half months of alternating wear, both watches look almost new - a tribute to the quality of their materials, finish and protective armor. And if you don't like the black watch face, the Monster is also available with an orange face (SRP309 - "Orange Monster") and in other variations that can include a rubber strap, PVD coated body and timing ring, etc.

GOTCHAs: Three potential issues exist with this watch, all controllable by the owner. The first involves band resizing. The Seiko metal bracelet uses a system where links are connected to each other using stainless steel pins inserted from one end only and secured by a very tiny metal collar inserted from the opposite end. Removing and inserting these pins and collars is a very exacting process that is difficult to do at home and requires a magnifier and precision tools. Many watch shops will improperly assemble the pin-and-collar arrangement (most often losing the collar), causing the bracelet to come apart later, at the worst possible time. So make sure the person resizing the bracelet knows how to work with the Seiko pin and collar system. The second issue is the knurled stem, which in some ways resembles a metal file. Clearance between the stem knob and surrounding armor is so tight that sufficient play exists to allow the knob to grind and bind frustratingly against the armor ridges when loosening or tightening it. Fortunately, the grinding action that causes the problem in the first place also solves it - after a few months of use the interference points have apparently worn down and binding is minimal. The third (potential) issue is owner expectation. This is a mechanical "automatic" watch. It has about 41 hours of reserve power when fully wound. It will simply stop if not worn or wound within that period. Compared to an electronic quartz watch, it is inaccurate. A quartz watch will usually drift no more than a half second per day. So expect to reset the time on the Monster weekly. This is very good for a mechanical watch.

SUMMARY: At this price point I've seen no other mechanical watch that can match the Monster's robustness, quality, precision (build and timekeeping) and practicality of design. It is an excellent first mechanical watch for any collector. Several people have walked up to me, pointed at the watch and said "Monster!", with a smile - so there is a community of aficionados out there. As backup to a dive computer, it is eminently practical, and it works as a daily beater, too. As for style - well... that's in the eye of the beholder. It is a heavy, bold watch that stands out. Generally speaking, it is NOT a dress watch :)

RATING: Overall, for excellence in design and execution, its unique and bold look and incredible value, I give this watch five (5) stars. It is simply outstanding in its price class.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I have both Seiko Black Monster generations, the one you can't hack or wind, and the new version, the SRP307. The new version is identical in case size, bracelet, and overall look, but there are subtle differences. The second gen also has a red second hand and all shark teeth indices. Also the indices are bright white whereas the first gen is more of a yellow color.

The lume on both is A plus. This is professional grade on both.

The biggest difference however is the movement. The new Monster has a 4R36 movement, which can be hand-winded in addition to being powered through movement.

At first, I liked the look of the old Monster but the new Monster has grown on me and I can't decide which one I like best from a visual standpoint. However, if forced to choose, I'd go with the new version because of its superior movement.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2014
Did lots of reading before ordering 3 months ago directly from Amazon as seller.

A lot is covered by others so I will add what could be worth covering again or suggestions.

1. Order from Amazon and get the watch pictured. Mvmt Japan. Any issues or unusual behavior on accuracy - return it to Amazon. Three year manufacturer warranty.
2. This Automatic is using the 4R36 movement. Look it up - spring powered. It means you have to wear it almost every other day. Obligation. Its an odd word but fits.
3. Heavy like at stack of 1/2 dollar coins on your wrist but almost smooth minute hand.
4. Lume on hour marks and hands amazingly brightest flare at first then goes down. Compared to a circa 2000 Ti Wenger (Battery), Citizens BM6400 (solar - battery ) and Reactor Prism (battery) - middle of the night its all the same. Its how the hands and markers are shaped that will give the deciding read factor. Numeric markers actually help instantly identify the time.

After three months so far having learned the behavior of this watch or it training me, here are some patterns. This is the behavior of the one I got so comparing USNO clock:
At activity 4 hours of total walking, watch jumped over +1 minute.
At activity desk jockey and 1 hour walking and rest at night, watch stabilizes at -4/+2 sec net time 24hr day.
1st month it was all over the place + or - 7 sec day. I finally realized it needs a pattern to behave in a predictable manner.

I read and applied this method to stabilize pattern after you break it in. I did this after 2 months. Let is wind down. Wear for 5 days rest 1 day. It stabilized it to -2 sec day first week then below.

One day on and one day off now back to -4 sec. So this is a negative time loss watch. I've read its takes months for it to stabilize so lets see but I think this may be it.

I have come to realize an Automatic is like a classic of the old days. Its got a quality build with its own uniqueness. If you need exact time, this watch is not it. All watches above are within 1 second last 3 months for quartz technology.

Its heavily armored protection so you have to live with the weight. It really hangs on your wrist at times.

Read the review on this site by The Amazon Customer on March 27th 2014. Appreciate your watch more. Take note about about the bracelet/ watch band when you adjust it which I did myself and saw those small collars.

Learn to swing your arm. 8+)

Lastly - a tip - The knob sticking or binding - use a piece of wax dental floss and run it on the threads. Works great.

There are details about this watch that tell you that a lot of consideration went into its build. It looks expensive.

Having to adjust the date end of month. Also the watch gets dirty in the holes next to the bezel. Those notches help turn it but gives an unusual spot for it to get dirty.

Its really a 4 1/2 star but start at 4 stars.

Update: July 18, 2014.
Rest position matters when off wrist. Again, you need to test this for yourself as each watch is different. I am explaining mine so you can have an idea what happens. It also made me think about position of the watch on my wrist and walking.

I've used this to help adjust my watch. Generally now at the end of the month I do an USNO clock match up.

Face up - minus 4-6 seconds overnight.
Crown knob down - minus 4-6 seconds overnight.
Crown knob up - minus 1 second an hour!
Face down - + 2 seconds overnight. I suspect its more than that as compensating for the negative during the day.

So knowing the behavior I see that wearing my watch it generates a negative time overall but I adjust it with face down resting at night. I can't see the lume but it keeps the watch more accurate.

Overall its a fun watch. So its a 5 star. A solid buy from Amazon direct.
I will try to update more over time.
Update November 3, 2014.
I have come to appreciate this watch even more now. And the quality of this watch.
I added to my watches - an Android automatic using a NH35A movement which is the non branded Seiko movement this watch has 4R36. The difference is amazing. The NH35A loses +1 minute a week. That makes it -10 a day. And the lume is the worst I've seen in any watch. So it makes me appreciate the Black Monster srp307 even more costing less.

How to keep multiple automatics running without being on your wrist daily. And no winder:
To make time for 2 automatics I've used the swing motion to wind it. Make a fist and aim it into the air. Your fingers should form a flat surface. Slip your fingers into the band. Hold your first watch there as if a brass knuckle across the top of your fist. You can hold another under inside your hand but keep the watch body horizontal to the ground. Create a small GENTLE circle rotation as if your elbow is fixed at one point. You should be creating a 'cone' effect as you do a swing rotation. Once in the morning and once at night. Count to 100 fast.
Do not do this if you wear the watch that day.

This actually allows me to rotate in other watches to wear. Keeps the watches 'charged'. The SRP307 is maintaining time at the same accuracy as stated before. If not better it seems.

I need to redo the wax dental floss on the knob again to make it smoother but so far great.

Update: Feb 27, 2015. Just short of 1 year ownership. Still great.

Other than the cleaning of the notches and rewaxing the knob, no issues. And its really become the favorite.
I have been wearing it about every other day. Gentle spins twice a day when not wearing it.
Also face up at night just to see it.
Maybe its the record cold temperatures but I said mine was about a -4 second a day watch on average.
Its has become almost a zero to + 1 second now a day on average.
Five stars and still highly recommended.

Update: Oct 5, 2015. Downgraded to 3 stars. About year and half ownership. Sudden slowdown.
My Android brand NH35A is still -10sec a day so its stable.
However, the reason for the downgrade of my Seiko is because its suddenly losing about a little over a minute a day. First it was about 30 seconds and then now at about a minute. Not dropped and actually I've more so baby the watch than the Android watch. I let it wind down and started it up from no power but its pretty consistent losing over a minute a day. Have to see what can be done. Disappointing. Hoping is just a glitch and I will try a few things but losing 7 minutes a week is incredible.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2013
I ordered the new/updated version of Seiko's iconic "Black Monster" on Tuesday and got it on Friday a full day ahead of the Amazon expected arrival date. As usual Amazon shipping is fast and if you spend over $25.00 with Amazon and/or it's an item Amazon sells themselves or is "fufilled" by Amazon shipping is free. Love it.

Now if you're not a Seiko expert(like my humble self) this part of the review will mean nothing to you. The watched pictured is the Japanese made version of the Black Monster with the tiny print designation "Made In Japan" on the dial right past the 6 o'clock indices on the left which is actually the SRP307J not the more common but still equally well made SRP307K made in Singapore. I was hoping to get the Japanese made model as pictured on the Amazon site but that was a pipe dream. Some folks think and will pay slighty more for the Japanse made version thinking it might be better made. It's possible that the Japanese version is better made but I'm more likely to think that no matter where the Black Monster is made, it's made in a factory staffed by Japanese Seiko management and subject to the same strict and exacting standards as the versions actually made in Japan. So no matter where your Seiko is made you will always get an excellent watch. Seiko fans like myself just like the "Made In Japan" on the dial.

Now for the watch review itself(a video review will be on my YouTube page in a couple days under MAVS DAD). These Black Monsters are incredibly well made for the money. They are solid and feel like you're wearing a $5000.00+ Omega or Rolex on your wrist. They are simply unrivaled in quality at this price point...thus explaining their tremendous popularity and loyal following by those that know about watches. Speaking of those that DON'T know about watches totally ignore "The Terminator's" review. Anyone with half a brain knows that even the cheapest $10.00 quartz watch has been and always will be about 5 times more accurate than even the most expensive Swiss automatics. It's different technology and people that prefer automatics like them because they seem to have more of a "soul" than quartz watches. Automatics are like mini V8 engines and watch freaks love em!

Back to the Black Monster...it's simple...buy one!!! They are very well made, look cool as hell, are incredibly durable, waterproof to 660 ft, have an excellent stainless steel bracelet and the famous Lumibright coated indices and hands will almost blind you they shine so bright in the dark and now the Black Monster is hand windable and has a hacking feature(this is where you can stop the second hand for precise time setting) two features not available on the 1st generation.

If this is your first foray into an automatic, diver's watch and you are a MAN and not some skinny jean wearing, Subaru driving, Starbuck's drinking, Apple loving zombie this IS simply the best automatic dive watch out there for under $300.00. It's time to get rid of that piece of junk Invicta or Fossil watch and grow up!

The Black Monster is famous for many reasons so just do yourself and your manhood a favor and just get one!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2014
Absolutely love my Monster.Very pleased.Ditched the bracelet for a WJean shark because i don't like Seikos pin and collar link set up for adjusting bracelet length.To be clear i much prefer the shark look,but,the Seiko bracelets can be adjusted with the right size pin punch.This movement which is hackable and hand windable and has been very accurate too.+/- 7-8 daily.

I liked this so much i bought the SRP309 Orange Monster too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2015
I really love this jaws-teeth dial. More than enough quality feeling, built like a tank. Only problem is adjusting bracelet. It is not that easy and i highly recomment you to get pro service because of the risk of losing little pin connectors. Lume performance is super cool, dial looks like filled with uranium sticks during the night.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2014
I previously owned the first generation Black Monster and just picked this new one up to replace it. Very happy with the new movement and features. The markers don't look as "plastic" as the first generation, making the watch look a bit more upscale.

The seller of my watch was Amazon and I received a watch with the Japanese made movement -- NOT the Malaysian one. I almost spent more money trying to order direct from Japan for this reason, but it was a VERY welcome surprise that this was a Japanese movement watch.

UPDATE: Watch is running great and very accurate at +5 seconds / day
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2014
Purchased my Seiko SRP307K1 (New Black Monster). Received in two days via 2-day air shipping. Better than I expected. Build quality is impeccable--I'm shocked! This is one of the most finely built automatic watches I have ever owned and I've owned a few over the years. The bracelet was a bit tough to size, but I got directions online which helped me out. Sizing directions and tools do not come included so just be prepared for that. Also be prepared to catch all of the incredibly tiny components so you don't lose them. Pictures do not do this watch justice, you have to hold it in your hand and feel the craftsmanship. The 4r36 movement is steady, quiet (although I've never had problems with sounds of any automatic), and easy to set and replace the spring loaded screwdown crown. I'm not even worried--I expect to get many years of wear out of this watch. If you want a quality automatic, buy the Seiko Monster series. I plan on getting it's Orange sibling momentarily!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2015
The hype is real. This is a one-of-a kind timepiece, with classic but different styling. And yes, it plays big for its listed case size of 43mm. In the attached pictures you will see the SRP307 on the left, his big brother SRP637 (47mm shrouded monster) on the right. They are VERY similar in size, so if you are worried that this SRP307 will appear small in the current world of oversized watch faces, DON'T. In my opinion it is the perfect size to wear everyday. I'm a facility manager, so I needed something with the toughness of a G-shock without the look of a G-shock. It looks great in the boardroom, then holds up well while I'm doing actual work.

Other stuff:
The lume..... ah the lume. Just look at the picture. Incredible.
Timekeeping..... Mine gains about 4-5 seconds/day if I lay it on the caseback overnight. So every other day I unscrew the crown, count to 10, and screw it back in. Problem solved. I check it against my atomic G-shocks weekly and it's fairly close.
The bracelet...... quality. Feels great and doesn't pinch. As others have stated, you can resize it yourself with a pin, a paperclip, and good eyesight. Just do it over a towel so you don't lose the pins-collars.

Overall this is a great pickup for an everyday, tough, classy looking timepiece for under $200. And if you want to dive with sharks, it'll work for that too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2015
Great watch!!! So far so good!! changed the band with mesh. And it looks great!!
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