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on June 13, 2012
DESCRIPTION: The Seiko SSC017 Eco-Drive watch is a diver's style quartz/electronic chronograph (a watch with stopwatch functions) that is water resistant to 200 meters and whose battery is continually recharged by any strong light source. Available in three color variations, the cal. V175-0AD0 version presents a dark black dial with large white, luminous hours and minutes hands and large white, luminous dot, dash and keystone-style hour markings, under a simple, uncoated tempered glass ("Hardlex") crystal. The unmagnified date is shown as small white digits on a black background, between the 4 and 5 o'clock positions on the watch face and requires resetting for any month that is not 31 days in length. The crystal is recessed very slightly below a surrounding beveled timing bezel, which helps to protect it against scratches. Three smaller sub-dials in the lower half of the watch face display seconds, elapsed minutes (for the chronograph function) and 24-hour time (locked permanently to the main hour hand). Since the 24-hour time display is NOT INDEPENDENTLY ADJUSTABLE, this watch does NOT support a second time zone (so-called GMT function). The seconds and 24-hour indicators are stark white and the former also has a luminous dot, making them readable despite their small size. The chronograph minutes indicator in the center sub-dial is sky blue, which blends in with the black watch face, and is more difficult to see. The large second hand on the main dial is used for the chronograph function only, to display seconds/fifths of a second, and is finished in sky blue, also blending in with the watch face. Surrounding the watch face is a 120 click-stop, ratcheting timing bezel, beveled so that the inside circumference is slightly higher than the outside. The bezel rotates counterclockwise only (normal for a dive watch) and is finished in sky blue (from 12 to 3 o'clock position) and black (from 3 to 12 o'clock) with matte silver digits for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 minutes, a luminous dot at 60 minutes and silver minute tick marks in between. Bezel operation is very smooth and well damped and it is easy to find a good grip on the serrated but rounded bezel edges, making setting quick and easy, even with (wet suit) gloves on. On the right side of the watch is the crown, for time/date setting. Above the crown is the chronograph "start" button and below is the "lap/reset" button. Both crown and buttons are of the screw-down type, intended to prevent accidental operation while in the water (the chronograph and time setting functions should not be used when the watch is wet) and to ensure water resistance. Crown and button edges are serrated for good grip, but are also elevated off the wrist enough by case thickness to prevent skin irritation. Crown unlock/lock operation is smooth, but button locking collars require significant torque to lock or unlock, are loose when in between lock/unlock and are not very refined in operation. The watch case itself is a very solid piece of stainless steel, with well rounded corners, making it comfortable to wear despite its significant mass. The top of the case is matte finished to match bracelet side links while the sides and back are polished. The solid stainless steel circular back case cover is domed to resist pressure and screws tightly into the case and (most likely) o-ring seal to provide robust water resistance. The cover lists the watch caliber and serial numbers, plus the usual Seiko "breaking wave" dive watch logo. The heavy stainless steel bracelet has a very secure double locking, push-button clasp and a flimsy, difficult to deploy wetsuit extension that does not inspire confidence. Center and side links are solid (rather than stamped/folded) stainless steel, but the end link covers and wetsuit extension are stamped/folded steel. Links are held together by the overly complex Seiko pin-and-collar system, which makes resizing this bracelet a chore. Center links are polished while side links are matte finished.

KEY FEATURES: 1. Very legible luminous hours and minutes hands and markers with excellent visibility day or night (lume lasts for hours), 2. Solar/available light recharging of built-in Lithium-Titanium battery, with a 6-month power reserve (means no battery changes needed - just leave it in the sun for a day to recharge), 3. 60-Minute stopwatch/chronograph function with 1/5 second resolution and lap (second parallel event timing) capability, 4. Timing bezel with very smooth operation, for longer, lower resolution timing of events, 5. Water resistance to 660 feet (200 meters), ensured by screw-down crown and buttons and a robust, domed case back, 6. Double locking bracelet with a push-button clasp, wet suit extension and sub-link, spring-bar adjustable sizing, 7. Quartz accuracy (mine gains about 60 sec./year) that minimizes resetting of watch time.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: This is a handsome, robust and very practical watch that looks much more expensive than it is. For about two C-notes, it is impressively built and, with a few minor exceptions, very easy to read and use. Seiko obviously spent considerable engineering effort making sure this watch had the features and quality to back up its stated purpose. For example, the timing bezel on most dress "dive watches" in this price range is an afterthought and functions poorly. They are often stiff and difficult to set or read. But the bezel on the Seiko SSC017 is as smooth as any Rolex or Breitling, only better damped and easier to set. Competing chronographs in this price range (and some priced 10x higher) have buttons and crowns styled to look as if they have screw-down positive locking, but do not. This Seiko has the real thing. The rounded case edges, sturdy domed back cover and very bright, long-lasting lume on the hands and time marks of the watch face round out a very practical and attractive timepiece. Solar/available light recharging with a very long 6-month reserve is a significant bonus Seiko appears to have thrown in free - goodbye maintenance! Some have quibbled that the 24-hour sub-dial would be better used for a GMT or chronograph hours function. Yep. GMT capability would have been very useful. But it would have also added lots of internal complexity and cost to the watch. So the 24-hour sub-dial function remains marginally useful as an AM/PM indicator for watch date setting, and also as a "% of day complete" indicator.

As good as the watch is, the bracelet (though adequate) is overly complex, clumsy and inconsistently engineered. It is difficult to add/remove links due to the complex Seiko pin and (minute) collar system that uses sand-grain size collars to lock pins in place. Try resizing this at home and you'll wish you'd gone to a (good) jeweler, after you've lost the collar(s) while trying to put them in place using tweezers, with aid of a microscope. The links are solid machined steel and seem bullet-proof. So why did Seiko include a tiny stamped steel diver's extension that looks like a soda can pop-top? Not that you'll ever use it, because it takes a screwdriver or pair of pliers to deploy (maybe a safety feature?). Even the designer of the extension must have had second thoughts, because when NOT deployed a sturdy steel hook makes sure this structural bomb is bypassed by substantial metal and does not compromise the strength of the bracelet. And the stamped/folded end links covers do not fit flush in the watch ends, leaving the sharp watch case finger edges slightly exposed. Nonetheless, the push-button, double locked stamped-steel clasp is precisely adjustable and secure while remaining attractive and functional in normal use. A second minor area for improvement is the button locking collars, whose rotation and lock/unlock should be better damped and operate more easily.

CONCLUSION: Even with its minor shortcomings, this watch is a keeper and outstanding value, hence my five-star rating. There simply is not much else this solidly built, attractive, readable and functional in the price range. Except for the diver's extension, it does exactly what it promises to do. Other style variations have yellow (model SSC021 with black rubber bracelet) or red (model SSC015) chronograph hands which increases visibility of these functions, though the sky-blue version is striking. Model SSC021 with its adjustable (buckle) rubber bracelet and highly visible yellow chronograph hands is likely the most useful for diving with a wet suit, should this be contemplated.

UPDATE: After one week of use, the bottom chronograph "pusher" button's screw-down collar stripped its threads. The dealer promptly exchanged the watch for a new one, and this second one has had no problems. I treat the pusher collars much more gingerly now, though. And after 3 months of swimming, boating and other activity, the watch still works and looks great. Yeah, there are scratches on the polished center links, but these are only visible very close up - so no real issue there.
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on January 4, 2013
I love this watch for all the reasons already stated. The solar charge lasts and lasts even when out of the sun for weeks at a time. Since no one else mentioned this, I will: this watch is extremely accurate. It has stayed within 1 second of the USNO atomic clock for over 6 months straight. I know that many folks don't care about such accuracy in what is mainly a piece of jewelry, but for those that care, it is amazingly accurate! I have never had a watch that was this accurate. I've owned solar atomic watches that self correct every few days, but those were off by several seconds a day. Sometimes, depending on location, those watches would fail to synchronize with the atomic clock in Colorado.

I don't know if all of these watches are this accurate, but mine is a gem and a real keeper. What a time piece!
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on October 4, 2013
Stylish and substantial and solar powered, this Seiko Dive Chronograph meets my professional needs , working in ,both, TV studios and Classrooms, and does it with a contemporary and masculine look. It's a heavy watch (and big enough to be seen from the International Space Station :)
So far, a few weeks in. I really like it!!!:)
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on April 9, 2015
One can never go wrong with a SEIKO! Excellent quality, beautiful design, and functional are just a few words that come to mind about this particular watch. I love the fact that it's solar powered.
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on May 16, 2012
EDIT 12/3/15: See updates at bottom

After nearly 2 decades of near daily use, my Fossil Blue AM-3111 diver watch has gotten to the point where I can no longer acquire spare parts to repair it, and the hunt for a new watch began.

After much hemming and hawing about what I wanted, I decided a chronograph was key. An alarm was nice, but rarely used, especially with my cell phone nearby anyway. I looked at standard quartz, kinetic, automatic and solar movements and decided that the accuracy of quartz provided a more reasonably priced option, while the benefit of minimal battery changes or maintenance that either Kinetic or Solar gave was an especially nice feature. I eventually wandered back into the diver style realm, and soon found the Seiko line.

All their watches are highly regarded, and at this price point the best options are either Seiko or Citizen. It comes down to personal preference in the end in terms of band style, colors, and watch options.
The new SSC0xx line came out at the end of 2011 (SSC015 017 019 021 and 031), and was soon marveled by many as a combination of nice features and design looks, leading some to consider that this is now the new leader in the solar chronograph field (divers too!). The differences among them are just the band style (steel or rubber) and color options (black dial w/yellow, blue, or red highlights, or blue dial w/red highlights)
I was concerned with the size of the case and dial (47mm total width, with 42mm bezel and 32mm dial), but all was well once I took the beauty out of the box. This is not overly large, but definately on the larger and heavier side. If you have thin wrists I might suggest a smaller option, but for average to larger wrists this will do just fine.
I have only had mine for a few days, having picked it up at the local Costco for a hair under $200, and love it so far.

The glow lume is wonderfully bright and marked at all 12 points around the dial, the hands are easy to read and thicker than most and contrast well with the black dial, and the blue highlights are a great touch. The bezel turns easily, and a nice addition are the screw in crown and buttons that can only be used when unscrewed slightly so as to minimize accidentally setting it off (and to keep water out I imagine.)
The solar power reserve is a great addition and it can hold a charge for as long as 6 months in between direct exposure to sunlight (full recharge within 5 hrs)
About the only downside is the thickness (13mm) of the watch, and the weight is a bit heavier than I might like, but otherwise it is a great piece of manly jewelry I am proud to show off.
If you need to resize the band as I had, make sure the jeweler is familar with the pin & collar style this has. The typical 'bang them out with a hammer' method is not the best way to go about this and often loses or damages the tiny collars by accident.

NOTE: all measurements are ones I myself have made, and are not taken from another site or description

EDIT 12-3-15:
Much to my chagrin I awoke two weeks ago to find the second hand jumping 2 seconds at a time. After a lookup this indicates either the solar battery requires replacing, or the movement is broken. I sent this into Seiko service for a repair, and the cost of doing so is nearly 2/3 the cost of acquiring a new unit. Adjusting rating downward one star.
I cannot justify the repair since the cost is so close to original purchase. Thankfully Costco has a full refund policy, so I can repurchase this there if they come back in stock, or elsewhere if not.
My plan is to purchase a replacement.
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on September 14, 2013
The watch arrived in excellent condition. The band was not difficult to adjust, attentive to small inner sleeve that presents each adjustment pin. Its easy to synchronize system time, in fact there was no need to consult the manual as it is more or less the standard of all watches of this type with screw down crown. The appearance is excellent, sturdy and stylish design, imagine it bigger for the pictures he had seen, but the actual size is balanced for common man wrist. It feels heavy but I like so. I agree with opinions of other buyers, the date is difficult (if not impossible to read without glasses) to any individual exceeding 40 years old. Unboxing the wacht and all the mechanism was already in movement. Recently it submerged to 20 meters deep and absolute tightness as well as reading, clear.
The opening system extra band when used wetsuits, is complicated but the trick is to free up the inside by pulling the link folding.
The light in darkness is amazing and lasts all night but logically is diminishing in intensity.
In the time I've been using their accuracy is optimal.
Again Seiko is known for its style and quality which invites product price without hesitation.
Mens Watch 100%
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on July 5, 2013
Funny, this is a good case where if you really spend a little time reading the reviews, you will get what you expect.

Reviewer says: The watch is beautiful and this is correct, the pictures do not do this watch justice. Gorgeous blue with bcak and silver in the face..beautiful.

Reviewer says: The watch is big. I agree, it's a hefty piece, but not terribly so and I like the size. Perfect for a medium size or larger wrist without being obnoxious.

Reviewer says: The wristband is cheap. (actually, several said this) Yes, the wristband is cheap feeling but with a good clasp. I think they could have gone with a heavier and slightly wider. Overall though, since the watch is pretty heavy, a lighter band keeps you from leaning to the left when you walk.

Overall, this is a great watch and were it for a better band, I would give 5 stars.
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on March 31, 2014
I was given the original Seiko diver's watch when I was in college 15 years ago. It was nice, heavy, and took a beating. I guess I took it for granted because after it was stolen, I went through a miriad of cheap watches trying to keep the time.

After years of not wearing a watch (6) I started trying to find one to fit my life and style. I'm a simple, jeans and tshirt kind of guy. I'm working class and don't get dressed up often, avoiding the crowd. I bought an Armitron that broke and a Timex that was broken and then a Casio all more expensive than the other but all unable to keep the time or function.

A new version of the original Seiko diver's watch brought me to this one. I wanted a chronograph, a black face, and easy to read numbers. It had to be tough too, I am careless and a brute. I make 10 bucks an hour too and 177 bucks is a lot of jack, but I dropped the hammer because the only things I trusted from here were in the 4-500 dollar range.

This is a good looking watch. I've never had compliments on my watches before except on the other Seiko. I get them all of the time with this one. My brother who owns two Rolexes complimented me on the watch. It really is nice and I expect to get 15-16 years of good service from this averaging about 1 dollar a month for the time of day on my wrist in a good looking tough package.

The problem I was having with cheap watches was the face would get chipped or scratched. Never happened on my other Seiko. I had it so long, it was dirtier than worn. I will look at another Seiko in 15 years and I'll buy it from Amazon again. Very satisfied.
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on April 9, 2015
I am a Seiko fan, but this is my first diver. I love the color scheme and the new solar movement. I always missed the chronograph options in the kinetic line. This model does a tweek of the second hand. Seconds aren't measured on the full size dial with the minutes and the hour hands. It is measured in the chrono dial at 9 o'clock. What would have been the second hand on the full dial is the 1/5 second hand for the stop watch function. It coordinates with the minute stop watch function in the 6 o'clock chrono dial. The 3 o'clock chrono is the military time. The date window is good sized, the nite glow charges well with only a short burst of a bright light, everything feels very solid. The band is steel, has the double fold over clasp, and has a breakout expander for divers with wet suits. The band stancheons have a metal filler to complete the steel band look, but it can be removed if you want to add a nice leather band later. All of the buttons are screw down and feel very solid. It keeps great time as measured and rechecked on the atomic clock, less than 1 sec +/- per month. While part of me misses the wrrrr of the kinetic movement, the consistency of the solar movement and the plus of the chronos more than make up for it.

After having it for a few months, there would be some things I would change. I would have liked the seconds measured on the full dial and the chronos to measure the stop watch. That would make it much easier to see the sub second results and make the normal time keeping seconds easier to see. I would also like to see the stop watch go out to 24 or more hours, and a timer function in the chronos with a third dial to control it. Military time is easy to have on the bezel or just under the bezel and doesn't warrant a chrono dial. I also miss not being able to set the bezel to GMT or another time zone, or even incorporating a flight calculator sub dial. The date window is covered by the minute hand at the 23 minute mark, and a skeletonized hand would solve that, plus a magnifier on the glass would help viewing for sight impaired users. Also, it would be nice, since this is fully electric now, to have a perpetual date. I still hate having to reset it every 2 months. Another feature usable in high quality solar watches is the auto atomic time keeping. Citizen does it on watches that are just $100+ of this knife.

I know that half of my gripes are due to preferences that may be offered on more expensive watches, but the price point of +$100 is not that much more in my opinion, and I know I can get them from other manufacturers at that price. I still love this watch and will wear it proudly as it is. My gripes will just motivate me to additional watch purchases in the future.
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on April 29, 2015
I have owned this watch for four weeks. It started falling behind on time after the second week. I thought that maybe I hadn't been exposing it to enough light. I started leaving a lamp on and leaving the watch under the light for recharging. I just got back from Lake Havasu, where I had the watch on all day in the hot sun and the as soon as I got back, the watch started falling behind. I tried to return it but my window of return was over. They only gave me 27 days. I don't know if I just got a bad batch or this model is that unreliable. A watch isn't worth a cr@p if it cant keep time. I would pass on this item.
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