on January 19, 2013
I've wanted a blue-dial for a while now. Was going to get an SKX blue-dial with the Pepsi bezel, but those are hard to find. Most of them have the black dial with Pepsi bezel.
I came across this watch, and I liked the fact that it had screw down crown and pushers.
The reviewer who stated that there is no date window is incorrect. Its small, but its there, between the 4 and 5 o'clock markers.
I don't dive at all, but I do snorkel occasionally to about 15 feet or so. My work takes me to extremely wet conditions almost daily. Because of this, I like to wear a diver's watch rated to at least 200m (20atm), although my old 150m Seiko 6039 has taken all I've thrown at it while snorkeling.
I got the black band version to save a few dollars - and because its shipped by AMAZON. I've pretty much "had it" with all the various non-North American companies. First - you never really are sure what you're getting, second - the warranty is often a "store" warranty, not from Seiko, and third, it takes forever to get things. On that last item, it took two and a half months to get another Seiko watch just recently.
For my black band version, there is a matching stainless Super Oyster bracelet that is available on AMAZON, from Strapcode. These are outstanding Oyster bracelets, head and shoulders above the Seiko stainless bracelets. They feature solid links, solid end pieces, very sturdy clasps, and screw type band adjustment (not the push-pin Seiko type). Worth every penny.
I don't plan on wearing this watch daily, but just for the occasions when the plain SKX007 wont do.
I currently own four Seiko dive watches.
Some things not mentioned in other reviews:
The pusher button locks unscrew, and screw back in differently than the hour/date adjusting stem does. The push buttons simply unscrew to a point and stop. You screw them back in with no need to push them down to get them started. This drove me nuts until I figured it out, because the manual doesn't cover it.
My watch came completely "dead" and it took a good 10 minutes of charging to get any motion from the second hand, and another 10 minutes to get "2 second skips" from the second hand, and yet another 10 minutes to get single second increments from the second hand, which show an adequate (but low at that point) charge.
The rotating bezel is 120 clicks, unidirectional, but the whole feel of the bezel is not quite as nice as the SKX007 type bezel found on the automatic winding mechanism watches.
The bezel diameter is just a little larger than the SKX007, yet this watch has a smaller strap attachment width. This makes for an interesting combination of features... the watch looks smaller than it is.
on September 19, 2014
I've had it less than 2 months,..I went on one dive and now the bezel doesn't rotate any more. I should have just kept my $25 Casio diving watch,..looked cheap but worked fine for several years.
UPDATE: my bad,..I should have rinsed the watch in fresh water,..OK, did that,..and now the bezel works fine. So, went from "defective, 1 star" to "uhmmm, this is a neat watch, 5 stars". I guess I was spoiled by my old cheapo Casio,..I never rinsed it and it was too cheap plasticky to care.
on July 15, 2015
Disclaimer: I have owned this watch (which I purchased directly from Amazon) for one week. I have worn it continuously during that time. I have not yet take it diving or swimming. I own a variety of other wrist watches (mainly dive watches) from companies such as Seiko, Citizen and Orient. I will update this review in another month, once the watch has “worn in” a bit more.
Personally I enjoy the appearance of this watch very much. The case is 43.5 mm in diameter (excluding the crown) and sits well on my 7.5” circumference wrist. I really do not like larger watches (over 45 mm) which tend to look cartoon-ish to me, but this watch seems smaller than its measurements would indicate – probably because of its substantial bezel, which makes the dial seem smaller (in comparison) than it is. The steel case is polished (on the sides) with some areas of contrasting brushed finish (front of lugs). This, to my eye, adds another interesting contrast and gives the watch a more subtle three-dimensional look. The bezel markings are large and clear and nicely applied onto the “Pepsi” (i.e. red and blue) colored backing, which seems to be anodized. Time will tell if these colors remain strong or if they fade, as another reviewer has suggested. The case back has the usual “Seiko Tsunami” logo embossed in the center.
I specifically wanted a watch with a blue dial, which this one has - it’s a darker navy blue on the chapter ring and a slightly warmer shade of blue on the central part of the dial proper, which is the light-sensitive area of the solar cell (i.e. how the internal battery gets charged). The very small difference in color tone is only apparent when the watch is illuminated by bright sunlight, and even then I find it an interesting (albeit minor) and pleasant contrast, not a distraction. There are three sub dials, with the one at top left serving as a seconds indicator via a short "plongeur" style hand. The long thin red second hand is actually the chronometer and is activated by the two push buttons above and below the crown. Despite the three sub dials on the watch face, I don’t think the dial is “crowded” or confusing, especially given that this watch is a chronometer. The broad main hour (“arrow”) and minute (“Roman sword”) hands make them easily visible, even at a quick glance. The hands are all white-bordered (with the exception of the chronometer second hand and the 60 minute sub dial hand, which are both red) and filled with white lume, and contrast nicely with the dark blue background of the dial. The hour markings on the dial are classic Seiko form their SKS diver line, and are nicely emphasized by their thin polished metal borders. A final nice touch is the red color accent that circles around the knurled crown – it complements the red on the bezel perfectly. And speaking of the bezel, it has 120 clicks and feels quite solid. Minimal back play, if any at all. The knurled edge is nicely finished and smooth. It sounds nice, too - not loud; very subtle.
I purchased the watch with a plastic/rubber strap instead of the metal bracelet. I have no experience with metal Seiko bracelets (I mostly like straps on my dive watches) so I can’t comment about them. This strap is, as other reviewers have noted, a bit on the stiff side. For me that’s not an issue and maybe it’s a plus, because I have worn similar large watches on softer silicone straps in the past and the watches seemed to move around a lot more. This Seiko strap keeps the watch right on my wrist without any noticeable shifting, and I tend to wear it a bit loose. The single keeper works well and the long end of the strap does not come out as can happen with softer straps with looser keepers. Irrespective, if you don’t like this stock strap there are plenty of options out there with which to replace it. A nice Italian natural rubber strap would be ideal, but then agaion would likely cost you as much if not more than you paid for this Seiko watch in the first place. It's all relative...
A final word on the strap, especially if you are contemplating a replacement: the lug width on this watch is 20 mm, which is on the narrow side for a watch this large (43.5mm case width). Again, this is a matter of personal preference, but some people just like wider straps on their chunky dive watches. It could still be done with this Seiko by “notching” (i.e. cutting) one or two mm off a wider strap on each side for a short distance so that the end of the strap fits between the lugs. That way you could fit it with a 22 mm strap (or wider) without difficulty. Many custom strap makers will design and build a strap like this for you if you are willing to pay a few extra $. Or you could go the DIY route with an x-acto knife and notch the watch band yourself. For me, the supplied black band does the job well: it looks good (rugged, like one would expect for a dive watch), and it does not collect lint and dust as do the silicone straps. When I get an extra $150 that I don't need I'll order myself a nice natural rubber dive strap, but until then, this one is just fine.
Setting the time is straight forward. The crown unscrews and then has the standard two “stops” as it is pulled out. The first stop on the crown allows for date adjustment, while the second stop adjusts the hour and minute hands. This Seiko houses a hacking quartz movement, so the second hand (the small white one in the left-sided sub-dial) stops when the crown is fully pulled back, allowing one to exactly set the time to a reference standard. The two chronometer push buttons are also easy to use once one realizes that they must first be unscrewed a few turns. This is obviously a safety feature designed to keep the case water-tight (it is rated to 200 meters). In practical terms, it means that one cannot quickly click on the chronometer buttons to time an event without first unscrewing the buttons. So it takes a few seconds to get the watch ready for use as a chronometer. For some people that may be an annoyance – for me it matters not a bit. The owner’s manual does warn to never use the chronometer buttons while the watch is wet (or under water), for the obvious reason that the push-buttons are not sealed against water entry when they are unscrewed.
Accuracy: After one week of wear, the watch has gained one second when compared to my reference standard, which is my iPhone 5S running the latest ios (8.4). It is quite possible that this one second difference is due to my own lack of precision in measuring the time difference between the two watches (having to look back and forth from the phone to the watch to see how they compare). In any case, even at one second per week, that’s much more accurate than almost any mechanical watch (at any price) and quite typical for a quality quartz movement.
The watch came to me charged already as evidenced by the smooth movement of the second hand (if it jumps at two second intervals, the watch needs charging). I exposed it to one hour of direct sunlight just to “top it off” and presumably that will be sufficient to keep it running as long as it gets regular exposure to light. The several weeks of battery reserve in the absence of any light whatsoever is one of the wonderful features of this “solar” watch - truly amazing technology, especially given the relatively low cost of ownership ($170, delivered, for me).
Lume: bright, but not as bright at in the iconic Seiko Monsters, which are among the brightest watches out there, irrespective of price. Hey, Seiko, why not use that Monster lume in all your dive watches? I'd pay extra for that...
In summary, the watch appears robust without being overbearing. It sits well on my wrist and, although not ultra-light like a smaller or a titanium watch (this one is stainless steel), I don’t find it overly heavy or tiring to wear all day long. Before I got it I was worried that the watch would look "bling-y." Now that I'm wearing it I can confidently say that it does not. I would characterize it instead as "ruggedly elegant."
I have been wearing this watch for over one month now. I just got back from a two day white-water kayaking trip (Rogue River, OR) where I wore the watch continuously. It got wet and was submersed (albeit to only 1-2 feet of water - so I can't claim that I've taken it diving yet). I can report of NO PROBLEMS. The bezel remains smooth-turning; the crystal is flawless despite a few encounters with solid objects. As for timekeeping accuracy, I just checked the Seiko against my iPhone clock (which updates its time in reference to a nuclear clock somewhere - I think it's in Colorado). The Seiko has lost TWO SECONDS in just over five weeks. I don't see how you can beat that, especially at this price point. I remain very happy about my purchase. Will update again in several months. Aloha.
on June 4, 2015
This is the “Pepsi” version of the highly-regarded Seiko SSCxxx series of solar-charged quartz movement chronograph watches. A full charge on the watch is claimed to be sufficient for up to six months of operation. My watch was running when I took it out of the box and put it in the full sun for a few hours to make sure it was charged. I’ve had no issues so far in the past month of ownership, with the watch only gaining three seconds compared to the atomic clock time I first set it to.
This is a very handsome watch with a striking blue face and bezel, white hands, slightly greenish luminous indices, red chronograph second hand, and red 15 minute section of the bezel. It is quite thick at 15 mm, sitting taller on my 7 ¼” wrist than both of my other Seiko diver’s watches (two Monsters and a BFK) but still less tall and bulky than my seventeen-year-old Casio G-Shock. It doesn’t feel too heavy, although it is not my first choice to wear when I have a long-sleeved shirt and winter jacket on due to its height. The criticism of the tiny date window is valid, as it really is too small and recessed for easy viewing. Bezel action is quite stiff, which is how I prefer it. The screwed-down crown and chronograph buttons work well to insure the depth rating, although the action on the buttons for start/stop and reset are not as positive as I have experienced on other chronographs, which work with a firm click. The Seiko action is a bit mushier. Timing of events via the watch is only good for one hour so that puts this piece at a disadvantage to chronograph watchess from other manufacturers. In reality, I time stuff like how long to cook a steak on the grill or when a parking meter is going to expire with my iPhone’s clock app, so I can’t say I’ll ever use my watch for this
As a rule, I actually like the Seiko rubber straps that come with their diver’s watches, and I use them without complaint on one of my Monsters and on the BFK. But on this SCC031 version, I have two minor complaints: 1. I don’t think the black rubber strap aesthetically matches the blue, red, and silver watch itself very well, and 2. The strap is quite stiff and not as comfortable to wear as my other Seiko rubber straps. To rectify this, I installed the watch on a navy blue 20mm NATO nylon strap which vastly improved both the appearance and overall comfort.
So, how do I like the watch in general? I think it’s really great and very sharp-looking! The lume is quite good, lasting throughout a typical night. Despite claims of never needing a replacement battery, there will be someday in the future when the battery will no longer be able to hold a charge and will need to be replaced. This is true of all solar watches and has happened to two solar G-Shocks I previously owned at about the five year mark. The hope is that these Seiko solar chronographs will continue to operate for many years before that inevitable battery replacement is required. We shall see.
The Seiko SSC031 solar chronograph provides excellent overall quality, striking good looks, quartz accuracy, and what I hope will be years of excellent maintenance-free service. Unlike an automatic watch that goes dead if you don’t wear it regularly, you can ignore this watch for months and it will still keep excellent time. Just make sure to charge it in the sun everyone once in a while. Add in a relatively inexpensive price and you have a really nice combination of style, performance, and utility. Recommended with the only reservation about the comfort and appearance of the rubber strap – something that can be overcome by spending a little more for the stainless steel bracelet variant or attaching an aftermarket NATO, rubber, or leather strap on the watch.