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on November 29, 2012
Looking for a new watch, I had 3 criteria: analog dial, case 40 mm or less, and a compass. One for three: analog dial. The case is 42 mm and no compass.

Why buy a watch that meets only one of three criteria? Because it looks great. Although its several functions may make the watch face appear busy to some, I think the black face, white minute marks, blue numbers and compass headings are attractive, without the manic multi-dial I-have-to-time-four-things-at-once uber-chrono look.

Despite the appearance, there's no compass in this watch. Period. Seiko never said there was, it just looks like it. Instructions say if the user points the 24-hour hand (not the same thing as the hour hand) at the sun and rotates the compass bezel to put north at 12 o'clock, the resulting display will show magnetic direction. Correct, except that there is no 24-hour hand on this watch, a glaring omission. If you can interpolate where a 24-hour hand would be if it had one, it's accurate enough to get you paddling back to the East Coast instead of the Iberian Peninsula if your kayak gets swept into the Atlantic. Beats guessing. (Google how to use any analog watch - including this one - to estimate direction.)

Nice touches: raised crystal, one-fifth second markings, knurled outer ring, clever internal rotating compass bezel, alarm dial with miniature hour and minute hands, stop watch second hand with fluid sweepback on reset, metal band with pin lock clasp and dual side button release. Solar powered and waterproof way deeper than I'm going.

Room for improvement: make the alarm louder (BTW the alarm hands can get out of sync with the main hands, but a little fiddling brings them right back), put more adjustment holes in the clasp, upgrade the cheap stamped metal miniature second hand, and increase the resistance of the compass knob so the directional headings don't wander at the slightest brush. And put in an actual compass. No easy task, but Seiko could do it. Make it look as good as this watch and I'll buy one of those too.

For me, the shortcomings are outweighed by the overall appearance. This watch is a beaut and a keeper. Check out additional views on Google images. If you like what you see, you won't be disappointed when you open the box. I wish Seiko had done a few things better, but I'd buy it again in a New York minute.
33 comments27 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 6, 2013
I have had this watch a couple of months and I like it a lot. I have a lot of other watches but I find myself wearing this more often lately. I was able to get a smoking deal on it and bought it after looking at it for six months in department stores.

Pictures do not do this watch justice; it looks much better in person. There are other variants which are stainless steel with a bracelet and stainless steel with a leather strap but I think this is by far the best looking version.


The markings glow really bright when exposed to bright light (sunlight especially) and if you go in a dark area it glows brighter than any other watch I have ever seen. The effect seems to last a pretty decent amount of time and it doesn't take very long to get it glowing when exposed to light.

The case and band have the black ion finish and so far it's held up well and there are no scratches. The only issue is that if you have oily skin it will show a rainbow effect (similar to when you see motor oil spots in rain puddles) but it can be wiped off with a cloth.

It's solar recharge-capable so you don't need to change the battery every three years. Just be sure you expose it to light once in a while so it stays charged. I think it should run for quite a while on a full charge however.


This watch doesn't have a compass, and I was aware of that. What the rotating bezel is supposed to do is to give you direction by following a really complicated set of instructions, which are not in the user guide but in a photocopied "addendum" stuffed in the box. These instructions refer to several models, including one with a 24-hour hand, which another reviewer was questioning how it works. Basically, it's useless. If I need to know which direction is north I have a compass in my car and on my iPhone.

The second hand is tiny and doesn't have any markings. I am not sure why they omitted this, but it would be nice since the subdials at 12- and 6-o'clock have markings. I suppose if you really wanted to time something you should use the chronograph instead.

The alarm isn't very loud. If you use this feature, you are probably not going to hear it unless you're wearning the watch or have it closeby with little background noise. The alarm can only be set up to 12 hours in advance of the current time since there is no way to indicate AM or PM.

Supposedly you can use the alarm subdial to indicate time in a second time zone, but the instructions don't explain how this works without causing the alarm to go off. Supposedly you can synchronize the subdial to match the main dial but when I did this it was a 2-3 minutes behind. If I match them exactly, the alarm goes off in a few minutes. I suspect this may be a flaw in the watch and I am debating whether I should have it serviced, even though I rarely use this feature.

The date window doesn't glow and is really small so it's difficult to see the date unless you hold it up to your face.


I would recommend this watch to anyone who is looking for a quality sport watch. It's a little on the bigger size and I had to have three links removed from the bracelet so it fits. The crystal is made of something called "Hardlex" instead of sapphire like many expensive watches. I don't know how this material compares to sapphire but so far it doesn't have a scratch and this watch still looks brand new even after wearing it 5+ days a week.

Update: (8/24/13)

After reading the instructions a few more times, I understand how to use the alarm and compass feature (although I have yet to use them) and you can infer how to use the dual time feature, so I have no qualms about recommending it. Just don't pay MSRP for it (which is $450) as you can likely get a better price.

Update: (3/24/15)

I just wanted to provide an update. About 2 months ago this watch stopped working. I thought perhaps it hadn't been exposed to light enough and the battery was dead. I attempted to recharge it by placing it under a light for several hours. Nothing happened. This watch supposedly has a double-tick feature indicating a low battery and I never saw that. Seeing that my watch was still under warranty I decided to send it to Seiko for repair. There is a form on their website to initiate a repair but it didn't work. So I got the contact information and wrote them a letter telling what was wrong and included the warranty card and the watch. It took it to UPS for shipment and insured it for $400 as well as asking for delivery confirmation.

It took a little more than a week for it to arrive at the repair center in New Jersey. I then waited about 3 weeks before I got a confirmation from Seiko about the repair, stating it was starting and would be covered by the warranty. I got an email several days later saying that they were waiting for parts (didn't say which but I assume it was the movement). I got two more emails saying the repair was finished and that it would be delivered within two business days. It was delayed a couple of days because of bad weather on the east coast.

It took them five weeks to repair the watch and sent it back to me. It was working when I got it back and the subdial at 6-o'clock was now synchronized with the main dial, which wasn't the case before. They also returned all the paperwork I sent and a slip indicating the repair was done, but it did not mention exactly what they replaced/repaired. I really have no complaints about the service and I still love the watch. Hopefully it doesn't stop working again because my warranty is up in two months (2-year warranty in the USA when purchased from an authorized retailer).
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on October 2, 2013
I really like the watch. It looks awesome, it is simple, and it's sturdy. The band however, starts to change colors the more you wear it. The band is painted black, and it wears/rubs off eventually, leaving exposed silver metal on the band. It looks cheap (probably because it is). I was disappointed to discover that $230 may buy you a cool watch, but the band is cheap.
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on May 26, 2015
It's a nice watch. I really like it. But it has a problem with the chronograph. It do not start at 0 o'clock. It does at 45.
review image review image
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on February 19, 2013
I have had this watch for about 6 months and it still looks new unlike my Citizen kinetic watch. My Citizen band looks like I scraped it up with sandpaper. This watch both the crystal and the band are scratch free. I do PT and yard work with it on. I also like that the night illumination is very bright. You will not need a light source to read it. The alarm bell is not the loudest and the alarm setting is a PIA to set without messing up your time, but it is not a show stopper. I do like the alarm function as a last resort. I sometimes go places where I am not allowed any electronics except for the watch.
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on February 11, 2013
I love this watch. I thought that I would like it from the webpage with the item. And I opened the box and got blow away. So much better then I expected. Thanks for having a great product.
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on October 2, 2013
I have bought many watches and this is by far my favorite one. Only issue is the alarm is too quiet to hear, else I would have given it 5 stars.
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on December 26, 2012
Watch is a beauty in real life, except the band is not as black as shown in the pictures.
The glow in the dark is also beautiful.

The compass is quite hard to use, and might not be exactly useful.
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on January 29, 2016
Here is some useful info for you ladies and gents that are wondering how big this watch is:

Case diameter from crown to crown (left to right/facing you)
47.5 mm (that is, one inch and seven eighths)

Case thickness (from the front to back)
13.35 mm (that is, a frogs hair over half inch)

Belt width (left to right/facing you)
19.94 mm (that is, a frogs hair over three quarters of an inch)

Belt thickness (from the front to back)
4.63 mm (that is, under one quarter of an inch)

The color is not exactly black, more like a dark shinny gray, but nice, not dull. Expect some rattling from the clasp. If you like to wear your watch loose, expect a lot of rattling, it sounds like keys and change in your pocket (get it?). The luminescent hands do last longer than most, but not that much, so don’t expect hours of bright hands. The alarm is a one time deal, meaning, you set it up for whatever time and once it goes off, you have to set it again. The compass is a good feature, just READ the instructions carefully and you will master it. DO NOT leave in the sun to charge. Just wear it in daylight and it will charge the battery just fine. Remember one important thing. Water resistant does not mean water proof. Look it up online. I hope this was helpful. Just READ the instructions (twice if you must) and you will like this piece. Enjoy the watch.
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on May 28, 2014
I received the watch as promised. All the packaging came in find and the watch is great. But on the Warranty section on amazon its states that with the warranty card I get a 3 yr coverage. The only problem is the Warranty card is not stamped by the seller therefore there is no warranty. I'm hoping that this reaches the seller and this is just an oversight on their end. I will change this review immediately as soon as I hear from the seller and the warranty issue is resolved.

Since I have received a resolution , 5 stars

I wanted to revise my prev review, I reached out to Seiko USa

There email reply

Custserv <>
Jun 2

to me
Dear Customer,

You can fill out the warranty card yourself. Hold onto your warranty card and Amazon receipt, don't mail them in. Amazon itself is and authorized Seiko dealer, third parties selling through the Amazon website are not.

SCA Service Center
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