Top positive review
27 of 29 people found this helpful
A keeper (if less than perfect)
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.