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on September 4, 2012
This is one of those watches that I had to have as soon as I saw it. I bought this watch almost a week ago from an Amazon Marketplace seller and have to say I am very pleased with the purchase, no regrets whatsoever. I wanted to check all the functions thouougly before rating, a task which I've finished. First of all, the photo on the website makes it appear the watch has a dull or matte finish. Actually the entire case minus the tops of the lugs are a shiny yet quality stainless steel. Personally I would prefer a matted finish, but it still looks great, the glossy metal will give it a dressier appearance to wear with a suit or whatever.

The watch has two buttons and two crowns. The main crown is for setting the time and date basically as any other analog. The crown at the upper left is only used to move the compass besel directions one way or the other. One negative about this crown is that it won't "lock" into place and cannot be pulled out, it merely spins freely, actually too easily or freely so you will find it moves the compass points around while wearing it. I believe it would have been wiser to have a clicking rotating besel rather than fixed for this function and eliminate the crown. Not a real big deal.

The upper right button is used to start and stop the chronograph. The lower button is used to reset the chronograph and to set the alarm time. The alarm is 12 hour based and is not very loud, it may not wake you but you might hear it if used as a reminder. The alarm graph at the bottom of the face is also used as a duplicate current time, the small minute hand moves, actually "jumps" once every minute, this is a cool function. So, if the alarm is "set" the alarm time will appear, but if the current time is showing the alarm is "off", so you know at a glance, no guessing.

The small graph at the left inside the "9" position is a very small second hand, it's kinda cool but it would be better if it had more reference points other than the top tiny triangle indicating the "12" position for setting with a time tone. The other graph is the elapsed chronograph minute hand that measures up to 60 minutes then stops. What on a conventional watch would be the (large) second hand is merely used as a seconds chronograph, so it's stationary when the chronograph is not working. When it is working it sweeps like a mechanical watch.

The minute and hour hands are luminous as are the numerals, they glow quite well and maintain the lume very well. The hardlex crystal is non reflective and only VERY SLIGHTLY domed, not entirely flat, so distortion from an angle is minimal. The watch is solar and you can't see the solar panels as you can in some solar watches. It is extremely attractive and sporty. The calf skin band seems well made and is VERY water resistant. I held the watch under running water for at least 5 seconds and the band shed the water and never showed it was wet after I towel dried it.

I have rated the watch four stars only because of the compass function by the crown that drifts, the tiny seconds indicators lack of additional reference points and the slightly too quiet alarm function. Other than that I would not change a thing.
1111 comments162 of 164 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 15, 2014
This is one top-quality watch. It has a nice heft to it, has a good size, and I love the overall look of the watch face. While I'm partial to automatic watches, I was looking for a cheaper, sporty, well-made outdoors-type watch, and this watch fits the bill. Also, because it is powered by the sun, hopefully this means it will never need a battery replacement (like regular quartz watches) or servicing of the movement (like automatics require). Upon receipt, I wasn't too crazy about the color of the band. It's a well-made leather band but the color was just a little too light for me. I replaced the band with an Orange Breitling Style Rally Stripe Strap 125/85 band width 22mm and also a 22mm Premium Nylon Military Watchband Watch Strap Red/White/Black, both of which I purchased here on Amazon. The watch has 21mm lugs, but the 22mm straps fit perfectly. I've uploaded pictures of the watch with these straps so you can get an idea of what these customizations look like. I can't speak to the long-term ownership of the watch, but I'll update my review if I encounter any problems. I highly recommend this watch for purchase.
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33 comments102 of 103 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 22, 2012
This watch is absolutley gorgeous. The photo does not do it justice. It looks much more expensive on my arm. It is a blend of the classical flight chronograph, but with updated features not found on most watches in this price range. The typical Seiko craftsmanship, and materials are what one would expect from this manufacturer; Second to no one. In this price range you won't find a better watch in my opinion. The band looks really cool in brown. However, if you wanted you could easily change it to any other color or material. Such versatility, comfort, and beauty. The displays are easy to read and the lume is great. You can wear this watch with your best suit or a pair of jeans. I love it.
0Comment60 of 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 23, 2013
I got the watch yesterday - it looks great, will keep essentially perfect time and will last for decades without the need of a battery replacement - all for under $200 delivered. What more could you want? Some have been complaining about the "compass" feature - and that it's really not a compass. Duh... If you've ever had to navigate using a compass, either path-finding/orienteering on the ground or in a plane or boat without GPS, you know that if there are multiple course or heading changes while you're underway, it can get confusing. THAT is the function of the 'compass' feature. If it's time for you to change your heading, dial it into the watch - it takes only a second - and you'll always know the direction you're supposed to be going on this leg of your trip.

Some will still think it's silly - who really needs that anymore? But is it really any sillier than having a rotating bezel on a "diver" watch to remind you of how much air you loaded into your tanks? Yet no one complains when Breitling puts that functionality into a whole class of their watches - that hardly anyone actually ever uses...

The other nice thing about this watch is the alarm - if you're navigating on sea or in the air, course/heading changes are often made based on x minutes flown at heading #1, then change to heading #2 for y minutes, and finally heading #3 for z minutes. Using the 'compass' feature in conjunction with the alarm you can set both direction and timing of the course you're supposed to follow. A WWII bomber navigator would have loved a watch with this functionality...
33 comments92 of 101 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 2, 2015
This is my 4th Seiko, and they're all phenomenal watches for the money. For this one, I wanted something I could wear outdoors (hiking, swimming, etc.), so water resistance was critical, but I'm not going diving, so 10 atm is plenty. I didn't want to have to worry about my watch dying when I needed it most, so solar was perfect for that. The lume is fantastic. The compass is a neat value add (I hope I never need to use it, but it's cool nonetheless. And its really not that difficult to understand how to use it, despite some of the ignorant reviews on here). Overall, it's a great watch.

The only complaint is that the leather strap is cheap, but so is the strap on my $500 Tissot, so for $150 it's a worthy compromise. I wore it once, and stretched out the hole with the stock tang clasp (see pic). I wanted a waterproof strap anyways, so I bought a black silicone band that I think takes this watch to a whole new level.

Although the leather isn't the best quality, I do love the color and contrast stitching, so I bought a deployant clasp for $10 (iStrap), and I'll probably switch back and forth every now and then. The tang clasp that comes with the watch is oddly large and looked out of place on the leather strap, but I think it works well with the rubber replacement, so it all worked out pretty darn well. I'm very pleased with my purchase.
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on March 21, 2015
i had been looking for something casual as well as a little formal. This watch is exactly that. Looks great and feels great. Not very heavy and the right size. The strap is a stiff at first but loosens up. That I'm guessing is true of most leather straps. Its a steal for the price.

UPDATE:
Have had the watch for some time now. I agree with other reviewers about the compass. The location of the screw that controls the compass causes the compass to shift over the course of the day due to normal hand movements.

Also it just maybe in my case but I find the holes in the strap are a little inconvenient. Going from one notch to the next makes it either too loose or too tight.

Stil a great watch! I would buy it again and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.
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on July 8, 2013
This is a fantastic looking watch that keeps time very well. I haven't tested the battery life in darkness, but just in normal wear I haven't ever found it to slow down or go into "power saving mode."

The band is thick and sufficiently stiff while being comfortable.

The reasons for the 4 star review instead of 5 star review are twofold. First, the alarm feature is totally unnecessary and perhaps a little confusing to use. The instructions don't specify how to disable the alarm so that it never goes off, but they do specify how to activate it. I just didn't touch the alarm function out of the box, and luckily it hasn't ever gone off. I wear this for work, so I don't want the alarm to sound at an inopportune moment. The tone of the alarm is pretty quiet, so I wouldn't count on it to wake me up. The other issue is with the "compass." It's not a compass in the sense that it rotates freely to point North. It's a tool to allow you to dial in a heading. For people who fly or who orienteer with maps this may be a useful feature; however, the knob that turns the "compass" is so easily turned that any contact with skin, clothing, etc will cause it to move out of alignment. Even typing this review the "compass" has gone from N to NNE.

The watch has two features I don't need, one of which doesn't work very well. Otherwise I really like it.
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on June 18, 2014
This watch is the International version of the very popular Seiko SSC081 (Seiko Men's SSC081 Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch is exactly the same). I had seen this watch earlier in Costco for about $180-200 and always liked it, but never bought it. The reviews on Amazon are pretty much 5 stars and there is hardly anything wrong with the watch. I mainly wear automatics and was tired of setting the time and date on them over and over again since the power reserve on most watches don't last more than 2 days (I don't have a watch winder). So long story short, I found this on Smartbargains website for $168 with a $20 coupon and it was a no-brainer for me under $150.

A lot of reviews cover the function and settings of this watch so I won't go into too much details that have already been reviewed.
Positives first -
1) The watch looks awesome (the watch case, bezel and crown all has a gloss finish).
2) For the price I couldn't find a better looking and functional watch. It uses Seiko's Cal V172.0AG0 Solar movement.
3) Solar charging part is great and I've never had to adjust time since I bought it a month back. I don't wear it everyday, but may be 2-3 days a week. The manual claims 5 hours of charging on a fair weather day in sunlight will fully charge the battery which would then last 6 months! It also mentions that normal office/fluorescent lighting is not enough to fully charge the watch.
4) Second hand sweeps like automatics, but it stops after an hour since its function is primarily as a stop watch. Otherwise it stays stationary at the 12 hour. Technical specifications say its a 60-minute stopwatch in 1/5-second increments with split time measurement function.
5) The hands and markers has excellent lume and is very bright at night, however it doesn't last all that long.

Some negatives -
1) Initially I actually liked the honey/caramel/camel/orange/light (whatever brown color) watch band it came with, the band was thick, well made and comes with a polished matte finish tang buckle. However, the strap is very long and this for me was a big negative. I don't have a small wrist by any means, but its still too long and I don't like the way it sits in the loop, especially now that the second loop has become loose. For comparison purposes, this strap is 3/4 inches longer than any other strap I have. Ended up changing the strap to a Breitling style strap Handmade 22mm Genuine Leather Watch Band Strap Alliagtor Style with Deployment Clasp for Breitling with an Omega style buckle 20mm Swiss S/S Deployment Clasp for Omega Seamaster Speedmaster. I bought both of them on eBay for a total of $54 ($25 for the strap and $28 for the buckle).
2) The compass is useless, moves around all the time with the slightest of touches.
3) Alarm function could've been better, but can be set to ring only once at a designated time within the next 12 hours. It's also feeble unless you use it in a very quiet environment. It also only rings for 20 seconds and to stop you can push any of the buttons.

Overall 5 stars for the function, looks and price!

Update - 06/30/2014

The Hardlex crystal is not very scratch resistant. I already have a small scratch and I can't remember hitting the watch against anything. After reading more about the Hardlex crystal the consensus seems to be that it scratches easier than Sapphire crystal but has better impact resistance.
0Comment11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2014
I had been looking for an aviator style watch for some time. Seiko's Solar Classic fit the bill. The band was iffy and at first I wasn't a fan. When I opened the box the band looks just like the picture. It immediately reminded me of the leather used for baseball gloves. That sealed it for me as I'm a sucker for baseball nostalgia. I quickly grew to appreciate the contrasting tones. Although, that did not stop me from buying some replacement bands with butterfly clasps. The second leather loop that holds the band will loosen with wear and since my wrists are smaller there ends up being a lengthy band sticking out. Another reviewer mentions that the band is around 1"-1.5" longer than normal. I agree.

PROS:
The casing is great
Crystal hasn't scratched yet and I've worn it most of every week for the past two months(?)
The glow is bright
Solar powered! and holds a charge for a month per the instructions.
Keeps excellent time
Date is clear and easily visible
Chrono is solid
Compass turns smoothly
I don't use the alarm but the instructions detail exactly how to set and disable. Sure it would be useful if my phone weren't an easy alternative...maybe when aliens/zombies/robots/future overlords take over I'll start using it and the compass.

CONS:
My only real gripe is that the main crown is not a screw down. The rest are minor but don't mind them
Like others reviewers point out, the compass dial will slide around throughout the day
Band coloring could put you off but easily fixed
2nd loop will loosen with wear causing band to stick out (solid, stiff band so won't flop around)
Compass is more of an aesthetic but it's fully functional and movement is smooth

I would recommend any watch buyer to pick this up at the discounted, steal of a price around $150. I'd pay more if I had that kind of cash to throw around. This is a timeless watch that will be a regular wear and look even more elegant with the black alligator band that's en-route. And for $11 it's a small price to pay to customize this classy timepiece.
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on December 11, 2014
I have owned Seiko alarm watches for many years and would like to respond to 2 criticisms made about this watch, namely the alarm and the compass. The alarm next to your bed is quiet but well and truly loud enough to wake you up unless you are a very heavy sleeper. I prefer this type of alarm over a loud alarms that scare you out of bed. It has been my only form of alarm for nearly 20 years and it has only failed to wake me up after late nights out on the town.
On the second note - the compass. It is not an actual compass as such but a tool to calculate the cardinal points using the sun. As such it is designed to give you an indication of your direction. Once you know how to use a watch to determine north you will see that it is irrelevant if the compass direction bezel locks as it has to be moved every time you want a direction bearing as that is its purpose. Which is to say, this is not a fault but normal for this type of tool. Perhaps Seiko could include this information in their manual. I hope this helps.
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