Customer Review

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precision engineered, March 17, 2007
This review is from: Seiko Men's SKX779K3 "Black Monster" Automatic Dive Watch (Watch)
Originally written for the Orange Monster, this review holds equally true for the black version.

From the moment you first hold this watch in your hand, you realize it is a quality timepiece. The first thing that strikes you is its large size and heavy feel, yet despite that, it feels comfortable on the wrist due to its fine balance.

BRACELET:

The bracelet end links (those that attach to the watch case) are solid rather than formed sheet metal like you will find on most other watches in this price range. The pins holding the bracelet to the watch are the sturdiest I have ever seen. Each of the bracelet's subsequent links is also made from a solid piece of steel, not folded sheet, each component being feather-edged to prevent it digging into the wrist. Its removable link pins are of an unusual machined pin and collar design which, though fiddly to remove and replace, nevertheless ensure that the pins remain under-flush and secure when correctly installed. The bracelet is perfectly flush on the side that contacts your wrist making it feel very smooth during wear.

The clasp is very high quality, having both a fold over security buckle, which deploys with a satisfying click, and an Omega style double button catch. The security buckle closes onto a spring pin whose ends are spherical thus ensuring a tight fastening which should not wear with use. All in all these features add up to a watch that is very quiet on the wrist, the only faint sound coming from its automatic winding mechanism.

Finally the bracelet incorporates a clever hidden diver's extension (to allow the watch to be worn over a wet suit).

CASE:

The watch case, back and bezel are made from stainless steel. The case has an attractive mix of polished, brushed and machined finishes which all add to the feel of quality and function. The overall impression is that this is a precision instrument rather than a fashion piece; that's not to say though that it would look out of place with a dinner jacket any more than a wet suit.

The unidirectional bezel is of a heavily scalloped design, protected by bezel-guards which extend upwards from each of the lug pairs. The lower guard also functions as a crown guard and, all in all, the impression is of a case machined from a solid billet of steel. The bezel sits slightly higher than the domed crystal, thus providing protection from scratching and the crystal itself is of a proprietary Seiko material "hardlex" which, as I understand it, is better at resisting scratches than mineral glass but less susceptible to shattering than sapphire.

The luminosity of this watch is astounding due partly to the use of Seiko's proprietary "lumibrite" paint but also to the large coated areas on the hour markers and hands.

The bezel only turns one way, as a safety feature for timing dives, and feels silky smooth, the best I've experienced on any Seiko or Invicta diver. It has 120 clicks per revolution and is nicely aligned with the face.

MOVEMENT:

The watch uses the 21 jewel Seiko 7S26 movement running at 21,600 bph (5 ticks per second). It is non-hacking which means that the second hand does not stop when the crown is pulled out. Although this makes it difficult to synchronize, if a slight backward pressure is applied to the fully extended crown, it is possible to stop the second hand. The watch can not be hand wound but the self winding mechanism is very efficient and I have found that it has a power reserve of at least 24 hours. The 7S26 has been around for many years and has a reputation for ruggedness and reliability.

ACCURACY:

There are several reviews where people complain of poor accuracy. Typically, when new, automatic movements will be set to run fast at the factory because they tend to slow down after a few weeks of use. I own three watches with the 7S26 movement and after their breaking in period all are now keeping time to within 10 seconds per day.

I have a few thoughts on accuracy. You have to ask yourself how accurate does your watch need to be? If it is running 10 or 20 seconds fast per day then set it one minute slow and you will only need to re-set it once every week or two when it has advanced to one minute fast. If you need more accuracy then, unless you are willing to pay at least five times as much for a swiss watch, then buy a quartz.

Finally, if you do a search on the Seiko Monster you'll quickly come to realize that in its various colours, these watches are firm favourites amongst those who are members of internet watch forums. I would highly recommend that you purchase one and see for yourself!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 26, 2007 11:43:09 PM PDT
John says:
Great review.

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 9:16:40 PM PST
Just a quick correction and then a comment. While the 7s26 does run at 21,600 BPH, runs at 6 beats per second, not 5 as a 18,000 BPH movement would do. Many Russian watches run at this speed. For comparison, most Swiss automatics run at 28,800 BPH or 8 ticks per second, giving a smoother motion to the second hand. As far as accuracy, the 7s26 isn't going to win any awards but from what I have read and heard from my buddies, the newer 7s26B is supposed to be better regulated and have better accuracy out of the box. On the otherhand, unless buying a COSC certified movement, accuracy cannot be guaranteed besides factory specs. So in all honesty, most automatic watches' accuracy is a crap shoot, although some have tighter specs. Otherwise, great review and thanks for taking the time to do so, reviews like this make it easier to shop online!

-Nick

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2008 6:37:42 AM PST
7s26b is much better. After a 4 months of breaking in my OM runs less than 5 seconds per day fast. But, don't forget that leaving the watch on its back at night (dial up) it will go faster, lettig it rest on its side (crown down) it will slow a bit. a correction: 21600 BPH means 6 per second not 5. The sudden jolts during jogging or other sports are normal for any mechanical watch. The more "rithm" someone does sports the more it gains.
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