Customer Review

113 of 124 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, good timekeeper, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Seiko Men's SNK809 "Seiko 5" Automatic Watch with Black Canvas Strap (Watch)
I purchased this watch as my first foray into mechanical watches, knowing that it was a budget watch with excellent credentials, and calibrating my expectations to this. I have not been disappointed.

First things first, this watch is NOT a Japanese movement, and buyers should not expect a Japanese movement, regardless of what Amazon's description may say; I did not, at this price point. The movement is designed by Seiko in Japan, but produced in Malaysia, and the markings on the watch clearly indicate this. I have contacted Amazon about this, but they do not seem to show any interest in correcting their ad copy. Caveat emptor.

The movement in this watch as purchased in January of 2012 is a 7S26C.

I have been tracking the accuracy of the watch I received for about 50 days now, taking the time once a day from both the watch and a clock disciplined by the time signal transmitted by the observatory in Boulder, CO. The long-term accuracy is excellent, with an aggregate drift of 13 seconds over this time period. The daily drift is variable, with nearly 1/4 of daily readings showing no change at the second granularity, and 3/4 or more of the readings within +/- 2 seconds per day. I don't know how other units may compare to the one I received, but I am quite pleased with its performance.

The case finish seems to be plenty hard, and is very even and relatively attractive. After nearly two months of wear there are no apparent marks or dings in the finish. The crystal appears to be very hard (likewise no apparent marks there), certainly harder than the Skagen crystal I wore previously, and is very flat and not unduly prone to reflection.

I had concerns about the nylon band looking cheap, but it is reasonably classy and matches the style of the watch body. The clasp and keepers are stainless steel with a matte finish, with the clasp appearing to be cast and the keepers extruded wire. The butt joint of the wire keepers is clean and well-deburred, and of course not visible when the watch is worn.

The lume on the hands and dial is very efficient, much brighter than any watch I have previously warn (which is pretty much limited to Timex and Skagen in recent memory). It is also evenly laid. If I had a complaint about the lume, it would be that the 12 o'clock position bears the same small dot as all other positions, making it easy to read off by one hour mark if you must read the watch in an unusual position. This is not a show stopper, but it does require some care.

As others have noted regarding the 7S26 caliber, the rotor is a little bit noisy. I do notice a rattle from my wrist from time to time going about my daily business. On the other hand, it is plenty efficient. I do not consciously wind the rotor unless I have had to lay the watch aside for an extended period of time (such as when working at a particularly dirty or wet task for the better part of a day), and then I give it no more than a couple of twirls, if anything. I normally wear the watch 24/7 and I have not had any stoppages. When first starting the watch after receipt, I twirled it for 5 to 10 seconds, put it on, and didn't give it any further special attention.

All in all I feel this is an excellent introduction to mechanical watches, and a good everyday watch for the price.

Pros:
* More than adequate everyday accuracy
* Casual but not "cheap" look
* Good fit and finish, quality materials, feels solid
* Light and slim for an automatic

Cons:
* Band appears likely to be good for only about a year (time will tell)
* Occasional rattle from the winding rotor
* Malaysian movement finish is workmanlike but not particularly fine
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 5, 2014 5:55:38 PM PST
Samuel Chua says:
if it is accurate, who cares if it is made in Malaysia instead of Japan?
the strap can be easily changed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2014 5:00:23 PM PST
The metal finish on Japanese-made Seiko movements is somewhat nicer than the metal finish on their international movements. This is purely a cosmetic issue. Accuracy is fine.

The strap can indeed be changed. However, this is an additional cost. I am still wearing the same strap today (not quite two years later), and it looks a bit ratty by now. I would say it's good for about two years of daily wear, which is longer than I anticipated in my original review.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2014 7:53:12 PM PDT
Hondas and Toyotas are made in America and they are still "Japanese Cars" GM and Ford have parts made for them around the world and assembled in America and they are still American cars, so it seems to be the same idea for Seiko. Like you said, if it is accurate who cares!
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