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Customer Review

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Looking and Practical, November 7, 2010
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This review is from: Seiko SKA371 Stainless Steel Kinetic Dive Watch (Watch)
After owning this product for a little over a year, beating it up day in and day out, and also having comparing it to countless other watches I've decided that my old review (4 stars) was still unfairly low, as this watch is an uniquely excellent product. As I noted in my old review, I am hard on watches. My job can involve running, heavy lifting, squeezing into tight places, climbing, ect, and this means my watch is subject to bumps, scrapes, excessive movement, and sometimes harsh chemical cleaners, ect. I can also be pretty active and spend time outside when I'm not working. Because of this, I'm hard on watches, and I have wrecked many an inexpensive wristwatch before its time. This watch has shrugged off pretty nearly everything I could hand it, and apart from being slightly grimy and having a small scratch on the crystal that I can just barely see at certain angles, it has been pretty much untouched. There are some less expensive watches that can handle my abuse (see the Casio G-Shock I reviewed), but here I have a watch that looks great with my best suit after a year of such abuse, and that is what makes this a remarkable product. My general impression now, is that Seiko generally gives you a lot of quality for the money. They build virtually everything that goes into their watches in-house (I think the only exception is possibly some of the lubricants), and this was my reasoning when I selected the brand. A closer look at the particulars of this watch would have confirmed my impression. It is an ISO certified Dive Watch, actually built for serious use. While I don't dive, and have no special interest in diving, that cert means that the watch was specifically built and tested to withstand a lot of the abuse I'd put it through (physical impact, obviously water pressure, impact to the crown, magnetic resistance, thermal shock, band strength, ect). Still, lots of companies make things they label as a "dive watch", this thing is impressively capable. Every aspect of it has proved to be of the highest quality. The crystal is very thick, and made from a special formula Seiko calls "Hardlax". Hardlax has a moh's hardness of 7, which means it is far harder than traditional "mineral" crystals, which are only a 5 on the moh's scale. It is considerably softer and less scratch resistant than a quality sapphire crystal (moh's 9), but is supposed to be tougher (less prone to cracking). [*Note, Seiko 5 Series watches with "Hardlax" crystals just have regular mineral crystals. Kinetic Divers and other more expensive Seikos have the Moh's 7 Hardlax. This may or may not be the same thing as a K1 tempered mineral crystal on a European or American watch.]The markings are very clear and easy to read (as you'd expect on anything that calls itself a dive watch), and Seiko's Lumbrite glow in the dark markings are the best I've ever seen. They are always easily visible in the dark. The band is also extremely strong. The clasp is very strong because it has both the "deployment" style lock, and a backup outer clasp that folds in the opposite direction. It is also attached to the watch itself with the most massive spring clips I've ever seen. The typical rotating bezel is flawless as well, it is easy to turn, but exhibits no play. Finally the quality of the movement appears to equal the quality of the case and band. This is an autoquartz watch (Seiko Kinetic) which I am a huge fan of. Modern (post 2000) watches should basically never need a battery change, as they are continuously recharged, and will still hold an 80% charge after 20 years. This movement makes such a watch very easy to maintain, there is no battery to change, but if you don't wear it for a few days, it does not run down like a mechanical watch. Plus quartz watches are way, way more accurate than mechanical watches. And this one has been uniquely accurate for me. I have only ever had to reset it for daylight savings time. Otherwise, it absolutely has not changed by so much as 20 seconds in 6 months. I have no explanation for this, as there's no indication the watch is thermocompensated (and those cost a fortune so far as I know), but it's yet another reason why this watch deserves a perfect rating from me. The kinetic mechanism does make a slight but noticeable sound when you move the watch (which was why I previously gave it 4 stars), but in light of how perfectly the watch seems to function, I no longer felt like I could deduct a star for that issue. What's left to quibble about then? Well, it would be nice if there was a perpetual date version of this watch, but then again, I don't see many dive watches with that feature at any price. Also, at this point I wish it was available in more than 1 style. If there was also an orange face, or a blue face/ "coke bottle" bezel version of this watch, I'd buy one in a second, even though it now appears the one I have may very well last me a lifetime. The only other reservation I have in recommending this watch is, that different people buy watches for different reasons. This is not going to delight an hourhologist who collects expensive Swiss pieces. The movement would cost a jeweler maybe $100. But for anyone looking for a great looking, absolutely bulletproof dress/dive watch at a reasonable price, with the convenience and accuracy of an autoquartz movement, this is pretty nearly the perfect watch. Seiko's MSRP is perfectly reasonable for something this well made, and Amazon knocks more than 40% off of that! No watch is perfect for everyone, but this watch is perfect for me, and probably for many other people as well.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 24, 2015 4:14:43 AM PDT
Visa Card says:
I really like Seiko time piece's. I already own two of them. I saw this Seiko and I want to get in my collection. I do have a question. I saw the pic in the advertiment and it looked like the second hand was moving 2 clicks and them stop for a few seconds and then did it again. Is this Seiko supposed to do that? I hope I asked this question wright? Please get back to me when you read this. Thank You.

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 9:17:28 PM PDT
M. Matthews says:
I have a Seiko Kinetic diver's watch I purchased 15 years ago and have worn continuously. While I agree with many of the comments this reviewer made, the "Kinetic" feature has serious flaws, such that this watch would be far better powered by a simple battery. As it is, the capacitor which serves as the "battery" in the Seiko Kinetic watches requires frequent replacement (I've had mine replaced 3 times, but will not do it again). When the capacitor goes bad it is much more labor intensive to replace than a battery, and far more expensive (typical 50-60% of the price of the watch), because it is soldered in place. Also, replacement requires sending the watch back to Seiko, itself a pain.

But back to the positive points: the luminous dial has never peeled - something I couldn't say about my 80s vintage Heuer - and it looks absolutely brand new to this day.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2015 7:49:23 AM PDT
Andy B. says:
I don't own this watch, but am familiar with Seiko. This double tick happens as a warning to charge the battery aka move it around. Citizen's solar powered and Seiko's Kinetic and solar have this feature to let you know taht the battery is about to go dead. The Kinetic and solar features charge these watches. In this case, Kinetic means moving the watch around which allows the inner rotor to swing inside charging the capacitor, which generates the energy and stores it in the battery to keep the watch working. I believe that the second "crown" button also will swing the second hand to show you how much charge is left as is typical with the Kinetics that have a power meter. I think 12 means fully charged and 6 would mean you need to charge it. It appears that Amazon took this video when the power reserve was depleted.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2015 10:06:39 AM PST
Spatchcock says:
It's a function of Kinetics. When power is low they move at two-second intervals. With a bit of movement (shaking, wearing, etc.) it will move normally.
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