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This review is from: Seiko Men's SKX779 "Black Monster" Automatic Dive Stainless steel Watch (Watch)
The Seiko "Black Monster" is making watch history right in front of our eyes. Everyone interested in an automatc dive watch should look at this or its Orange, Blue or Yellow brothers as a "must have" watch. Every collector I know - no matter how expansive or selective - has a Monster in the watchbox.
I am the owner of the Orange, Blue, Yellow, and Black Monster watches. The Blue is a "Limited Production" model - only so many made each year -- the Yellow Monster is already a legend -- only 300 made in it's Limited Edition and is no longer available through retail channels. Be prepared to bid at auction for this model.
So - what makes the "Monsters" watches of legend...?
The Black Monster's 42mm case is 316L stainless steel - featuring the Seiko made 7S26 21 jewel mechanical movement - not the best timekeeper in the world -- but accurate enough for most of us -- 15sec +/- daily. The movement is not able to "hack" and is not manually windable. Either you wear it every day or put it on a programmable watchwinder to avoid resetting the time/day/date. With screwdown crown at the 4 o'clock and screw-in back - the Black Monster easily is rated at 200M water resistance.
The day/date is at the 3 o'clock and gives a good clear read - the watch face offering no magnification window. The change of day date can take up to 3 hours - not good for folks working the night shift. The plastic day/date wheels are of a self lubricating plastic and should give many years of trouble free performance.
The stainless steel unidirectional scalloped bezel moves freely at 120 clicks to the minute. A perfect match to the sculptured case - the bezel also offers protection to the watch crystal.
Seiko's "Hardlex" treated mineral glass crystal is scratch resistant - but not nearly so as the preferrable sapphire crystal found on the Blue or Yellow Monster. It is convex domed to not protrude above the bezel. The black watch face neatly sets off Seiko's patented lume material set on indices on the watch face and hands. The monster series is famous for it's torchlight lume - making every other diver in it's class pale with envy. The white watch hands are readable in low light, but might have been black outlined around the lume material (as in the Yellow Monster) for even greater visabiliy and readability in poor lighting conditions.
The triple safety clasp stainless steel pinned link bracelet is already a legend. A great looking and most comfortable design, it also features a wetsuit deployment clasp - not always found on a watch of this price. Recommend a thorough rinsing of this band after diving in salt water. With solid end links and unique Seiko pattern - it is a thing of beauty.
Available in either a ss bracelet or rubber strap - the Black Monster is a fantastic value when purchasing it with the stainless steel bracelet - an after market rubber strap from Seiko is available... but you save up to $50 in value by buying the ss bracelet over the rubber strap model.
A boldly designed heavy watch - you should have no hestitation wearing this or it's Orange Monster brother (see my review) as an everyday watch or water sport diver. Manufactured in either Singapore or Japan (Japanese model is always preferrable - so always ask before you buy), this under $200 watch from Amazon vendors is a must buy for any diver, boater or swimmer. You cannot buy a better watch for the money.
This watch is not sold as Seiko USA stockage - this is a gray market watch that most Seiko dealers will not service. Buy from reputable vendors that WILL servive this timepiece in the unlikely event anything goes wrong. To learn more about affordable watches from Amazon I recommend WisTalk.com or InvictaTalk.com - places where your watch questions can be answered.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 16, 2007 4:59:08 PM PST
T. Lewis says:
outstanding, outsanding review.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2007 7:43:26 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 12, 2012 1:34:16 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2007 7:46:12 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 26, 2007 7:46:37 PM PST]
Posted on Jul 1, 2007 6:55:08 AM PDT
Tony M says:
Good review, however according to everything I have read on this watch they were never made in Japan, only Singapore, and recently (after 2005) ish in Malaysia. Not that it really matters.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2007 1:52:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2007 1:53:04 PM PDT
It's hard to get a single answer on this. I know of the Singapore factory - some have even told me Hong Kong - but as we Monster owners know - the quality is consistant across all points of manufacture. The 7S26 movement is only an average time keeper - this with my Orange and Black Monsters - only slightly better with my Limited Production 7S36 Blue Monster and my prized Yellow Monster...
Appreciate the information... wonder if the Seiko site on WUS has up to date manufacturing info?
Posted on Nov 29, 2008 8:04:16 AM PST
Gerard M. Palomo says:
Everyone says that these watches are only "average" timekeepers. I am not sure what "average" means, but I own five watches with this same automatic movement, and they range from +12 seconds/day to -1.2 seconds/day! My "off-the-shelf" Orange Monster is the phenomenal -1.2 second example. This figure comes from a measurement taken this month, and is the average of 23 days' timekeeping. The watch has been worn every other day for at least 12 hours at a time. On it's "day off" the watch rests on it's back, face-up. I have owned this watch for six months, and I think that this last reading of it's accuracy represents it's "broken-in" functioning, because when new, it lost much more time. Maybe my Orange Monster is "one in a million" ( I have a Black Monster which gains 5 seconds/day ), but it's performance indicates what this automatic movement is capable of. My big beautiful orange watch has never been back to Seiko for regulation - luck of the draw.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2008 6:12:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2008 7:13:16 PM PST
I'm a Sr. Admin on an internet watch forum (BDWF.net) of over 4,000 members and we have had much talk about the 7S26 Seiko movement found both in the Monster and other SEIKO watches ... I hesitate to give the movement as good ratings as the Citizen-Miyota 8205/8215 , or even the Orient inhouse 21 jewel watch ... because of the large number of movements our members have had to have regulated after the sale - or sent back to the dealers because of timekeeping issues ... most of our members have their Monsters pegged at 15 sec +/- daily - or less which is why review calls the timekeeping average ...
While yours is not one in a million - its not in the majority our membership has experienced ...
Enjoy your Monsters - I now own all but two of the dial colors - both of those are Japan only colors ... I also own the 3 Monsters utilizing the 23 jewel 7S36 movement - the Yellow, Red and Blue Monsters ... all Limited Editions or (the Blue) limited production ...
Posted on Mar 23, 2011 6:53:13 AM PDT
S. Shafer says:
You gave this watch 5 stars, but yet you pointed out several negative things about the watch from the accuracy down to the watch being a gray market market watch that most vendors will not touch. I got mixed emotions about the review and would have to skip buying this one.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2011 4:54:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2011 5:01:53 PM PDT
Thank you for your observation. I wrote the review in 2006 and much has happened in the watch world since. The Orange and Black Monsters are no longer gray market - since being imported in the Seiko North America catalog.
My admiration for the watch is as a dive watch and Seiko's Lumebrite paint is a wnner for divers. The bracelet with it's double safety and wetsuit deployment clasp is almost unique at the this price range. It's dive bezel remains a winner - with or without gloves on hand.
In the last 5 years other vendors have stepped up (mainly with China assembly and content) to make this watch somewhat less attractive. It's 40+mm case is now a medium size in the current watch market and the ageing 7S26 21 jewel movement is still a mediocre time keeper as compared to some others. Correctly by 2011 standards, I would rate it a 4 star.
I'd LOVE to see the Seiko 6R15 automatic movement put in a larger 44mm case to bring this up to a 5 star rating.
I currently own the Limited Edition Yellow, Red and Limited Production Blue Monsters as well as the Orange, Black Monsters as well as the Japan only Black IP Orange Dial (BOO) as well was the Black IP onlack Dial (BOB). As an only watch - I might look elsewhere - but it remains a surperb dive watch for the money.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2011 1:20:06 AM PDT
B. Rice says:
have read your various reviews across the site, & seems like you know your stuff. when you say "As an only watch - I might look elsewhere..." what watch would you have in mind, within this range of price? Or, being an only watch, would one be seeking a different price point? What particular model(s) might you recommend instead of the Monster?
Am researching my first automatic watch, & am interested to hear what you consider a reasonable choice for an "only watch".