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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.
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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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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.

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 May 28, 2017
I was worried whfn the watch was not used for few months and it had stopped working.

Two lessons learnt -
1. Keep it in open space as the battery can never run low with that. I had locked it up in dark.
2. Even if its stopped and nothing happens keeping it in sunlight, there is a simple trick.
> Pull the crown two clicks
> press and hold both the buttons on the right side for 5 seconds
> push crown back to normal

It starts working again!!

When exposed to some bright light, glow is excellent!!
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on April 18, 2015
Love this watch. I was a bit apprehensive about a solar watch, however I now have no regrets. I've compared my time with the Official NIST US time web site and the time has not visibly budged over three weeks. I wear the watch normally, it will catch some sun when I go outside, walking, shopping, driving; never any need to cosmically charge it by laying it in the sun for hours.

The alarm is a little "whiney" but after you train your ears for a couple of days, it will wake you up, or at least alert you after a good night's sleep. It is probably best used as a reminder at the office to go to a meeting (or leave a meeting if you don't have access to your calendar. ;) ).

As for the compass, any good Boy Scout knows how to find north with a watch. The compass bezel simplifies this process. The trick is to bisect your angle first, i.e., place "S" between the hour hand and noon, then point the hour hand towards the sun. Thence you follow your azimuth to a point in the distance, reach your point ( a couple of hundred meters to a few km's if you're in open terrain) then find your azimuth again, lather, rinse, repeat. Like regular land navigation by compass. Sure, a compass is more accurate, but you already knew that. No need to "lock in" the bezel as some have suggested. Actually a "free-moving" bezel is a better idea.

The instructions could have been better written. When setting the alarm, a little wiggle-room is necessary at first, but once it's mastered the alarm will set with the watch movement until your next alarm, without losing or gaining a second. It's a fun watch to master
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on August 30, 2016
very happy with watch. Update 18 months later am having same problem with solar battery not holding charge as I have read others have had and have sent for hopeful repair. Nice watch but not for very long. disappointed about this obviously ongoing problem that they had to be aware of but continue to sell watch
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on April 28, 2016
I have been wearing for two days and am in love. This watch is what I was looking for and looks fantastic. It is big enough and substantive enough that you feel it yet have a comfortable fit. The quality is there and the watch is perfect for daily wear, casual wear, and goes with most any attire. The numbers and hands have a brightness that I have yet to see on other watches. After exposure to light and sunlight you will have no problem seeing the watch for a while. So bright. The strap is better quality than I expected and really complements the case well. You will be glad you bought this one.
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on September 10, 2014
Very nice looking watch. This is my second as the firsts glass kept popping off whenever I reached cruising altitude on a plane. Was exchanged no hassles from a seiko dealer for a new one (surprised as I had no receipts or warrantee On me)
Only issue is that the strap doesn't wear very well.
Absolutely everyone comments on the watch and what a looker it Is, pity I'll have to change the strap every so often to keep it looking as smart as the pic.
Very happy nonetheless.
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on March 14, 2015
I bought this watch because I wanted to try out the "Solar" edition of a Seiko watch over the way it looks. When I opened the box, I couldn't help admiring how it's beautifully designed. The color of the leather band and the silver on the case look great on the wrist. I found myself matching it to many of my clothes of different attires. The black dial (solar panel) creates a much appreciated contrast against the luminous parts of the watch.

The size @ 41mm is perfect on my wrist. The compass inner-rotating bezel works effortlessly and smoothly, and manages to give you an accurate enough sense of cardinal directions once you follow some simple instructions. The date is very clear, and the numbers @ 6, 9, and 12 are big and so easy to read. Seiko is a very reliable manufacturer so chronograph functionality and build quality are pretty much guaranteed. This model is no exception.

The only reason I took away 1 star is because of the leather band. It's made of calf skin, but seems to scratch relatively easily. I scratched mine the first time I was trying to put on my watch. I probably pulled too hard against the fastener, but I didn't think that would harm the band. It's not an obvious scratch, but it's there if I look for it. This is my first leather band watch, so it might be user error. Otherwise, excellent watch. I would recommend it.
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