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Seiko watches are a brand of watch I've had the pleasure to come across several times (haha, get it, time? Cos it's a watch? LOL)
Seiko is a Japanese company that manufactures and sells watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors and optical products.
I bought a seiko watch for my boyfriend recently as his birthday is coming up. I bought Seiko Men's Quartz Watch with Silver Dial Chronograph Display and Silver Stainless Steel Bracelet SSB099P1 for just over £60 on Amazon over Christmas (I like to stock up on presents for all year round at Christmas). Recommended retail price is £220!
I chose this for my boyfriend as he complained his previous watch was being erratic. The watch is silver and looks, well, in a word, it looks quality - much more than the 50-something pounds I paid for it. It looks worth more like £200. It isn't too heavy but it's definitely a man's watch, I find it uncomfortable to wear for over a minute or so. It's made of steel.
The watch most importantly keeps amazing time. There are dials for various things including a stopwatch function. I don't think my boyfriend has ever used this LOL
The watch is OK to use in water to depth of 100 feet.
My boyfriend had to get the wrist strap adjusted for his wrist, and he said how easy it was to do. He said the only thing he doesn't like about it is that the hands are so small and the face is not backlit, so it's difficult to read in dim light.
Overall this is an excellent watch - it's stylish, not too big or flashy, and it keeps good time and has various features. It was a steal at £60. Cheap as chips!
I received a Seiko Chronograph Watch as a birthday gift three or four years ago, therefore I am not sure how much it was priced back then. However after searching around online the Seiko watch can be found on the Amazon website for £169.99. It was for sale at John Lewis for £89, but it is now currently sold out. http://www.burnsjewellersgroup.com has it on sale for £131.25, and http://www.watchshop.com is selling it for £119.21.
Seiko SNDY21P9 chronograph watch
Case Material Stainless Steel
Case Diameter 35.00
Case Thickness 10.00
Band Material Stainless Steel
Water Pressure Resistance 30 metres
I was very pleased to receive this watch as a gift a few years ago, as I recall seeing this at John Lewis and liking the design and overall look of the watch. Luckily my partner got the hint when I repeatedly stated how much I liked the watch! The watch is silver in colour and has a metal stainless steel strap that sits on my wrist comfortably. The strap has a bracelet like design that has a flap to open and safely close once the watch is worn. It is very easy to put on, and feels very secure once the strap is worn. I have never experienced the strap becoming lose or the watch falling off my wrist, which is mainly due it being the correct size for my wrist but also due to the secure fold over clasp.
Strap Material & Size
The watch isn't too bulky, and instead feels comfortable to wear on a day to day basis. The case diameter is approx 35 mm in size which is prefect for female wrists, and the case has an average thickness of 10 mm. The fact that it the watch strap and case is made from stainless steel makes this very easy to wear in both hot and cold conditions, as I remember in past summers when I used to wear a leather strap watch and how it used to irritate my skin and causing the skin to sweat. This could be more due to my sensitive skin, but having a stainless steel watch definitely helps keep the wrist cooler than thick leather material straps in hot conditions.
The Dial design and functions
On the front of the watch there are small pearls scattered around the outer dial giving it a nice crystal like appearance which I think definitely adds style and glamour to the watch. The dial colour is described as 'Mother of Pearl' which I think is due to the outer frame pearl like design. The watch has a Quartz movement which is something that most good watches have and apparently controls the time dial movement. Inside the dial is the chronograph design, which displays three circular individual chronograph timers (seconds etc), which each have an attractive silver frame. The Seiko Chronograph is printed inside the dial in black font, it isn't too big that it looks tacky; instead the designer name can still be visible. There is also a date box on the right which clearly displays the date in black.
The dial consists of the usual second, minute and hour hand which are all silver in colour to match the silver colour scheme of the watch. Each hand is easy to recognise and distinguish, as the hands have a pointed edge design and are slightly large in size. The time markings are clearly marked making time easy to read. The watch isn't noisy, and the ticking sound is very faint, and almost unnoticeable.
Quality, Wear & Tear & Battery
One the right side of the frame is three controls to change the time settings which are easy to adjust. The watch is of very good quality and does seem very sturdy and well built, however a minor quibble is that the front glass screen has developed quite a few scratches over the years. There are also a couple of scratches that have become noticeable on the strap and on the back of the metal case, which are not huge disadvantages as I guess scratches and marks are likely to develop from years of use. Despite a few scratches here and there the watch build is great with the strap remaining secure during use. The battery has only needed to be changed twice since receiving it as a gift approx three years a go, which is excellent as it can be a bit of hassle going into a specialist shop to get the battery replaced.
The watch is also water resistant to approx 30 meter of water which according to Amazon charts means it can be worn in the rain, during short period of swimming and survive splashes of water. This is a great added feature that allows me to wear the watch on a day to day basis without having to worry about taking if off during heavy rain or when washing dishes etc. I don't actually swim much, but having the added advantage of being able to wear this during recreational swimming is great.
Overall this is great attractive watch that is comfortable to wear for either day to day use or for those special events. It is water resistant and has a handy date box. I would recommend this as a gift or something special to treat yourself with, as it is long lasting and an overall quality watch that is worth the price tag.
As a watch collector and enthusiast, I've written a couple of watch reviews while I've been here, and read hundreds more!
While most are positive, often glowing in fact, I've noticed that a few are a little down on the old Seiko brand.
Seiko watch company have been around forever and a day.
They were established in Japan in 1881, a fact I discovered after buying a limited edition dive watch on a run of 1881 pieces. I enquired why such a ridiculously random number for a LTD edition, and was sent away feeling suitably stupid.
The name Seikosha was adopted as a name in the 1920's, translating as House Of Exquisite Workmanship (wikipedia), and soon shortened to Seiko as the brand spread West.
While the vast, vast majority of watchmaking houses were based in Switzerland (something to do with the climate; low humidity and high pressure I recall), Seiko were a none-Swiss powerhouse keeping up with European design, technology and reliability despite a poorer economy and almost no experience in the industry.
They became known as expert clockmakers throughout the 1890's and well into the new century, and when the idea of wristwatches gained popularity just before World War 1 (soldiers were converting pocket and fob-watches to home-made wrist watches for ease of use in the trenches), Seiko were again at the front of the field, introducing their first line in 1913.
Seiko literally kick started the Quartz Revolution.
The quartz (battery) movement was a dozen years and millions of pounds (or dollars) in development, and Seiko were the driving force behind it.
In this incredible technological breakthrough it was discovered that a quartz crystal, when the correct voltage from a battery was passed through it, would resonate at precisely the correct frequency to regulate and power an electronic oscillator module, which in turn moved the hands of a watch.
The outcome was a cheap* movement which held an accuracy never before seen in a mechanical wristwatch. It signalled the beginning of the end for many hundreds of small watchmakers, and a lot of established firms simply went out of business when demand for a well made mechanical wristwatch dropped off entirely!
A good many of these were bought up by larger companies who stayed afloat either on their name (Rolex, Longines etc) or because of their sheer size.
*Cheap technology to produce once the design was in place, but in order to re-coup some of the money spent in research and development the first quartz watches were horrendously expensive. Records show that in the first week of release 100 Seiko 'Astron' watches sold, at a price of $1250 each.
Given that this was 1969, the equivalent price now would equate to ten times as much!
At least 70% of Seiko's current offerings are now quartz movements. I have owned probably close to 100 Seiko watches and a large proportion have been battery powered. They are cheap, easy to maintain and easy to repair.
In most of their quartz watches, if the module (movement) fails, it's a quick and easy job to replace the entire unit and have a brand new movement in the old watch. On a few occasions I've even hit e.bay to find a donor watch to steal a movement out of in order to bring an old one back to life. A lot of the parts are interchangeable and they tend to stick with a good design once they've developed it, so second hand parts are generally plentiful. The chronograph watches I collect for instance used the same movement for over 15 years, between the late 1980's and early 2000's.
The battery watches are bread and butter to Seiko, and you know exactly what you're getting when you buy one - an affordable but high quality watch.
Automatic watches are rather more complex and therefore more expensive to produce than quartz, so Seiko use these movements in very few ranges.
An automatic movement is self-winding. A top heavy rotor turns inside the watch, moving each time your arm moves and winding the mainspring. The mainspring (when taut) will power a series of gears which allow the hands to move. When kept in reasonably frequent motion (worn daily), an automatic should never stop. The spring will hold a reserve of between 24 and 48 hours, so will continue to run even when taken off and left stationary. Once it's back on a wrist it begins to wind back to full charge.
I have owned a few Automatic Seiko watches, but none quite as good value as the Seiko 5!
Seiko 5 stands for 5 features - 5 levels of value; Shock resistant, Water Resistant, Self Winding, Day display AND date display.
These watches are so cheap I often wonder how Seiko make a margin on them! Aside from the complicated diver and timer watches, almost all of the '5' range is under £100, and some as cheap as £50.
These watches are incredible value, I can't stress that enough, and I always keep at least one in my collection. They are good timekeepers and really stylish pieces which I'm comfortable enough to wear to the pub as they are an impressive spec without having a high-end name on the dial. A few have glass 'display' backs too, so you can actually see how your watch works which I love! Always a talking point while out and about.
I sang the praises of Kinetic in my Seiko Sportura review, but I'm going to do it again!
These movements are a 100% Seiko exclusive and seriously clever technology.
They utilise the best bits of both of the above movements, so the rotor powers a rechargeable cell rather than winding a mainspring. This means that instead of a power reserve of a few hours, a watch can be left stationary for up to 6 months without losing time! The watch powers down and goes into a sort of 'standby' mode when left still for a while, then as soon as it detects motion it re-sets the hands and date to the correct time and continues ticking!
In the negative reviews I have read, the Kinetic seems to be one of the big losers. This is because the rechargeable cell loses some of its potency over time. A brand new watch has a 6 month power reserve which diminishes slightly over time but will take at least 20 years to lose all storage. The older watches had a 1 month reserve, which did fade rather quickly. A five year old watch might only have managed to hold a few days charge before stopping. Seiko quote approximately £100 for a repair on these, and there lies the problem for the people who think they've bought a maintenance-free watch which will last a lifetime, and so write a one star review.
Fortunately, there is a capacitor upgrade available for around £12-£15 which will put your old kinetic back to 100% again. It is almost as easy to fit as a new battery and does basically the same thing, but not many people know about it (Seiko don't advertise it oddly enough) ;-)
As I've said before, my Sportura divers watch is a Kinetic and I love it - never had a single issue - but I also have a few others, including a couple of standard dress watches and one with a very handy power reserve indicator. I'd always recommend these Kinetic watches, and I'd always look out for them second hand. Often they are sold as faulty or not even repairable, and 99% of the time it's simply because the capacitor has lost its ability to hold charge. A cheap and easy fix for anyone who enjoys tinkering.
Under the banner;
Seiko company actually put out watches under 4 different names. Seiko are the higher end pieces, with prices ranging from a wallet friendly £70 or so, to an eye watering £500,000!
Pulsar are one step below them, using cheaper case materials and often utilising the lower end of the Seiko movements for their range of watches. They are again very good watches on a budget, with prices starting around £40 and rising to £200 or so.
Lorus and Alba are the lower and of the Seiko company, usually found in small chain stores and catalogue shops, with prices as low as £15. Again, quality is generally good but the materials and manufacture are much cheaper than the main Seiko line.
Seiko were once 100% in-house manufacturers, and try to continue as such to an extent.
Some of the cheaper cases and dials are now produced in China and Taiwan rather than all within the borders of Japan, but the majority of parts, including almost all movements are made BY Seiko FOR Seiko and not made available for general purchase by smaller watch houses.
Their development budget has allowed them to capture a large chunk of the market, from the Quartz watches of the 60's and 70's, to the Kinetic watches from the 1980's which are still in production today, and the recent use of 'Spring Drive' technology, a system which doubles the power reserve of standard mainspring powered watches to 72 hours and sometimes more.
A lot of R&D goes into their new watches, and sadly there are a lot which we don't see on our shores. Many limited edition and technically advanced watches are developed for the Far East market and rarely make it to the UK, such as the Grand Seiko line and a lot of Spring Drive pieces.
Part of me things that the price (£1000-£5000) of these watches is high, but look past the name on the dial and it's easy to see that they are easily keeping up with developments made by industry giants such as Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, all of whom ask tens of thousands of pounds from similarly advanced watches.
The thing which has always appealed to me about Seiko is the collectability factor.
First and foremost, I know that if I need to sell one of my watches there will always be a market full of buyers.
Secondly, because of the longevity of the company and the sheer diversity of their watch designs over the last century there are quite literally thousands upon thousands of different models to collect. Even if I stuck to a small corner of their catalogue, such as the Seiko 5, I would never in my lifetime see every model they've made.
Lastly, even though they might not have the prestige of a high end Swiss brand they have a special place in the hearts of the people who buy them. Most models have nicknames given to them not by the factory, but by the people who buy them!
I mean, what sounds better - the Seiko SKX781K£, or the 'Orange Monster'? The SHC061P1, or the 'Sawtooth'?
I love going through my watch box admiring the Sumo, the Black Knight and the Atlas - it's a mini phenomenon which I believe is unique to the Seiko brand and really brings the watches to life. The names conjour up images immediately.
I have always been a Seiko fan.
While my watch collection doesn't end with them, and I will always have a few nice and slightly more expensive Swiss watches, Seiko have always formed the heart of my collection.
Some of my watches are just fashion pieces, happily bought, sold and traded out on a whim, but some of my Seiko watches I hold very dear. My late fathers is the last watch I would ever contemplate selling, and the one my wife bought me is a close second. (I hear a rumour that another is due on Christmas Day) :-D
I would recommend this brand to anyone and everyone. They have something to suit every style, every budget and every occasion.
Second hand, they are incredibly good value. I've seen lovely looking quartz dress watches, Seiko 5 automatics and some of the retro digitals change hands for under £20 which is an absolute bargain!
The more expensive sport watches and the few models used in the James Bond films are a little more expensive but almost recession proof. £100 spent now would fetch you £100 or more back any day in the near future, they are as good as money in the bank!
For an amateur watch collector, a very small budget will build you a very impressive case of stylish, functional watches from the Seiko range, and again it's one of the safest places to put your cash!
I think I've rambled on enough now.
If anyone has any questions about Seiko drop me a line on YD and I'm always happy to help. For everyone else, I hope this has helped with your opinion of Seiko watches.
Having owned a number of Seiko Watches over the years I have to say that the quality feel of those I have had, has in the man shone through. Seiko have been a brand that I have owned both now in the past and are a watch brand I have come to trust. I have had a good number of other brands of watches over the years, but have always found that I have a soft spot for Seiko. They are a watch brand I have enjoyed owning and are also a brand I would recommend.
In the past I have had just one Seiko bracelet watch that has let me down very slightly. This was in the main due to it causing my wrist to go a very unsightly shade of green after prolonged wear. The bracelet itself was extremely attractive to the eye and when I first had the watch it looked lovely. Sadly it did fade over time and the very light brushed gold toned effect on the top face of the bracelet paled to a very wishy washy shade of silvery gold. This seemed to coincide with the back of the watch, which was of a stainless steel construction, turning a horrid mouldy shade of green. Other than that the watch kept good time and so it was a disappointment that it didn't last anywhere near as well as my other Seiko watches have.
Some of the aspects of the Seiko watches that I have liked have been the distinctive style of the actual watch faces themselves. I have always found Seiko Watches to be easy to read when needing to see the time and I put this down to the well made watch faces that the watches have had. Some of them have had mother of pearl faces and others coloured faces, but all have been smart and easy to read. This is something that I feel sets these watches apart and makes them stand out as a quality product Another thing I really like about some of the Seiko Watches I have owned has been the very smart but simple way some of my watches have been able to wind themselves when worn. This may sound odd to anyone who has never owned a self winding watch, but this form of self winding mechanism is called a kinetic system and its a fabulous thing to have, as you don't need to mess about with replacing batteries.
~The Kinetic system~
The kinetic system is so easy to work with as all you need to do to keep your watch wound and keeping perfect time is to wear it and move about as you would usually during your day. There is no need to sit about shaking a kinetic watch movement back and forth manually (oops, I am a little guilty of that though) as this system winds as you move and walk. It winds when you lift that cup of tea, drink that glass of juice, order and sup that pint of beer, type that must read review (lol) etc, etc.
I guess another way to describe this system would be that the movements in these watches are an automatic quartz movement. No batteries are required to power them and Seiko released their first such watch way back in 1988 after unveiling the system in 1986. I have to say here that will never forget how very impressed I was that my first ever Seiko Watch had this self winding kinetic movement. It may seem rather passe these days, but I am still impressed as it works so very well.
I must confess that I did at first spend time every now and again shaking my wrist when wearing my first Seiko kinetic watch. It was very alluring as you can hear the winding of the movement going on and if I am honest I have never truly tired of sometimes still doing that and reminiscing over that first Seiko watch, which was a treasured gift. This Seiko had a simple white mother of pearl face, a gold toned snake link strap that was sinuous and slinky, but was backed up by some reinforced stainless steel at the back. The clasp has a simple hook and clip over fastening, which was rather easy to open.
To this day all these years later I still have that watch and it still works. The time is still kept as well as it ever was and the self winding feature of the watch still fascinates me from time to time, as much as it did when it was new. The little date window on the right as I look at my watch still moves to change the date and the light gold toned strap is as blemish free as it was when new. Its a Seiko classic and as such I admire it greatly. The only thing that has suffered over the years has been the glass that protects the face of my watch. It has scratched somewhat, but as its quite old I feel thats to be expected. If this watch had been a newer model it would have been fitted with the super duper sapphire crystal glass that gives newer Seiko watches a fantastic protective shield that means the watch glass remains unblemished and stays scratch free.
~Sapphire Crystal Glass~
This sapphire crystal glass is a super hero of the watch glass world! This wonder glass is more than 3 times more durable than mere mineral crystal and more than 20 times more durable than acrylic crystal. In fact according to Seiko the only other thing that would be more durable would be a diamond crystal glass. So far my Coutura watch has remained blemish free and although this may be partly due to my ever so careful wearing of it, I like to think that my super hero crystal watch face glass is also doing its bit to keep it from harm.
I guess its time to consider a rating for my Seiko watches, after having waffled on about them for so very long. Having experienced the good and the bad that my Seiko watches have had to offer, I feel that over all the Seiko brand is one I will always consider to be a quality product. I have had a number of Seiko watches and as mentioned earlier only one of those has been a let down. As such I feel that in the main Seiko watches are a brand that I can truly recommend and in light of that I can only rate them with 5 stars, anything thing less does seem a bit cheeky.
As a company Seiko seem to live in middle ground between your cheap but fairly good watches e.g. Sekonda and your big brand name expensive watches e.g. Tag Heuer. What I mean by this is that when you wear a Seiko nobody is going to think you are a cheapskate but likewise you aren't going to walk round like a charlie big potatos with some flashy named watch on your wrist.
Typically prices range from £100 to £400 and whilst my father must have owned 5 different Seiko watches in the last 30 years I have owned just the one, which is the one I will review here...
I have owned the Seiko 7N42-6090 for around ten years. Well actually I owned one ten years ago that was stolen three years later but I was so impressed with it that I went out and bought another for £115 in H M Samuels. The watch itself is fairly basic - the analogue watch face tells the hour, minute and secod and there is small window showing the day of the month. This will just go up to 31 every month so you have to remember to wind it on at the end any month with less than 31 days. You have a winder on the right hand side, it is splashproof and....err...that's about it for features.
Where the watch wins for me is the feel and look of it. It was the first titanium watch I had held and I could not believe it was possible to make something as light as this. The silver metal strap with golden trim looks very smart and is fastened by a clasp at the bottom. The casing around the clock face is also silver which contrasts nicely with the golden winder on the right. As I mentioned the black clockface is basic but I like it this way as it is uncluttered and does all I need it to do. The hours are marked out by small golden strip and again the contrast with the black face makes it look very smart.
It has also lasted well over the years although the gold trim on the strap is starting to fade a little. There are very few scratches on it and those that are there are barely noticeable - in fact it has lasted so well that last year my colleague was commenting that it is one of the nicest watches he has seen....not bad for a 9 year old Seiko!
BEWARE!!! SEIKO KINETIC WATCHES - I made the mistake of believing the Seiko marketing, that by buying a Kinetic watch, I'd never have to buy a battery again - which is true you won't (as they have a capacitor/rechargable battery instead). However, what they don't tell you, is that whilst a 'normal' quartz watch battery will last approx 5 years and cost circa £10 to replace including the seal, the Kinetic units need a service every 2-3 years or they will fail...and the cost of this service? £85 yes you read right, EIGHTY FIVE POUNDS STERLING. So before you embark on purchasing a SEIKO KINETIC watch, think again - and don't. I bought two, one for the wife and one for myself, both have failed twice and I would never touch another Kinetic watch from seiko ever again. On a positive note, they do have a good service department - still, hardly surprising given the margins they are working on!
I have owned a Seiko Titanium Chronograph for around 8 years now. I bought it when I was about 13, and it's been on my wrist practically every day ever since. I have finally got a new watch now, which is by no means replacing the Seiko, I just wanted another one...
First off it is still going after 8 years hard use, so the build quality must be there really. I have never had any problems with it whatsoever and it has had one new battery since I got it. Seiko really do give exceptional value for money, they are a mid-range watch company and make very good watches and a very good price. Okay they're not Swiss, but they do the job!
I got this done at Jarrolds a year or so ago for around £15. If I had sent it back to Seiko you'd be looking at close to 100, and as I'd paid £130 for the watch 7 years previously it did not seem like a good idea! Anyway Jarrolds did a good job and I've had no waterproofing issues since.
The major annoyance with this watch (what lead me to wanting another one) is that it only has mineral glass and not sapphire glass. This means that by the time 8 years comes around there are a lot of scratches all over the glass face. The bracelet has lots of little scratches too (I think Titanium may scratch slightly easier than Steel), however this is inevitable and adds character.
As for the watch itself, because it is Titanium it has kind of a grey/matte finish rather than polished silver, which makes it a bit different. This suits the black face really nicely. The Titanium also makes it exceptionally light, you can barely feel it on your wrist, people are always surprised when it is picked up.
As for functions, the watch has a main dial (the second hand is the chrono), then 3 small dials behind. One does seconds for the main time, another counts minutes on the chrono and the final is a second clock, which is helpful if you visit a foreign country. This final dial also changes to the alarm time if the alarm is set, which is a nice feature especially for an analogue watch. I've seen few like it. It also has a date window and is waterproof to 100m. A useful feature as well is the low battery indicator, the seconds do 2 seconds jumps when the batteries get low.
Anyway this watch has kind of became part of me, as I've worn it so much. I almost feel bad when I wear my new watch but I alternate so I get by...
I would highly recommend this watch, but I cannot find it, or any photo's even on the internet so you'll probably struggle to buy it (especially as I can't even post a photo. Regardless, it says a lot about Seiko, and if you want value for money then go for it (but get a Sapphire glass model...)
Well im a little bit of a watch addict and have built up a very nice collection over the last 10 years, covering most of the common brands, and some less known like Amedeus - and my most recent watch is my first Seiko - an what a lovely watch it its!
The Seiko was a engagement present from my lovely wife, though i did have a little hand in choosing it, being a fussy so and so! I spent quite a lot of time researching and everything i heard about Seiko was great,and in the end i chose a nice big chunky Silver coloured divers watch, with their kinetic technology.
Ive now had the watch for over 2 years, and it hs been fantastic th wholetime,. never letting me down - the time has stayed spot on the whole time and the kinetic bit is great when i put it on for the first time in a few days!
The bracelet seems to be of a higher quality that previous watches ive owned - i fact ive had a habit of breaking them very easily, but not this one! Its alsover comfortale, never catching skin or hair!
My other favorite part of it is the quality of the scratch proof glass on the front - i am slightly clumsy and do often scratch watches on trees, windows etc - well ive knocked this watch just as often - and as yet not a mark!
I love this watch and wear it daily, very highly recomended!
hi, i also sent a kinetic watch to seiko for a service and repacement of a cracked glass,i paid £83.00 and thought that was the end of it.after one weeks use it began to gain 15 minutes per week,i took it back to the jewellers and had it returned to seiko . after two weeks they said that the amount of time it gained per day was within acceptable limits and accused me of dropping my watch and breaking the base stand.I informed them that the watch had not been off my wrist,being kinetic it would stop. but they would have none of it and wanted another £80 to repair it.i got my watch back unrepaired and sent it away to a watch repairer on the net he charged me £25. and it has been good for three years until i shattered the glass at work. it is now retired. art
The principle of the Kinetic watch is dubious.
It seems thet the "capcell* deteriorates such that the life of the watch is certainly no better than a high quality Lithium powered or even the odd silver oxide powered quartz movement.
The service cost quoted by Seiko and even that more competitively quoted by an independent totally wipes out any advantage of using a kinetic setup in the first place.
I am sure a conventional battery based quartz watch is more reliable, durable and certainly more economical.
There iseems to be no advantage in paying extra for a kinetic movement.
Seiko Kinetic - Auto Relay - Model: Seiko SMA003
I bought this Seiko Kinetic - Auto Relay - Model: Seiko SMA003 Watch 6 Years ago for £395.00 from H. Samuels.
Some high street shops still retail this now at £495.00 down to £295.00 however I have seen internet sites selling for £189.00. Believe me though if you have paid £395.00 you will feel gutted but you will still feel as though you have a bargain.
It is a fantastic piece of kit and does exactly what it says on the tin. I would not wear my Watch sometimes for a month or two and low and behold - you pick it up and shake it - and it goes back to the right time amazing. Ok so you have to alter the date when you do this and also if a month only has 30 days you have to move it on a day. However this is not a problem it is easy do.
The hands and dials illuminate in the dark and early evening and wow they are bright - as good as a light.
The Watch is quite heavy and solid but to me that feels good
I have never had it repaired and yes my the face did scratch - but hey 6 years of me getting drunk, falling over, walking in to walls.......the scrathes were minute - this is as i say a serious piece of kit.
Also water proof. I wore in the med and for swimming while on holiday. Secure fasteners, links can be removed by a jewellers to adjust size.
Now for the sad news.........I sold mine on a well known auction site for £68......and I want it back 'I actually miss my watch'
So have I now decided to buy the newer version which is model no. Seiko Kinetic - Auto Relay - Model: Seiko SNG045 for £189 off some website.
It looks a little slicker and smarter and is only 100m Water Proof and not 200m.
These watches are fantastic - but please shop around on the internet as you could save youself hundreds of pounds.
I hope this helped
Here comes an odd one for you!
As, during all of my months spent on review sites, I have yet to read a watch review, I thought that I would set myself the challenge of writing one. In truth it probably will not be the longest or most interesting review RICHADA has penned ..
.but bear with me for a few minutes if you will.
Firstly, for those who do not know me that well, a little bit about me. I am no fan of jewellery, fashion or otherwise - at least not on my own person. As, hopefully, a relatively respectable company director, I do however have need of a passably accurate and presentable time-piece. Before any of you jump in with 'ah, but surely you have a mobile telephone and that shows the time!' well, yes that is true, but it is simply not as convenient as taking a quick glance at the left wrist. Neither does it show me instantly the date.
Shock, horror, RICHADA wears a wrist watch!
Sorry, time is ticking by here - listening VERY carefully I can actually hear it ..as yet, no mention of the product being reviewed, tut, tut!
Now for a clever leap in time, back to the last century, to be absolutely precise, the 87th anniversary of the last supper being served on the Titanic - April 14th 1999. For the previous three years or so, this inauspicious date had clicked over on a fairly cheap, £38 from the Argos Catalogue Shop, but attractive, Seiko Automatic watch.
It had already started stopping, on and off, during the previous couple of months. Then, like some form of 87 year, out of date omen, on April 14th it ticked its last tick.
In terms of appearance, that first Seiko was everything that I seek in a watch. It had a simple stainless steel strap (note use of the word strap NOT bracelet!) and case. The face was very clear in black with gold and luminous hour pointers and hands. The one thing that never found favour was that it showed the day of the week as well as the month date.
Yes, having the month date at hand is very useful, but come on .. I'm not that fuddled that I need a watch to tell me what day of the week it is!
As men do, I started eying up watches in shop windows. Cheap ones, expensive ones, knowing exactly what I wanted but seemingly it was unavailable at any price. Was it sensible to spend a fortune on a watch for life, a Rolex even perhaps? No! How about another cheap watch from Argos then? They were all too cheap and flashy looking.
On 15th April I had to venture into the town centre at lunchtime to bank the company's cheques - oh those distant pre "BACS" memories! There, in the window of our long, dearly departed department store, Hanningtons, was the watch of my dreams
..oh, no! It said SEIKO on the face!
This one had another word, in smaller black capital letters on its pale silver face: "KINETIC" The shape and size looked almost identical to the stopped watch on my wrist; the two main differences were the silver face and lack of the weekday window.
I entered the shop and asked the fairly elderly gentleman (they always were in Hanningtons!) sales assistant, just what a "Kinetic" watch was. He was no better informed than I, but was happy enough to produce the box along with the very explanatory instruction leaflet.
My main question was regarding the longevity of this new fangled technology. If I was to purchase this, ideal looking, watch from him for £229, was it going to last any longer than the £39 one from Argos - after all it looked alarmingly similar for such a large price difference.
"It is new", he told me, "I would be lying to you if I told you that this watch is going to last you 10 years, because they simply have not been on the market for that long". He went on to tell me that: "Seiko have invested a lot in this technology and are putting a lot of weight behind promoting it".
Question unanswered then.
I liked the watch, was intrigued by the mechanism and needed, that very day, a new time-piece. I became on 15th April 1999 the proud owner of a SEIKO KINETIC watch - model number 5M42.
Unlike my original Seiko, the hands and hour pointers on the face are also silver, again having luminous insets in them. The bracelet is almost identical, a multi-linked stainless steel one, although this later one does have a safety clasp which closes across the fastener at the back.
Also unlike my previous watch, this one has an almost silent tick, press it hard to your ear and you may just here it. On the other hand the oscillating weight which charges the mechanism can clearly be heard "oscillating", sometimes as you move your wrist, occasionally when you are walking quite normally. It is a difficult sound to describe, but makes for quite a talking piece on occasion when people remark on it - especially children who are unused to a watch making such a soft rattling sound.
This particular watch is classed as "Water Resistant", according to the instruction book only capable of resisting "accidental contact with water". Seiko do produce Kinetic watches which are resistant to 10, 15 and 20 bar, none of which are sufficiently water proof for diving.
As my old watch was not working and the new one was, I left the shop with the new watch on my wrist, the salesman having removed three metal links from the strap.
What is KINETIC ENERGY?
Please do not expect me to explain this Kinetic business, sorry that should be "energy system", in any great detail, I will attempt to describe to you just what the diagram in the book tells me.
This Kinetic range of Seiko watches, of which mine is just one, work entirely automatically, powered by kinetic energy. First of all inside the watch is an oscillating weight, rather like a pendulum in an old grandfather clock if you like, but much, much smaller. This weight, which can only weigh very little, the entire watch weighs 92g, swings backwards and forwards as you walk, charging through a tiny rotor and generating coil block a "Kinetic Electricity Storage Unit". Looking at the diagram, this looks suspiciously like a rechargeable battery to me.
My particular model, the 5M42, has the more powerful of two Kinetic energy systems. As mentioned the energy is created by just walking around in every day life - this is not then a suitable watch for those with an incapacitating disability.
An 80 metre walk is sufficient to run the watch for six hours, 350 metres will give you two days charge, whilst after 800 metres it is fully charged and will run for between twelve and fourteen days without being worn or taken for a walk.
The instructions inform me that the amount of power generated differs from person to person - interestingly Seiko provide you with a power reserve indication button, press it and the second hand marches around anything up to thirty seconds - providing the reserve is fully charged. My watch is worn every day, only taken it off at night, during the six and a half years that I have been wearing it, the indicator has never shown it as being less than fully charged.
Just in case you are wondering what happens during the thirty seconds that the watch has advanced - well, it merely pauses, waiting for time to catch up before advancing in the usual way, second by second.
There is a warning also for you that the power reserve is low and that in approximately six hours the watch will stop. To conserve energy, the second hand will jump two seconds at a time rather than advancing in the conventional manner. I have never seen my watch do this, but Seiko claim that the watch will remain accurate whilst running in this mode.
If the watch has been left unworn and has stopped, it can be instantly re-started by swinging the watch a couple of times before placing it on the wrist.
THE WATCH MOVEMENT
In terms of the watch movement itself, there are no moving parts - the hands are controlled via a tiny printed circuit block. In simplistic terms my Seiko Kinetic watch is no more than a self charging electronic watch. The clever part, as far as I am concerned, is that it looks entirely conventional - a classically good looking wrist watch indeed.
Unlike some watches that I have worn in the past, this one makes turning the extra day at the end of a 30 (or 28/9!) day month a piece of cake too. The crown wheel (adjustment knob) has two positions. Pull it to the first one and you have control of the date - without altering the time at all.
Incidentally, when setting the date on this Kinetic watch, it must be done after 01.00 and before 21.00. This is should be obvious really as the date needs to turn over at midnight rather than midday!
Pull the little wheel to the second click and you have control over the time. You can "stop time" or synchronise it, or by twiddling the knob in the entirely conventional manner sending the hours and minutes backwards or forewords. Which very conveniently brings me onto the most important aspect of wearing a watch, which is:
Having already told you that this is a very clear to read, simple watch - even partially sighted people I am sure would be able to use it - what sort of time keeper is it? Well, here is the best news of all! According to "the book" Seiko claim that it is accurate to within 15 seconds per month at operating temperatures of 5degC to 35degC.
The normal operating temperature is between -10deg.C and +60degC.
I have never subjected my watch to the top end of the temperature spectrum, 35degC in the middle of Poland in the summer would be about it, I have however had it on numerous occasions to well below -15degC and on one -28degC.
Whilst these are the manufacturer's claims, I am here to delightedly inform you that between the hours going forward in the spring and back in the autumn I NEVER have to alter the time on this watch. It is much more accurate than Seiko claim. Before our twice yearly trips to Poland - I do change the time to European and back again, the time was only ever changed and synchronised twice a year - at which point I would be surprised if it were more than ten seconds out.
If my experiences with Seiko's Kinetic watch are anywhere near representative of the quality of the rest of their Kinetic range then I would unreservedly recommend this particular type of watch. My £229 proved to be money very well spent indeed!
Having done an "Ask" search, I found a whole range of Seiko Kinetic watches on the net, starting from £160, in the shops you will pay from £230 for them - just as I did over six years ago. All in all, even better value for money now than then.
I bought a Seiko Kinetic, 50m waterproof, stainless watch for my son for his 16th birthday. He chose the style, a nice looking watch with gold/stainless bracelet, lumibrite dial, and kinetic movement.
He was very pleased with it, until after about four years he noticed condensation inside the glass. He's not a diver, doesn't even swim, so it was hard to understand how a 50m waterproof watch had water inside. Anyway, we returned it to Seiko UK in Maidenhead for repair, as we wanted it done properly. Wrong.
They told me before return that I would hear in "a couple of days" what the diagnosis and price were. I actually heard a bit over a week later, that the 'seals' had failed, and the watch needed a standard service which includes seals, and pressure testing. They also said (when I rang to confirm) that they 'change the entire movement' at a service, BUT with a refurbished movement taken from someone else's watch! Kind of like putting your car in for service, and you go to collect it and are told they've changed the oil, checked the tyres, and put someone else's secondhand engine in. Would you stand for it?
I asked them simply to replace the seals, pressure test and return. After all, this watch was a gift and he had kept it externally in perfect condition, and it was keeping perfect tiem, and we didn't want secondhand tat put inside.
Another week or so passes, and I have just received a letter saying that they have 'started the repair and find more work than originally specified will be needed', to a cost now of £110.76
On telephoning them again, I am now told that they are going to fit 'casing parts' (the case was perfect and immaculate when sent to them) and still want to fit a secondhand movement because the watch has gone 'rusty'. Stainless steel divers watch? Rusty? They also wish to fit a 'crown, stem, and/or Pushbutton'. Crown? What could be wrong with that? The staff you speak to can't answer questions, only read the very limited information on the screen. They offered to have the supervisor ring me to tell me more, still waiting several hours later.
Incidentally, the offered movements are secondhand because I am told by Seiko they are no longer making this watch. Well, Argos were selling this watch new for £110 (less than the offered secondhand 'repair') until a few days ago, now sold out, and if Seiko UK had kept to their promised timescales and told me this nonsense in time, I could have clicked on the Argos watch (they had one for store collection locally) and that would have been the end of the saga for a few more years.
I am really at a loss as to what to do. I don't want to disappoint the lad by telling Seiko UK to send it back unfixed, and am also concerned about what they have done that now needs 'casing parts'. But I am equally unhappy to have it 'fixed' with secondhand parts. And how will Seiko maintain the new watches that Argos sold last week? Answer: secondhand parts.
I am just so disappointed with Seiko, just goes to show you can 'buy' a good reputation with fancy adverts.
I received my Seiko chronograph watch as a present for my 20th birthday from my girlfriend (very generous, particularly as we had only been together 4 1/2 months at the time!). She had decided ages before that she wanted to get me a watch for my birthday so that 'I could think of her every time I checked the time'. Although it seemed like a very grand gesture at the time, particularly as we are both students, I reluctantly agreed although only on the condition that she didn't go crazy!
We spent many a weekend in town looking in every jewellers window, although we could never find quite what we were looking for within her £200 budget. Id always admired Seiko watches, but I had never considered getting one before, presuming that they were too expensive. However, one particular watch in H Samuel caught my girlfriend's eye. I have to admit, at first glance it didn't look very me. Id always considered to be a 'round face' kinda guy, but this particular watch had an almost square face.
I reluctantly agreed to try it on, and subsequently fell in love with it instantly! The first thing that hits you is the weight. Seiko chronograph watches are reassuringly heavy, and durable as I have since found out. I liked the chronograph dials (all 3 of them), although I had no idea how to use them. In fact I am still yet to work out how to use the alarm, but thats down to my lazyness rather than any fault of the manufacturer!
The second thing that I noticed about the watch was the price tag. At £185 it certainly wasnt cheap, but works out at extremely good value for what you get. Seiko chronograph watches can start from a shade under £50, however I would recommend paying a little extra for a top notch model - even the top model wont set you back more than four or five hundred pounds.
In terms of looks, Seiko chronograph watches really hit the spot. They look modern, sophisticated, and expensive. My particular watch is also extremely versatile - It looks great with a suit, or with shorts and T-shirt in the gym. You can even wear your Seiko chronograph watch in the bath, or whilst swimming, however I would advise checking this with the salesperson at the time of purchase as some models are obviously more water resistant than others.
It's difficult for me to talk about specific features as they vary so much from model to model. Mine has three chronograph dials (one for the second hand, one for stopwatch, and one for alarm), tells the date, and is water resistant to one hundred metres. It looks great, feels great, and most importantly didn't cost an arm and a leg. Im not a big fan of designer watches as you can spend a fortune on something thats not terribly high quality.
My experience with my Seiko chronograph watch has been near perfect. A year and three months on it still functions perfectly, and you can barely find a scratch on it. This isn't solely down to me taking good care of it either, the glass front is well made, and hard to damage. Although unlike kinetic watches, you will need to replace the battery from time to time, this hasnt happened to me yet, and hopefully wont for some time to come. However ive been reassured that it's a simple process, and doesent cost too much.
I would definately recommend Seiko watches to any prospective buyer, the only question is of what model to choose. I originally intended to find a 'kinetic' model, however I couldn't find one that I liked enough. The lack of battery is an obvious attraction though. A similar model is called 'auto relay' which allows you to leave the watch motionless for around four or five years and it will carry on going thanks to energy stored up whilst being worn. The best piece of advice I could give is to seek advice from the salesperson to find a model which really suits your needs as Seiko watches do come at a price, but you get a lot for your money.
I own two Seiko watches, both for a number of years now. The oldest is a chronograph watch with a built in alarm, and the newer one is a Seiko Kinetic Arctura. The only times I have to adjust both watches is when the clocks change, other than that they never lose a minute. The old chronograph watch has an alarm however it's very quiet.
As for the watches themselves both are very stylish and superbly built. The Arctura is a little on the bulky side, however once on your wrist you never notice. I have found both watched to be acceptable for everyday working and weddings alike!. Seiko's are extremely robust and have excellent build quality, they have both been dropped on more than one occasion and they always seems to remain undamaged!. In particular go for one with a sapphire crystal glass face, they are almost (that is almost!) impossible to scratch.
I paid £129.99 for the chronograph watch nearly 15 years ago now and have only changed the battery twice. The Arctura was a little more expensive at nearly £500 some 2 years ago, but I know it's more than worth it as they really are a quality product.
In conclusion if you are considering a half decent watch, take a look at seiko, they are the working mans rolex!. As packard used to say "Just Ask The Man Who Owns One".