The Black Monster
Seiko have a rich history in producing divers watches that started back in 1965 with the 62mas, and they continue to make professional divers watches today. Collectors go mad for good examples of Seiko’s early models and the prices they reach reflect this.
Today I wanted to have a look at what was my first ‘proper’ watch and arguably the watch that kick started my interest in all things watch related!
- Case diameter:42mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Crown: Screw down at 4 o’clock
- Date: Yes-Day/Date window at 3 o’clock
- Bezel: Uni-directional with 120 clicks
- Crystal: Hardlex
- Water Reistance: 200m
- Movement:7s26 21 jewel automatic
This particular watch was maufactured in 1999 and I think it is testament to Seiko’s build quality that despite the watch never being serviced it is still keeping time to around +10s per day which is more than acceptable to me. The lume is aslo still stupidly bright (somehing that Seiko is reknowned for and one of my favourite traits in a watch is awesome lume)!
The monster is a hefty bit of kit, especially on the original bracelet which features a divers extension. The weight isn’t off-putting though, as the watch has short and stubby lugs which makes it fit nicely against the flat of my wrist. I tend to wear this on a Nato strap a lot of the time, which obviously significantly reduces the weight. When it’s not on a nato strap then it’s quite likely to be on a Strapcode super engineer or mesh bracelet, both of which I find suit the watch really well.
The screw down at crown is located at 4 o’clock which is a feature I enjoy on a dive watch to avoid the crown digging in to the back of the hand. The crown itself is knurled to provide grip for unscrewing/screwing. Even after 18 years the crown on this screws down nice and smooth with a reassuring 4 or 5 turns and it feels like it will continue to do so for many more years.
The watch has a unidirectional bezel with 120 ‘clicks’, obviously a real diver would use this to time their dives, if I’m being honest I mostly use it for timing whatever it is I am cooking whilst wearing it! Another feature handy for a diver is that the inner circumference of the bezel sits almost flush with the crystal but this raises slightly towards the outer circumferance giving an almost bowl effect. This helps to protect the crystal from knock against rocks etc whilst diving, or in my case against the tap whilst doing the dishes!
The dial is no fuss, and very much what you would expect from a Seiko diver, as in very functional and tool watch like. The matte black dial features the ‘SEIKO’ text in its top half, and ‘AUTOMATIC DIVERS 200M’ in the lower half, both in white. The lume plots are a mixture of small and large rectangles for the hour markers, apart from the 12 o’clock marker which looks a little bit like a shield. The day and date window at 3 o’clock is outlined in white and the letters/numbers are white on a black date wheel, the shape of the window almost matches the lume plot for the 6 o’clock marker which balances up the dial nicely.
A feature of this watch that I find pleases me more than it should is when it’s 12 o’clock, the sword shaped hour hand and the arrow shape of the minute hand line up and form the shape of a space rocket, you know, the type you used to draw as a kid, I believe this has been dubbed “Rocket Time” by Seiko lovers! Of course the hour markers and the watch hands are as per usual with Seiko full of Lume which as I said earlier shines like a torch even after just a small exposure to light.