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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Introduction

I’ve critiqued Seiko’s upmarket push in a previous post, so I will admit it is a bit ironic that I ended up purchasing Prospex LX diver. However, the price I paid was too good to pass up (almost 50% off msrp), so I regret almost nothing. Here is my impression and review of the limited edition (1XX/200) Cermet Prospex LX SNR043.

Cermet Bezel

At first glance, the stock photos of this watch left much to be desired:

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As seen above, the watch doesn’t seem to differentiate itself from the blacked out Prospex LX diver (SNR031):

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I had huge initial doubts about Seiko’s glamorous claims about how the cermet bezel (a combination of ceramic and metal) reflected the moonlight on water at night, but I was pleasantly shocked by the sheer luster of this watch:
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The cermet bezel is nothing short of blinding at certain angles, and the dial is subtly distinct from the matte black dial of the SNR029. There is a hint of a brown-grey sunburst effect in certain lightings, which is spectacularly complemented by the golden seconds hand—a homage to the original diver.

One of the issues with many Seiko divers is a subpar bezel action. However, this bezel is surprisingly firm and gives satisfying clicks as it rotates. The sound is second only to Rolex in my opinion, as I prefer a slightly lower frequency for the bezel, but this is beyond nitpicky.

Case Sizing:

My wrist measures a bit over 6.5” on a good day, so I do not have big wrists by any means. However, this watch wears incredibly smaller than its 44.8mm diameter would suggest. A part of this is due to the black PVD coating, which makes the case appears much smaller and only highlights the dial. Another part is due to the silicone strap, which blends in perfectly with the case. Combined with a short lug length, it almost appears as if the dial is almost floating on your wrist.

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In addition, at over 15mm tall, this is also not a short watch. Yet, there is a strange beauty to the watch’s height. It provides a strong depth representative of the depths of the ocean that this watch is meant for. Here again, the black case makes the watch seem much slimmer than it is. But compared to the proportions of a Submariner, the SNR043 is definitely not intended for the board room, as it proudly shows it tool watch heritage.

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Dial

Compared to the MM300 (either SBDX023 or SBDX017), this watch’s dial definitely stands a notch above and intrudes into Grand Seiko territory.Dual curved sapphire glass provide remarkable clarify to the dial. Hour markers are well polished; the striping on the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock position glisten; all hands are immaculately polished or brush, and Seiko’s lumibrite technology never ceases to impress me. You can literally see the effects of the lume in bright light!

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In addition, gone are the problems of Seiko’s infamous, misaligned chapter rings, as everything lines up perfectly. Quality control is top notched, as expected for a watch of this price range. There are also small touches like how the chapter ring seems to wrap around the hour markers and the slightly smaller hour markers that makes this watch notably distinct from the automatic MM300. All in all, it is extremely hard to fault this watch’s dial, as I personally find it better than Grand Seiko’s diver dials even!

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Movement

Explaining the spring drive is almost redundant to Seikoholics, so I’ll just refer people here if they need a good explanation of the spring drive movement. For those familiar with this technology, it is nothing short of amazing, as the golden second hand glides beautifully across the dial. The 5R65 is a simply a non-decorated version of GS’ 9R65 movement and retains the same accuracy. With a closed case back, this simply makes polishing the movement a moot point!

Many may denounce Seiko including a spring drive in the new LX line, as it gives Seiko a reason to jack up prices, but logically, this was the next evolution for the MM300 line to bring it to modernity. Some may lament and say that Seiko should have made spring drive technology exclusive to Grand Seiko, but honestly, I have always wanted a spring drive MM300. Unlike Seiko, Grand Seiko has essentially no diving history. As gorgeous as GS divers are, they have no connection to the diving heritage of Seiko, which is why I believe it was necessary for the Seiko LX to include a spring drive.

Strap

There isn't much to say about the strap besides that fact that it feels comfortable and complements the subtle nature of the watch well. The buckle is brushed black and the wave symbol is etched into the end of the strap. If I had one qualm, it would be that the strap is a bit long for my small wrists, but that can easily be solved by switching to a different strap. Overall, it feels comfortable and secure and does no injustice.

Overall Impression

With a limited edition of only 200 pieces (400 if you include the other cermet version SNR041), this Seiko SNR043 may prove hard to find in the future. To some, Seiko may not have offered enough differentiation from its normal LX line, but I don’t think Seiko wanted much differentiation this time. But despite have only a few small tweaks in the cermet bezel and dial, this watch appears refreshingly different from the Prospex LX SNR029, SNR031, and automatic MM300.

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In 2019, Seiko’s marketing spewed off a lot of jargon about the new Prospex LX line—lower center of gravity, super-hard coating, spring drive, Ken Okuyama Design. Like many I was skeptical about these so-called improvements because the current MM300 is just so good. Though after handling and owning this LX diver, I can confidently say that these claims are not exaggerated. The watch looks and feels noticeably smaller than my MM300, but paradoxically also feels more solid. Weight is often closely correlated with a watch’s tenacity, but there is an indescribable toughness to the titanium build of this watch. In addition, the watch sits better than my MM300, which has a tendency to shift around.

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Lastly, I would encourage that those with smallish wrist to try out this watch. It wears surprisingly comfortably on the wrist, and though it does stand out, the watch never looks or feels like a behemoth. Instead, it is confident in its ability as a true diver’s watch, so what more can anybody ask for?
 
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