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Discussion Starter #1
So I browse auction sites a lot, and go through phases of bidding on all sorts of things that in the light of day I probably dont want to win. In the past i have only bought used Seiko's that I really want (mainly AGS and 7a28's but now some quartz divers that are getting to me, please await future rant I am composing for more detail). A seller always has (or had) a selection of new J. Springs (SII Seiko Instruments Inc.) watches up and I started putting in derisory offers until finally one came good. So basically for peanuts, on the morning of my 42nd birthday, as I enjoy a lie-in (and unbeknownst to me my partner and 4 yo son are busy blowing up balloons) the postman brings:



I needed a beater and wanted to learn a bit more about what could be produced at the price point, so it was fun to compare it to last weeks arrival, a JDM 7c43-7010, perhaps historically a benchmark for quartz divers? Completely unfair perhaps, but its not all bad news for the cheap and cheerful Orange Mall Diver.



The OMD is a little smaller but I have small wrists and find it well suited, with a lot less weight proportionately, but then I was shocked by the weight of the 7c. The OMD certainly tries to talk the talk: 200m rated, screw down knurled crown, nicely domed hardlex crystal, Seiko-esque combination of brushed and polished case surfaces, decent feeling wave vent strap, OK lume... none of it compares on quality with the 7c but then it only cost the same as parking a car in downtown San Francisco for a day. No point comparing the movements, the OMD Pulsar derived V-whatever against the high torque 7c43 isnt really relevant.



Interesting data point, fun to see what can be done for so little cost to manufacture, an Orange dial to add to the line up (I was hoping it would come in time for the recent Oange Dial thread), and a beater that I can plunge in a puddle or whack off the wall and who cares?
 

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Desk Diver

Cocktail Diver

now, Mall Diver....that's great!

That's a nice looking watch with a lumed pip and second hand to boot.

Happy Birthday!
 

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Hi Mark,
I have the black dial one:



I agree 100% with your assessment of this watch: while not a bad value at its present price, it's not - by far - at the same level of quality as the usual Seiko divers, whether quartz or mechanical. I use it as a beater when I go to the swimming pool, as I don't mind getting it scratched/dinged.

Edit:

I'll just add a couple of remarks about this watch minor or major failings, depending on how you see them.
[list type=decimal]
The crown does not screw in/out smoothly.
The quartz movement is just acceptable. It uses a small silver oxide battery that provides only three years operation (at most).
The lume is acceptable (not as bright as Seiko or Citizen or Orient) for 30 seconds, it fades very quickly after that.
[/list]The rough crown thread I can easily forget, it's really a minor annoyance. The lume can always be redone, although that's already major surgery, but then again how often do we really need good lume ? But the battery issue is imho a major one. Casio makes a quartz "desk diver" that uses a 10 year lithium battery, and it costs about the same as the J.Springs, so why can't Seiko do the same ? :-[

Cheers,
Andrew
 

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Ah yes, J. Springs. This is one f those seiko sub brands that is constantly looked over. Sadly most of their models, spec-wise, don't match the looks of their watches. Even Alba comes in with higher speced watches. It really is too bad. I've had their blue world time model on my sights for years, but have never pulled the trigger on one:

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gabe, I dont know what normal retail is on a J. Springs product or an Alba to get a feel for cost/quality. I do get the feeling the J. Springs appeal is aimed at a Mall audience where appearance is more relevant than features, but I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonably specced it was even if the implenetations are all pretty lightweight. But then for about $25 my expectations can be very low!
 
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