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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive the large photos and long post.

So you have an itch for a MarineMaster 300 but don't know whether the $2600 MSRP for the SBDX001 is worth it, or whether you could get an EXACT copy for $260 from Sharkey...

Well let's start by meeting our challengers.



The initial impression is that they are very similar and one might look at this photo and say "Same watch, different name".

They have the same Vibe, the same shape, the same dial layout, the same bracelet pattern. It would be easy to dismiss the cost difference and happily save the $2240 off the MSRP, but given the age of the MM300 (SBDX001), there are ample sources of second hand versions ranging from $1200-$1800 depending on the kit, which means the REAL cost difference is somewhere around $1200.

Ok, Why spend the $1200? You get a better watch. Not just mechanically with the Seiko's 8L35 movement, but also the finish and the fact that the un-seen portions of the watch (Seals, gaskets, etc) are ISO rated for 300M verses the Sharkey's 300M label.

Let's move on to some portions of the watch itself.

1. Springbars.

Sharkey on the Left, Seiko on the right. Note that my Seiko is second hand and old, and the Sharkey is brand new.





The Sharkey springbar is slightly longer. You can see a difference in the machining on the part, so it's easy to say that the Sharkey doesn't use Seiko bars in their watch.

2. Bracelets.

The SBDX001 gets alot of hate on the size of the clasp and the "Gaps" between the links.

I sized both bracelets to fit my own small, 6.5" wrists. You can see from the first photo that the lengths are the same. What is interesting is the differences in lengths when the clasp is open.


In the following picture you can see the clasp on the Seiko opens up wider, allowing a larger hand to fit through comfortably.


The Seiko's ratcheting dive extension further extends the difference.


The bracelets have a similar appearance on the surface of the links, but the links have entirely different construction.

Seiko on top, Sharkey on the bottom.


Endlinks. Machined vs Cast (Seiko on the left)



The external finishing on both is similar, with the sharkey's One-piece link showing a much flatter topography.

Sharkey:


Seiko:


Both of the watch bracelets fit the original Seiko SBDX001







Continued on next Reply.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
3. The Watch Head.





When i look at photos of watches, together, one watch always seems more centered, causing a fish-eye effect on the outer edges of the other. So to combat that, here are two shots with the watches swapped in position:






From here out, expect two shots of almost Identical orientation comparing the two watches with the SHARKEY going first then the SEIKO following it. As you scroll down past these photos, pay close attention to the finishing edges between Brushed and Polished surfaces.


























Continued....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

















The next photo is a bit deceiving. In person the Seiko lume glows 3x brighter than the Sharkey when given a full sunlight charge... It's hard to capture as the Seiko's washes out in the overexposed shots.






Ok, so now that you've scrolled through a TON of photos, what do you think?

Did you see the case finishing?
Did you see the dial text?
Did you see the date wheel?
Did you see the Bracelet?
Did you see the Bezel?
Did you see the Lume?

Or did you only see the $$$$?
 

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Thanks, thats an impressive review of the pair together.

Great value for money and the Sharkey is great value as well for the price they are, imo.
 

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A very educational toe-to-toe about two watches that I know very little about.

If I do ever jump into the deep end in search of a diver, I'll keep this in mind. Thanks for your time and impressive exercise of discernment. I'll admit, staring at MM/the Sharkey for this long has me one step closer to wanting a Seiko diver of my own.

Time will tell! I'll first have to be convinced enough to begin extensive research into divers, which I've currently very little (only passive) knowledge of, limited to having read all of you guys obsessing over them. ;)
 

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A very educational toe-to-toe about two watches that I know very little about.

If I do ever jump into the deep end in search of a diver, I'll keep this in mind. Thanks for your time and impressive exercise of discernment. I'll admit, staring at MM/the Sharkey for this long has me one step closer to wanting a Seiko diver of my own.

Time will tell! I'll first have to be convinced enough to begin extensive research into divers, which I've currently very little (only passive) knowledge of, limited to having read all of you guys obsessing over them. ;)
Dude. You need to pop your cherry. Get an SKX007 and be done with it. It will be like a diver gateway drug.
 

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Thanks for the great write up and quality photos! I must admit the mm300 is a personal favourite even though I’ve never actually held one in the metal. This sharky however, seems to be quite a good test drive/gateway into the real deal... definitely good for thought!

As a side note, What’s the general consensus around here of these sharky watches? I mean they’re clearly homage pieces but then again... ?

Cheers, lou


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Great write up...thanks for the time and effort! Really nice job!

The Sharkey folks did a nice job also. Some of the details are clearly lacking but overall I was surprised. Pretty good “homage.”

In the end, though, it’s nothing more than a $240 knock off of an MM. Cheap Chinese movement, no warranty. It’s no different than the Parnis knockoffs of Rolex, Panerai, etc.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not judging. I’m fine with Sharkey making them, and fine with folks buying them. Just like I am with Parnis, Alpha, etc. I even respect them to a certain degree for doing a nice job and providing reasonable value. But in the end, it’s a cheap knockoff. These things just hold no appeal to me.

When I wanted a Rolex but couldn’t afford one, I could have bought an outright fake, or I could have bought something that looked like a Rolex. Instead, I bought a diver that had its own design and style. Less than $200.

Funny....it was a Seiko.













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I posted some comments on another forum regarding this, but wanted to add here that I think the Sharkey piece really could have been much better.. clearly the technology and manufacturing facilities exist there.

But for some reason, they gave us just a few small details to complain about.. lume pip.. wouldn't have been that hard to make that perfect...date window and date wheel.. would have been just as easy to really get this right..same amount of work and the case finishing.. probably the easiest to get this right.. they've got the machines over there that could have made small work of this.

So, then the question is..why? They could have made it just that much better.

Maybe the answer is that is sort of leads us to wanting the real thing all the more and that imitation truly is the most genuine form of flattery.

Great job on the side by side comparo!

Mike
 

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Very nice pics, thanks for the post.

Do Merkur do a version of this Watch? The sharkey pips are awful & Merkur seem to have nicer Ones. But then you’ve got the horrible name to look at.

I think the Sharkey is astonishing VFM the biggest factor for me (and I have a merkur Tuna which is also amazing value at £119) is not the details on a macro level (which yes I can see them all) but what you mentioned about water resistance.

I do think it shows us just how much money it takes to run such a large global company. I can’t see how the Seiko costs a lot more to produce than the sharkey but yet it’s 10 times the price.

There’s a thread on another forum about Rolex at the moment. I’m wondering what happens in a few years when they actually perfect the replicas. There will be a time when they perfect every detail and it’s quite scary really, I wouldn’t want to be buying a sub then.

What’s worrying with these Seiko ‘homages’ is if they replicate the back and parts of them get swapped on originals. If I was buying an MM used I wouldn’t know if it was a sharkey based case if I didn’t have a real one to compare.
 

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Very nice pics, thanks for the post.

Do Merkur do a version of this Watch? The sharkey pips are awful & Merkur seem to have nicer Ones. But then you’ve got the horrible name to look at.

I think the Sharkey is astonishing VFM the biggest factor for me (and I have a merkur Tuna which is also amazing value at £119) is not the details on a macro level (which yes I can see them all) but what you mentioned about water resistance.

I do think it shows us just how much money it takes to run such a large global company. I can’t see how the Seiko costs a lot more to produce than the sharkey but yet it’s 10 times the price.

There’s a thread on another forum about Rolex at the moment. I’m wondering what happens in a few years when they actually perfect the replicas. There will be a time when they perfect every detail and it’s quite scary really, I wouldn’t want to be buying a sub then.

What’s worrying with these Seiko ‘homages’ is if they replicate the back and parts of them get swapped on originals. If I was buying an MM used I wouldn’t know if it was a sharkey based case if I didn’t have a real one to compare.


That’s actually something I’ve been thinking about! Especially since I’ve seen a post or two here about swapping sharkey dials with original seiko ones... at a quick glance it could pass of as the real deal...


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Thank you for the GREAT pics!

Sharkey is really amazing!

I'm wondering - is it possible to manufacture 62MAS homage in such high quality? Dial material, color and finish could be the problem.... :confused:

Re: date disc. On SBDX001 (and its variants) the date disc is really something special, I think this would be the most complicated part to duplicate. It is finely brushed steel that looks like satin silver and has couple coats of lacquer.
 

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62MAS rip off...I would not put it past them :biggrin:

i am a bit on the fence with all this Sharkey/Murker Seiko rip off subject. How can you say there is no IP infringement. Looks like a copy to me, OK the brand name is different but it is obvious what the watch is meant to be and the reason why it has been manufactured. To exploit Seiko's reputation for their own gains without the expense and skill of designing their own watch or carrying out R & D. IP does not register on the Chinese radar and from what I gather is unenforceable.

On the other hand I have a Sharkey and a Murker Tunacan rip off. I bought them because the orange Sharkey is something Seiko do not make with the orange dial and the Murker because I wanted a beater SBBN015 with a mechanical movement. I also have 4 Seiko Tunas so I have given Seiko a good run buying their watches that I want.

The reason for the difference in price is obvious, other than lesser manufacturing standards, materials and lack of attention to detail the makers of Sharkey and Murker do not have to run a multi national company infrastructure, pay skilled workers the going rate, run R & D etc and are not put effort into maintaining prestige, advertising, distribution, and guarantees.

I think at the end of the day if you aspire to a SBBN or SBDX then save up and get one but if you want a look a like because you like the style get a Chinese rip off, they are OK but not as good and not a like for like substitute for the real deal.
 

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Just to be more clear: I actually meant that Sharkey is amazing FOR ITS PRICE.
In this case, the original is the watch that is still in production, it can be purchased new or used, but in good condition.

I was really nuts about sbdx001 until I tried it - it was too high and too top - heavy. I didn't buy it. I would buy hommage watch (or rip off, if some of you prefer) ONLY if original is very hard to find in "mint" condition, or really too expensive for what it actually is.

I think that the price for sbdx001, regarding attention to fine details and finish - is quite good.
 

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"How can you say there is no IP infringement. Looks like a copy to me, OK the brand name is different but it is obvious what the watch is meant to be and the reason why it has been manufactured. To exploit Seiko's reputation for their own gains without the expense and skill of designing their own watch or carrying out R & D. IP does not register on the Chinese radar and from what I gather is unenforceable".


Agree with Mike here..the question you have to ask yourself here is; would merkur or Sharkey have made any of their copies if Seiko wouldn't have already created the market for the style?

IP theft can be proven through the clause "in part or in whole"

Seiko probably isn't sweating it because they know people will buy the copies and when those watches break down, loyalists will come running back to originals.. that and the fact that it's hard to get too excited about buying a fake.. nothing like the real deal.

Seiko still represents one of the best value's for quality watches..no matter what level you buy at.

Mike
 

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The thing about the moral standing is I wouldn’t mind betting 90% of the people who buy these watches are already Seiko geeks like myself, many buyers I’ve seen even have the original version it’s based on.

There may be some people out there that have bought it off its own merit (not even knowing the original but looking at the spec) if that’s the case then they are unlikely to be spending £1500 on the Seiko equivalent anyway.

I’m not sure it hurts Seiko in any way to be honest. In fact they sell sharkey/Merkur their movements so...

The only reason I bought the tuna one was because I was looking into the tuna Mod and that wouldn’t have lost Seiko a sale because I was thinking old diver modified. For £119 I’ve got a superb tuna case, Seiko hacking & hand winding mvt, ceramic bezel, AR Coated sapphire crystal, a lovely supple dive strap and a crap brand name (looking to totally sterilise this with a 7002 plain dial)

I’m not sure I’d buy a MM300 clone though but my thinking behind the Tuna is there’s plenty of people who’ve modded Seiko’s into tunas and a sterile Merkur Tuna is almost a Mod Watch for me.
 

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"How can you say there is no IP infringement. Looks like a copy to me, OK the brand name is different but it is obvious what the watch is meant to be and the reason why it has been manufactured. To exploit Seiko's reputation for their own gains without the expense and skill of designing their own watch or carrying out R & D. IP does not register on the Chinese radar and from what I gather is unenforceable".


Agree with Mike here..the question you have to ask yourself here is; would merkur or Sharkey have made any of their copies if Seiko wouldn't have already created the market for the style?

IP theft can be proven through the clause "in part or in whole"

Seiko probably isn't sweating it because they know people will buy the copies and when those watches break down, loyalists will come running back to originals.. that and the fact that it's hard to get too excited about buying a fake.. nothing like the real deal.

Seiko still represents one of the best value's for quality watches..no matter what level you buy at.

Mike
Again, we have to look at language and what words mean.
IP theft or infringement only exists if the owner of the IP has patented, copyrighted or registered aspects of the watch.
I'm not making excuses for the copyists, only pointing out that they don't actually have to ignore IP in most cases if it is not protected.

It also matters if IP owners have renewed old patents or trademarks and enforced copyrights. Most of the copiers will be well aware of expired patents and lapsed trademarks and will take advantage of it. Of course, in this case, it can be argued that their is infringement based on prior history but /I doubt it would stand up in court.

Part of the problem is that Seiko does not seem to care as it very rarely pursues infringement when it is real. Rolex and Panerai have huge legal teams that do actively chase this stuff. A couple of years ago they came to the forums with cease and desist orders for the site owners to control pictures of anything that infringed on patents, copyright and trademarks. Several eBay sellers were also shut down and links to their sights are routinely blocked on the forums.
 

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Again, we have to look at language and what words mean.
IP theft or infringement only exists if the owner of the IP has patented, copyrighted or registered aspects of the watch.
I'm not making excuses for the copyists, only pointing out that they don't actually have to ignore IP in most cases if it is not protected.

It also matters if IP owners have renewed old patents or trademarks and enforced copyrights. Most of the copiers will be well aware of expired patents and lapsed trademarks and will take advantage of it. Of course, in this case, it can be argued that their is infringement based on prior history but /I doubt it would stand up in court.

Part of the problem is that Seiko does not seem to care as it very rarely pursues infringement when it is real. Rolex and Panerai have huge legal teams that do actively chase this stuff. A couple of years ago they came to the forums with cease and desist orders for the site owners to control pictures of anything that infringed on patents, copyright and trademarks. Several eBay sellers were also shut down and links to their sights are routinely blocked on the forums.
Some years ago I put a picture of the Rolex logo on a website I had at the time, within 7 days I had a Rolex lawyer onto me and threatened me with legal action and costs of $100K if it wasent removed within 24 hours, it was removed within 5 mins :)

Quite impressive really.
 
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