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Authored by inohm

So after taking a long while to decide between this and the Alpinist (SARB015) I decided that I should stick a little on the conservative side.

I ordered from Chino watch, and the experience was great, it took about a week to get here, but they shipped it mere hours after I sent the paypal. Outstanding promptness, Chino's reputation is well deserved, and he also sent some beautiful Japanese post cards.

First impressions: the watch is beautifully constructed, I have not felt a watch with such heft and with such a solid feel. The brushed surfaces are smooth to the touch, and the links are rounded slight at the edges.

The dial is solid black, and the hands are flat and polished, with a white strip sandwiching a triangular strip of lume. After using the Seiko SNK803 'flieger' for a while the superior legibility of shiny hands on black takes some getting used to!


However, in direct sunlight the dial shimmers a deep brown which changes with the direction of the light. I really love small details like this! Seiko clearly didn't just slap a black face on there, when they easily could have.


Closeup of the 6R15 movement and 'Geneva' striping on the rotor, so far accuracy has been good, +5s after two days, lying dial up during the night. Note the solid endlinks, the bracelet moves silently, no unseemly clinking.


Though the top of the case is brushed, the sides are curved and highly polished. Nicely signed crown :D


Here you can see that the top of the case has a layer that is brushed and set on top of the rest of the polished case. This watch might have a very classic (boring) design, but is full of small touches like this.


The short clasp is much smaller than what I've seen in other Seikos with bracelets, and is almost square rather than rectangular. Some pressure is required to close it, the resulting click is very reassuring!


One more pic with the clasp undone:


And finally, a wrist shot. A member here has kindly posted wrist shots of his white version (SARB035), so here is the black to complete the set. With 5 links on each side this watch fits perfectly on my 6.25" wrist. The bracelet balances the case such that the arm never feels weighed down.


A word about the links--they are the infamous pin & collar style, but by going on google I found this tutorial
, and with two paperclips and a plastic ruler I was able to size it with no fuss, and for free. Unlike the monster, the collar sits inside the middle link, it took me at least 30 minutes to figure this out.

I hope this review was informative and the pics useful! (autofocus motor broke on my lens, this was all done with manual focus)

[update]

A small detail I noticed that could be important for some, is that there are only two micro-adjustment holes on the clasp, and one has to be used, so after sizing with links, you can adjust +/- 3mm, and that's it.

I also forgot to mention the lume, of which there is a small point at every hour marker. It glows quite well after getting a good burst of light, but this lasts maybe 3 hours, and there just isn't enough surface area there to last any longer. Still, it ain't a 300m diver, so it's all good :D .
 
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