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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy. I'm a relative newbie to the world of Seiko divers. I have a BK auto and love it to death, but am interested in going for another Seiko diver...in line with the general design of the SKX line...but that comes standard with a solid end link bracelet (prefer auto). The only 3 autos in my price range that I've identified as fitting this criterion are the Monsters, Knights, and mini-Monsters (not an ISO rated diver but they still appeal to me)

Now, I've seen plenty of posts over the past few months from various Seiko-natics where such and such aftermarket bracelets are bought, in some case with modified end links, and joyfully attached to their SKX (usually 007, 171) divers. I frankly don't know which aftermarket bracelets also come with solid endlinks but I can research that easily enough. So 2 questions:

1) are there any other Seiko divers (JDM is fine too) that offer SEL bracelets as standard?
2) is it easy and relatively inexpensive to buy (insert name) aftermarket bracelet AND modified endlinks (if needed) and get them installed? Does this usually entail sending the watch off to whomever to fit said bracelet/endlinks combo or can it be easily done oneself?


BTW: my first impulse is to buy a 171 on rubber and go from there...it looks different enough from my BK and I really dig the dial/bezel combo.
 

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Nothing wrong with adding an aftermarket SEL bracelet to an 007 (it's on my list of things to do when I am no longer broke :mad: ) but if you'd consider quartz, the BFK is a great dive watch. Better quality case than an SKX007 or Monster (and better quality bracelet than SKX007), slick bezel action, great lume, hacking, super smooth crown threading. If you can live with the unusual hands (I love them, others hate them) and wear it often enough to keep the battery charged, it is such a great, solid watch. If it had a solid clasp (instead of the standard Seiko pressed metal tat) and a domed inner AR crystal it would be hard to fault. OK, a ceramic bezel insert would be the icing on the BFK awesomeness cake.







It comes in S/S or PVD,and the PVD is just pure badassness (if I may say so myself). A very under rated diver and at US$210 BNIB an absolute steal.
 

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I think the SKX171 would be an excellent choice. It's your basic SKX/7S26 diver, but quite unique looking. I have mine on a Seiko President bracelet, but Will Jean's Super Oyster II with solid end links would be a perfect fit.



If you like more of the classic look, this is my SKX173 on a Super Oyster with Harold's solid end links.

 

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Shademantis said:
1) are there any other Seiko divers (JDM is fine too) that offer SEL bracelets as standard?
2) is it easy and relatively inexpensive to buy (insert name) aftermarket bracelet AND modified endlinks (if needed) and get them installed? Does this usually entail sending the watch off to whomever to fit said bracelet/endlinks combo or can it be easily done oneself?


BTW: my first impulse is to buy a 171 on rubber and go from there...it looks different enough from my BK and I really dig the dial/bezel combo.
1. I can't think of any auto divers that fit your criteria (stated that you want an SKX007 or similarly styled diver). If you want to get something styled like the SKX007, then your best bet would be to purchase on of those (or its other variants) and add a SEL bracelet.

Which brings us to part II of your question:

2. Yep, it's VERY easy to source an aftermarket bracelet for the SKX007 (and other variants). The Super Oyster is generall agreed upon to be the way to go. Word is that William Jean is going to be selling a new Super Oyster with an 18mm clasp very soon, and I'd hold out for one of those. I just think a watch like the 007 will work best on a bracelet that tapers to 18mm rather than 20mm.

In terms of how easy it is to buy a bracelet and attach it on your own, it is very easy. You're more than capable of making the switch yourself. ;D

P.S. If you do decide to go with the SKX007 or one of its variants, I'd recommend getting the 007 or the 173 instead of the 171. Those represent the classic design as far as Seiko divers go. Of course, that's just my preference.
 

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+1 for being informative from UpstandingCitizen. Heard good things about the SKX007 and that Super Oyster bracelet. I finally broke down and ordered one with rubber from Island Watch, free shipping and all for under 150. Just didn't have the patience to wait for one to show up in the sales corner--anything under 140 is quickly snapped up by someone in matter of minutes. Thanks for the info. Will check on that new Super Oyster once it's out. Can't wait to snap some pictures of that soon-to-arrive 007.
 

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You can put the bracelet on yourself of have someone local do it for you. How easy it is depends on your skill and your tools.

I'm no good at changing bracelets, but getting better. Usually once something goes on or comes off, it stays that way for a while. The drilled lugs on the Monster makes changing bracelets a million times easier.

One thing to keep in mind with the aftermarket bracelets on the Seikos is if they accept the fatter springbars Seiko uses. Not only is the center part of the bar thicker, but the posts that go into the holes in the case are also thicker than a normal spring bar. Some of the guys that sell aftermarket bracelet can also provide a spring bar that is thinner in the middle, but will have thicker posts to fit the case properly. If you use a regular springbar on the Seiko case, eventually it will round out the holes on the case and then nothing will fit properly.
 

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Don't forget that endlinks only have a mostly cosmetic function, they just hide the springbar from sight and provide centering for the 1st link of the bracelet. Solid end links are heavier, and can be quite tricky to install since you can't "angle" them in usually, so they don't only have advantages.
A folded endlink that fits your watch case well doesn't look any different than a solid one once installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all the info guys...this helps me greatly in evaluating my options and beginning further research.

Problem is....now the Citizen Ny0040 and Ny0054 have crept into the mix (on rubber, no less).

>:D <---Coolest smiley ever.
 

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marin said:
Don't forget that endlinks only have a mostly cosmetic function, they just hide the springbar from sight and provide centering for the 1st link of the bracelet. Solid end links are heavier, and can be quite tricky to install since you can't "angle" them in usually, so they don't only have advantages.
A folded endlink that fits your watch case well doesn't look any different than a solid one once installed.
Ummm, sorry and respectfully disagree in all counts. Solid end links are often associated with a high quality watch and they do provide an objective function of securely keeping the bracelet attached to a heavy watch case. To say that solid end links are "merely" cosmetic is simply self-deception of the highest degree. ::)
 

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My point was made from a purely mechanical viewpoint: No significant forces are transmitted from the bracelet through the end links to the watch case. The attachment is done only via the spring bars, the end links just cover the whole affair up for better looks.
If you read my post as an attack on solid end links, I apologize. I was just stating facts as I percieve them! As a matter of fact, my "best" bracelet, the one on my "Euro" Citizen Nighthawk, has very nice solid end links. Still, for me personally, they aren't as crucial as other aspects of the bracelet / case combo.
Cheers,
Marin
 

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Shademantis said:
Howdy. I'm a relative newbie to the world of Seiko divers. I have a BK auto and love it to death, but am interested in going for another Seiko diver...in line with the general design of the SKX line...but that comes standard with a solid end link bracelet (prefer auto). The only 3 autos in my price range that I've identified as fitting this criterion are the Monsters, Knights, and mini-Monsters (not an ISO rated diver but they still appeal to me)

Now, I've seen plenty of posts over the past few months from various Seiko-natics where such and such aftermarket bracelets are bought, in some case with modified end links, and joyfully attached to their SKX (usually 007, 171) divers. I frankly don't know which aftermarket bracelets also come with solid endlinks but I can research that easily enough. So 2 questions:

1) are there any other Seiko divers (JDM is fine too) that offer SEL bracelets as standard?
2) is it easy and relatively inexpensive to buy (insert name) aftermarket bracelet AND modified endlinks (if needed) and get them installed? Does this usually entail sending the watch off to whomever to fit said bracelet/endlinks combo or can it be easily done oneself?


BTW: my first impulse is to buy a 171 on rubber and go from there...it looks different enough from my BK and I really dig the dial/bezel combo.
Hello OLD FRIEND!:

You already knew I was going to throw in my 2 cents, and here it is...I think I already convinced you to pick up a Knight, and here's one more, and among the most SOLID of all the Seiko SKX Divers!:

And with this I post another of the best and MOST SOLID of the Seiko SKX Divers!:



[hr]
- BLACK KNIGHT -

Angelis ^-^

 

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Shademantis said:
I appreciate all the info guys...this helps me greatly in evaluating my options and beginning further research.

Problem is....now the Citizen Ny0040 and Ny0054 have crept into the mix (on rubber, no less).

>:D <---Coolest smiley ever.
Flip-flopper! :p

In all seriousness though, I'd go with the SKX007 first. I can admit, however, that my suggestion is motivated by a certain amount of bias. I just prefer the classic styling of those watches, and think that they're much better when compared to their Citizen counterparts. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hear ya...not fan of the hands on the NY0040. Hell, hands and dial wise I actually prefer the Ny2300 over all the other Citizen auto divers, just a wee too small. I'm still in the early stages of my 'decision tree'...and the quartz White Knight is in the running as well.

EDIT: I really dig the 6309 Seiko. I'm just too scared that my lack of education and experience buying 'vintage' will lead me into a bad deal. But that case...that case....it just says 'own me'.
 

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SRP043K1


You can ebay one for about $300 shipped. One of the latest auto divers from Seiko, do a search they seem to get great reviews and it meets all your criteria.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ha! I just bought and flipped an SRP043k...you can still see my closed ad in the sales forum ;D And it does meet all of my criteria...which is why I bought it...it was just too tall and weighty once I handled it.
 

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a Point to make. With the exception of the aftermarket bracelet posted by MCW53, none of the watches posted thuse far have solid end-caps, at least not in the manner I take the OPs question was asked. What all of these watches pictured have is integrated bracelets mounted onto a solid straight link or pure straight links. They don't have endcaps though. It's a small but important difference. If I'm reading the OPs question correctly, what he is asking about are solid endcaps, like the ones used in watches like the Sumo (and pictured by MCW53).

If that is what is being asked, then I can't think of any that fall within that budget. That said, both Will Jean and Yobokies sell baracelets with solid endcaps made to fit a variety of different watches. You can easily start with an inexpensive seiko diver and move it to one of these bracelets and fall WELL below your budget.

marin said:
My point was made from a purely mechanical viewpoint: No significant forces are transmitted from the bracelet through the end links to the watch case. The attachment is done only via the spring bars, the end links just cover the whole affair up for better looks.
If you read my post as an attack on solid end links, I apologize. I was just stating facts as I percieve them! As a matter of fact, my "best" bracelet, the one on my "Euro" Citizen Nighthawk, has very nice solid end links. Still, for me personally, they aren't as crucial as other aspects of the bracelet / case combo.
Cheers,
Marin
I have to agree with Marin completely here. Endcaps are mainly decorative and do not provide structural support. they are there to cover the gap between the bracelet and the case and hide the spring bar, which is the actual structural member. Solid encaps might feel more solid and add extra heft to a watch, but they also have to be made to very tight tolerances and are made to fit one case exclusively. if the fit on a solid end cap is not perfect, then there is precious little you can do.

Open endcaps on the other hand, are adjustable and can be adjusted to fit tightly so tat no rattling or movement is observable. Not all open endcaps are built to the same levels of quality, and some of the cheaper ones can fatigue and open a bit over time (causing the bracelet to rattle).

The only time in which a solid end cap provides structural support (and thus outperforms an open endcap) is when the bracelet is submitted to tension that is strong enough to bend the spring bar. Because the springbar whole in a solid endcap provides a tighter fit for thespringbar and covers a larger area of the springbar, it helps distribute more of the forces that would bend a springbar to the end cap, giving the springbar (assuming the spring loaded ends don't fail) greater torsional rigidity. the more open nature of an open end cap's springbar holes, do not provide this support and would allow a springbar to bend. The point must be made though that this does not apply to normal forces acting on the watch, it only applies to forces strong enough to pull on it and bend the bar.

IMHO a good open endcap (such as swedefreak's 6309 caps) is far easier to fit and adapt and suffers from no performance shortcomings relative to a Solid end cap under the overwhelming majority of circumstances. IMHO, the very slight advantage of a solid endcap in performance if one of those things like crazy depth ratings, HRV's, crazy jewel counts, and country of provenance, which have been blown (marketed) way out of proportion with the reality of what they are, and consumer wrongly equate them with some misguided idea of product superiority.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the clarification Gabe. I've long stumbled around the concept of SEL vs folded endlinks on bracelets, and your post has finally brought some clarity to this whole thing for me.

I think some people speak of SEL when what they really are talking about is 'open capped' or whatever other variety of 'non-folded' endlinks. This is where I think I've picked it up...reading it on forums and assuming I understood the distinction.

Unfortunately, I can see now that what I want to avoid is folded endlinks. DOH! What I've been calling SEL are really the 'open-capped' endlinks...which is what all my Hamilton autos have and are perfectly fine. ( I assume my beloved Black Knight bracelet is likewise fitted with an open capped endlink).


The Orient Mako was the first auto I ever bought. And while the bracelet was pretty decent (certainly for the price), the folded endlinks became something I wanted to avoid in future watch purchases. Thus, I just assumed that any non-folded endlink is, almost by definition, a solid endlink. I welcome the correction and the open-capped variety are all that I need.
YEAH I learned a new term today. O0
 

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Shademantis said:
Thanks for the clarification Gabe. I've long stumbled around the concept of SEL vs folded endlinks on bracelets, and your post has finally brought some clarity to this whole thing for me.

I think some people speak of SEL when what they really are talking about is 'open capped' or whatever other variety of 'non-folded' endlinks. This is where I think I've picked it up...reading it on forums and assuming I understood the distinction.

Unfortunately, I can see now that what I want to avoid is folded endlinks. DOH! What I've been calling SEL are really the 'open-capped' endlinks...which is what all my Hamilton autos have and are perfectly fine. ( I assume my beloved Black Knight bracelet is likewise fitted with an open capped endlink).


The Orient Mako was the first auto I ever bought. And while the bracelet was pretty decent (certainly for the price), the folded endlinks became something I wanted to avoid in future watch purchases. Thus, I just assumed that any non-folded endlink is, almost by definition, a solid endlink. I welcome the correction and the open-capped variety are all that I need.
YEAH I learned a new term today. O0
I think your clarification needs to be a bit more clarified. ;) I believe you had it mostly right the first time.
I would describe the difference between bracelets something like.

Integrated bracelet - Usually no end piece but the pin goes through one of the links in the band like the Omega below. Usually integrated bracelets can not be swapped with another bracelet and fitting a strap is also unlikely.


Bracelets with straight end links- these bands have an end piece that is straight (not fitted to the case) and use a spring bar. These bracelets can usually be swapped with an aftermarket bracelet or a strap something like the pic below or the Seiko monster however when using a strap the connection is often not as wide as the outer width of the band (ie 20mm end piece on 22mm wide Monster band or what looks to be 20mm end piece on 24mm wide band on watch below)

Pic borrowed from post above
[img]

Then there are bracelets with end caps (SKX007, Orient Mako etc etc) where the end cap/end link is as wide or wider then the band itself.

Of these, the end caps can be solid (also called SEL or solid end links but perhaps more appropriately called solid end caps) or open (also called Hollow or folded end links)
A good pic showing the difference comes from Gabe's review of the super oyster

Here the stock folded end link is in the foreground and the aftermarket solid end cap in the background
[img]


And a nice side by side shot

[img]


As said by others the nice thing about the folded end caps is that they can be bent to fit tightly to the case. With the solid end links you get the fit it came with.

With the orient Mako (hollow end caps) I have seen and heard of a few spring bars being bent. Whether this is because of the design of the end links not giving enough support to the spring bar or because of the thinner (and possibly weaker) spring bar that Orient uses I'm not sure, but I lean towards the latter.

I haven't heard of any instances of the Fat Seiko spring bars bending and giving way (though it may be possible, I just haven't heard any complaints), so the worry of hollow end caps on these bands is minimal if not nonexistent.

And to further complicate the issue there are bracelets that are made of folded links (speaking to the band itself not the end links) like the Jubilee bracelet and bands with solid links like the super oyster.

And just for grins, here is my SKX175 on the Super Oyster from Wjean with Solid End Links and solid links. :-*
[img]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, more grist for the mill. As I ponder your post (and eat dinner) how would you characterize the differences between the endlink/endcap pieces on the back of these two watches? And how would you label them differently (if you would) in a 'for sale' post?:

1. Hamilton Field auto




2. Orient diver (CER variant)





I am all about clearing the brush out of a discussion (at least in one I'm interested in) and to come to grips with what is essential in a topic. So I sincerely appreciate your efforts in helping me 'get it'; the last thing I want to do as a fledgling watch collector is cheerfully and unknowingly spread ignorance around like it was spun gold. I'm here to learn.

And also to be a little bit evil. >:D
 
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