I just received this watch a couple of days ago and it has became my favorite. I actually liked it at first sight almost one year ago, when I firs glimpsed it one a forum's post. However a brief search and exorbitant price (at least for me) smothered my interest at that time. Months later it started to pop up on the forums, sales posts. I snatched this from a great guy who had it and only used it for a few days.
As usual the original rubber band had to go, and I fitted a leather band that I had available. This is 22 mm shaved and sqeezed down to 20mm at the lugs. Even though I was not sure about it, the result was quite pleasing to my eyes.
The watch has been photographed and reviewd multiple times, so I won't get into many details. However I have to mention that it is 44 mm wide and it is rated for 200 m water resistance. The crystal is hardlex and the body steel. It is only a couple of mm wider then the Seiko Monster but due to the dial and bezel design the impression on the wrist is that of a larger watch. This is exactly what I needed as I decided that the Seiko Monster looks too small for me.
The dial is my favorite color, black. The hands and markers are white and create a stark contrast that makes time easy to tell in every condition. The readability is excellent at all times. No idea if there is any AR treatment but for sure there is no problems in telling the time at a glance. This is one of my favorite features and one of the main reaons for buying a watch.
I also like the design and the pilot/military inspiration. In fact originally I had purchased the dial and hands from Yobokies and cusomized one of my Seiko Monsters with these. However the combination of the dial, hands and bezel on this particular case are much more fitting, at least in my opinion.
The lume is great, not as bright as the Seiko Monster but close. I did not have any trouble at any moment and in any light condition, to tell what time it was. The lume is bright and long lasting. This is one of THE reasons to buy Seikos.
Otherwise the watch is very comfortable on the wrist, it sits flat on mine and the weight is well distribuited over the whole surface including the lugs. Talking about lugs, the width for the spring bar is 20 mm, which makes this more suited to a bracelet. The original one flares out to 24 or 26 mm tapering at the buckle. The strap I put on may seem awkard at some times due to the share thickness of the lugs themselved. My thought is that if the width was 22 mm and the lugs a little slimmer, it would make the watch look better. But this is not a big deal at all, and in fact I like more and more the look of this watch with this leather strap I put on. To mention also that the lugs are drilled through which makes changing strap a breeze also to these strap-changing-challanged individuals.
The crown is great, it is big and easy to grasp. It is a lot easier to screw down then the one of the Seiko Monster for example, even with the protective sides. The screwing is a little rough but positive and intuitive.
I could not see any flaws with the finish and the fit. The material used seems the same usual steel used by Seiko which is good quality per what I can tell. The crystal is Hardlex and for the price I wish it would be sapphire.
I don't use the bezel but this is tight and easy turning, but not as easy as to do it by itself.
The movement is the newer 4r15 of which I don't know much. However it apparently has 52 hours of power reserve which is better then the regular 7s movement and on par with the higher end 6r15 movement used on the SARB line. Therefore I can speculate that it is at least higher grade then the basic movement in that it must have at least a better, bigger spring. Also it appears to be better regulated as it keeps time within a few seconds a day (2-3) which is much better then any 7s movement watches I have had unless I personally adjusted them.
I was looking for a big diver watch, but anywhere I looked I only saw $500 divers. Then I focused on this, it may not be a 500 m diver, it may not be the heaviest or biggest, but it does all it should do well, to me this is a winner. If you like the style, then you have also a bonus.
Sorry for the dust, lint etc. I hope you enjoy.