These are two of the first watches I bought. The black dialed one is a Seiko Spirit SCVS003 and the white dialed one is a SARB035. In comparing these two it seems to me that they are extremely similar, using the same case and movement. The dial is slightly different in terms of writings on it and the position of the lume dots. Otherwise for all purposes they are almost the same identical watch.
At 39 mm of diameter (more or less) they are normal size dress type watches. But in my view they are more. It may be hard to explain but I will try as best as I can. The feel that I get when I pick up one of these watches is something of the upmost quality. The weight, looks, the feel when touching the watches, all communicate high quality. When the watch is on the wrist I can almost feel the beat of the movement being different from the normal Seiko 5 and SKX divers. I don't want to sound esoteric or weird, but I can feel the difference.
As a comparison I had a few Seiko 5 watches which I modded in the past and even recently, they are essentially the same case size and similar looks. However, while the Seiko 5 is nice and quality made, it does not compare one bit to either one of these. In other words, the heft, solidity, fit, finish, looks, reflection, pattern, attention to detail, etc. is superior in any way shape and form. I could say the same if I was comparing these to a Seiko Monster which in my opinion is a very well made watch.
The case back is see through but i don't really care for it much, no one can see it anyway when the watch is on the wrist. The crystal is sapphire while the case back glass is hardlex, I believe. The crown is signed with an S on it, nicely sized, easy to grab, pull, use to adjust the date or time and even to wind the watch. Yes this movement hacks and handwind. It is smooth and solid.
In comparison to other basic Seiko movement it seems more stable and more capable of keeping time with very little variation, no matter the way the watch sits, rests or is stored. It is also easier to adjust in my opinion.
The black dial is deep black, shiny and for the life of me, I can't take a good photo of it. The white one is a little patterned, also it is not really white but more off white or light cream colored. Both are beautiful. The indices and the hands are highly polished and reflect the light incredibly well. Both are easy to read in any condition due to this and the contrast these create with the dial color.
The lume areas are small, just dots on the indices. Close to the bezel for the black Spirit and close to the center for the SARB. Both are bright and last a long time, in keeping with Seiko superior legendary lume quality.
The watches are fairly tall (for a dress watch) at 11 or 12 mm. This is not bad but I have seen larger watches with an ETA movement being thinner. I believe that part of the reason is that the Seiko movement is a bit taller then the general ETA one. The bracelets are exceptional, made with solid link, solid end link and great clasp. The only complaint I have with these is that there are only 2 micro adjustments othe clasp making it potentially harder to find the perfect fit, at least for certain wrist sizes. For example I had to purchase an extra link for both watches to fit my over 8" wrist, however while one bracelet fits almost OK, the other one is either too large (loose) or to small (tight)... I also swapped the bracelets putting the SARB bracelet (oyster) on the Spirit and the Spirit bracelet (multy link) on the SARB model as I liked them better that way. The adjustment is made via the usual Seiko pin and collar type which, while being efficient, is a pain in the rear to do. The collar is so small that it is easy to lose or misplace. I never done it and have all of the parts, but I can see that if one drops on the carpet it could be a major ordeal trying to find it.
Both keep great time within a few seconds per day. I feel these are great watches and a great value if, like me, one get them off the forums from someone who has pre-loved them. They favorably compare to the Steinhart/Debaufre watches as well as the Glycine watches I own. They look a lot like Grand Seikos and for a fraction of the price, they are great fitting replacements for the more expensive brothers.
Please enjoy the pics, sorry for the dust specs and for not being able to capture the full beauty of these watches.