Seiko SBDX001 Marinemaster Review.
Firstly, I'm a true novice at this reviewing thing so everything written here is just my personal opinion. I'll stay away from all the technical stuff and leave it to the experts as I'm truly not qualify to comment.
OK the MM has been on my wrist a full day now and its running a respectable plus 5 seconds (which is actually about the same as my black Sumo when I first got that). I don't know, it could be because I only gave it about 10 wounds before putting it on yesterday. I guess the real test is how it goes over the course of 1 week minimum.
How do I feel so far about this watch? One word - "stunning". Actually make it two words -"stunning & satisfy". Every parts I look, aesthetically it just oozes quality, precision and touches the right buttons for me.
But I must admit, it is quite shiny compared to what I had in mind or saw from pics before ordering (I didn't get a chance to see the watch in person before this). This is not really a problem for me, as all I'l be doing is desk diving and the occasional pool swim with it. I'll leave the tougher environment and activities for my Sumo. Anyway for me, it definitely could pass as a sporty dress watch for the office. I previously thought it would be too big and thick and wouldn't be able to wear it other than on the weekend with my office environment weekdays. But the Sumo is actually bigger on the wrist which I have had no problem wearing under the shirt. The MM sits higher but not ridiculous at all. I have an average size 6.5inch wrist.
One part I really like about the MM but didn't notice from looking at pics prior is the date aperture. The background of the date is not white. It is a touch of metallic/steel much like the steel of the hands. This detail just adds to the crispness of reading the date apeture. At the right angle, it actually shines and I guess would make it ideal underwater with light reflection making it easier reading (not that you would need to read the date underwater). But its the detail we appreciate right!
The hands on the MM is really really nice quality. The two long parallel edges on the hour and minute hands are angled and polished (much like you would find on some of the Grand Seiko hands). The brush steel finish on the main surface on the hands really goes well with the lumbrite and the polished edges. Again with the hands you will notice the quality.
I also notice the colour of the stainless steel case is different from your normal Seiko (from the pieces I own anyway). Technically I don't know for sure, but I reckon it uses a higher quality grade stainless steel. It has a tinge of yellowness to it looking from a distant in a good way (eg. sort of white gold-like). The cut and line of the case also looks sharper. The mono-piece case obviously a feature of this helium gas diver is also really nice. It really gives the case viewed from the back a really sleek and uncomplicated look compared to your normal divers with the hexa-screw caseback. I guess this mean less dirt and grims in those nasty places we normally find on our divers.
The bezel is really beautiful IMO. It is shiny almost ceramic-like finish. I really have no idea how scratch resistance this is - well I'm not going to deliberately test it out anyway. Again for me its not a problem (yet) as I take rather good care of my watches when I wear them. The main problems I normally have with my watches are scratches to the bracelet from the usual desk diving. So knowing this, I have switched it onto the rubber (but also main reason is because it is really hot and humid in Hong Kong right now and the rubber holds the watch inplace better).
Talking of bracelet, the diver extension on the MM is really innovative and impressive. Has Seiko patented this? I'm sure they must have. If not they 100% should. The ease of use and functionality for would-be diver with thick wetsuits definitely makes this really useful. It is much better than the Rolex SeaDweller diver extension. Simply push the flip-lock clasp back a little and you can slide the diver extension back and forth with ease. Diver-friendly is what I'm trying to say.
So, having owned the Sumo and very impress with it, I was initally reluctant to get the MM because it was so similar in so many way but almost 4 times the cost. But now having the MM, I actually feel they are different in so many way also. The Sumo and the impressive 6R15 is great bang for your buck diver. It is a class watch and definitely a winner by Seiko. But the MM, this baby is in a class of its own for its price range. It can certainly go toe-to-toe and come out on top with many of the Swiss divers that are in a higher price range. If the Sumo is great bang for the buck, than at 4 times the price, the MM is still value for money IMO. I guess for newbie Seiko lover like me, I'm just glad that I finally found out about Seiko. Better late to the club than never right?
Hope you will enjoy the following pics. I have only selected a few to post here as there are way too many. So if you want to view the full album, just email me and i'll send you the link to my MM album.
Now for some wristshots
My apology for the length of this post.