The Spirit SCVS013 features a 37.5 mm case width, a sapphire crystal, warm white dial, blued hands, classic silver SEIKO bar indices, and large outlined date window at 3 o'clock.
List Price: 37,800 Yen
Purchase Price: $260.00 (currently $329.00)
Movement: 6R15B - 23 Jewel - automatic winding (with Hand winding and Hack function)
Movement size: 27.4x5.3mm
Frequency: 6 vibrations/second
Case: Stainless steel
Claimed Accuracy : +25/-15 sec/day
Power reserve: 50 Hour
Water Resistance: 10 ATM/100m/330ft
Dimensions: 37.5 w/o Crown x 11.2mm
Front Crystal: Sapphire
Rear Crystal: Hardlex
Strap: Cordovan - Black (genuine Horsehide)
Beyond their being Seikos, there are several features that drew me to the Spirit line - the use of a new movement comparable to the ETA 2824-2, the classic, clean lines of the designs, and the very affordable price. The 013 - "Blue Spark" was my choice because of its beauty. The warm white color of the unadorned dial and the sparkling blue hands combine to create a very Japanese simplicity that is deceiving. In normal room light the hands of the 013 look almost black, but get direct light - preferably sunlight - on them and they light up with the most marvelous blue color. Here is a picture from Seiya-San that captures the blued hands better than any of my photos:
All the Spirit Mechanicals are powered by the 6R15 movement that was released in 2005. The 6R15 was upgraded about a year ago by changing 6 parts for those used in the Premier line (6R20) thereby increasing interchangeability between the two models. The picture below is of my own 013 - I was fortunate enough to receive one of the first "B" model 6R15s.
The 6 different parts are: the barrel and train wheel bridge, the movement barrel (complete), the centre wheel & pinion, the ratchet wheel, the oscillating weight and the ratchet wheel.
A reviewer from the Seiko Citizen Watch Forum made an excellent point about the Spirit line regarding their Crowns. "hacking and handwinding are frustrating options if the crown is not designed correctly. This has been a problem with SEIKO watches in the past, for instance, with the mid-'90's Alpinist that had the 4S15 caliber movement in it. That watch had a crown that was slippery and hard to grasp. The inefficent crown design made it difficult to handwind and screw down the crown on the 4S Alpinist. Not so with the new Spirits. From the side (crown is pulled out) it looks large as a water wheel. Circumference of Circle = PI x diameter = 2 PI x radius where PI =3.141592... You don't need to be a mathematician to realize the circle of the Spirit's crown is the idea diameter."
I couldn't agree more with his statement that the Spirit's crown is the idea diameter. More than that, its easy to grasp, easy to pull out, and easy to manipulate while also being beautiful.
The Spirit line comes with strap and bracelet options. The 013 comes with a Black Cordovan strap that is good for up to about 7 1/4 in wrists. Regarding the strap, the following was taken from Watch-Tanaka.Com: “band leather band (cordovan)*
* - The [kodoban] band, the gluteal area of the large-sized agriculture horse (the part of the rear end) it is something which uses the skin. There is a feature such that surface strength is strong in addition to the unique wind being agreeable, in comparison with the cow leather, is difficult to become the wrinkle.”
I swapped out the stock strap for an XL black Seiko strap with curved end pieces that started life on a Primier watch. Seen here on the SRN0051p model -
I was fortunate enough to be able to get it with a Seiko branded deployant from Yokobies. Below is my 013 with the strap - note the notches at the watch head where the screws from the Primier watches would be located.
The Spirit line from Seiko is a clear winner, as evidenced by the number of models that have been added over the past two years to the lineup. These watches have superior fit and finish, a hackable, hand-winding 23 jewel automatic movement, and great beauty in an understated Japanese way. My 013 has averaged +-4 seconds when worn regularly. Examination under 10x finds no marks on the case or crystal after nearly 2 years of ownership! This is a testament to Seiko not to my being careful - you should see some of my other watches
Overall, absolutely terrific quality. I would not hesitate to purchase my "Blue Spark" again.
I've collected photos of the 013 over the past two years from all over the net. So many other WIS are also gifted photographers, which unfortunately I am NOT, and their photos are used principally as a slide show screen saver on my home desktop computer. I have used several here, and unfortunately over time I have lost where I got most of them. Only appreciation for the skill and time of the WIS is intended by their inclusion in this review.