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  1. #1
    Member Aaron Weikart's Avatar
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    SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Hello everyone. After suggestions, I've decided to put my SEA-GULL M199s review in the actual review forum. I've had the watch for about 3 months, so I will post the initial review of the new watch, and then I will post the follow up 3-month review in a separate post. Enjoy my review of possibly the most beautiful chronograph I've ever seen, and owned.

    What is SEA-GULL? SEA-GULL is china's first export watch brand, and was started in 1955. Over the years they have developed into a prestigious mechanical watch company, with tourbillons, repeaters, chronographs, and the such. Tianjin SEA-GULL factory is responsible for creating 1/3rd of the entire world's mechanical movements. SEA-GULL is probably a brand that most people have not heard of yet. Many believe that because it is Chinese, it's crap. Actually, that is what I thought about all Chinese watches, because I was a Swiss snob. Then I pressed the chronograph button that is connected to a hand-made column wheel chronograph, and I was blown away from that day forward. I'm hooked. Quality is something I adore, and something that my SEA-GULL has. Now that you have a short overview, let me give you the review:



    November 3rd, 2008, 4:25 p.m.
    Into the driveway. The gorgeous ~crackle~ comes from the Jaguar XJ6's exhaust as it downshifts from second, to first gear. I check the mailbox. Its here.

    November 3rd, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
    I lay the box on my bed, the sun shining through the forest and into my window. ~Slink~ The blade clicks into place.


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:32 p.m.
    It is packed nicely, and nothing is damaged.


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:34 p.m.
    Inside of the box: the shipping invoice, and a very handy manual for the watch translated in English along with precautions. No I won't show you the invoice.
    The Manual:


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:36p.m
    The presentation box. The beautiful sleeve the covers the box is interesting.
    The box with the sleeve on it:


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:37 p.m.
    The sleeve is removed, the box is exposed. It is very durable on the outside (I am guessing for shipping) I am a little disappointing with the box, but it is still nice, and protected my watch.
    The box with the sleeve removed, notice the silver lettering:


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:48 p.m.
    The top of the box smoothly slides off vertically and exposes the conservative felt innards with the beautiful blue manual, and, of course, the watch... just sitting there.
    The box, with the top removed, exposing the pretty blue manual (all in Chinese) wrapped in a ribbon, and of course the breath-taking watch:

    November 3rd, 2008. 4:39 p.m.
    I get the watch out, and take all the protective stickers off. I lay it down on my oak desk. Beautiful. It makes my Rolex look vulgar and unprofessional.

    November 3rd, 2008. 4:40 p.m.
    I flip it over. I knew it was coming. It is so much better than I thought it would be. beautifully engraved bridges, with polished arms and blue tinted screws, and brass gears brushed to perfection. Circular pattern beneath the fly wheel. Beautiful.


    November 3rd, 2008. 4:42p.m
    I try it on for the first time.





    THE LOW-DOWN
    First thing is first, it is an AMAZING deal. I went and converted the euro and British pound value from the European website, and got the same figure: $1,369 USD.
    What did I pay for it? $349 USD. You are getting a true $1,000+ watch here folks, and it is absolutely stunning. If you are a watch-u-seek member, you get 10%.


    Lets check her out!
    Now on to the time-piece itself. First off, it is absolutely stunning. I just can't get over it. The pictures on the USSEAGULL website do not give it justice at all. Nor do mine. You really have to see this thing to believe it.

    I was worried about the size, but it is just perfect. It fits EASILY on my 6.05 inch wrist, and fits my father's 6.5 inch wrist with ease. It is a universal watch IMO. Anyone can wear it. The only downside is the clasp is not centered on the back side of the wrist if your wrist is smaller than 6.3 inches. Still wearable, however.

    The bracelet is very well done, and extremely easy to adjust. The only downside was figuring out how to adjust the bracelet with a manual fully in Chinese. The leather is very warm and comfy, and I can't find a single flaw with it.

    And of course, I just can't get enough of the EXTREMELY formal and professional text seagull uses as their logo.
    SEA-GULL It just never gets old! Love it! To me, it is these small touches that really get me to fall in love with a watch.

    The Dial is so beautiful, better pictures should be on the USSEAGULL website. I mean, I just can't explain it. The 4 dial layout is perfect. The Date is extremely useful, but also very elegant at the same time. And of course, the moonphase dial is extremely formal and really goes back to what watches were: Pieces of art. The stars and moon on the rotating disc are very pretty, and very classy. Everything is topped off with the classic bent-tipped hands and roman numerals on the dial. Very well done, and very professional.

    A close up of the dial, from the European website:


    On to my biggest pet-peeve of watches: When the hands don't line up. Hahaha, I just have to chuckle about this watch. The hands line up so perfectly, it is not even funny. The Chronograph resets to a microscopic zero, every time. The minute hands are in sync with the hour hand. And even the second hand is in sync with the minute hand! For once, I have absolutely nothing to complain about this watch in the "lining up" area. It is just perfect. The quality control must be great from the factory.

    Moving on to the crystal. I was worried that it wouldn't be domed. I love domed crystals, and was hopping that it was on the watch. And guess what? It absolutely was, and what a gorgeous one it is. Not to over extravagant like a Doxa, but not to non-existent like a rolex. It is just pretty, and adds a very professional touch. Is is very slippery and hard to grasp, which is a sure sign of a sapphire crystal.

    Moving on to the very familiar display back. The back crystal is also sapphire as well and is extremely clear. The movement, as all of you are familiar with, is absolutely stunning. The stripes and curves engraved in the surfaces are accented beautifully with the polished arms, blue tinted screws, and of course, the jewels. Watching the gears move and arms swing as you engage and disengage the chronograph are extremely mesmerizing.
    The movement itself is extremely solid, and nothing rattles around inside. It is 22 jewels, hand winding, and has a smooth sweep. I didn't think I was winding the watch until it started to move, it is that smooth. The pushers are very easy to activate, and the start/stop pusher has a very nice click to it. This is because of it being a column wheel chronograph. The reset pusher is very well done, and seems to be spring loaded. Gorgeous.


    WATCH RATINGS:
    Case:
    10/10
    Sapphire Glass: 10/10
    Leather Strap: 10/10
    Butterfly Clasp: 9/10 Comments: Hard to figure out how to adjust.
    Dial: 9.5/10 Comments: Tiny spec of dust on dial, can only be viewed under 4x magnification.)
    Movement: 9/10
    Accuracy: */* Comments: The movement is still settling in, this I will test it for accuracy in about 3 months.
    OVERALL WATCH RATING, AS NEW: 9.5/10

    Flawless. I am asked all the time why I bought a SEA-GULL. I bought a SEA-GULL because I wanted to be apart of this. I don't care what people say, because it is my watch. It is my SEA-GULL. Forever.


    "Just simply, stunning..."

    -Thanks for reading my review-
    Aaron N. Weikart


    WORKS CITED:
    http://www.seagullwatch.eu/chrono/M199S.php
    (European website.)
    http://www.usseagull.com/m199s.htm
    (Us Seagull website.)

    Special thanks to Kevin Ma, the owner and manager of USSEAGULL.com for providing excellent service and professionalism that is hard to find these days in a business.
    Last edited by Aaron Weikart; January 23rd, 2009 at 05:38.
    mitadoc likes this.
    The Mentionables:
    -TagHeuer
    Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic, SS & 18K
    -SEA-GULL M199s Moon-phase chronograph
    -Seiko Flight Master Alarm Chronograph
    -Citizen Promaster 200m Automatic NY2300

    -Parker Sonnet Sterling tartan trim Fountain, 18K nib ($240)
    -Monteverde Invincia rosegold & carbonfiber fountain, Ir. ($90)

    .SEA-GULL
    1955


    TAGHeuer

    ROLEX





  2. #2
    Member Aaron Weikart's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    3 months later...
    I will separate this little review into categories, and will explain how everything is doing, and how it is holding up. I will rate the category how it was NEW, and how it is NOW, 3 months later, using a scale of 10, with 10 being the best.

    Case: The case material is stainless steel, and seems to be 316L. It is holding up quite well, and obviously has some scratches on it because the entire case is buffed to a mirror polish. However, you can only view the scratches in direct light, and scratches don't bother me because they give a watch character. I rate the case 10/10 new, and 8/10 as of now, three months after receiving it.

    Sapphire glass: When I first got the watch, I didn't believe that the crystal was sapphire glass, on either side. I have concluded that they indeed, are. The crystal on both sides does have a scratch on it, and I examined it under 4x magnification. New, I rated the the crystals as 10/10, 3 months later, I rate the crystals as 10/10.

    Leather strap: At first, I thought that these were synthetic leather straps made to look like the ones on extremely nice watches (Breguets come to mind), but I was totally wrong. The leather is molding and softening up, just like it should. No cracking, no discoloring. The leather strap is what makes a watch "yours", and this is something that really appeals to me as a man passionate about detail. The only thing I noticed with the strap is with the small leather band, the stationary first one that you insert the strap into after securing the clasp, so it doesn't stick out. The brown material that is on the inside lining of this small band has worn, and has disintegrated. IT DOES NOT EFFECT THE FUNCTION OF THE STRAP AT ALL, NOT DOES IT EFFECT HOW THE STRAPS LOOKS. The interesting thing to note is that it is not happening to the other little securing band, so this is definently an error made by the hand assembly, because this only started happening about 2 months into owning the watch. When it was new, I rated the leather strap as 9/10 , now I rate it as 8.5/10, just because of the issue with the little securing band.

    Butterfly clasp: I had high expectations for the clasp. It was solid, and moved with ease. It is beautifully done, and has the same gorgeous mirror finish as the rest of the watch. Most importantly, it doesn't grab at your arm hair, which I find a problem....A LOT. After three months, it is functioning flawlessly without squeaking or rattling in anyway. However, because of my small wrist, it positions the plate with "SEA-GULL" engraved on it practically in the center of my bottom wrist. Thus, it has scratched like absolute hell. However, "SEA-GULL" is still visible, and still elegant. I just wish I had a bigger wrist. New, I rated the clasp as 9/10. As of now, I rate it at 9/10, because my problem with scratches on the "SEA-GULL" plate were only my problem, and wouldn't be a problem if I had a bigger wrist.

    Dial: The dial is really stunning, it has beautiful patterns, and beautiful hands. Most importantly, the printing of the dial is absolutely flawless under a lope. The ink is so crisp, with no smudges or discoloration. Most importantly, all the hands line up with the dial. The is possible the best part of the watch, and still is after 3 months. New, I rated the dial at 9.5/10, as of now I rate it as 10/10, because the dust just disappeared from when I first got it.

    Movement:
    The movement is very unique, and very high-class. It is a column wheel chronograph, which usually is only found in high-end Swiss watches. Not only is it traditional, it is beautiful as well. The engraving that the SEA-GULL brand does on their movements definently should be making the Swiss nervous. The movement has lost none of it's charm, and is still as beautiful as it was the day I got it. The movement is really where most people have problems with a watch. As a Chinese serial production watch, the quality is definently above average. I'll tell you about how each functions of the watch is behaving at this point (Timekeeping, Date function, moonphase, and chronograph). Time keeping is flawless, with to interruptions or issues at all. The hour, minute, and second hand are without error at this point. The time can be adjusted with ease, and is very smooth. The Date function is holding up superbly, as well. It also can still be set with ease, and without obstruction. The date changes at exactly 11:58 p.m., and hasn't failed since. The moon phase function hasn't failed as well. The setting is smooth, and it keeps perfect phases of the moon, and I have never had to adjust it because my watch has never ran down. Now to the chronograph, which is usually where ALL the problems in a mechanical watch occur. The start/stop buttons on my watch is smooth, and always have operated flawlessly. The second and minute hand always return to zero. At first, I had a problem with the chronograph engaging too deep. However, the problem seems to have disappeared. I use the chronograph function frequently, so it gets used. When the watch was new, I rated the movement at 9/10, as of now, I rate the movement at 8.5/10.

    Accuracy: I'm so very sorry, but I am still in the process of getting the accuracy of the watch. When I do, I'll report in this same post. By the way, I am only measuring the accuracy of the watch on my wrist where it actually counts, and not dial up or anything. If you want those numbers, go to the sticky thread on the C.M.W page.
    The Mentionables:
    -TagHeuer
    Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic, SS & 18K
    -SEA-GULL M199s Moon-phase chronograph
    -Seiko Flight Master Alarm Chronograph
    -Citizen Promaster 200m Automatic NY2300

    -Parker Sonnet Sterling tartan trim Fountain, 18K nib ($240)
    -Monteverde Invincia rosegold & carbonfiber fountain, Ir. ($90)

    .SEA-GULL
    1955


    TAGHeuer

    ROLEX





  3. #3
    Member Aaron Weikart's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Additional pictures of the most beautiful hunk of steel I've ever owned.

    Credit: jarnould


    Credit: Jarnould





    Credit: lkh007



    Credit: lkh007
    The Mentionables:
    -TagHeuer
    Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic, SS & 18K
    -SEA-GULL M199s Moon-phase chronograph
    -Seiko Flight Master Alarm Chronograph
    -Citizen Promaster 200m Automatic NY2300

    -Parker Sonnet Sterling tartan trim Fountain, 18K nib ($240)
    -Monteverde Invincia rosegold & carbonfiber fountain, Ir. ($90)

    .SEA-GULL
    1955


    TAGHeuer

    ROLEX





  4. #4
    Member GMT-II's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    I go thru the europe seagull website. Yr chioces are the most good looking one. Congrat for yr choice, Aaron!

    A very good watch for a very good price. I think the only complaint i can fault this watch is. It isn't automatic and the water resistant is not that good!

  5. #5
    Member Aaron Weikart's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by GMT-II View Post
    I go thru the europe seagull website. Yr chioces are the most good looking one. Congrat for yr choice, Aaron!

    A very good watch for a very good price. I think the only complaint i can fault this watch is. It isn't automatic and the water resistant is not that good!
    Why are you looking for an automatic and water-resistant dress-watch then? The strap is leather, and is not water-proof, it would ruin it. Thus, the watch only needs 30m water resistance. If the watch was automatic, you wouldn't see the beautiful movement!
    The Mentionables:
    -TagHeuer
    Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic, SS & 18K
    -SEA-GULL M199s Moon-phase chronograph
    -Seiko Flight Master Alarm Chronograph
    -Citizen Promaster 200m Automatic NY2300

    -Parker Sonnet Sterling tartan trim Fountain, 18K nib ($240)
    -Monteverde Invincia rosegold & carbonfiber fountain, Ir. ($90)

    .SEA-GULL
    1955


    TAGHeuer

    ROLEX





  6. #6
    Member Sodiac's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    It's a beauty - I had no idea about Sea-Gull and learned alot. Thanks!

    Edit: Now that I'm looking over the Sea-Gull website, I see a couple of the movements look similar to the new Timex automatics, which are made in China. I own one (review posted on WUS) and now that I'm looking at both, I'd bet Sea-Gull makes the Timex automatics.
    Last edited by Sodiac; January 26th, 2009 at 00:55.

    Sodiac
    Too many watches, only two wrists and never enough time...

  7. #7
    Member Aaron Weikart's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Quote Originally Posted by Sodiac View Post
    It's a beauty - I had no idea about Sea-Gull and learned alot. Thanks!

    Edit: Now that I'm looking over the Sea-Gull website, I see a couple of the movements look similar to the new Timex automatics, which are made in China. I own one (review posted on WUS) and now that I'm looking at both, I'd bet Sea-Gull makes the Timex automatics.
    You would be right, the timex automatic series uses a SEA-GULL movement. If it isn't swiss, and it is mechanical, it is probably SEA-GULL. Thanks for reading the review.
    -Aaron N. Weikart
    The Mentionables:
    -TagHeuer
    Aquaracer Chronograph Automatic, SS & 18K
    -SEA-GULL M199s Moon-phase chronograph
    -Seiko Flight Master Alarm Chronograph
    -Citizen Promaster 200m Automatic NY2300

    -Parker Sonnet Sterling tartan trim Fountain, 18K nib ($240)
    -Monteverde Invincia rosegold & carbonfiber fountain, Ir. ($90)

    .SEA-GULL
    1955


    TAGHeuer

    ROLEX





  8. #8
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Interesting review. Thanks.

    I'm still a Swiss (and German) snob but I'm very keen to see how the Chinese develop their product over the coming years. I'm already of a mind to try a seagull watch to see for myself.

    I'd like to see more independent and unbiased reviews of the Chinese movements to be honest.

    I think part of the problem is that watches are often a prestigious item to own. Until the Chinese markets changes and attracts a level of prestige to the term "made in China" they will always be considered second best. Personally, I don't see that worldwide sentiment changing in the next 20 years, irrespective of the craftsmanship that goes into their watches. Kind of a shame really....

  9. #9
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    Nice review of a very beautiful watch. I'll be very interested to read how accurate it is, and how it bears up over time.

    Could you tell us the dimensions of the case?

    Could you also tell us how you bought the watch at that price, rather than the price posted? They make some very pricey, beautiful watches, but if one can get them at 25% of the posted price, that makes a difference!

    Not to nit-pick, but "If it isn't Swiss, and it is mechanical, it is probably SEA-GULL" does kind of forget Seiko, no? :)

  10. #10
    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: SEA-GULL M199s Chronograph

    He probably meant for the Timex brand watches. Though does Timex use Swiss movement in any of their watches?
    Chronic flipper...


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