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.
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.
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.November 3rd, 2008. 4:40 p.m.THE LOW-DOWN
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.
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.
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.)
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
(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.