Review of the
Seiko Scuba 200 Sumo SBDC003
Published by The Watch Observer
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- the 15 photos of this watch
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A bestseller from the Japanese brand Seiko, the Sumo is one of those iconic watches often considered by connoisseurs to be a "must have".
The Watch Observer has tested it for you.
This Seiko Sumo is a manufactured watch (in the sense that its movement is built in-house) with a production output in the thousands.
It only costs a few hundred Euros / Dollars.
Yet, it is very solid, and has a significant amount of versatility.
Created in 2007, the Seiko Diver SBDC003 is a new development of the Seiko diving watch line.
This latest version is endowed with a new caliber and has gained in corpulence compared to its predecessor, thus its nickname "Sumo"!
A versatile diving watch
The first thing that will strike the observing amateur are this Seiko’s curved lines: its sides are angled towards the wrist while its descending lugs form a firm frame around it.
This original style of construction, consistent with the long lineage of diving watches produced by the Japanese brand, offers a great level of comfort by wrapping itself around the wrist.
We nevertheless have the issue of its significant weight (170 grams) that will require some time to get used to if you are used to wearing lighter watches on land.
The alternation of brushed and polished surfaces, the angles - now more prominent that the previous generations - and the increased size of the case, all give a more contemporary look to a classic figure.
More importantly, this finishing style gives this Seiko a certain versatility by making it a watch you can also wear on terra firma once you are done with your exploration of the underwater world.
The steel strap is fastened using a secured deployment clasp, an unusual and delightful detail for a watch that is more inclined for sports activities.
It complements the watch and helps position it effectively on the wrist.
Besides, it is also equipped with a diving extension, which is very useful when you want to wear your Seiko over a wet suit.
For those who wonder about the strap’s propensity to get scratched during usage, stand reassured: it is quite resistant to the hazards of day-to-day life.
A word of advice for the diving hunters, however: while the watch is designed with a satin finish that mitigates its shiny look, be careful to not frighten your preys with this all-steel band around your wrist.
A maximized readability
The unidirectional and oversized blue bezel offers excellent readability and is easy to handle.
Punctuated with sixty markers and equipped with solid notches, it is decorated with a luminous dot made of Lumibrite, the Japanese equivalent to the Swiss SuperLumiNova.
The dial, with its ocean blue color, very consistent with the purpose of the watch, also offers great readability, thanks to its large circled markers and its over-sized hands.
The overall dial/hands/bezel package is designed and built for intuitive time-reading in the most difficult of situations.
The minutes display is, for example, transferred to an internal, slightly-inclined flange.
As for the superfluous details that could lead to potential confusion, they have all been eliminated to prevent such potential problems as the owner confusing the hour hands with that of the minutes while swimming 200 meters underwater!
The night-time readability is also quite remarkable, thanks to the Lumibrite.
A small detail for the lovers of Seiko vintage watches who will appreciate the seconds hand shaped like a syringe.
Always in the spirit of aiming for simplicity combined with great practicality, the date display is limited to the day of the month, with its window replacing an index: it is quite sufficient and doesn’t throw the dial’s overall look off-balance.
Focusing on the general level of the finishes, they are of a very high quality given the price of the watch.
It is however a pity that the slightly cambered glass window is made of a simple hardened mineral crystal (called Hardlex) instead of an antireflective coated sapphire.
The automatic 6R15 caliber has succeeded to the legendary 7S26 in 2007.
Its frequency is 21,600 alternations per hour.
Compared to it predecessor, it is now improved with a hand-winding function.
However, three wrist movements are enough to set it off!
It’s equipped with a power reserve of 50 hours thanks to the spring made of Spron 510, a material patented by Seiko and based on the Spring Drive technology.
The 6R15 is also equipped with a rapid date adjustment mechanism, and a stop-seconds function, very useful for the fanatics obsessed with time accuracy.
Seiko strikes again with its development of a reliable and sturdy movement.
With this Sumo model, Seiko offers us a watch that is sturdy, with great features, versatile, and reasonably-price, all great assets that can easily seduce a wider public.
This model constitutes a great entry-level watch for those that are just starting to get interested in watchmaking but do not have substantial financial means.
It is also not by chance that you will often find one in the watch drawer of the most knowledgeable collectors!
• good readability
• great deal for the price
• its non-sapphire crystal
• no crown guard
• its weight
Published by The Watch Observer, watch tests and classified ads.