I’ve been undecided about whether or not to buy one of the SBDN line divers for quite some time. I was a bit unsure about the size, it being made of Titanium and mostly about the whole solar thing. I’ve had plenty of eco-drives but have never really bonded with them, I really like some Citizen watches (particularly my Autozilla, built like the rock of Gibraltar) but the design language behind many of their eco-drive divers just hasn’t appealed to me. They just seem ‘off’ to me somehow. No offence to those who like them. Anyway, I pulled the pin on the SBDN003 a few days ago. I almost bought one of the last of the orange Shoguns but just couldn’t bring myself to pay 1.2k for one. At around $350 to $400 the Blue Moon seemed a bit of a cheaper bet for a watch that I wasn’t sure that I would really like. I kind of like the SBDN005 with the black dial, and for a classicist that may be the way to go, but the blue is quite pretty and I am short a couple of blue divers these days.
So on to the watch…..
I have called it the ‘Blue Moon’ because the dial has exactly the shimmer of the moon seen through a haze, not an outright shine but more of a subtle reflection of the light. It really does look like a blue moon and the roundness of the indicies adds to that. I thought from the pics that they were just painted, they have turned out to be lume on applied Titanium disks/shapes which have been left with a raw matte metal finish. How cool is that!! Big tick for me straight off the bat, I was a bit depressed about the thought of them being painted on. I am not sure if the watch is Dia-coated, I’m thinking probably not. The Titanium alloy used to make it is far shinier and brighter than my Autozilla made of Duratec or than any of my other Ti divers, it is almost like stainless, which makes me think that it might have the Dia coating but it isn’t described as being coated so perhaps not.
First impression is of how REDICULOUSLY light this watch is. It is listed as 85g on bracelet – which has solid end links. I’ve never tried on a watch on a bracelet this light. It is really featherlight. Now that is not always a good thing, sometimes I yearn for the weight of a good hunk of bronze or stainless on my wrist, but for an everyday wearer it is unreal. Domed Hardlex crystal. Smooth, engaged bezel action. Nicely smoothed caseback with rounded edges and the tsunami logo. The actual screw down back seems to be made of a rawer titanium, it is darker. My guess is that it is a much more pure alloy, making it as hypoallergenic as possible. Nice touch. I really didn’t think that I’d like the dial, being solar. That is one of the things that has turned me from the eco-drives of my past (and the hand shape). This is clean and well thought out, not shiny or too blingy. The whole reason that I bought this watch is that I work in a government department where I am encouraged to dress well, but not to dress up. Not wanting to appear too memorable to clients or stakeholders or give an unfavourable opinion. I wanted a watch that was a bit more of a muted statement than my current round of Tudor/ Sinn/ Citizen gear, but was functional and still smart. This fits well. The lume is as good as ever, I’ll see tonight how long it lasts. The two real winners for me about the dial are the titanium incicies and the hands. I really like the handshape, kind of a drawn out sword hand. I’m going to call it a fountain-pen hand, the tip is drawn out and slightly drawn in like the nib of a fountain pen. Good job Seiko. I might just buy another one and take the hands off for other watches….
The bracelet is great – though it is so light that it doesn’t feel like a bracelet at all. One of the oddities about it is that the link pins are secured with a kind of bar and collet system. Works well, should be quite strong because there is securing force being applied around the end of the pin for the length of the collet. It is – and I stress this – SUPER easy to change. I adjusted my bracelet, without a link vice or pin gun in 5 min flat. A paper clip did the job nicely. Yet another reason that I dig Japanese motor vehicles and watches – ease of service. This is definitely designed with the service person/ client in mind and will limit the chance of a bracelet getting scratched by an errant screwdriver or pin gun. Love it.
All in all I am really impressed with the Blue Moon. It is a smaller watch, only 38/39mm case size, but perfect on my tiny wrists and for me fine as a 200m diver. I’m still not sure about the whole solar thing, I’ll have to give it time, but the build quality and the thought that has gone into the design is first rate. I think for an everyday watch, you could do a lot worse than this one.