I've been eyeing these SBEBxxx's since the black, gray and this here red triumvirate were announced in Japan back in spring of '14. The still high Japan street price of around $200 is what kept me from getting one. Since then, the lineup has burgeoned into a few other, sometimes enticing colors and also a different, a bit dressier case. In the interim, I also got to know Seiko digitals firsthand with two purchases of other models. These two stood apart from my other digitals with a more upscale feel, brought on by better materials in general and the Hardlex crystal in particular; unique features and perhaps most notable of all, loud and pleasant sounding, real-world, it'll-wake-you-up alarms.
Fast forward to a month or two ago, when Amazon US seemed to get ahold of a boatload of these at surplus prices and started the by-now familiar up-and-down price dance on each of the five variants that they had (the three originals plus two Mt. Fuji LEs). Patiently observing these price fluctuations, I found myself "helpless" to not order this SBEB003 when, for a short time of a little longer than a day, the price dropped dramatically to a new, camelcamelcamel.com-verified record low. Even though I had misgivings about the purchase afterwards (I really don't need any more watches!) and tried unsuccessfully to cancel the order, this very quickly proved to be the absolute best bargain in my fairly large collection.
Received the other night, I got to open it yesterday as follows:
Box containing the watch and a micro-SD card
Both items checked out
Case sleeve top
...And side with ID sticker
Warranty, manual and case with the 8 preprogrammed summits on a map motif
Tumbled in transit watch on its side already displays a pleasing profile, fit and finish.
The rounded octagon casetop looks far less odd in real-life. FRI 1:48 AM Tokyo time, 12 hours ahead of EST of THU 11:48 AM.
Mt. Kosciuszko at 7310 ft (2228 m) is the highest peak in Australia. Who knew?!
Good materials, drilled lugs, red IP metal buckle, thick and narrow ventilated band with a "keeper's keeper" nub at the end; all very nice touches.
Cool, smooth black "liquid" finish on case and buttons
Buttons under the eaves: Tastefully carved-out case side partially recesses the buttons.
And the last two