I recently had the opportunity to head up to Boston to meet up with some fellow WUS'rs. Great people, really, my expectations were set low as I was expecting a bit of snobbery, but instead I got a wealth of knowledge and I had a blast doing it (though driving through Boston during rush hour in a 5 speed manual was quite unsatisfactory). I got a big boost on watch testosterone and when I got back to CT I stopped at my local Seiko dealer and picked up the first thing that caught my eye, (impulse buys can either be the best thing in the world or the worst mistake of your life, I won't spoil the review with what I got out of this one). I wanted to stray away from Quartz (not that I'm a "sole" snob, but because I have enough Quartz at the moment), I wanted an automatic in the price range of $300-$350 and boy were my options limited in a brick and mortar store in my area.
My eyes caught the textured blue sunburst dial of the SRPA29 and another model that I can't remember. I asked to see both. When the lady gave them to me I immediately looked to see what movement. While I liked the aesthetics of both, the deciding factor was in the movement.
The black dial model had a Malaysian 7s26, while the SRPA29 had a Japanese 4r35, so the choice was obvious, plus it was under my anticipated price range! Score! At $250, I snagged it. I had it sized to my small, pale, white boy wrist and immediately fell in love.
The case is so solid and has an oyster style to it but not even close to being a Homage. It has a style of its own.
It's 42mm, and has a 20mm lug width, SS sword hands, and a long elegant second hand that has a hint of SARB.
The bracelet was the only let down. When I got it I felt like Seiko had taken a high end watch and put a Seiko 5 bracelet on it. Despite being a solid link bracelet (but not solid end link) it felt cheesy, and squeaky. I decided it wouldn't hurt to oil all the pivot points, so I went and grabbed a dropper and put a drop of oil in all pivot points. Then I cleaned the watch with a paper towel and water. The difference was insane, no more rattles, no more squeaks. It made the bracelet FEEL like it should. The clasp is a bit low grade. It hey, at $250 you can't have it all.
At the price that was payed, you couldn't get much better than this solid, proven, all in-house, historical branded, and humble timepiece. I may be a Seiko fanboy, but they outdid themselves on this piece.
8.5 out of 10 for me.
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