Just last week, I saw an introductory offer on the Private Seller and Sponsors forum for Uncle Seiko’s new President (“USP”) bracelet for Seiko 7S26-002X case (SKX007 / SKX009 / SKXA35 / SKX173, et al.). After placing an order, the bracelet arrived 4 business days later…coast-to-coast. Here is a quick review and also a brief compare/contrast with a Miltat/Strapcode Super Oyster.
The bracelet was shipped in bubble pack envelope. It included bracelet, solid endlinks and set of spring bars.
Here are the specs from Uncle Seiko’s posting:
• Lug width to Buckle: 22mm / 18mm
• Length (mm) : 180mm
• Min.length after adjusted : 120mm
• Buckle : Solid 316L Stainless Steel 20mm Double Flip-Lock Diver Clasp
• Thickness (mm) : 4.0mm
• Net Weight (gram) : 92gram
• Finish: Brushed metal
• Spring bar diameter: 2.5mm
• Lug end style : Solid Curved End
• Adjustment type : 7 removable links-- screw type adjustment
• Material : 316L Stainless Steel, all solid links include end links
• Designed to fit : Seiko Divers SKX007, 009, etc. Sizing links are connected via threaded screws
That is a fairly accurate description. However, my bracelet had eight (8) sizing links. Also, as the photos show, there are three (3) micro adjustment holes in the clasp which has a nice quality machined hinge, a step up over the usual stamped metal. The 2.5 spring bars are the double flanged type, greatly simplifying installing and removing on an SKX which does not have drill thru lugs.
Overall build quality seems excellent. Finishing is very good. The tops of the links are brushed with polished sides. Only quibble, prefer the flip over keeper on the clasp was a slightly heavier gauge but better than the average for after market 3rd party bracelet. Also, the edge felt just a bit sharp.
Installation on the SKX009 was fairly straight forward. Working with solid end links usually require a little “jiggling” to get into place and these were no different. The fit between the lugs is fairly precise but had a minor bit of play between the curved link and the case body though not objectionable. Did not try to install on one of my other SKX so could just be typical variation of the watch case itself. On the positive side, this made installation a little easier than usual.
Due to the screw type sizing links, adjustment was very easy. The screws on my bracelet as delivered were not very tight which made it simple to adjust but you will need to torque them slightly or use Loctite to set them properly. For my 7 ¼” wrist, I removed 3 links and used the innermost micro adjustment hole on the clasp(I like a snug fit). I would estimate the bracelet/SKX case combination should accommodate wrist sizes 6 – 8 ¼”.
I also have a Miltat/Strapcode Super Oyster (“SSO”) on a SKX173. Although the bracelet styles are different, it is worthwhile to compare and contrast as many looking to upgrade/replace bracelets will also be considering Strapcode bracelets.
Build and finishing quality between the USP and SSO is very similar. Both exhibit a combination of evenly brushed and polished surfaces. Both use screw type adjustment links and the clasp appears to be the same (at least on my samples).
However, when we get to the solid end links, there are differences. Each winning and losing points to the other.
As mentioned previously, the end links of the USP had a minor amount of play, not between the lugs but between the curved surfaces of the end link and the side of the case. The SSO end link was machined slightly better and had a tighter more secure fit, enough so that it required more jiggling and patience to get it to finally slide into place. The SSO has a more solid fit with no discernible play on the SKX173. Saying that, these differences could be solely attributable to slight case variations between my SKX009 and SKX173. I didn’t go to the time and trouble of swapping the bracelets between the watches.
Regarding appearance, the USP end links win hands down. The USP end links matched the contours of the watch case and lugs much better, providing a smoother transition between the watch and bracelet. The SSO appears to be slightly recessed between the lugs and extends slightly beyond the lug tips. I recall reading a review of the SSO previously and these same anomalies were noted so it must be a “feature” of the Strapcode end links. One area where the SSO was better was under the lugs, more flush fitting than the USP which had a slight ridge underneath the lug. The latter is a minor quibble because you would never see this unless you removed the bracelet.
Uncle Seiko President
Strapcode Super Oyster
To wrap this up, I feel the Uncle Seiko President bracelet represents an excellent alternative to the Strapcode offerings. The choice comes down to style preference and price. For the SKX009, I prefer the President style. It has a little more “pop” that I think matches the SKX009 character. On the SKX173, I prefer the Super Oyster. The SKX173 is a bit less bold so I prefer the Super Oyster which is a more subdued look and does not overpower. Again, these are just personal preferences.
One final note, both the USP and SSO replaced the standard Seiko OEM Jubilee bracelet. Although the new bracelets are more substantial and, some would say, luxurious, I expect that on occasion, I will put the Jubilees back on. Many complain about the Jubilee being a ‘jangly’ bracelet (it is) but the design simply wraps around your wrist so comfortably that you forget it is there. And, the Jubilee on a SKX case strikes a chord within me as the quintessential classic Seiko diver. The sum is greater than the parts. It just works!
Hope you enjoyed the read!