Comparartive Review: SBDX001 Marinemaster vs SBDC001 Sumo
I was able to take some pictures over the weekend of the MM against the Sumo.
Here's my 2 cents worth of opinion on the MM against the Sumo. Again I want to stress that I am no technical expert, so these are just my personal opinion base on having both watches and how I feel about them.
I have read some posts that some people have become reluctant to get the MM now that Seiko have introduce the Sumo/6R15 divers. In many ways, yes they do have a similar generic look of the Seiko divers. I guess in term of comparison, it would be closer to compare the Sumo vs MM as oppose to the MM vs GMT springdrive diver.
Like many here, I have been very please with my Sumo. See some of my previous posting of the Sumo:
So if you got the Sumo, is it worth getting the MM that cost 4 times more? IMO, 100% yes. As I have said before, the Sumo is a winner and basically one of the best bang for your buck watches under $400. It's level of finishing and quality on the case and bracelet is just unbelievably nice compared to any other watches in this similar price range and any previous Seiko divers. Simply, it looks and feels the part of a quality watch - better than its price tag suggest.
So if the Sumo is so great, than is the MM that much different and better to warrant a price tag that is 4 times more than the Sumo? Again, it is a comprehensive yes IMO. The Japanese retail price for the MM is 262'500 yen so it is not cheap and would shock almost anyone who isn't familiar about Seiko watches. Has the retail price for the MM increased recently or since it was first released? If not, then it is already undervalued in today's market compared to the the more recent and accurate price mark of the Sumo retail 63'000 yen. Swiss brands by comparison have a guranteed annual price mark-up of 10-30% just because they feel it is warranted and consumer are willing to pay for the name. I guess if you want recognition, you need to pay for that recognition and publicity. The prices chargd by Swiss brand is really daylight robbery IMO. Which ever way you like to view it, you can say you have underpay for the MM or overpaid for your more reknown brand.
Anyway, for 4 times the price, if you got the Sumo and considering taking the plunge on the MM, here's what you get:
1. A better finish & grade movement - the MM is rated +15/-10 sec per day compared to +25/-15 sec for the Sumo by Seiko). In reality, my MM is running an incredible +12 seconds over 1 week. My Sumo is running also a pretty remarkable -15 sec over the same period with zero wristtime. It just prove that both movement exceeds the rating set by Seiko. The MM also wind smoother and easier.
2. Better case & bracelet quality for the MM - the Sumo does not look and feel like a cheap $400 watch. It looks & feel much better as I mentioned earlier. But the MM exceeds all this. I don't know the technical spec, but MM looks and feel like it uses a higher grade stainless steel. It's line, cut and polish is also exceptionally done and precise (comparable to much higher-end steel watch finishes while leaving watches in its price range for dead).
3. Hands & detailing - MM hands is definitely much nice. Its angled polished edge execution and brushed finish is more detail and gives its more depth (much like hands on Grand Seiko). The date aperture is also more detail with the steel-like colour background. The numbers and minute markers on the bezel are also a cleaner font and print.
4. Ratcheting bezel - MM bezel is absolutely gorgeous. It is one of the best finished bezel IMO. I recently saw and handled the SBE001 GS springdrive GMT, and the gross ceramic-like finish of the MM is very similar to that. Some people don't like the grossiness, but for me it is perfect. The racheting on the MM is also smoother and sounds finer and more precise.
5. Bracelet & diver extension - the bracelet on the MM also feels nicer. The diver extension on the MM is one of the best design and most easy to use and adjust extension. Also, the MM comes with a very nice rubber strap. It is amazing how changing the strap and bracelet can give the watch a new lease of life. Personally, I really enjoy wearing it on the rubber strap. Its gives you a sporty and classic look and very comfortable for the current weather in Hong Kong.
6. Helium gas diver 300m and mono case design - this doesn't mean much to 99% of MM owners. Simply we won't be diving 300m or 200m on the Sumo for that matter. But I guess we appreciate and admire the function and engineering that went into achieving this by Seiko. It gives us the proud feeling that we have a serious "professional diver" on our wrist that can stand the test and extreme environment. I even walk a little taller and speak a little louder when I have the MM on . The 1-piece case is also an advantage in that it is easier to keep clean.
7. Luminous index - I really like the index on the MM. It is lighter in colour (ivory-like) which gives the watch a really nice vintage or classic feel. The lumbrites on the Sumo is more greenish. In terms of brightness of the lumes, I find both very similar.
If I could change anything on the MM, I probably would prefer a signed crown. I have also read that some MM owners have problems with the screw-in crown thread. Yes the crown thread feels fine, but I think if you screw-in or out the crown with normal pressure, it really is not a problem at all. If you're screwing it like a screwdriver and applying abnormal pressure, than you may need to find something more robust. IMO, it doesn't matter how tough a watch is advertise or the tests done that it can stand this environment or that environment. If you don't take enough care of the watch, why pay $1500 for a watch when a $50 watch could do the same job? The MM is absolutely worth its price tag and more....
Anyway, enough words... here are the pics.