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Watches, I don't need no stinking watches!
To begin with, a confession. When I started carrying a mobile, I stopped wearing watches for quite a few years. What was the point? In one fell technological swoop, they went from being must-have devices to why-have devices.
Then I got to choose an expensive watch as an award. A Tag Heuer. However, the fulfilment company was being a pain. They wouldn't give me the watch advertised as they ran out. They offered, and expected me to be grateful for, an alternative men's Tag worth half of the woman's Tag still being offered. Bugger them, I thought, and got my wife an unexpected present.
Being left with watches on the brain, I thought it might be nice to have one to wear occasionally. Particularly when dressing up for an evening out. Something to keep my cufflink company. That left me thinking about what I wanted. I began doing some research and came up with a decision that I certainly don't regret.
Japanese proverb say, Bird never make nest in bare tree.
Seiko have a long and distinguished history of making really, really good watches. Their quality control is excellent. At one time, they made everything in-house, down to the oil used to lubricate the movements. These days, they contract through subsidiaries in conjunction with operations in Japan that still manufacture the watch movements and put all the components together.
The company produces many types of watches for all budgets. Amazon offer a range that is by no means exhaustive, but still range from around £30 to over £5,000. Their automatic watches can be highly collectable. The Credor JURI GBBX998 costs over half a million dollars. That's right, folks. $554,000 to be correct.
Being in the market for something slightly more modern, I opted for a Seiko 5. The number stands for:
1 Shock resistant
2 Water resistant
4 Day display
5 Date display
The watch is small, comfortable, light and is luminous, allowing you to see the time even in very low levels of light. The automatic movement means no batteries. Just moving your wrist turns an arrangement that winds the watch. Turning the watch over, you can see the movement at work. It is really an impressive little piece of engineering.
The Seiko 5 tends to use the 7s26 or 7s36 movement. This has been proven to be extremely reliable. For those Professor Frinks out there, "It is a non hacking, non handwinding, bidirectional auto with a 21600bph." I have no idea what that means, and no desire to.
There are many, many types of Seiko 5's out there. I'd imagine mine is probably one of the best sellers. The black face helps the hands and 21 jewels stand out as well as the little proud "5" shield below the Seiko designation under midday.
The stainless steel band is silver, matching the case and has an easy to use fold-over clasp. At under 500 grams, you'll find it easy to forget it is there until you need to use it. No dangling around the bottom of your wrist with this one.
My precise model is the SNKA53K1. It's easily distinguished from similar 5's by the red second hand and is waterproof to 30 meters. Mine can be bought for £50 from Amazon, though I paid less for it new.
Domo arigato, Mr Roboto
Being a fan of the classic look and simplicity, I'm very happy with my purchase. I still don't wear a watch often, but when I need it, it is there. If it has run down, a few measured shakes and it comes back to life. The time and date is easy to set.
If you prefer leather, rubber or canvas bands, there's a 5 for that. If you prefer a blue face or a white face, there's a 5 for that. Prefer your hands to be chunkier, there's a 5 for that also. Considering the price of these things (and don't buy in to those silly £225 original RRP some sites list), they represent excellent value.
I love watches! Don't know why, just do! Seiko are a japanese company and i think have been making watches since the early sixties. The seiko 5 has been around in different guises for at least two decades. This latest offering is just as good as its predecessors. Whats great with the seiko 5 is that its automatic, meaning it doesn't need a battery and it doesent need winding. it winds itself simply by movement so as long as you keep wearing it, it will keep on ticking! Most premium watches such as rolex and tag heur are automatics.
The strap, and the case is made of high grade stainless steel which never loses its brightness. The day, date and time are all easy to set but the best thing of all about this watch is that you can pick one up for around £60! A lot of class for the money.
I bought the Men's Seiko 5 Automatic Watch SNXS79 for my father's 80th birthday and he is absolutely delighted with it.
The Seiko 5 range comes with a selection of face colours, including blue, white and black. (I believe I also saw a green or gold face, but please check this on the websites if you intent to purchase, as I was rather 'watched out' after surfing so many watches prior to purchase!)
I deliberated between the white and black, eventually choosing the black which seemed easier for older eyes to read the hands. When it arrived, I was delighted with the actual colour - which instead of being a dense black, was a very tasteful charcoal grey/black and very slightly pearlised which against the stainless steel bracelet looked very classy.
I also chose an automatic - this requires no battery or winding up, as it is charged by movement. Power is stored in a spring in the movement of the watch and will easily last overnight if taken off. I had been warned that an automatic doesn't keep quite as good time as other operating systems, but this has kept perfect time so far (and my father's previous Seiko automatic also kept good time).
The movement can be seen through the clear panel in the back - which my father found fascinating.
The watch came beautifully presented on a black velvet cushion in a black velvet interior, in a box within a box. (Usually, I am totally against unnecessary packaging, but on this occasion I didn't mind because it was special present.)
The case width is 37mm and case depth 12mm - which seems to be a medium thickness - although it looks lovely and slim on my father's wrist. The strap is stainless steel and the online company I bought it from (watchshop.com) will alter the strap size free of charge if required. (My father altered it himself.)
It is water resistant to 30 metres. Whilst it is not supposed to be submerged, from my own experience and from research I did online, it seems that a quick recreational swim is fine. Be warned, however, if you do decide to chance it, this is not covered in the two year manufacturer guarantee.
Would I buy another Seiko? Definitely!