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Seiko - A poor mans rolex?
Member Name: baecpol
Date: 24/12/04, updated on 08/01/05 (16599 review reads)
Advantages: High Quality, Attractive, Durable
Disadvantages: Can be pricey
I received my Seiko chronograph watch as a present for my 20th birthday from my girlfriend (very generous, particularly as we had only been together 4 1/2 months at the time!). She had decided ages before that she wanted to get me a watch for my birthday so that 'I could think of her every time I checked the time'. Although it seemed like a very grand gesture at the time, particularly as we are both students, I reluctantly agreed although only on the condition that she didn't go crazy!
We spent many a weekend in town looking in every jewellers window, although we could never find quite what we were looking for within her £200 budget. Id always admired Seiko watches, but I had never considered getting one before, presuming that they were too expensive. However, one particular watch in H Samuel caught my girlfriend's eye. I have to admit, at first glance it didn't look very me. Id always considered to be a 'round face' kinda guy, but this particular watch had an almost square face.
I reluctantly agreed to try it on, and subsequently fell in love with it instantly! The first thing that hits you is the weight. Seiko chronograph watches are reassuringly heavy, and durable as I have since found out. I liked the chronograph dials (all 3 of them), although I had no idea how to use them. In fact I am still yet to work out how to use the alarm, but thats down to my lazyness rather than any fault of the manufacturer!
The second thing that I noticed about the watch was the price tag. At £185 it certainly wasnt cheap, but works out at extremely good value for what you get. Seiko chronograph watches can start from a shade under £50, however I would recommend paying a little extra for a top notch model - even the top model wont set you back more than four or five hundred pounds.
In terms of looks, Seiko chronograph watches really hit the spot. They look modern, sophisticated, and expensive. My particular watch is also extremely versatile - It looks great with a suit, or with shorts and T-shirt in the gym. You can even wear your Seiko chronograph watch in the bath, or whilst swimming, however I would advise checking this with the salesperson at the time of purchase as some models are obviously more water resistant than others.
It's difficult for me to talk about specific features as they vary so much from model to model. Mine has three chronograph dials (one for the second hand, one for stopwatch, and one for alarm), tells the date, and is water resistant to one hundred metres. It looks great, feels great, and most importantly didn't cost an arm and a leg. Im not a big fan of designer watches as you can spend a fortune on something thats not terribly high quality.
My experience with my Seiko chronograph watch has been near perfect. A year and three months on it still functions perfectly, and you can barely find a scratch on it. This isn't solely down to me taking good care of it either, the glass front is well made, and hard to damage. Although unlike kinetic watches, you will need to replace the battery from time to time, this hasnt happened to me yet, and hopefully wont for some time to come. However ive been reassured that it's a simple process, and doesent cost too much.
I would definately recommend Seiko watches to any prospective buyer, the only question is of what model to choose. I originally intended to find a 'kinetic' model, however I couldn't find one that I liked enough. The lack of battery is an obvious attraction though. A similar model is called 'auto relay' which allows you to leave the watch motionless for around four or five years and it will carry on going thanks to energy stored up whilst being worn. The best piece of advice I could give is to seek advice from the salesperson to find a model which really suits your needs as Seiko watches do come at a price, but you get a lot for your money.
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