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Seiko SKX009 - Review of an old buddy!

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I always loved old Seiko Diver`s.

I must admit, I loved them even before I knew anything about watches, let alone Rolex watches.

When I was a kid, there were various watches that grabbed my attention, and moved my interests from pre-G-Shock Casio`s toward more interesting, mechanical watches.

One of them was legendary 6309, and I still don`t have that beauty, which is just plain sad!

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Anyway, I got a next best thing, Seiko SKX009 Pepsi Diver!

Yeah, I know...the real descendant of 6309 should be the SKX007, but we`re talking about two identical watches, let alone color.

So, in the time of more advanced Monsters and Sumos, is the good old SKX009 any good?

CASE:

There is really not much to say about it`s case. It has well known shape, different than cushion-shape seen in 6309, but still very distinctive.

In other words, there`s no way in the world that you mistake SKX009 with some other brand, which is a big plus in my book.

It`s size is 42mm, which is just about perfect by today`s standards. It`s all 316L stainless steel, with brushed front and polished sides of the case.

Overall, it`s case gives you the feel of very well built watch, solid and robust, a watch built to last. It`s water resistant to 200 meters, and it`s certified ISO diver, which means that you can do almost anything with this solid chunk of steel!

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CASE BACK:

Like on any other Seiko Diver, there is nicely carved Tsunami logo on SKX009`s case back.

CRYSTAL:

Crystal is standard for Seiko, mineral crystal named Hardlex. It`s definitely not scratch-proof as Sapphire crystal, but it`s scratch proof enough. On the other hand, in professional use, Sapphire crystals can be shattered, while Hardlex is more resistant. In my book, Hardlex instead of Sapphire is not a minus, just a different approach in building tough watches. For example, much more priced Seiko Divers also have this strong mineral crystal.

BEZEL:

Bezel on this watch is made of solid stainless steel, it has very solid feel and there is no play within it. It`s 120 clicks bezel, which is perfect for measuring shorter intervals without need for precise timing.

There is one interesting thing, though, when you put your watch in the water, bezel starts to act even smoother than on dry land! I don`t know why is it occurs, I guess that it have to do something with Seiko`s smart engineering.

DIAL:

I read on the internet a debate of color of SKX009`s dial. Some say it`s deep blue, some say it`s actually dark grey.

I`m on the blue side on this matter, but definitely a bit greyish blue.

IMHO, dial is very legible, hour markers are well lumed and hands are perfectly balanced with the rest of the dial. One thing, though, lumed tip on the second hand is differently positioned than one on the 6309. This one is on the back side of second hand, which I don`t find annoying or anything, just different. Day-date aperture is very useful feature and doesn`t ruin perfect balance of the dial.

LUME:

One of the strongest points of ANY Seiko Diver is it`s luminosity. SKX009 is not an exception. It`s lume may not be as strong as Monster`s, but it`s still one of the brightest that I`ve ever seen. Seiko uses it`s own Luminova-style paint, called Lumibrite.

CROWN:

As on many other Seiko Divers, crown is positioned on 4 o`clock position. It`s s guarded by two crown guards and it`s screw-down crown, as it should be with real diver`s watch. The crown screws and unscrews smoothly, and gives you that solid feeling that you can do just about anything with this watch. It`s unsigned, though, which is a little letdown IMHO.

MOVEMENT:

What can be said about ubiquitous 7S26, that is not said a million times before?

A robust movement built to last, but with couple of downsides. One of them is lack of handwinding and hacking abilities. So, if you want to perfectly synchronize your watch with atomic clock or any other reliable timing source, you`ll gonna do a little trick - pull out the crown to second click, set the time that you wish, and then give the crown slight backward pressure. This way you`ll stop the second hand for the time that you hold the crown under pressure. It`s a cheating, I know, but it won`t harm your watch at all. And about handwinding, yeah, it can be pain in the butt to shake your watch to wind it, but Seiko`s magic lever system is really efficient, and you`ll be surprised to see how little effort is needed to wind this watch without possibility to use the crown.

7S26 is 21 jeweled movement that beats at 21600 BPH, with day and date features. It`s the movement well known for it`s durability and reliability and somewhat infamous for it`s timekeeping.

I find these claims a bit unfair, as I have two watches powered by this movement (actually second one is 7S36, but it`s almost the same) and both of them are keeping excellent time. If you`re buying new watch with 7S26, if it`s running too fast, it will definitely settle down in time, and you`ll have a robust and reliable timekeeper.

One more thing, 7S26 movements are well known for their capability to sustain long periods without servicing, which is NOT the thing that I would recommend.

BRACELET:

And here comes the deal breaker for some folks - Jubille-style bracelet.

When I got it, I admit, I thought that it was pretty bad. It doesnt`t have that solid feel of, for example, Monster`s bracelet. Heck, it doesn`t have a feel of 100 bucks Seiko 5 Sports bracelet. So, I thought of it as of a big disappointment, but nevertheless decided to give it a shot.

And I`m glad to say that I was wrong!

The bracelet itself definitely doesn`t feel solid, but it actually is! Plus, it looks really good and it`s perhaps most comfortable bracelet that I ever had. The real downsides are cheap folded end links, lack of diver`s suit extension and outdated clasp. And, though I really can live without diver`s suit extension or without push-button clasp seen on more modern inexpensive Seiko`s, folded end links are the only really cheap feature on this watch. They`re easy to deform, and kinda hard to back in previous state. I mean, that`s nothing that good wrench can`t do, but it`s still kind of irritating.

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I saw guys on the Internet with Seiko`s aftermarket oyster-like bracelets on this watch, which is not a bad idea at all. Just not for me at the moment, I kinda enjoy looks and comfort of this not-so-perfect Jubille-style bracelet.

CONCLUSION:

In the time of more modern diver`s watches, is there a place for dinosaur like this? It`s not even close to be considered a vintage, but compared to similarly priced Monster, it looks like a watch from some bygone era.

And that`s why my answer is YES!

There are many remarkable divers out there, from instant-classic Monster to magnificent Marinemaster, but none of them is direct descendant of the watch that made us all aware of one possibility - that Japanese divers are on pair with their Swiss counterparts!

This one, SKX009 is a perfect example of buyer-friendly philosophy: for a small amount of money, you got a really lot of watch, and not just in terms of quality and performances, but also in terms of rich history and heritage.

Seiko Diver`s 200m SKX009 is a perfect watch for starters and for those enthusiasts who wants vintage-looking watch that can be worn (and used and abused

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) on daily basis.

Hope you enjoyed this review

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And now, some pics:

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Thanks for the great review. I have a Monster and an SKX007 -- both great. I do wish I could hand wind them and stop the second hand without back pressure -- not a big deal but a little inconvient. I guess that's what you get in the next step up in Seiko divers.

John

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