Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BuLlEt

Seiko 5 black divers: SNZF17 & SNZF29 picture comparison/review

Recommended Posts

 

Purchased an SNZF29K1 a few weeks ago, which is the mid-size version of the SNZF17. Thought it would be a better fit on my 6.25" wrist than the full-size. This design is my favorite among the Seiko 5 diver line. I'm in love with the looks! Unfortunately, I couldn't help but be disappointed when it arrived. The chapter ring was misaligned by a significant margin and it wore SMALL. The face of the watch just looks tiny inside the 37mm bezel. Tried to convince myself that it was the right size for my puny wrist and live with the chapter ring defect, but I succumbed and purchased an SNZF17J1 only a week later.

I paid a little extra for the J version of the SNZF17 over the available K version. The J is made in Japan and the K is assembled elsewhere in Asia (Malaysia I think). Figured I'd have less chance of getting another factory defect if I opted for the JDM and I was right. The SNZF17J1 arrived Wednesday and I'm much happier with it. Larger 40mm bezel with the more substantial stainless oyster bracelet looks and feels better on my wrist. Back in love!

Despite being different sizes of the same watch, there are subtle differences. The black dial on the SNZF29 is a more striking and stark black than on the SNZF17. On the SNZF17, the dial is slightly lighter in color than the surrounding chapter ring. On the SNZF29, the chapter ring and dial are a closer match. Not a big difference by any means between the two versions, but hold them side-by-side under bright lighting and you'll notice it. Because of that, I think the SNZF29 is the better looking of the two. Also, the unidirectional bezel on the smaller SNZF29 requires more effort to turn and clicks more reassuringly, which I prefer. I'd estimate is takes nearly twice as much effort to move the bezel on the SNZF29 than the SNZF17. However, the resistance isn't so small on the SNZF17 that it would move on its own under normal wear so no big deal.

The hour hand on the larger SNZF17 has an added design flair that the SNZF29 lacks. The sword hands are large on these watches, and the added flair on the SNZF17 works nicely to break up the lume area. Lume on both is fantastic. The day on the SNZF29K1 can be represented either by roman numeral or English. On the SNZF17J1, your choices are Japanese or English. Both use the same 23 jewel non-hacking/winding Seiko 7S36C automatic movement and feature hardlex crystals with anti-reflective coating (extremely important to me).

Specs for these pieces vary wildly online (no surprise) which can make purchase decisions seem like a gamble. Here are my measurements:

SNZF29: 37mm bezel, 41mm case with crown, 20mm lug width, 12mm height

SNZF17: 40mm bezel, 44mm case with crown, 22mm lug width, 12mm height

Before I place the SNZF29K1 for sale, I took some comparison pictures together with its larger sibling that I wish were available to me when I was making my initial purchase. Hope these help anyone who is considering these beautiful black divers or the white SNZF11/SNZF23 and pepsi SNZF15/SNZF27 versions.

20150908190607_5yz4o2whd31.jpg

20150908190607_p2a0sf2jg02.jpg

20150908190608_j51kzda3np1.jpg

20150908190608_c1ilb1bti3w.jpg

20150908190608_3jjnufkufvk.jpg

20150908190609_vuvxqqiodly.jpg

20150908190612_a4n31hfp2yp.jpg

20150908190616_j1el5f0dnxe.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Funny, I think we've gone through the exact same process. I bought the SNZF29 and liked it, but not as much as I had hoped to.

 

My chapter ring is fine, but I totally agree about the size, with the bezel the dial ends up feeling tiny. My other main complaint has been that the glossy dial and chrome lined indicies look really nice but hurt readability out in daylight, which was a quality I was really interested in in a first diver-style watch. The exhibition caseback seemed cool in theory but I've found with an undecorated workhorse movement it's not as interesting a feature to me as I'd expected. I think I would prefer an easier action on the bezel so good to know others have that.

 

I've decided I'm gonna push the limits of my wrist size and get the classic SKX007 to replace it (since lug-to-lug it's no larger than the SNZF17 and the "tool watch" looks have started to really grow on me). Maybe I'll get a nice NATO for the 29 and pass it to my brother, since it's still a very nice watch. Thanks for your thoughts, and all the best!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks very much for the pictures -- they are well done and I found them most helpful.

After looking at the pictures I have decided to get the smaller one and it should arrive in a few days. It is to replace a blue Seiko 5 "Seamaster" (SNZ389J1) which has started to become unreliable after years of use. Maybe I'll get the Seamaster repaired at some point . . . I do like its looks . . . but the local jeweler wanted $180 to clean the movement and replace the scratched crystal, so I passed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You getting a watch with no defect says nothing about whether you were less likely to get a watch with a defect. Defective watches are a tiny minority regardless. In general, it's enormously unlikely that the assembly-line robots in Malaysia do a worse job than the identical assembly-line robots in Japan, but even if so the odds said that your second watch would be fine no matter where it came from. Defects are pretty rare from any factory.

All that said, those are lovely watches. I agree that the smaller one is a better fit for your wrist, but I do think you can pull off both just fine, especially if you're going for a more casual look (which you likely are with a diver).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

woah! that ring is majorly mis-alingned. could you not ask for an exchange?

last year i had to make the same choice: SNZF29 or SNZF17

i went with the smaller one. mainly because of the bracelet. the 17 has a tackier hollow-ish bracelet IMO it is slightly curved from edges as opposed to the F29 which has a more solid, flat bracelet. i like the bigger size more but the bracelet was a deal breaker.

love my

SNZF29. its my daily beater

Attachment 995188Attachment 995189

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks Mark355 for this thread. Before this, I thought the only difference is the hands!

These dials have a resemblance to the MM300's and I wonder is there any MM300 bezel insert suitable for the 17. It could be a PMMM.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...