Review of the Seiko SKX781 "Orange Monster" Automatic Dive Watch

Old is new again. Part of the geek cred is to appreciate watches. Form and function -- What's not to like? I went from super thin swatch purchased in Tokyo, to my first "expensive" watch, the Bell & Ross Fusion, purchased at London Heathrow's duty free shop, to a series of G-Shocks, perhaps reflecting on practicality of the last few years.

I was all ready to continue my G-Shock / tool watch collection with the PAW 2000, the "gentlemen's ABC Watch (That is Altimeer, Barometer and Compass) -- the ultimate in the sports tech watch. 20+ functions. More raw computing power than my first computer. Then I stumbled upon the Seiko automatic dive watches. Automatic meaning the watch is automatically wound as you move the watch about with the natural movement of your arm. Yes -- this means the watch is a pure mechanical device. No quartz, no battery, no solar power, no radio sync. It's all stainless steel enclosing gears and springs.

A pure mechanical watch. The Seiko SKX781  "Orange Monster" Automatic Dive Watch. 7S26 movement.

The Appeal

I never like flashy watches. Oversized watch falls into that category. That's why I never liked them. These dive watches are large and thick but not overpoweringly large. The only thing that this particular model is the orange face, which will catch your eye if you look closely. But it is not a "look at me" type of loud.

Without the flashiness, the remaining stainless steel look is more utilitarian, more industrial, more modern. That of course is ironic since this is a design from the 70's. Very much like the minimalist / industrial design that is hot now. Old is new again, for the better.

First Impression

The watch arrived in a proper watch box, with a pillow holding the watch. What presentation! Even the more expensive G-Shocks comes on a plastic holder inside a cool tin box. This Seiko is old school all the way.

The Weight -- this thing is heavy! It is several times heavier than the G-shocks. It bothered me for about five minutes, and then I don't feel it anymore. In fact I like the weight now. Because of the weight I wear it a little tighter than I wear the G-shocks, and it actually feel good. It feels like part of my arm now.

The manual operations

I must amid, wearing the watch across the end of November period and realized I have to manually change the date from Nov 31st to Dec 1st was a slight annoyance. But like most manual tool, it is a way to bond with the tool. There is a relationship between the user and the tool. It requires care and feeding. It is not "use and forget".

Adjusting the Band

I will detail the process in a separate post. Basically I purchased a few cheap tools from the internet and adjusted the size of the watch band myself. It was much easier than I thought. Now the watch fits like a charm, even on my small 7.5 inch wrist.

Now I am saving up for the next classic Diver, the Seiko SKX007. Not to mention the joy of finding alternate watch bands.Reference:

For more information than you need on this and other Seiko dive watches, read this article.