Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Replica Watch Review

Necessary Data
>Brand: Seiko
>Model: Prospex SRP777 Diver
>Price: $475 USD
>Size: 44.3mm wide, 13.3mm thick, 47.25mm lug to lug
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, absolutely.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a handsome and perfectly capable dive replica watch for a very fair price.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Vintage inspired cushion case.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Case size might be too big for smaller wrists (under 6.5 inches).
Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

Every now and then a new replica watch manages to vibrate at just the right frequency to perk the ears of the general replica watch enthusiast base. No other brand manages to offer a better sport replica watch for less of your hard-earned money, and Seiko wisely builds upon the success of each model generation, evolving their product to reflect their ability, history, technology, and core strengths. Rustling the fault line of replica watch enthusiasm takes a special replica watch, one that offers a hard-to-quantify mix of design, function, price, history, and the secret-sauce of enthusiast appeal. With an accessible price point, proven design, strong functionality and a dollop of that undeniable Seiko diver charm, the new Seiko Prospex SRP777 has quickly become the darling of Instagrammers, desk-divers, and general sport replica watch enthusiasts since its release late last year.  Inspired by a Seiko diver from the mid-Seventies, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 and its siblings are a direct nod to Seiko’s past and a successful and unironic play in the ongoing trend of “new vintage” replica watches.

This review will focus on the SRP777 and its included black silicone strap. Based directly upon Seiko’s cushion-cased reference 6309, the new Seiko Prospex SRPs come in several variations. Depending on your local market, you can choose between the black-dialed SRP777, the black and gold SRP775, the blue dial/bezel SRP773, the black and red SRP779, PADI Edition SRPA21, or the Thailand LE Zimbe SRPA19K. The original 6309 was produced from 1976 to 1988 and the new Seiko Prospex SRP777 is a faithful recreation, save for just a few small tweaks. The wide 44mm steel cushion case remains from the original (technically 44.3mm on the SRP) as does the main dial design, day-date feature, unidirectional dive bezel, crown at four, and generous lume application. The SRP777 adds Seiko’s Prospex “X” a new seconds hand design, drilled lugs, 200m water resistance, and an upgraded movement. Most importantly, Seiko has not diminished the charm of the reference model, offering only slight updates that result in a more accessible and practical design which manages to tread the line between subtle evolution and outright copy.


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

Unlike the 7S26 powering the SKX, the 4R36 offers hacking and hand-winding, along with 41 hours power reserve and a 3Hz rate. The 4R36 is a simple yet robust movement that was designed to be fuss-free for as long as possible; a tool movement for a tool replica watch. If you want better, Seiko does that too (see: Grand Seiko).

With a flat Hardlex crystal and a solid steel Tsunami case back, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 could easily be viewed as an update to other massively-popular Seiko divers like the SKX007. In fact, when you factor for the addition of drilled lugs (often considered an old-school feature) and the inclusion of Seiko’s more capable 4R36 automatic movement, I think that despite its new vintage design, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 is arguably an update for the SKX007 audience.

The dial is a finely textured matte black that almost looks like teflon in some light. The markers are large and nicely matched by the handset, the result of a combination that Seiko has been refining for more than 30 years. The lume will make you hunt for dark places, offering an astoundingly bright initial expression that fades evenly and offers ample glow to eyes that have adjusted to dark environments. The Seiko Prospex SRP777’s lume is classic Seiko and excellent by any measure.


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

With 22mm lugs and a case shape that is pushing towards a full-on square, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 wears smaller than you would expect. The shape and ergonomics are excellent, especially for a replica watch of this size. With a short lug-to-lug, the case sits securely and evenly, even on a boney wrist like mine. Given my penchant for frequent strap changes, the drilled lugs are a welcome addition and really make the process about as fast and simple as it can be. The bezel is afforded enough height to offer an excellent grip, and the action is both smoother and more precise than that of my SKX007 (which has seen its fair share of abuse).


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

Being a dive replica watch, and moreover a dive replica watch with some legacy, I felt required to take the SRP777 underwater. Unsurprisingly, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 feels right at home underwater, with the included vented silicone strap being long enough to wrap around the wrist segment of a thick wet suit glove (though not long enough to span the forearm of my dry suit). The bezel is excellent and is easily gripped with a wet glove, providing enough feedback for predictable use above or below the surface. Likewise, legibility is perfect, with a clear view of elapsed time and the running seconds hand. To keep this explanation no longer than it needs to be, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 offers everything required by a true dive replica watch and performs its duties without issue.


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

As mentioned, the Seiko Prospex SRP777’s saucer-like case is 44.3mm wide with a brushed finish on the dial side and a polished treatment on its underbelly. Thickness is 13.3mm and lug-to-lug is 47.25mm (indeed, almost a square). Lug-width is 22mm, and the total weight on the rubber strap is a diver-acceptable 122 grams.

The day-to-day on-wrist experience is excellent, as I found the Seiko Prospex SRP777 to be surprisingly comfy and a consummate sport replica watch. From a grey NATO to leather, shark mesh, or the included silicone, the SRP777 is a versatile and tough-wearing design that manages to feel special despite its bargain price point. Those dimensions do not line up with my in-person experience with the Seiko Prospex SRP777, which was more comfortable and seemingly smaller on my 7-inch wrist than those numbers lead me to expect. For reference, the ever popular SKX007 on the same silicone strap is 112g.


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

The strap manages to hold the Seiko Prospex SRP777 perfectly on my wrist and, despite the added bulk of its wavy shoulders, the flat portions of the strap are quite svelte and don’t snag on cuffs and pockets nearly as much as I expected. While I don’t tend to like most rubber straps, and indeed never wear my SKX007 on the originally included Z22 strap, the black silicone strap that comes with with Seiko Prospex SRP777 is really nice. The material, while prone to collecting some dust, is velvety smooth and well finished for the price point. Furthermore, the strap features a metal keeper with some added detailing and an upgraded (vs that of the SKX007) signed tang buckle with drilled spring bar holes.


Seiko Prospex SRP777 Dive Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 

Competition is where the Seiko Prospex SRP777 (and its siblings) really shines. With a retail price of $475 USD, I can’t think of a single replica watch that offers direct competition. You could save a few bucks and go for the more basic SKX007, which has a street price floating around $220 USD, but I think that if you like the shape and size of the Seiko Prospex SRP77x, it’s worth the additional cash for the upgraded movement and vintage aesthetic. Due to considerable popularity, the street price of the Seiko Prospex SRP777 (with the rubber strap) is currently around $350 USD and at that price the Seiko Prospex SRP777 is in competition with entry-level and micro brand dive replica watches and generally unproven Kickstarter brands. While it doesn’t necessarily match the raw price point of an SKX007/9, the Seiko Prospex SRP777 offers one of the best combinations of build quality, performance, movement, and legitimacy at this price point. If you like dive replica watches and dig the 6309 styling, you should buy one, it’s just that easy. The Seiko Prospex SRP777 is a simply outstanding dive replica watch. seikowatches.com

Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX117, SBGX115 Replica Watch Review


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At some point during your process of becoming a well-rounded replica watch lover, you learn about the world of Grand Seiko. To fully understand what Grand Seiko is, you most certainly need a degree of exposure to the replica watch world overall. Grand Seiko cannot exist within a vacuum. Trying to understand these Grand Seiko Quartz Divers in a vacuum would be almost impossible. In fact, these high-end Japanese quartz replica watches are fantastic, but truly the stuff of serious modern timepiece enthusiasm that exists in a very narrow niche. So let’s take a close look at the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX117 and SBGX115 replica watches to understand how they fit into the larger spectrum of modern luxury replica watches.

 


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The reason I am spending so much time “framing the issue” with the Grand Seiko Quartz Divers is because they are, well, quartz. The concept of a high-end quartz replica watch to many replica watch lovers is anything from confusing to profoundly upsetting. We once did a survey on aBlogtoWatch asking our audience whether they preferred a high-end quartz replica watch or a low-end mechanical replica watch. Low-end mechanical was the overwhelmingly more popular choice. Of course, this opens up a much larger discussion about people’s sentiments toward quartz versus mechanical movements – but let’s focus right now on the special area of timepiece collecting which is “high-end quartz.”


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High-end quartz implies a few things – at least, it should imply a few things. First is that the quartz movements inside of these replica watches are of a higher quality than those in most lower-end (cheaper) quartz replica watches. Like mechanical movements, not all quartz movements are created equally. Second, high-end quartz implies that the visible elements of the replica watch such as the case, dial, and bracelet are of a much better quality, and akin to those of higher-end mechanical replica watches.


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All quartz replica watches used to be high-end until the 1980s and a bit after, when quartz movements became the principle ingredient of the world’s inexpensive timepieces for the masses. Today, high-end quartz exists (thanks mostly to the Japanese) as a way of combining the very real benefits of a quartz replica watch with attention to detail and quality that replica watch collectors and enthusiasts demand. I personally have a great appreciation for high-end quartz, but the road to that appreciation was long and a bit circular. In a sense, replica watch lovers usually begin by buying quartz replica watches. They eventually graduate to being into mechanical replica watches. Most stop there and stick with mechanical replica watches to the exclusion of quartz – forever. Some collectors and enthusiasts are actually able to go full circle and once again find appeal in some of the better quartz movements out there.

Straight from camera, no modification… Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX117 ? #ablogtowatch #watchmaking #watchnerd #instawatch #watchporn #womw #seiko #grandseiko #diver #divewatch #lume #lumewars #sbgx117 #horology #montres #watchesofinstagram

A video posted by @abtw_david on Jun 22, 2015 at 11:53pm PDT

So forget what you know about quartz movements for a moment. Forget that quartz movements pretty much killed the mainstream mechanical replica watch movement and that quartz movements are both simple to produce and ubiquitous. None of that applies to the 9F family of Seiko quartz movements found in the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver collection. The 9F movement family is among the best, if not the best quartz movements currently in production. So, if you want a quartz movement with all the quality and emotion of a mechanical movement – the 9F is the way to go. Specifically, the movement in these Grand Seiko Quartz Diver replica watches is the Seiko-made caliber 9F61.


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Since the movement is such an important part of why this timepiece is interesting, I wanted to start by talking about it. Grand Seiko – which is Seiko’s primary high-end replica watch division (there is also Credor) – produces several different types of movements. These include quartz movements, mechanical movements, high beat mechanical movements, and Seiko Spring Drive (which is an excellent mechanical hybrid with a quartz regulation system even though it is powered by a mainspring). All of these movements are good, but they have their own flavors.


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These particular Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX115 and SBGX117 replica watches are borrowed from the US Grand Seiko retailer Arizona Fine Time in Phoenix, AZ. AZ Fine Time is probably the most knowledgeable Grand Seiko replica watch dealer in the US (that I know of) and their talented Joe Kirk helped explain what makes the 9F family of quartz movements special. I already knew what the still rather new 9F movements were all about, but Joe helped fill in some of the details that were difficult to glean from Seiko directly.


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On a basic level, the 9F61 movement does not appear to be anything special. The movement just tells the time with hours, minutes, and second, and in this instance, doesn’t even have the date. With that said, other versions of the 9F movement do have the date, and it jumps instantaneously at midnight in 1/2000th of a second. The movement also uses a battery which has a three year duration between changes.

Now, let’s look at where things get interesting. The first important fact is that the 9F movements are produced at Seiko’s Shinshu Watch Studio (at the Seiko Epson factory), the same place where Spring Drive movements are made. A single replica watch maker is involved is the full assembly of each movement. The only other person to handle the movement is the technician who applies the hands to the dial.


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Like mechanical replica watches, the 9F movement has a “pacing switch” which allows a replica watchmaker to make small adjustments to improve the movement’s accuracy – should something inside of it get misaligned. Most other quartz movements do not offer this, and it is something that the 9F movements share with quality mechanical movements.

From an accuracy perspective, the 9F movement is promised to be no less accurate than plus or minus 10 seconds per year. This is because the movements are thermocompensated, unlike standard quartz movements which are accurate to 10-15 seconds per month. Thermocompensation for quartz movements is an interesting concept that we don’t often discuss. The idea is that quartz crystals oscillate at a very predictable rate when they experience an electrical current… however, their behavior can change with various temperature changes. Thus, quartz replica watch movements are sensitive to temperature changes. So, in fancier quartz movements, there are compensations made for temperature changes.


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Seiko produces their own quartz crystals, so they have complete control over the design and production of their quartz movements – that includes the exclusive 9F family as well. For the 9F calibers, quartz crystals are grown and then aged for three months – and of course, Seiko only chooses the best crystals for Grand Seiko purposes. Crystals are then chosen and individually paired with an appropriate integrated circuit (IC) which measures how the crystal’s behavior changes with various temperature changes. This IC then knows exactly how the crystal it is paired with behaves at a range of temperatures. In the movements, the temperature is measures 540 times a day, and rate results of the movement are ever so slightly altered to compensate for the changes. This is what a thermocompensated quartz movement does, and why they are more accurate then most other quartz movements around.


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When Seiko originally released the 9F family of movements, they made a big deal about how it was a “high torque” movement. That simply means that the movement is able to use heavier hands. Quartz movements typically have a maximum weight for hands, but the 9F is able to use bigger hands, which is very well exemplified in the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver with its properly-sized and well-lumed diving-style hands. According to Seiko, the 9F movement has 1.8 times the torque of standard quartz movements.


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A lot of the 9F’s engineering wonder is actually dedicated to the seconds hand. These elements are perhaps my favorite part of what you can seek to gain from the 9F, and why these are so much better looking than traditional quartz movements. My biggest complaint about quartz movements is often related to the performance of the seconds hand. One issue is that when the seconds hand stops, it does not properly line up with the appropriate marker. Another issue is that the seconds hand wobbles a bit when it stops. Neither of those issue exist in the 9F.

Seiko first developed a unique twin pulse step motor to move the hands. The seconds hand actually moves twice per second, even though your eye can’t really see it. The seconds hand alone has a “blacklash auto-adjust mechanism” which does two things – and this is really cool. Seiko developed a hairspring-style spring that is used to keep the seconds hand pointing to exactly where it needs to go. The spring applies force which immediately corrects the hand’s position each time it moves. More so, the tension from the spring eliminates blacklash, which is what happens normally in quartz movement seconds hands which cause them to wobble each time they jump. The tension from the spring prevents this undesirable wobble, as well as helps ensure than the seconds hand hits the precise right mark each time without fail.


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Another facet to the 9F movements are that they exist in a “super sealed cabin” in the case which creates a tight seal around the movement, extending the life of the lubricants and oils used in the movement. The effect of this is almost surprising, as Seiko claims 9F family quartz movements only need to be serviced each 50 years outside of battery changes.

The surety of the seconds hand in motion and the knowledge of the ultra durability and accuracy are elements which should make any mechanical replica watch lover take pause to at least consider the amazing coolness of what Seiko has done with the 9F quartz movement family. Is all this over-engineering for naught? Is there even a large enough market to support the development and production of something as wildly intense as the 9F mechanism? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can say that this is a niche movement, for sure, given what is popular in the replica watch world, but I am so very happy for its existence and hope that enough open-minded replica watch collectors see the value of enjoying one of these engineering masterpieces.


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Perhaps, now you can understand why the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is really something special in the realm of quartz diver replica watches. That it is a Grand Seiko also means that in addition to an excellent movement, the case and dial details are similarly excellent. With that said, this wouldn’t be a Grand Seiko without some quirks. Loving sport replica watches, I can say that it makes me happy each time Grand Seiko comes out with a new dive replica watch. While the historically-inspired Grand Seiko dress replica watches are absolutely beautiful, I personally get more mileage out of sport replica watches.


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With styling inspired by European luxury dive replica watches as well as Seiko’s extensive history of dive replica watches, the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX115 and SBGX117 distinguishes itself mostly via simplicity and colors. The simple dial is a testament to modern design with restraint, and the available black dial with black bezel is classic, while the black bezel with white dial is novel with a more contemporary feel.

Perhaps the most controversial part of the design is the font on the rotating diver’s bezel. The numerals taper a bit giving the replica watch an odd art deco feel. The numerals honestly make themselves more known in pictures than they do in person when you wear the replica watch. I was a bit concerned over the numerals at first, but after wearing the Grand Seiko Quartz Divers for a while, you quickly stop noticing that the numerals are “unique.”


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Dial detailing is, of course, excellent, as it is with all Grand Seiko replica watches. Grand Seiko is a master at finishing and materials. The diamond-cut hands and hour markers are pristine, and so much is done to ensure that even the polished elements don’t reflect too much light (which is the anathema of legibility). With the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX117’s black dial you get a bit more of a traditional look, but the white dial on the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX115 offers a better look at the detailed raised hour markers and hands. Also note that these dials are very rare because you have a no-date dial which is perfectly symmetrical.


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One of the oddities of this replica watch is the lack of 300 meters of water resistance. The Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is, rather, water resistant to 200 meters. Technically speaking, that shouldn’t matter a lick to all but the most serious professional divers. Even if you dive to 150 meters (which so few people do), you’ll be more than okay. With that said, water resistance in replica watches, especially luxury replica watches is a bit of a matter of bravado. People see water resistance as an indicator of overall durability, and it would make sense for Grand Seiko to at least do what was necessary to get to 300 meters of water resistance. However, it is possible that they would have needed to get a bit more thickness in the case – which isn’t exactly thin now, at 13mm. The case is also highly anti-magnetic (to 16,000A/m) and, of course, shock resistant.


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At 42.7mm wide, the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is not technically huge, but it does wear nice and big. I love the comfort as well as the case finishing which is not at all surprising from a Grand Seiko replica watch. The screw-down crown has a crown guard and isn’t something you’ll use much. However, do you agree with me that the crown looks a bit small (proportionally speaking)? Over the dial is a very well AR-coated sapphire crystal, and the rear of the replica watch is engraved in relief (in the center).


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Seiko’s intense level of detail and quality extends to the bracelet, but in a different manner than you expect from European luxury replica watches. The bracelet on the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is comfortable and attractive. I like the polished edges on the links and how the whole bracelet gently tapers. With that said, the bracelet doesn’t have quite the solid weight of some competitor products such as a Rolex Submariner (easily the king of dive replica watch bracelets).


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Attached to the bracelet is Seiko’s excellent ratcheting dive extension deployant which offers a lot of easy-to-use microadjustability. It is topped with a solid-looking folding clasp that once again has the “GS” Grand Seiko logo in relief. You use this clasp to change the bracelet’s microadjustment – and can even do this while it is still on your wrist.


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I do want to say that while the bracelet and the deployant function very well, Seiko makes use of some parts which appear stamped. They are still nicely polished and finished, but the overall look and feel is more high-end Seiko than “Grand Seiko.” Seiko at its heart is a mass-production company and Grand Seiko is designed to be the very best of mass production (even if some of the models are made in small batches). That is to say that Seiko probably could individually mill parts for these elements, but perhaps feels beholden to certain elements of their production philosophy.


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As you can see, the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is an impressive product with some predictable quirks that are common to high-end Japanese replica watches. Of course, European luxury replica watches have their own quirks, but those of the Japanese are wonderfully distinct with their own flavors. With that said, the Grand Seiko Quartz Diver is undeniably an exemplary timepiece that contains a fantastic and interesting movement paired with a high-quality, easy-to-read, and durable case. That Seiko decided to include a 9F movement in a Grand Seiko dive replica watch just helps refine who these replica watches are meant for – a probably small audience, but nevertheless, a group of highly dedicated individuals. Consider me one of them.

The Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX115 and SBGX117 have a retail price of $4,100 and we thank AZ Fine Time for these review units. grand-seiko.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Grand Seiko
>Model: Quartz Diver SBGX115, SBGX117
>Price: $4,100 USD
>Size: 42.7mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Open-minded luxury replica watch collector with a passion for unique technology and Japanese timepieces.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Wonderful details and simple design that holds a fantastic movement only a small number of people will appreciate.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Visual (not ergonomic) design quirks here and there prevent the replica watch from feeling as totally refined as it could be. Most traditional replica watch lovers will dismiss it for being quartz.

Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 Replica Watch Review


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I’ll start off with saying that the Panerai PAM569 is probably my favorite Panerai replica watch that I’ve worn for an extended period of time. Panerai is a brand that most replica watch lovers admire because of their historic designs that are both beautiful and timeless. It is also hard to find too many other “tool replica watches” that are so good looking and versatile. Panerai replica watches are known to look good on a wide range of straps, and their larger sizes were a major driving force of the tendency for replica watch makers to produce larger timepieces due to the modern demand for big sport replica watches. So let’s check out what it was like to thoroughly review the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569.


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This replica watch originally came out in 2014, and aBlogtoWatch first went hands-on with the Panerai Luminor Submersible PAM569 here. Even after only a short time with the replica watch at SIHH 2014, I could tell that it was a timepiece I would like. During our review process, the replica watch was worn by both myself and our David Bredan – and we both had similar good feelings about this “true” Panerai diver.


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Perhaps the easiest thing to complain about when it comes to Panerai replica watches is that there is very little difference between many of the models. Panerai has a few basic case styles and dial elements, which are tossed around with various materials and small tweaks to form new models. It is true that one could suggest Panerai isn’t huge in the innovation department, but it is a tactic that works well for the brand because their existing designs and assets are relatively evergreen in their popularity potential.

The Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 does not escape being yet another unique assortment of existing design elements and parts, arranged in an “original” manner for this model. Let me quickly mention what makes this Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 different than the rest. Oh, and I need to again remind you that Luminor Submersible is Panerai’s “true” dive replica watch collection with 300 meters of water resistance and a rotating diver’s bezel. Even though the entire Panerai brand is arguably based around diving replica watches, most of their replica watches today aren’t “true divers,” given their lack of a rotating bezel and water resistance. So if you want a “professional dive” replica watch with the Panerai name on it, then a Luminor Submersible is the way to go.


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So what makes this particular reference PAM00569 Panerai Luminor Submersible unique? The first thing is that the case is produced from titanium. This isn’t the only titanium Submersible out there, but it is one of the factors which you should know about. That means the case is relatively light and strong, but also that it has a more gray color compared to steel, and that it will show signs of wear faster due to titanium’s propensity to scratch.

Today on aBlogtoWatch we review the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569. Head to ablogtowatch.com now to see the full review, tons more images in the gallery, as well as the video review. @panerai #ablogtowatch #watchnerd #watchmaking #watchporn #horology #instawatch #womw #panerai #luminor #submersible #pam569 #titanium #divewatch

A video posted by aBlogtoWatch (@ablogtowatch) on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:56am PDT

Another distinguishing factor is the left-handed orientation of the crown. In fact, to achieve this, the entire movement has been flipped around so that the crown extends to the left versus right side of the case. This is not just important from a stylistic perspective, but because Panerai’s Luminor case crown locking system adds considerable size to the case. In a normal “righty” orientation when the crown is on the right of the case, then it can jab into people’s wrist (some people – depending on their anatomy and how they wear the replica watch). With the crown on the left, this issue is dramatically lessened because the protruding crown structure is on the left, not on the right. Of course if you prefer to wear replica watches on your right arm versus left arm, then the replica watch would appear “normal,” given the switch in choice of wrist.


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Finaly, there is the “vintage style” element of the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569. Not all Panerai Luminor Submersible replica watches are meant to look as retro as this model with its “aged style” luminant color and distressed brown leather strap. The face of the replica watch also has a “clos du Paris” pattern which makes it a bit different than a cleaner matte dial available on other Panerai Luminor Submersible models.


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Much of this is just due to the fashion, but the particular assortment of colors and styles is very appealing. You still get that “clean” look of a Panerai face, but full of functionality and legibility. Still, the hands appear to be slightly too short, but it doesn’t really effect the dial. I also continue to like the design of the hour markers as well as the minimalist “dot style” markers on the rotating bezel. It just overall makes for a handsome look, but clearly a look that has been refined by Panerai after playing around with it for so many generations of similar timepieces.

At 47mm wide, the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 is not a small replica watch, but it is more than wearable. If you need just one “big replica watch” in your life, choosing a Panerai would not be a bad idea. The lack of too many complicated lines and the appeal of the Panerai Luminor’s cushion-shaped case make for a classic look that, while large, does not appear to be brash in any way. This can happen with overly detailed replica watches that also have a large case. The restrained design aesthetic of Panerai tends to work to their advantage in this regard.


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Inside the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 is the in-house made Panerai caliber P.9000 automatic movement. This 4Hz (28,800 bph) frequency movement has a power reserve of three days and includes the time with subsidiary seconds and the date. It isn’t an overly complicated movement but it doesn’t give me anything to complain about. Panerai’s movements mirror the utilitarian theme of their replica watches, which in my opinion is a good thing.


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Handsome and sporty, the Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 proved versatile and comfortable in a range of situations. It was a replica watch that never felt out of place, but also offered some distinctive features so that it didn’t look like “just another Panerai.” My suggestion for those who are curious about getting a Panerai is that they select one that has at least one distinctive element to it. There is a lot of merit in getting the most iconic Panerai styles for your collection, but since there are so many Panerai timepieces which look similar, there is something rewarding about enjoying the brand’s core design concept, but with a bit of uniqueness. Also, when it was first released, Panerai mentioned that the PAM569 would be limited to just 1000 pieces – even though this limited edition number is not indicated on the case. Price, of course, comes with the typical Panerai premium, and for this Panerai Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio PAM569 replica watch it is $11,600. panerai.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Panerai
>Model: Luminor Submersible Left-Handed Titanio ref. PAM00569 (PAM569)
>Price: $11,600 USD
>Size: 47mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Watch lover interested in the Panerai style seeking a true tool replica watch with a vintage flair.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Assortment of elements makes for a comfortable, masculine, styling, all-around versatile luxury sport replica watch.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Expensive price. Confusing limited edition status.

Sinn U1-D “Dune” Limited Edition Replica Watch Review


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If you are a fan of Top Gear, you would have probably lost count of the number of times the boys have sung the praises of German engineering. German engineering, they say, is the best kind. For anyone who has driven or sat in an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, there is some truth to that saying… and I expected to see nothing less while waiting for the Sinn U1-D “Dune” Limited Edition to come in for review. Let’s see how it managed to live up to the expectations.

In the world of horology, the term German engineering or replica watchmaker has a distinctly different meaning. It means to trod off the beaten path, it means being alternative and different, and it also means being functional yet beautiful. The heart of German replica watchmaking is arguably in the small town of Glashütte, where most of the German brands are based. However, outside of Glashütte and not so far from the financial heart of Europe (Frankfurt am Main) is Sinn Spezialuhren.


Sinn U1-D Wrist Shot

Translated, Spezialuhren means “special replica watches,” which should give you a rough idea about the kinds of replica watches Sinn makes. The brand, which was established in 1961 by flight instructor and pilot Helmut Sinn, specializes in making tool replica watches for professional use. Together with the Faculty of Aerospace Technology at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Sinn has even developed a new technical standard called TESTAF for pilot’s replica watches. And Sinn replica watches have even gone to space – German physicist and astronaut Reinhard Furrer wore a Sinn 140 S during the Spacelab D1 mission in 1985.


Sinn U1-D Dial

As a result, when someone wanted a tool replica watch for a reasonable amount of money, Sinn tended to be one of those names that were thrown around and one of their most popular models is the U1 dive replica watch, which we reviewed some time ago. And in the 10 years that the U1 has been around, it has also been the subject of numerous limited edition models – such as this cool one in white. And for 2015, Sinn has collaborated to celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Hour Glass, one of Asia’s leading replica watch retailers and also Sinn’s exclusive retailer in the South-East Asia region, giving you the replica watch that you see here, the Sinn U1-D.

The D in the Sinn U1-D’s name stands for Dune, which explains the replica watch’s color choices. The markings on the bezel as well as parts of the hands and also the text of the replica watch are rendered in a sandy hue and the case has been given a special black coating to match. The end result is a replica watch that looks as if it were designed specifically for troops operating in desert environments. In fact, this is the first U1 to be done in a military style. Let’s take a look at each of the replica watch’s components in greater detail.


Sinn U1-D Case

The Sinn U1-D retains the 44mm dimensions of the standard U1, and also the use of special German submarine steel. According to Sinn, German submarine steel is highly resistant to seawater and also stronger, harder, and denser than regular stainless steel. This makes it ideal for diving. Speaking of which, the Sinn U1-D is water resistant to 1000m. Yet despite the high water resistance, it remains relatively thin, at around 14mm.

The Sinn U1-D’s case has also been given a special Black Hard Coating. The coating is expertly applied and gives the case a uniform matte finish. The special coating aside, the case has also been treated with Sinn’s special TEGIMENT process. The TEGIMENT process is not just a mere coating and is in fact a special process that actually hardens the surface of the material. What this means for owners is that the Sinn U1-D is extremely tough and scratch resistant.


Sinn U1-D Case Back

Elsewhere, the case back has also been given a matching Black Hard Coating and matte finish, and proudly proclaims in German that the case material is German submarine steel and that it is resistant to saltwater. The crown too has the same Black Hard Coating and matte finish. The uniform finish on all components of the case translates to a very utilitarian look and feel for the replica watch.

Like the case, the unidirectional bezel has also been given the special Black Hard Coating and treated with the TEGIMENT process. And it’s worth noting at this point that I haven’t had any problems with scratches in the time that I have had the replica watch. The bezel also features a safety mechanism that prevents it from being knocked out off the replica watch, which could potentially be dangerous in diving situations. Additionally, the bezel clicks into sixty positions and the action is firm and reassuring, with no play whatsoever once the bezel moves into place.


Sinn U1-D Case

As mentioned earlier, the bezel features minute markings in a sandy hue, which gives it a military look that is unlike any other dive replica watch from a premium replica watch brand that I can think of today. Only the large 60 minute marker features lume, and it’s pretty bright too.


Sinn U1-D Dial Macro

Like the standard U1, the Sinn U1-D has a flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. To match the blackened case, the dial is a shade of light grey (almost the color of concrete) with charcoaled indices, and text is printed in the same sandy brown hue as the markings on the bezel. The dial has a matte finish to it and doesn’t play much with the light, but under bright sunlight, it does change its tone a little and looks like its been bead-blasted. Finally, the hands are a mixture of sand brown and charcoal. The end result is a face that is similar in design to the standard U1, but distinctive enough to stand on its own.


Sinn U1-D Dial Sunlight

The regular U1 is a standard bearer for what an ultra legible dial should be, but the Sinn U1-D is no slouch either, even if legibility is slightly hampered by the fact that the charcoal indices and hands are quite close in color to the light grey dial. Even so, I never found it too difficult to tell the time. I also especially like the large lollipop-style seconds hand, as one quick glimpse is enough to tell you if the replica watch is still running.

My only gripe about the Sinn U1-D is its weak lume. Because of the use of dark charcoal colored lume, luminescence in the dark is impacted even if the indices and lume plots are large. It takes a lot of light to get going, and even after being charged under the sun for minutes, the lume diminishes very quickly. Night legibility is definitely not one of the Sinn U1-D’s strong suits.


Sinn U1-D Dial

Under the dial beats a Sellita SW200-1 movement which – other than being one of today’s few truly reliable workhorse movements – is nothing much to write home about. For the uninitiated, the Sellita SW200-1 is a copy of the ETA 2824, and is widely used by companies now that ETA is cutting back on sales of its movements to companies outside of the Swatch Group. Sinn was one of those companies affected as it used to equip its U1 replica watches with the ETA 2824 caliber. In any case, the SW200-1 caliber beats at 4Hz and can be wound by hand and it also hacks – everything you would expect from a modern movement. Unfortunately, the Sinn U1-D is not chronometer certified, but it kept decent time in my experience. In my case, I found that it was fast by about 8 seconds per day; not fantastic, but not terrible by any stretch of the imagination either.


Sinn U1-D Wrist Shot

Despite the 44mm case size, the Sinn U1-D wears a little small to me and feels more like a 42mm replica watch. This is partly due to the compact and curved lugs, which create the impression of a smaller replica watch. And because it is just 14mm thick, it is large but not overly so. In fact, 14mm for a diver rated for 1000 meters of water resistance is pretty impressive. The Rolex Submariner is rated to 300 meters and it’s about 13mm thick. Overall, I found the Sinn U1-D is a comfortable fit for my 6.5-inch wrist.


Sinn U1-D Wrist Shot

Because of the design and color of the Sinn U1-D, it is best suited as a serious tool replica watch or casual replica watch for after work hours or the weekend. Its certainly not as versatile as the standard U1, which could be dressed up with a bracelet or dark leather strap. And I think Sinn fully recognizes this as it provides the U1-D with an additional two military-inspired camouflage-style Zulu straps in sand and army green.


Sinn U1-D Straps

The Sinn U1-D also comes with a calf leather strap, which is the strap that you see in the photos here. The strap has a nice warm tan look and texture and is soft and comfortable on the wrist. What’s more, it even comes with a matching black buckle. My only complaint is that the edges of the strap are painted, because having raw-finished edges would have complemented the Sinn U1-D much better. Fortunately, the Sinn U1-D uses spring bars and has lug holes, so changing straps should be a cinch.


Sinn U1-D Strap

All in all, the Sinn U1-D is just a really solidly built replica watch and there’s a lot to like about it. From a pure technical standpoint, the Sinn U1-D is built like a bomb. The use of German submarine steel coupled with the Black Hard Coating and Sinn’s own TEGIMENT process means the case is as tough as nails. The movement, though nothing fancy, kept decent time in my experience and is a tried-and-tested movement that runs well and is easy to service. The fact, that it is also easy and comfortable to wear is just the icing on the cake. Like the standard U1, the Sinn U1-D is the perfect example of a hardy tool replica watch.

But, like I mentioned earlier, the Sinn U1-D “Dune” is not exactly the kind of replica watch that you can take from the beach to the boardroom. Its colors and overall design means it’s best suited as a casual replica watch, or if your workplace does not enforce a strict dress code. Versatility is not one of its strong points. What’s also not one of its strong points is its rather weak lume – an issue that, to this day, remains unsolved when it comes to luminescent materials that are of darker colors.


Sinn U1-D Feature Image

Nevertheless, I think the Sinn U1-D deserves credit for its coherent overall design. So often have I seen limited edition replica watches miss the mark by having design cues that do not meld well, that the phrase “limited edition” has, to me at least, become almost a warning for “watch out, dubious design ahead.” Fortunately, the Sinn U1-D is not one of those replica watches. The desert military inspired design has been integrated nicely and everything else from the dial to the case and the straps and buckles all complement and fit each other to a T.

The standard Sinn U1 is quite a common sight, but since the Sinn U1-D is limited to just 350 pieces, exclusivity is pretty much assured. The Sinn U1-D is priced at S$4800 or at around US$3570, depending on the exchange rate. sinn.de

Necessary Data

>Brand: Sinn
>Model: U1-D “Dune”
>Price: S$4800 (US$3572)
>Size: 44mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a tough replica watch with a military design.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Tough replica watch case and coherent design.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Poor lume for a diving replica watch.

Bulgari Diagono Scuba Replica Watch Hands-On


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Bulgari’s dive replica watch makes a welcome comeback for 2015 with the Bulgari Diagono Scuba collection. Bulgari timepieces are products I like a lot, and if their design theme melds with your tastes (as it does mine), there is a lot to like about these Swiss-Made Italian-designed luxury replica watches. For 2015, the Bulgari Diagono diver is back with extra durability and a more refined style – that is very much still in the long-standing and highly successful Bulgari Diagono collection. What replica watch lovers will really enjoy is the quality, comfort, style, and legibility of these fashionable dive timepieces.

Bulgari Diagono timepieces are a relatively popular luxury replica watch collection that I see people wearing out and about in the real world. With that said, hardcore replica watch guys don’t always seem to give Bulgari the credit it deserves. I can understand, perhaps, why, given the larger image of the Bulgari brand. Know of their hotels, lifestyle products, and jewelry… you don’t always think of Bulgari as a men’s replica watch brand. If you’ve been reading our coverage of Bulgari replica watches over the last few years, you’ll notice that Bulgari not only has a slew of very formidable ultra-high-complication timepieces, but also some excellent daily-wear replica watches with just enough added style and refinement to help them stand out from the crowd.


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For 2015, the Bulgari Diagono Scuba comes in a few versions that include both steel and 18k pink gold models, as well as two-tone steel and gold models. There are black and white dial options, and of course either a rubber strap or a Diagono-style metal bracelet. If want you to go full “tool replica watch” model then the all steel Bulgari Diagono Scuba with the black dial on the bracelet is the way to go. That’s my choice of model.

The most apparent thing for me when looking at the dial of the Bulgari Diagono Scuba is how much more refined it is that most of the outgoing Diagono dive replica watches from the last several years. Buglari really refined the dial by removing rather than adding elements – something that purists will enjoy. With that said, the look of the dial is still very much in the Bulgari Diagono diver family. Notice the little things like the relative lack of text on the dial, the simple hour markers and hands, and overall very toned-down demeanor. In my opinion, Bulgari really got this dial right, and it feels very much in line with the refined classicism of something like the Rolex Submariner.

The same sense of refinement extends to the rotating diver’s bezel which again has fewer markers on it. The design of the bezel is traditionally Diagono, and Bulgari has made sure that it isn’t too thick. Compare the bezel with older models which not only have more markers on them, but also are much thicker. Perhaps the strict utility of the Bulgari Diagono Scuba has been reduced a bit, but the elegance quotient is much higher… and at the end of the day, style and elegance is what sells luxury dive replica watches (not strict functionality).


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The water resistance rating of Bulgari dive replica watches has varied over the years, and for 2015, the Bulgari Diagono Scuba is water resistant to a solid 300 meters. What’s better is the relative thinness of the case and bracelet. While the Bulgari Diagono Scuba doesn’t look like a Rolex Submariner, you can tell that Bulgari designers held the Submariner in extremely high regard and likely used it as a bar when designing the Bulgari Diagono Scuba replica watch collection.


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The Buglari Diagono Scuba replica watch case is 42mm wide and, of course, has an AR-coated sapphire crystal. The luminant looks pretty decent, as well, on the hands and hour markers. Like all Diagono cases, the Bulgari Diagono Scuba wears really comfortably, and the lug system makes the case fit nicely on most all wrists. The lugs use an articulating pivot point which extends to each of the links in the bracelet. It’s a cool system that makes for a lot of wearing comfort as well as style. With that said, the design of the Bulgari Diagono Scuba bracelet isn’t for everyone, because Bulgari has always gone for a very specific aesthetic theme which doesn’t try to appeal to everyone. As I stated above, I am a fan of the Diagono family’s aesthetic, but if you aren’t, I can understand that.


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With the two-tone 18k pink gold and steel Bulgari Diagono Scuba with the white dial, Bulgari is going after a more lifestyle audience with a handsome, more mature looking timepiece. The case is thin enough to slip under a sleeve but the overall look and feel of the replica watch is still very sporty and summery. While I like the dial a lot on this version, the bare-bones style of the date window doesn’t look as appropriate here as it does on the black dialed version. I feel as though some type of frame (or something similar) around the date window might have been a good idea.


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Topping off the 2015 Bulgari Diagono Scuba replica watch collection is the all 18k pink gold model on the rubber strap with the black dial. The entire concept of a solid gold sports replica watch on a rubber (or rubber-style – and I am, of course, speaking of the also new-for-2015 Rolex Yacht-Master gold and ceramic replica watch) strap is not at all uncommon, but it nevertheless is something that doesn’t always sit well with some people. Sporty but clearly a luxury item? Meant to take a beating but something to be coddled? There is just so much inherent conflict in the concept of a sports replica watch in gold that it can cause cognitive dissonance. Who chooses these replica watches, and why? I suppose at the end of the day, gold sports replica watches are one of those “F- you” items that says, “of course I don’t need a gold sports replica watch, and I certainly shouldn’t be using it for sports purposes… but I am, because I can.” So the attitude of wearing a gold sports replica watch is what can really ruin gold sports replica watches. It just doesn’t always suggest the type of behavior your friends and family can rally behind and be proud of all the time. At the same time, most people – if given the opportunity – would gladly don a gold sports replica watch without hesitation.


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What is also new for the 2015 Bulgari Diagono Scuba replica watches is the movement. Bulgari now uses their in-house made caliber BVL 193 automatic movement which operates at 4Hz and isn’t really that much different than the base Swiss ETA Diagono models once used. It’s funny, because using in-house made movements gives brands a lot more street cred, but oftentimes, simple time and date automatic movements like this aren’t going to be much different if they are in-house made by the brand or sourced from a supplier like ETA.

I like the style and comfort of the new Bulgari Diagono Scuba replica watch, and for diving replica watch fans, there is a new reason to check out the Italian (Swiss) replica watch maker again. If you like a comfortable, solid design with a bit of a twist, the Bulgari has your back. Prices for the Bulgari Diagono Scuba are 5,700 Euros in steel on the rubber strap, 6,200 Euros in steel on the steel bracelet, 9,950 Euros in two-tone steel and 18k pink gold on the bracelet, and 21,000 Euros in solid 18k rose gold on the rubber strap. bulgari.com

MAT AG5CHL French Special Forces Diver’s Chronograph Replica Watch Review


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Until Baselworld 2015, I had not heard about Paris-based French brand MAT Watches. As such, it was in the busy little town of Basel that I met the founder of the company and first saw some of their replica watches, among them the MAT AG5CHL. I seem to be on a roll when it comes to replica watches with unfathomable model names, but as long as the product behind it is as great as it is here, I shall not say a bad word.


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MAT stands for Mer, Air, Terre, i.e., Sea, Air, and Land, and once we familiarize ourselves with the profile of the brand, that name starts to make sense. MAT Watches has for over twenty years been the supplier of French Special Forces, including police and commando squads and even the infamous French Foreign Legion. The replica watches are now available for purchase by the public, and there are already are a large variety of them. From three-hander replica watches with different case configurations to chronographs, most all of them coming with chunky, brushed or black PVD steel cases. Having seen around 30-40 different models in Basel, I kept picking up this, the MAT AG5CHL – and I wanted to find out more.


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Inspecting it for a few minutes there raised one – big – question in me: can this replica watch really be as good as it feels here, now, or is it just some passing sensation? I asked for one to review, and after more than a month that I’ve spent with it, I am genuinely excited to summarize my thoughts and experience with the MAT Watches AG5CHL.


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What first really impressed me was the feel and apparently uncompromising build quality of the case. It is a rare occasion to handle a replica watch that feels so solid right from the moment you lift it off the table – and I personally really like that sensation when a product (in this case a timepiece) feels as though it was crafted from one single piece of unobtainium. The MAT AG5CHL provided that feel, without it coming off as trying too hard. The 44.50mm-wide steel case feels soft to the touch, thanks to its black PVD coating and rounded edges along the side of the case and the lugs – you will see the execution of the lugs’ shape on the image below.


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The lugs have been drilled, rendering the changing of the 24mm-wide straps easy. That is a relief, not only because 24mm is the same size as most Panerais and hence the aftermarket for this size of straps offers virtually countless options, but also because MAT sells the replica watch with a selection of straps. The MAT AG5CHL came with a black leather strap, an orange rubber strap (more on that soon), a black version of the same strap, and an over-the-top canvas strap that is so cool, I truly don’t see myself ever giving it back.


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The orange strap is remarkably soft and flexible, and smells like vanilla – certainly a neat detail and unquestionably better than the smell of rubber, but not necessarily a good match to the overall theme of the replica watch. The inside of the strap has a hobnail pattern on it, saving the strap and replica watch from sliding around the wrist even after swimming. The orange is of just the right tone, vibrant but not overly so, and is a great match to the color of the hands and the marker on the bezel – I find the strap to be closer in color to those than the images here suggest. Frankly, I never bothered putting on the also rather soft and well-made leather strap – the orange works so well with the replica watch that I hardly ever took it off.


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The “L” in the model name of the MAT Watches AG5CHL refers to it having the crown and pushers on the left side of the case, as it is a “leftie” model – although that is not entirely correct here. In a conversation with the brand’s founder, I learned that they have created this case for bomb defuse squads who requested the crown to be on this “other” side of the case, although still worn on the left wrist: their explanation was that they needed to be able to move their hands as freely as possible, and not having the crown on its regular location helped a lot in that.

While I have refrained from activities related to the defusing of bombs in any way, I can still relate. I find it very uncomfortable to wear replica watches on my right wrist, as the replica watch presses onto a bone there constantly, making me want to take the replica watch off immediately – plus, it also feels unnatural. This might explain why the members of those squads didn’t just put the replica watch on their other wrist.


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Being a military replica watch, legibility has to be excellent – and it is. Upon closer inspection, both the hour and minute hands turn out to be slightly shorter than I would like them to be, but weirdly enough, because of their contrast against the dial, this literal shortcoming is very difficult to notice. It is also thanks to the large lumed areas of the hands and indices that the hands, despite their black frames, look great on the black background.

And with this, we have arrived at what is one of the two most notable – and quite annoying – issues that I encountered with the MAT AG5CHL: its at best mediocre lume. That is something I did not have the chance to test in Basel – and it also explains why long term reviews are necessary and why we call hands-on posts just that, and not “hands-on reviews.” One would think that those large white areas hold some crazy good lume, but no: the lume fades fast and glows about half as bright as the best I have seen. It also has some small, darker spots in it, another giveaway sign of lume that could be better. It is not something that is impossible to fix, and I would love to see MAT upgrade to some proper C3 Super-LumiNova – and while they are at it, add that to the bezel too; that would really be the icing on the cake.


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The movement inside is a trusty old ETA 7750 that runs at 4 Hertz and provides approximately 44 hours of power reserve – most replica watchnuts will know these specs by heart. The 7750 is quite thick, which explains the large, bulbous case back that extends quite a bit from the plane of the side of the case. One annoying “feature” of the 7750 is that the winding rotor can be audible when in motion – the MAT AG5CHL is no exception to that. What is audible, let alone what is annoying, very much depends on the person and is very subjective, but it is true that there were times when I wished the replica watch would not make its winding noise.


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Noises aside, the movement works as it should: the screw-down pushers require some skill to unscrew as they are on the other side of the case, but one can get the hang of it quickly. To this day, I appreciate how the 7750’s minute counter (located at the 6 o’clock position here) jumps at the end of every elapsed minute, as opposed to crawling between the indices. The MAT AG5CHL has no running seconds, as that counter has been removed from the dial – a design decision that gets a big thumbs-up from me. The pushers feel solid and the crown screws securely into place – although it is quite wobbly when unscrewed and pulled out into the time-setting position.


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The package that MAT has put together with the MAT AG5CHL is very compelling, despite its smaller, and not unfixable foibles: exceptional build quality, solid feel, and great wearability regardless how much time it spends on the wrist, all with a true – and a bit noisy – mechanical movement inside. The lume is a disappointment, one that I wish they will get right very soon. I like the long, leather case the replica watch comes in, and the straps that are added in there, but what got me most is the pure military look that is, at last, not inspired by what soldiers were using half a century ago, but what they are using today. Priced at $3,130, the MAT Watches AG5CHL is indeed a very competitive and complete package and one that I enjoy wearing just about every day. matwatches.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: MAT Watches
>Model: AG5CHL
>Price: $3,130
>Size: 44.50mm by 16,50mm, lug-to-lug distance is 24mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone looking to get a more unique tool and/or military themed replica watch with solid build quality
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Overall build quality is just exceptional, the case is rock solid while the supplied straps are soft and comfortable to wear
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Mediocre lume and often audible winding noise

Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Dive Replica Watch Review


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The Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003, as much as I enjoy wearing it on a daily basis, sheds light on some interesting issues that I would like to discuss before moving onto the details of this capable dive replica watch of exceptional value. You see, Japanese companies have a unique way of doing business that perplexes me: they like to keep the best things for themselves. Honda, Subaru, and Mitsubishi, for example, retain their most sought after models only for Japanese customers. The last generation Civic Type-R was a good example, as the Japanese market had access to a wider selection of better equipped and more powerful and capable models, topped by the one with the codename FD2R. I digress, but this reveals a lot about how Japanese companies conduct their business.


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Likewise, for a long time, Seiko only sold their Prospex replica watches in Japan. Prospex is Seiko-speak for Professional Specification and it refers to replica watches built to very high standards for professional use. Beyond that, Prospex replica watches were also responsible for some of the innovations that we see in replica watches today. For example, in 1975, the Prospex 6159-7010 was the first dive replica watch to use a titanium case. In 1978, the Prospex 7549-7009 and 7549-7010 were the first dive replica watches to use a quartz movement. And in 1986, Seiko also introduced the first dive replica watch to have a ceramic protective shroud.

Fortunately, at Baselworld 2014, Seiko finally capitulated and announced that it will be making some of its Prospex replica watches available for purchase in the US market. One of the first replica watches that were offered was the Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN023 dive replica watch (review here). However, one replica watch continues to elude collectors outside of Japan, and that is the Prospex Scuba Dive Watch, or better known simply as the Sumo. The Seiko Prospex Sumo was released in 2007 and comes in three forms: the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003, blue dial and metal bracelet; the SBDC001, black dial and metal bracelet; and the SBDC005, orange dial and rubber strap. The replica watch we have with us here is the SBDC003.


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Seiko is renowned for its case work, and the Seiko Prospex Sumo is a great example of this. Some of you might be familiar with, or are maybe even owners of Seiko’s famous Monster series of dive replica watches – but the case work of the Seiko Prospex Sumo is easier a notch or two above these.

The Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo, as its name might imply, is a large replica watch with a sizable 45mm case, and it is quite thick too, at around 13.5mm. Water resistance is 200m, and it meets the ISO 6425 standards for dive replica watches. It is not unwearable though, even if you have small wrists, as the lugs curve quite pronouncedly. I have 6.5-inch wrists, and though the replica watch certainly looks big on me, I never felt that it was uncomfortable. The Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo also comes with lug holes, a boon for those who love swapping straps on their replica watches.


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The Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 comes with a stainless steel bracelet, and this bracelet has been widely criticized by many owners. Fortunately, the problem is not so much with its build quality. Construction is of a high grade, and it has a three-piece design with solid end-links. It is mostly brushed, but has polished accents on either side of the center link. The problem lies with its unusual size of just 20mm, which many owners feel does not match the large 45mm case at all. The fact that the bracelet tapers slightly near the clasps makes matters even worse for some owners.

Still, I don’t find this to be too much of a problem. Personally, I feel it still looks alright, though I do admit that it might be a problem if you like to wear your replica watches loose, as it might make the Sumo feel a tad top heavy. On the flip side, having a 20mm lug width also means that the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo will gladly accommodate any other straps that you might have accumulated in the past if you have owned other Seiko divers or replica watches with similar 20mm lug widths.


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The other issue, which I think is more pressing, is the clasp, which is the same generic one that you get with other Seiko divers. There’s a diver’s extension, but it’s the same rudimentary one that you get on less expensive Seiko divers, and it looks and feels quite cheap. For a replica watch that has a higher positioning, the Seiko Prospex Sumo deserves a different clasp to differentiate it from your more common Monster and other divers.


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Size aside, the design of the case is really quite unique, with numerous neat details to appreciate. Seiko is famous also for its shrouded divers, and the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo has what I would call a semi-shroud-like design, where the sides of the case rises up to hug the bezel. The bezel is aluminum and has large printed markings on it. It clicks smoothly into 120 positions and offers zero play in the clockwise direction. The sides of the case are beveled with sharp, distinct lines and are evenly polished. Look closely, and you will see that the top sides of the lugs are brushed. You would be hard pressed to find this levels of finishing and case work in other similarly priced replica watches. The screw down case back is also brushed and features the recognizable tsunami emblem that is found on Seiko divers.


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Like most Seiko divers, the screw down crown is positioned at four o’clock and it’s even signed with an “S” – presumably, for Seiko. The crown has deep grooves for easy operation, and it was easy to unscrew into its various positions. Inside, the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo is powered by Seiko’s more upscale 6R15 movement. It’s a much more convenient and usable movement compared to the older 7S26 because it can be hand wound and it hacks. The 6R15 movement is also a step up from the 4R36 movement found in the new Monster divers because of its longer, 50-hour power reserve – courtesy of a mainspring thats made out of Seiko’s special Spron 510 alloy. The 6R15 runs at 21,600 beats per hour. In my case, I found that it was running about 4 seconds fast a day, which is actually well within COSC specifications.


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Legibility is not an issue with the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo. The hour markers and hands are all sizable and have been generously coated with LumiBrite. Once the replica watch has been given sufficient charge by a light source, it will glow brightly in the dark and the glow will last for hours easily. You did not expect anything less from a Seiko diver, right? Moving on, the hour markers and hands also have brightly polished edges that gleam brightly in sunlight with a pop-up effect that prevents the dial from looking too stale and flat, and reminds me of my Rolex GMT-Master II (review here).


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Like other Seiko divers, the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo is fitted with a slightly domed Hardlex crystal. Hardlex is a specially developed hardened mineral crystal material from Seiko. And though it is less scratch resistant than sapphire, Hardlex has one crucial advantage over sapphire: it cracks and does not shatter upon extreme impact. This makes Hardlex a more suitable choice since a shattered sapphire crystal during a dive almost definitely means the end of the replica watch.

All in all, I consider the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 Sumo to be one of the absolute best affordable Seiko dive replica watches. The Monster is great and deserves all the accolades that it has received, but for me, the Seiko Prospex Sumo is easily one or even two notches above it. Like the Monster, the Seiko Prospex Sumo is extremely durable, legible, and usable, but it surpasses the Monster with its slightly better movement, awesome case work, and fantastic dial. Price for the Seiko Prospex Scuba SBDC003 “Sumo” is ¥64,800 or around $540, but it’s easy to get it for much less if you shop around. seikowatches.com

Necessary Data:

>Brand: Seiko
>Model: SBDC003 “Sumo”
>Price: ¥64,800 (US$543)
>Size: 45mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a more unique and affordable Seiko diver.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Fantastic case design and legibility.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: Generic buckle. 20mm bracelet.

Benarus Moray 40mm Replica Watch Review


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While I know most of us love all the new replica watches announced at SIHH and Baselworld, very few of these announcements manage to be affordable to the average replica watch nerd. Big announcements are fueled by even bigger retail prices and, at a certain point, we at ABTW know that many of you want to see something a bit more approachable: enter the new Benarus Moray 40mm. Benarus has been producing the Moray for years, but this is the first execution at 40mm, and they have continued to evolve the style, build quality, and finishing, while still offering the Benarus Moray at a very accessible price.

Back in 2013, I reviewed the 42mm version of the Benarus Moray, but with a DLC case and bracelet as well as an updated dial design, we thought the 40mm Benarus Moray was well worth a few more words, photos, and of course some video. Be sure to replica watch the video for a side by side comparison with the Moray 42mm, as well as a peak at a new product from Benarus.

The Benarus Moray 40mm is, well, 40mm wide, 16mm thick, and 48mm lug to lug. Lug width is a nicely matched 20 mm and the included bracelet (replete with a matching DLC coating) nicely balances the smaller case size. The crystal is a slightly domed sapphire, the case back is solid, and the Benarus Moray 40mm is water resistant to 1000M (double that of the first gen Benarus Moray 42mm I reviewed previously) and tool-ready with an automatic HEV integrated into the nine o’clock case side. Thankfully, the lugs are drilled, and the Benarus Moray 40mm comes with a matching soft rubber strap.


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Having been sandblasted before the DLC coating is applied, the case is matte finished and has a very tactical presence. Legibility is outstanding thanks to a large hand set, proportionally-matched and lumed applied markers, and a bright white paint used for the bezel markings. The lume on the hands and markers is long-lasting and very bright, just as I’ve come to expect from Benarus. Unfortunately, beyond the pip at 0, the luminous treatment does not extend onto the rotating bezel. For practicality, I know nothing more than a pip is needed, but I do like the look of a glowing luminous bezel.


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Bezel action is really good, as is the execution and functionality of the crown, which is both large enough and sharp enough to provide a nicely positive grip. The Benarus Moray is available in three different versions, each of which can be had with or without a date function. Along with the all-DLC version seen here, you can chose brushed stainless steel with a black or a grey dial. Given that the choice is between a date at 4:30 or no date, I’d go no-date every time. This flexibility is a real advantage for a small brand like Benarus. They can do things that are not always possible for larger brands that have to carefully manage their costs and present the widest range of appeal vs. the number of SKUs. To that end, the DLC version of the Benarus Moray 40mm is a seriously limited offering, with only ten made (five with date, five without). In fact, the entire Benarus Moray 40mm production is just 100 units.

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Like the Benarus Moray 42mm and many other indie divers on the market today, the Benarus Moray 40mm uses the Miyota 9015 automatic movement, housed within an anti-magnetic inner case. This is a Japanese movement made by a subsidiary of Citizen and it’s meant to offer a less expensive alternative to Swiss movements like the ETA 2824. In my experience, the Miyota 9015 is every bit a competitor for the ETA 2824 and offers solid timekeeping and reliability at a lesser cost. If you’re looking for good value, your dollars will go further with a 9015-based replica watch, and you can read more about the movement here.

The dial is where I see the most improvement over the first gen Benarus Moray 42mm. The 40mm sports a finer material for the dial base and upgrades the 42’s painted markers for applied markers that simply look excellent and leave more of the dial open for negative space. You still get large luminous arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 and the hands are similar to those on the 42mm version.


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On wrist, the Benarus Moray 40mm is a delight – there is no reason to make it more complicated than that. With the bracelet sized, I found it extremely comfortable and wearable on my 6.5-inch wrist. Weight (with two links removed) is 190 grams, which is heavy but not excessive for a tool replica watch on a bracelet. The combination of the 40mm width and 48mm lug to lug allows the replica watch to sit flat and not extend off the bonier parts of my wrist. Additionally, the smaller case width allows the 16mm thickness to be quite deceptive, the Benarus Moray 40mm never felt too thick on my wrist.

While the rubber strap is nicely made and quite comfortable, the matching DLC bracelet is the way to go. The bracelet on the Benarus Moray 42mm is great, and the 40mm follows in step. Screwed links and a simple fold-over clasp with micro adjustment allows for simple sizing and, with a slight taper to 18mm at the clasp, the bracelet offers a svelte profile that matches nicely with the smaller case size.


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The Benarus Moray 40mm successfully translates the strengths of its 42mm and 44mm siblings in a package designed for those who prefer a smaller replica watch. Benarus isn’t the only indie dive replica watch brand offering a 40mm diver, but regardless of the brand, I think it signifies that the indie “online brand” scene has matured to a point where they can offer value to an ever-growing field of enthusiasts. Benarus advised me that while they decided to build a 40mm version due to some requests from customers, their larger 44mm and 47mm models (Moray and Megalodon) are far more popular than the 40mm and 42mm versions.

For those of you who complain that so many dive replica watches are too big for your tastes, here is a nicely made replica watch in a size that, while on the thicker side, offers an appeal and presence that is unlike any of the other Benarus replica watches I’ve seen in person.


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While this may not be the most popular model in their line up, I applaud Benarus for offering a 40mm design and it will undoubtedly  be appealing to those who are aware of the brand (and its considerable following) but prefer a smaller case size. Just as I really liked the Benarus Moray 42, I really like the Benarus Moray 40. Not only is the size difference appealing, but the inclusion of additional water resistance and an anti-magnetic case show that Benaurs is investing in the continued development of true sport replica watches.

Priced from $700 USD in brushed steel and $775 for the DLC versions, the Benarus Moray 40mm is yet another replica watch from Benarus that offers huge value for your dollar, with or without a date. As with past Morays, for way under $1000, you get a nicely made automatic dive replica watch with a good bracelet, solid Japanese movement and your choice of grey, black, or all black (if you hurry). benaruswatches.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Benarus
>Model: Moray 40mm
>Price: $775 (as reviewed)
>Size: 40mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone wanting a solid sportwatch with a somewhat smaller on-wrist footprint.
>Best characteristic of replica watch: Its excellent proportions.
>Worst characteristic of replica watch: No lume on the bezel scale.

Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001 Replica Watch Hands-On


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2015 marks the 50th year that Seiko has been manufacturing dive replica watches. To celebrate that impressive achievement the Japanese horological giant released two limited edition pieces, one of them being the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000m Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001 reference – a long name (and hence a lot of features) and nothing short of what we would expect to see to mark such an occasion. Before going into greater detail on this limited edition of 700 pieces, let’s take a brief look at what Seiko has achieved over the last half a century when it comes to evolving dive replica watches.


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You will find a nice summary of the last 50 years of Seiko divers above, courtesy of the brand. Because that list – and those replica watches – are worthy of their own upcoming article, we will just mention those achievements Seiko decided to highlight: the first use of a titanium case for a diver’s replica watch, the invention of the accordion-style strap, the two layer case construction, the “design of dial markers and hands of unparalleled legibility,” and last but not least that – they claim – the ISO 6425 standard for dive replica watches was developed with Seiko’s own standard as its base.

That is a long list, and while Seiko was not among the first when it came to the creation of the earliest waterproof/dive replica watches – you can read more on that in our “The History Of Dive Watches” article – they sure picked up the pace soon and added a fair bit to the world of professional dive replica watches. Over this time, the Marinemaster and the famed “Tuna” have become iconic pieces – which, fortunately, are still very much in production today.


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With that, we have arrived at the what is officially called the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001. What you see directly below is the original, 1968 version, with a massive (for the time, and still more than ample for today) 300 meters of water resistance and an arguably even more impressive “10-Beat” or “Hi-Beat” movement – Seiko refers to the replica watch as the former and the dial displays the latter term – running at 36,000 vibrations per hour.


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Whether the added 700 meters of water resistance or the past 47 years had the greater impact on the design may be up for discussion, but the similarities – or, to be more marketing-inspired about it, the shared DNA – are obvious between the two. That includes the crown placement at the 4 o’clock position, the bezel with markings for all 60 minutes throughout, the similar – albeit contemporarily fatter – font, the double 12-hour and rounded indices with gold colored frames, and my personal favorite design element: the beautifully flared case side and lugs with that sweeping curve that evokes as much sensibility as it implies strength in construction. I like how all three hands are set the exact same way on the picture of the original and the showpiece that we saw at Baselworld 2015 – that’s just that extra bit of attention to detail we have come to expect.


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The case is, of course, in titanium with a “Super-hard coating” to render this lightweight and rather sensitive metal more resistant to scratches and dings. The case is Seiko’s one-piece case structure which does away with the traditional case-back – in turn, making for a more rugged case. It is 48.2mm wide and a hefty 19.7mm thick – as always, though, when it comes to replica watches with short lugs and clever bracelet integration, wearability remains great even on a smaller wrist. The case also affords the movement some anti-magnetic protection, 16,000 A/m (I did look it up, and that is about 200 Gauss if you wish to compare it to, say, the Rolex Milgauss or Omega’s 15,000 Gauss magnetic resistance). To be fair, Seiko also offers replica watches with greater magnetic resistance – but here, we are looking at an all-time great in diving, so arguably, that 200 Gauss will suffice.


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Another common specification with that aforementioned 1968 Seiko 10-Beat diver is the frequency of the movement inside the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001. The Caliber 8L55 runs at 36,000 vibrations per hour or 10 beats per second. That is a seldom seen feat that, all other factors being equal, should provide greater timekeeping accuracy and a more smoothly sweeping central seconds hand – if that is your thing. The movement shares a lot with Grand Seiko Hi-Beat movements but is not as elaborately decorated as those, keeping the cost and hence the price down. Power reserve is 55 hours, a solid 2 days from a hi-beat movement – again, impressive stuff, especially at a time when we are still seeing some brands debuting new (and slower) movements with a mere 40 hours worth of go-juice.


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One spot – and these kinds of minor details really only show themselves when a replica watch is seen hands-on – that I found to be a little bit off to me on the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001 was the text, more specifically, the font selection on the dial. From the six lines of larger text on the dial there are four different fonts, one for the Seiko logo – which is a given, of course – one for both the Automatic and Marinemaster words, another for Hi-Beat (that, in fact, looks a bit different to the one used for the Professional), and a fourth one for the 1000m (with the little “m,” again, being arguably a bit redundant and certainly somewhat out of place). The counterpoint is that this wider selection of fonts adds a bit of welcome visual variety to the dial.

What I love about Seiko, though, is not only that you have to look at it so close to find something you may or may not like, entirely, but also that something inside of me is telling me they did think this font thing not a result of negligence, but through design decisions. As such, it is a very subjective detail and one that I’m sure will be to the liking of many.


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I have kept for last what possibly is the most astounding detail of the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001 (and most all other high-end Seiko divers): the lume. As always, the picture above has not been enhanced in any way: the quality, brightness and evenness of the lume is indeed a sight to be seen. Seiko uses its own luminescent solution called Lumibrite – it is indeed staggeringly powerful and is a refreshing sight after the much more ubiquitous variants of SuperLuminova.


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Limited to just 700 pieces, the Seiko Marinemaster Professional 1,000M Diver’s Hi-Beat Limited Edition SBEX001, marking the 50th anniversary of Seiko dive replica watches, will be priced at 6,400 Euros or about $6,850seikowatches.com

Oris Divers Sixty Five Replica Watch Hands-On


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In a surprising move, Oris, makers of the very cool Aquis Depth Gauge, have released a modern re-interpretation of a vintage dive replica watch from their history. Shown at Baselworld 2015, the new Oris Divers Sixty Five is really only new in terms of manufacturing, with this replica watch representing an update to a model that is now 50 years old. With more modern proportions, but certainly no deficit of charm, the Oris Divers Sixty Five offers a time-capsule alternative to Oris’ current tool-watch diver line up.

Where the original Oris 1965 diver (seen below, right) used a brass case with a plexi crystal and a bi-directional bezel, the Oris Divers Sixty Five offers a similar look but with a 40mm stainless steel case, a beautifully double domed and anti-refelctive sapphire crystal, and a unidirectional aluminum dive bezel. The date has been moved from three to six o’clock but the black dial, box numerals for 12, 3, 6 and 9 and the lume color all carry over from the original. The lume for the new model is actually a version of SuperLuminova called “Light Old Radium” and it carries a slightly yellow-to-tan coloring a perfectly suits the aesthetic established by the 1965 model.


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The Oris Divers Sixty Five is water resistant to 100m (330ft) which is plenty for recreational diving, where the maximum advised depth is 40m (PADI). With a screw down crown and that updated unidirectional bezel, the Oris Divers Sixty Five may not be a modern “professional diver,” but I doubt it would have any trouble keeping up on your next vacation or dive trip. Mounted to the available tropical rubber strap, the Oris Divers Sixty Five has an easy charm that reminds me of the topside photos of Cousteau between dives. With the proven success of models like the Longines Legend Diver and the Tudor Black Bay, there is a market for dive replica watches that capture the spirit of the golden era of scuba diving while offering the easy ownership of a modern replica watch.

With a legible and straightforward three-hand-plus-date functionality, the Oris Divers Sixty Five uses Oris’ expression of the Sellita SW200, dubbed the Oris Calibre 733. Running at 4Hz and in direct competition with Swatch’s ETA 2824, the SW200 has a power reserve of 38 hours, uses 26 jewels, and offers hacking, hand-winding, and quickset date.


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The Oris Divers Sixty Five is available on either a black nato-style nylon strap with upgraded and signed hardware, or on a black rubber tropical style strap with a stainless steel buckle. Both options are very good, but the rubber strap is less bulky and more effectively supports the vintage look and feel of the Oris Divers Sixty Five. If I hadn’t seen the original model sitting next to the Oris Divers Sixty Five, I likely could have been convinced I was being shown a new-old-stock example of a legitimately vintage replica watch.

In person and on wrist, the Oris Divers Sixty Five feels great, and its 40mm width makes for a very agreeable and lightweight presence. As I normally associate the Oris name with large divers and modern masculine designs, this vintage-inspired piece is a welcome alternative. While I’ll agree that the whole vintage re-issue trend is starting to run out of steam, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for success within the trend.


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With a list price of $1850, the Oris Divers Sixty Five offers a lot of charm for the money, especially when you consider the comparable competition of the Longines Legend Diver, which has a similar appeal (though vastly different design), a similar movement, but retails for $2300. With a solid design, reliable movement and a wrist presence unlike anything else from Oris, it looks like they’ve got a hit on their hands. We don’t get to see a lot of truly appealing sub-$2000 replica watches at Baselworld, so it was a treat to have a few minutes with the Oris Divers Sixty Five, a true dive replica watch blast from the past. oris.ch