Monday, 17 January 2011

Review: Seiko SKZ325K1 “Stargate” Diver

"Bek. Kau tengok gambar ni? Seiko diver baru. That was a simple request that I received from a fellow collector sometime in November last year. Seeking my opinion, he sent me an MMS of a brand new Seiko diver’s photo. Looking at the image, I was not so impressed with the Z22 waved rubber strapped diver with radical design. That’s about all. But, after browsing through various websites, forums, and see the real thing; this newly dubbed Stargate lastly joined my 2011 collection on January 8th. A brand new watch for a brand new year! After exactly one week observing the behavior of this masculine diver, I decided to post my review in this blog. Sorry, quality of the photo is not so good. Enjoy reading." – thetick-thetick

The Seiko “Stargate” Scuba Diver 200m
Like the previous models, Seiko signature diver will be given a call sign like Tuna, Nemo, Monster, Sumo, Samurai, Dilot (Diver-Pilot), Starfish, etc. Only recently I found that this new diver was given a name Stargate. May be because of its bezel resembles the teleport portal used in the famous Stargate movie and TV series. Try goggling and you may find a few links of this new Asian edition submariner. The watch looks very masculine, sturdy, heavy, and projects a new luxury line of affordable Seiko.

Stargate – SKZ325K1 with Stainless Steel BraceletSpecification

Seiko Scuba Divers 200m
ISO Certified Divers watch
Antimagnetic Type I
Model Ref: SKZ325K1, with SS bracelet
Movement: 7S36 Automatic, 23jewels Made in Japan
Case No: 04P0 SS, SS case back
Scuba Bezel: Chrome-finished Black PVD Coated SS, Uni-directional Bezel, 120 clicks
Crystal: Domed Hardlex Crystal, 35mm diameter
Bracelet: SS Double Lock Clasp Buckle with wetsuit extension

Case Dimensions
Diameter: 44mm across, 48mm with crown
Lug to Lug: 50mm
Lug Width: 22mm

Stargate – SKZ323K White Dial w/SS Bezel and SKZ327K w/Z22 Rubber

The Case
The case looks quite similar to the famous Sumo. It looks heavy but curvy and recessed shape with polished and satin-brushed stainless steel finish. Not like the Sumo, the new Stargate is constructed with wider 22mm lugs. The pin holed case lugs ease dismantling of the solid stainless steel bracelet. A true Seiko DNA, the non-symmetrical case is a little bit out of shape at 3 to 5 o’clock position purposely designed to guard the watch crown. Beveled at every edge, the polished and satin-brushed case looks very immaculate at all angles.

The Scuba Bezel
The chrome-finished PVD coated stainless steel bezel unit looks luxurious. By the look you may think it is made of ceramic! The saw tooth bezel unit is integrated with a small trackball attached at 6 o’clock position on the case. This makes 120 clicks unidirectional bezel operation so smooth. The screw mounted pyramid shaped time-lapse marker on the bezel is so protruded. It is so noticeable if viewed from the case side. The 120 clicks enable the time-lapse marker to be set with the minute index on the dial precisely in every incremental. Adding to perfection, a thick shiny stainless steel ring borders between domed Hardlex crystal and bezel is perfectly fitted to support the operation.

The Crown
The big screw-down crown is proportionately sized and arranged to align with the crown guarded case. When pulled out at position 2, you can see quite a big screw-type pipe to hold the stem and the crown. Despite of its well-designed adjustment unit, I found that it is a little bit tight and coarse to screw down the crown.

The oversized bezel and time-elapse marker looks so protruded by the side. The curvy and recessed case can be strapped comfortably even on smaller wrist. The big crown is proportionately sized by the side.

The Dial, Hands, and Calendar
The simple day-date glossy finished black dial configuration looks astounding with the centre-wheeled 3 luminous hands. The big fat but lume-rich hour hand looks exactly like the Sumo. Same goes to the minute hand. But, in contrast the red painted minute hand looks a little bit imbalanced. Overall, the hands and the dial blend well with the blackness of the dial. Thanks to the big luminous hour marker and the minute marker insert indexing the outer dial. The symmetrical shield shaped 12 hour marker on the dial resembles the one on the famous 6159, 6105 and the new 300mm Marine Master. The black calendar disk with white print and frame looks a little bit miss-matched compared to the 11 steel-framed hour markers indexing the dial.

Glow in the dark. This picture says it all.

The Crystal
The thick domed Hardlex crystal rise perfectly between the bezel and the pyramid shaped time-lapse marker. Domed type crystal is well known of its visibility for underwater reading. But, it is so reflective to lighting. Hence, the glossy finished dial underneath degrades visibility when reading under bright sunlight.

Luxurious look masterpiece but glaring when reading in bright daylight.

The Bracelet
Heavy but I should rate the bracelet as an excellent production by Seiko so far for a diver in its class. The bracelet construction is solid and so comfortable to strap around the wrist. Adding to its supremacy, the end links are solid and constructed well to fit the lugs with very marginal gap.

The Clasp Buckle and Extension
The clasp buckle with extension is exactly the one used in other new diver series. One thing for sure, the extension link is so tightly locked on the folding clasp. You need a tool and energy to extend it for the first time!

Usual Suspect! Had a Seiko Monster? Same clasp buckle with extension link.

Timekeeping
As everyone knows, the 7S36 is an enhanced movement from the previous 21 jewels 7S26 robust movement. It has been fitted with additional 2 jewel cups to smoothly run one of the transmission wheels (pinion wheel) that make it 23 jewels for better accuracy. Not all mass assembled movement like the 7S36 are accurately tuned during production. But, mine is performing well with excellent accuracy. Maybe because of its anti-magnetic feature that makes the operation runs accurately despite gravitational effect and existence of magnetic fields around us.

My observation on the timekeeping summarized as the following:
• 7 days test
• 6 days straight wear on the wrist, average wear around 10 hours per day
• 1 day static at face-up position on the 7th day
• Day one to day six on wrist, total +4 seconds (less than +1 second per day)
• On 7th day static face-up position, +2 seconds (total +6 seconds in 7 days)
• Average +1 second a day

Note: The watch that I have tested is brand new with no severe drop, no blow or knock on the case. It was tested on regular wear basis using the quartz timekeeper to measure the accuracy.

Summary
The case: finest ergonomic design engineering by Seiko for its latest diver’s line.
The bracelet, buckle, and extension styling clasp: average in its class.
The crown: matched perfectly with the crown guarded case but the screw down pipe is coarse and rather stiff to operate.
Movement: mass produced, robust, reliable 7S36 caliber refined with anti-magnetic feature.
Legibility: the Seiko Lumibrite rich-filled hour marker and hands is so visible in the dark but the shiny domed crystal is so reflective when reading in bright daylight and intense indoor lighting.
Wearing comfort: two thumbs up!
Operation: large, saw tooth outer operating bezel clicks cleanly and securely into each incremental.
Design: luxury comfort and sturdy construction.
Overall (max. 10): honestly, I rate this Stargate 7 out of 10!

Take a closer look. Worth a collection?

7 comments:

  1. Hitam ni anggun.. sy dok berkenan yg rosegold. Walaupun rosegold cam tak kena sebagai jam diver..... tp lawa tul jam tu... Hmmm... kena buat tinjauan sekali lg. Hehe

    ReplyDelete
  2. saya nak yang putih....ni dah tahap angau nie....kena dapat cepat

    ReplyDelete
  3. kandang aku dah penuh dgn kambing jepunmari ni bekk.. hitam, putih, pvd pun ada dah...hehe angau tahap 4

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pergh!! Semua dah ada rupanya.. cis!! Tapi antara yang terbaek la diver stargate ni.. Tapi kalau lah SKZ327K tu pakai bracelet.. yummy!! Tapi SKZ325K ni pun lawa dengan red line kat minute hands & crown.. DJ, Nazri.. aku dah ada.. hangpa bila lagi.. (ayat racun ni..)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Korang nak beli, beli dengan Hassan - harga berpatutan. Thong Sia (tak tau kenapa) tak launch lagi model ni kat Malaysia. Bisik2 yang aku dengar silap-silap bila launch nanti tak kurang dari RM1,500 sebijik untuk tali besi. Ada yang kata, ni model pengganti SKX007 7S26 punya generasi. Aku beli haritu pun pasal kedai tu ada bawak masuk sejibik. Customer lama so dia bagi diskaun - bayar pakai keledek card! so far, Stargate dah jadi aku punya daily watch. Memang accurate... cuma lenguh skit. Pasal berat dia macam batu daaaa...

    Anyway, its a complete modern diver package. Worth buying.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fuh!! Kus semangat! Nasib baek beli awal!! Kalau tak, tak merasa aku Seiko Stargate ni. Serius, aku tertarik kat jam ni 1st time bro Hasan post kat blog dia. Tak tido mlm fikir nak beli ke tak. Last2 aku angkat jugak la..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice watch. Just wondering (I'm new to Seiko watches) how long will the lume stay bright for?

    ReplyDelete