62MAS? Really?

62MAS? Really?

Postby Pubbie » May 9th 2019, 9:21am

In this thread I talked about blowing a few hundred unnecessarily on a basically honest, or honestly basic Seiko diver. I also looked at something called the SBSC053J1, which sounds like the reorder number for a laptop memory module or something but is in fact another even more expensive dive watch. It's this one (not my pic, just pinched off of Google):
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Now this is the model which, on release, had your pus-riddled, goggle-wearing internet types screaming "62MAS! 62MAS!" *fapfapfap* before drenching their keyboards in spunk then threatening to murder each other over mild differences in opinion. So here's a short summary of why this SBCSPX00551/1J1 RAM module is nothing like that old 60's automatic self-dater.

What's wrong with it?

It's big. Heavy. 14mm thick, near as dammit 43mm across and that's all bezel. The store owner was wearing a plain (and damn fine) Radiomir and this Seiko was bigger, heavier and harder. The original was 37mm.

It's under-specced and overweight. An old Breitling Superocean available used for the same money is smaller, lighter and has SEVEN AND A HALF TIMES the 200m WR of this beast. Like the Tooderblackbay, it's a Mercedes S-Class with a four-pot under the hood. All mouth.

It's difficult to wear. The caseback is bubble shaped, and if it doesn't sit properly on your wrist, or you have it on a NATO, it'll bobble about proud of the wrist, like the City boy ostentatiously fiddling with the buttons of his shiny Omeega on the Tube.

It's awkwardly proportioned. The watch is 43mm across and nearly 50mm top to bottom but the lug width is 20mm. It's out of whack. The original had a wide lug width relative to its width, like a DateJust, and that worked.

It's shiny. It had this chicken-katsu polished bit on the side, or whatever some marketer (I put that link in, it's not spam) has convinced is an only-in-Japan thing whereas you can find a cheap Certina quartz with the exact same feature but whatever. The original diver didn't have any of this agedashe-tofu nonsense.

The crown is unsigned. Wait, no, "sterile", like that's a feature. Balls. Apparently the original was unsigned and that ironic, because absolutely no other feature whatever bears resemblance to the original. Seiko was just being cheap.

It's very, very colourful. The original was totally grey; even the black version of this watch has a rainbow in its bezel. But see below.

Was any of it actually good?

My god, the colour. Boy, can Seiko do colour. The only colour I've seen like this was on a twenty grand Moser. The bezel is matt, gloss, metallic blue, aquamarine and black all at the same time. It has many, many colorwayZ ((c) Watchlords) all at once. I just don't know how they did this. Under the loupe they gave me, new worlds opened when I looked through it. IWC's Mark XVIII pretty-rent-boy blue isn't nearly as vivid. And the lume. I've never seen anything like it; the store owner pulled out a blacklight and alarms went off; his Radiomir couldn't compete. And I do like the general case shape, including the lug curves. They do look expensive.

Why didn't you buy it, you stupid bastard?

I wasn't drunk enough. And, the shop display model was on a NATO-style strap and looked gawky. But if I'd pushed down (and then "out", heh) a bit more sake, I could have blown it, just for that incredible bezel alone.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the essay. Rant sort of thing.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby koimaster » May 9th 2019, 10:47am

I like the watch, the price not so much. Near $4k USD for the limited edition is a bit too high for what is essentially a homage to the original. Thick and heavy does not bother too much except in the circumstances such as some Clerc models as an example. No reason for it now but dive watches have always been a bit thick and heavy compared to standard desk divers or dress watches.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby TemerityB » May 9th 2019, 5:41pm

Fantastic overview, pub. Unvarnished, Jack.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby artman » May 9th 2019, 8:20pm

For 4 grand I'd rather buy the OhMeyGa SeaMasterbater any day.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby bedlam » May 9th 2019, 10:32pm

So you are saying this watches big sins are not having a name from some marketing department, having the gall to have a swiss price tag, and for being a dive watch that is set up to function well as a dive watch.

Oh the horror.

IMO 43mm is bang on the best size for a dive watch.

You do know the bezel is the whole point of divce watch functionality? Being "all bezel" is a feature not a bug.

Concern about an unsigned crown makes sense for those who buy parts-bin micro watches and want to pretend they have any horological gravitas at all. But in a watch from one of the most storied, completely verticaly integrated, watchmaker that has ever existed? Nope. I suppose they could 'swiss' the shit out if it by writing the company name over and over again in a circle around the crown and that would make it acceptable. FFS.

The most bubble-backed case I have is a Sinn U1 and that sits fine on my wrist - so that could be a personal fit issue.

They fuckin polished the case - what fukkas. The MM300 was castigated for not having it's movement decorated (only the first run were not decorated and the rest were but the legend continues unabated) and asking a higher price. They have taken the time to finish the case on this one and and you are complaining?

Aside from all the above, no steel sports watch is worth more than 2K.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby koimaster » May 9th 2019, 10:51pm

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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby Pubbie » May 10th 2019, 12:03am

bedlam wrote:So you are saying this watches big sins are not having a name from some marketing department, having the gall to have a swiss price tag, and for being a dive watch that is set up to function well as a dive watch.

No, I'm questioning the knowledge of "online internet community". It's not a 62MAS reissue, not even like one. Also the price of this one is only $1000; Seiko actually has its own homage, called the SLA017, and that's $6000, I've left that to one side.
IMO 43mm is bang on the best size for a dive watch.

You do know the bezel is the whole point of divce watch functionality? Being "all bezel" is a feature not a bug.

Yes, dive watches are usually larger but IMO all that girth suggests serious specifications. 200m WR is a bit limp. I have the same observation with the Black Bay, which is nearly 15mm thick and... 200m. My comment about being all-bezel was that it merely looks every inch its size.
Concern about an unsigned crown makes sense for those who buy parts-bin micro watches and want to pretend they have any horological gravitas at all. But in a watch from one of the most storied, completely verticaly integrated, watchmaker that has ever existed? Nope. I suppose they could 'swiss' the shit out if it by writing the company name over and over again in a circle around the crown and that would make it acceptable. FFS.

Other vertically-integrated Japanese watchmakers sign their crowns, as does Seiko itself in their more expensive watches. They cheaped out; pure and simple. Again, it's funny that all the reviews say "oh the crown is unsigned because that's just like the original from 1965"... and that's about the only characteristic it shares!
They fuckin polished the case - what fukkas. The MM300 was castigated for not having it's movement decorated (only the first run were not decorated and the rest were but the legend continues unabated) and asking a higher price. They have taken the time to finish the case on this one and and you are complaining?

Again it's the whole internet hoodoo around the whole mythical teppenyaki polishing. If it appears on AnyWatch, it's a polished bevel. But on a Japanese watch, no it's the ancient divine art of [ui]zaratsu[/i]. You can almost order up your cliché by the foot! As to the case of this one, I quite like it - I did say as much - but it isn't anything like the original 60s diver, no sirree. Yet every review, every boring YouTube blog, every dull sales ad screams "62MAS REISSUE" and despite being a total Seiko rube, it just isn't.
Aside from all the above, no steel sports watch is worth more than 2K.

Agree, but try buying a Rolex Submariner at list price : )

Aside from the crown which is too plain, I don't mind the watch and I could imagine owning one for the bezel alone. What I don't get is the breathlessly wrong internet-speak from everyone who's ever picked one of these up. It's a big, modern dive watch with wicked lume and good finishing but shares practically nothing with Seiko's 1965 original.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby bedlam » May 10th 2019, 12:32am

The SLA was the reissue, this watch was the only very vaguely related consolation price for those who couldn't afford the real thing.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby bedlam » May 10th 2019, 3:39am

Pubbie wrote:Yes, dive watches are usually larger but IMO all that girth suggests serious specifications. 200m WR is a bit limp. I have the same observation with the Black Bay, which is nearly 15mm thick and... 200m. My comment about being all-bezel was that it merely looks every inch its size.

Some companies need to quote inflated figures to be credible....this is Seiko. I'd back a Seiko diver to do 3x what it says on the dial without breaking a sweat.

For example:
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby Hawk » May 10th 2019, 7:52am

bedlam wrote:
Pubbie wrote:Yes, dive watches are usually larger but IMO all that girth suggests serious specifications. 200m WR is a bit limp. I have the same observation with the Black Bay, which is nearly 15mm thick and... 200m. My comment about being all-bezel was that it merely looks every inch its size.

Some companies need to quote inflated figures to be credible....this is Seiko. I'd back a Seiko diver to do 3x what it says on the dial without breaking a sweat.

For example:


Yup. That's Seiko: under-promise and overdeliver. Some dude from Seiko posting on a long-dead forum noted that the engineering criteria for their dive watches was that they function at a minimum of twice the rating shown on the dial.

Same with accuracy claims, IMHO. On paper the Hi-Beat looks pretty sloppy compared to Rolex in-house testing or Omega METAS but in real life, at least anecdotally and in my limited experience, Seiko is just engaging in under-promising again.

If one took WR ratings printed on the dial at face value (no pun intended) then every single Venom ever peddled by invicter can outperform a 600 meter Tuna. And I'll kiss a fat lady's ass in the middle of Trafalgar square at high noon if that ever happens even once in 1,000 random samples of each.

Pubbie has noted the toxic mix of Seiko and a loupe. I'd suppose such things, in the case of GS, are like a scarlet letter identifying a fanboy. Though the relationship is unclear - did the loupe lead to the purchase of a GS or did the GS inspire the purchase of the loupe? Doesn't matter provided the loupe is left at home during GTGs. Nothing perhaps apart from some high end Swiss brands looks quite as nice under magnification whereas the usual run of my watch box contents suffers under magnification. Apparently the specific Seiko under review suffers from some of that GS family resemblance.

If a 200 meter Seiko is built like a 1,000 meter dive watch it wouldn't particularly surprise me. Nor would I be the slightest bit taken aback if it actually worked if tested to a depth far in excess of its claims.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby bedlam » May 10th 2019, 7:58pm

Hawk wrote:Yup. That's Seiko: under-promise and overdeliver. Some dude from Seiko posting on a long-dead forum noted that the engineering criteria for their dive watches was that they function at a minimum of twice the rating shown on the dial.

To take Pubbie's point, it is true that Seiko routinely over-deliver on function but can under-deliver on finishing. Perhaps that speaks to their priorities. It tends to be the reverse for Swiss watches - where they finish the watches impeccably but don't necessarily get the functionality to the same level.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby Hawk » May 11th 2019, 6:56am

Quite so but in the case of this particular model they perhaps simply "delivered" on the finish. Or at least the colourwayz.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby 3Flushes » May 11th 2019, 7:37am

Pubbie wrote:...

You know, for an editor, you write good. Always fun to read and every once in awhile I agree with you.

Seiko brings out more just another 200M dive watch watches than anyone. Seiko has also overtaken Omega with their volcanic number of exorbitantly priced special editions and reissues, issued.

Regardless of Seiko's pledge / rep/ etc to over deliver, the watches are as they're rated and they are (mostly) over priced for the specs. What's on the dial and engraved on the back is a contract, so to speak, and if those are the numbers Seiko's willing to stand behind, they're the ones that count. Maybe Seiko should make a 300M diver that would be good to 600M+ or a 600M watch good to 2000M... not much to ask for 3 G's plus in watch or two other than the MM tier.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 11th 2019, 4:49pm

The way I see it, Seiko used to make reasonably priced, and really decent watches for the average fellow. Now, it's about "reissues" for thousands of bucks, and jerking off the blogs with non-English nickname fetish. And all of that is just so that some Manhattanite hipster will trample other hipsters in a stampede to the Seiko retailer, just to learn that they already have sold the last Sake Futomaki Limited Edition with its Mitsubishi enamel dial and Bushusuru polishing, meticulously assembled by nude geishas in a laboratory on the top of Mount Bukkake.

While I like the quality and looks of their watches, the whole Seiko frenzy is where Seiko loses me. I'm seeing countless WUS threads with people going on and on about "the new Sumo/Tuna/Sakura Hiroshima Nagasaki/whatever" that they "have taken the plunge" on at - where else - "their Seiko AD." Oh, for fuck's sake, I do like certain brands, but you won't see me writing such a load of bollocks. The way I see it, in the ranking of obscenity such hagiographic shite falls just behind public masturbation.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby conjurer » May 11th 2019, 7:54pm

I like it. It gives me a boner.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby TemerityB » May 11th 2019, 8:31pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:The way I see it, Seiko used to make reasonably priced, and really decent watches for the average fellow. Now, it's about "reissues" for thousands of bucks, and jerking off the blogs with non-English nickname fetish. And all of that is just so that some Manhattanite hipster will trample other hipsters in a stampede to the Seiko retailer, just to learn that they already have sold the last Sake Futomaki Limited Edition with its Mitsubishi enamel dial and Bushusuru polishing, meticulously assembled by nude geishas in a laboratory on the top of Mount Bukkake.

While I like the quality and looks of their watches, the whole Seiko frenzy is where Seiko loses me. I'm seeing countless WUS threads with people going on and on about "the new Sumo/Tuna/Sakura Hiroshima Nagasaki/whatever" that they "have taken the plunge" on at - where else - "their Seiko AD." Oh, for fuck's sake, I do like certain brands, but you won't see me writing such a load of bollocks. The way I see it, in the ranking of obscenity such hagiographic shite falls just behind public masturbation.


Um, well, yeah.

Seiko makes some completely awesome dive watches, there is no question. I own a couple. And, hey, only one of the two has taken a dive thus far, and I don't mean in the water. However, cripes, I can't even get past the SKX hornswaggle that Seiko fan bois love to spew, usually in the same sentence; it's something like: "The SKX is the greatest watch at its price point, despite its many flaws that nobody at Seiko will ever fix." I mean, it's like shooting fish in a barrel, this stuff.

I'll stick to weighing the anecdotal evidence about any watch, not call any brand a favorite, avoid the entire Swiss versus Japanese bromide which is juvenile and ridiculous on its face (I'm just loving 2019, where Seiko is selling their better products as the same prices the Swiss are - and all of a sudden, the fan bois are SO fucking outraged, proving it wasn't the Seikos, it was their prices, ya transparent cheapskates), and not buy a single watch issued by anyone until I've researched the holy fuck out of it.

Pubbie, keep on keepin' on, man.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby tiktok » May 11th 2019, 10:04pm

I smelled it coming in 2017 when the annual Presage artisan offering started creeping closer to 2K than fiddy cents. People remind me to keep my eye on the average Seiko pricing and there's still pieces that aren't so bad. TB is right, Seiko has earned its day in the sun and I've put together a nice collection of Brightz and a nice collection of KS and other pre-quartz beauties for the price of a crazy price new GS. As to Manhattan hipsters they are no more. The city is solely the playground of the rich and tourists. There are no hipsters and there are no lines around the block to get number 3 out of 122 - for the number of tears Princess Michiko cried when the black swan was swept off in molten lava - of the Fukashima LE.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby Hawk » May 12th 2019, 9:22am

tiktok wrote:I smelled it coming in 2017 when the annual Presage artisan offering started creeping closer to 2K than fiddy cents. People remind me to keep my eye on the average Seiko pricing and there's still pieces that aren't so bad. TB is right, Seiko has earned its day in the sun and I've put together a nice collection of Brightz and a nice collection of KS and other pre-quartz beauties for the price of a crazy price new GS. As to Manhattan hipsters they are no more. The city is solely the playground of the rich and tourists. There are no hipsters and there are no lines around the block to get number 3 out of 122 - for the number of tears Princess Michiko cried when the black swan was swept off in molten lava - of the Fukashima LE.


Pretty much.

I viewed GS as a nice value proposition "back when" but with prices going north of Rolex it's a bit less attractive. The window on bargain GS seems to, if not firmly shut, at least closed to an extent one must almost make an effort to find something that feels like a big bang for the buck.

But it also seems to have impacted the used market. That blue thing you sold me was like buying Amazon stock.
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Re: 62MAS? Really?

Postby tiktok » May 12th 2019, 12:29pm

Hawk wrote:
But it also seems to have impacted the used market. That blue thing you sold me was like buying Amazon stock.


Yes the secondary market has gotten a nice uptick but then you have to sell it.
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