The Elusive Stingray
The Seiko Kinetic Scubamaster
Posted by AJY on May 14, 1998 at 19:14:41:
This is my first post here, but I have been around for a while. I only like to read the posts here, and I only considered posting this one, because of a purchase I made through a fellow Timezoner.
I enjoy traveling, and scuba diving and swimming like many of you, so I have considered the Rolex Explorer II and the Submariner… well watches along those lines. I am not a watch ‘purist’ as termed by many of you, so mechanical is not a necessity. However: longevity and strength is.
I have read with much interest some of the posts made about Seiko Kinetic, and have learnt a lot about them, which is funny considering this Zone has mostly mechanical talk echoing in the halls. So then I saw it, one of the posters posted some pictures of some Seikos that can only be had in Japan, the Kinetic Scubamaster, with 24 hour hand! That means I get a Submariner and Explorer II all in one!
That means I don’t have to worry about batteries, changing timezones, water resistance, and so on!
Then a gentleman offered to get it for somebody, and I contacted him, and so now I’ve got it!
Make no mistake, the Seiko Kinetic Scubamaster is top of the line. If ever Seiko made a good watch, this is one of the ones that proves it.
When I first held the watch, it felt solid, strong, stronger than any other watch I have held. It has a one-piece titanium alloy body, sapphire crystal and an every so sturdy bulk. The case itself is over 1/2 an inch thick (including bezel).
The bracelet is the strongest and most secure bracelet I have seen. It is three links wide, typical for diving, and the inner links are solid titanium and are spaced about 4mm apart lengthways, and the spacing is shaped like an arc. The outer links are spaced approximately 1mm lengthways. The pins are strong, because they are held within the links by a 3mm long tube which both grips onto the pin, and prevents the pin from sliding out from the middle link, where it sits nicely. The tube is larger than the hole of the outer links, so cannot pass through them. The links, as well as the top of the case has a brushed finish. The outer edge of the outer links, is polished finished and extends about 2 mm beyond the inner edge of the lugs. This is to match the design of the case, whose outer edge is also polish finished.
The clasp is a work of art. It is a double lock clasp. The first lock clasp is dual button operated. The second lock clasp has two functions. The first is to act as the 2nd clasp, the second function is to unlock the *diver extension*. The diver extension *slides* out of the clasp chassis in variable amounts, ALL without having to take the watch off! While the watch is worn, the wearer unclasps the second clasp, levers it to unlock the diver extension, the wearer extends it the full amount (just over an inch), and then adjusts it to the correct amount. The diver extension adjusts like handcuffs.
The bezel is unique. It is anodized blue (as opposed to painted), with the numbers engraved (10, 20, 30, 40, 50) and inlaid in white, the 5,15,25,35,45,55 markers are raised titanium hemispheres, and the 60 marker is a sunken triangle with a lumibrite luminescent spot for night identification. The excellent bezel is also raised 2-3 millimetres above the crystal, and so gives great protection to the sapphire. It has the look of metallic blue.. very nice. Bezel, outer edge to edge measures just over 41mm.
The Lumibrite coatings, according the instructions and experience, lasts 8 hours with only 1-2 minutes of sunlight. It is state of the art. The brightness is bright enough to read clearly from a distance of 3 metres in any lighting condition.
The dial is a beautiful night blue. It has the words:
written on them. It is very subtlety patterned with dots of some kind, which gives it a refined, classy look.
This watch has a second timezone. Like other popular GMT watches, the hour hand can be set independently to another timezone, whilst the 24 hour hand remains on ‘home time’. This makes the watch the ultimate adventurer’s tool.
The watch is rated a class 1 200m diver watch (Japanese standard), and a class 1 antimagnetic watch. There is a power reserve button at 2 o’clock that can be depressed UNDERWATER. All Scubamaster watches can operate buttons underwater, unlike almost every other watch, save the Omega Seamaster. The Kinetic engine gives sufficient power to last up to 14 days.
The accuracy of this timepiece is superb. I have other Seikos, but this one, I noticed on the spec sheet, has a different integrated circuit. So far it has gained about half a second in 6 days. That’s about 30 seconds a year.
Little neat details include an engraving of a stingray on the back of the watch (since the case is one-piece, it cannot be opened from the back, but can only be opened at the front). It also has a picture of a wave coming out of the sea, within a circle, on the clasp. It looks as if Seiko has applied a matte finish to the drawing, whilst the clasp is brush finished, to make the picture distinguishable. This look is incredible.
This watch is priced at US$1000, and worth every cent. You only have to hold it to agree with me. The one-piece case, the thickness of it, and the width of the bracelet and thickness of it, and the feeling of the clasp, the look of the raised bezel – all give it a super-tough quality feel to it.
I really like it because I know it is choc full of quality for the money, this is the only watch I know of that gives all these qualities in one watch, for this incredible price.
Unfortunately, this watch can only be bought in Japan, but I guess that makes it that much more rare isn’t it? Seiko doesn’t make many of the Kinetic ‘Master’ series, so in time, it will definitely be a collector’s piece.