Friday, March 7, 2014

Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster SBDC011 - An Attention Grabber and Gives you Confidence to Seize the Day, A Review

Seiko Prospex is one of the many themes in my collection.With the Marinemaster and Landmaster already part of the collection, my focus was concentrated to acquire the Fieldmaster. In this case it is the Seiko SBDC011.

The Fieldmaster SBDC011 is one beautiful watch in my opinion. Designed with the Seiko Tuna Can body as inspiration, this watch has all the right balance.

After making the order via my favorite Japanese dealer, Mr Katsu-san of, it arrived promptly.

After taking the watch box from the airfreight container, you would immediately notice that the box is different from the typical yellow colour display box common under the Perspex series of watches from Seiko. Instead of a square box, it is rectangle.

There is actually a covering for the actual display box. Once that is taken off, you can see the Seiko brand printed prominently on the box. The display box appears to be made of a reflective fabric like material - similar to silk.

Flipping open the box and you will able to feast your eyes on the watch. Apart from the watch, you also get 2 booklets, the instruction manual and the guarantee document.

As for the watch, it is one mother of a watch. Using the phone cable as reference, you can infer the size.

It is a fully automatic watch and comes with the 6R15 Seiko movement which has winding and hacking capabilities. SDBC011 comes with a thick leather strap. If you prefer a bracelet, you can try the SBDC013.

From the picture below you can see that the strap is tapered towards the buckle. The lug width is an unusual 21mm. It comes standard fitted with a double ridged leather strap with double stitching. The colour of the strap actually matches black dial very well although I suspect the strap will turn motley if it gets wet. This is problem with light coloured leather straps. I don't mind it to be put on dress watches but for a field watch that will face the rough and tumble of trails and adventure, black leather or rubber would be a better option.

The design of this watch that won me over is the Tuna Can design. The shroud exudes a feeling of strength and protection. Coupled with the brushed finish, the metal effect makes it more "macho". The shroud has brushed finishing and is held in place by three screws.

It has a very busy face with a lot of information on the dial as well as the bezel. Unlike the Marinemaster (or other dive watches) series, the bezel on this Fieldmaster moves both ways and without any ratcheting action. The friction that keeps the bezel at a certain point is just nice. Not that loose yet not that tight. The resistance is roughly equal to a dive bezel. I was made to understand from other watch forums that there is a rubber gasket underneath the bezel that provides the resistance.

The front portion of the hands have chrome finishing. The short ends are all coated black, probably to minimize glaring effect when reading the time under the sun.

The watch is fitted with a flat sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. A fair amount of lume is provided, similar to the Marinemaster series. The crown in a screw-down. Having half the bezel in black while the rest in white helps make it a "GMT" capable watch as well.

In all honesty, I doubt I will ever use the compass function of the watch!! With GPS easily available now, this function is heading the same direction as slide-rulers with the advent of the digital calculators.

The width of the watch is 48 mm without the crown. It is also thick at 13.7 mm and weighs in at 223 gm. You need to be a certain body size to be able to carry this watch elegantly.

It is a beautiful watch. With the strap spread out wide, it looks quite balanced.

Meanwhile, at the back casing, Seiko etched some important ground to air emergency signal codes. If you want to learn more, visit:

The crown with the "S" stamped on it is very classy. It is the type of crown used in the SBDX011 except for the different surfacing coating. The picture shows you how thick this watch is.

Again, another reference to indicate the size of the watch. It covers 3 of my fingers easily.

Here is the watch on my wrist.

The signed panerai-like/size buckle balanced the large watch nicely. Good thing Seiko decided not to use the standard Seiko buckle for this watch.

After wearing the watch for some time, I was able to note the following:

Wore the watch the whole day today and these are some of the preliminary findings that I got.

1. The leather strap looks nice and broad. Although it is well proportionate to the large watch, the problem is the smoothness of the leather used. I think it is too smooth. Even after tightening it on my wrist, it still tend to slide due to the weight of the watch. Note sure if this only happens to me due to the texture of my skin.

2. The hour and the minute hand looks too similar. A number of times I got confused between the two.

Overall, the watch is an attention grabber and looks really pumped up. By wearing it, it gives you confidence to seize the day.

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