Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Seiko SKX007KD (similar to SKX007K2) Professional Diver 200M with Jubilee Bracelet - Feel and Look more Valuable, A Review (with Video)

After all the years collecting iconic watches, I finally got myself the famous SKX007 with the Jubilee bracelet. Although I have the SKX009 with rubber strap (the strap disintegrated on me recently in November 2017), I always harbour the interest of one on a Jubilee bracelet.  Saw one on Amazon with a good price and I ordered it.

The specifications of the watch is similar to that of the SKX009 apart from a single colour bezel and Jubilee bracelet. If if you want to know details, do visit the review on the SKX009. The link is here:

After going through the original review of the watch I bought in 2011 (review was written in 2014), I realised that the review didn't do justice to the watch. As such, I will attempt to provide more information on this iconic timepiece.

The History

Seiko has two separate lines of dive watches, the PROSPEX, or professional line, and their sport line. The sport line branched off from the PROSPEX watches in 1975, and focused more on recreational divers with their relatively shallow depth limits while the professional divers are for extreme depths. The SKX007 is part of the sports line.

The SKX007 is the direct descendant of the 7002, which was first produced in 1988. It was Seiko’s best selling beater dive watch until its retirement in 1996. It was immediately replaced by the SKX007 and other members of the series. Although there are other variants feature the same case paired with different dial designs and colours, the famous remains the SKX007 and the SKX009.

The Watch

The SKX007 is made out of 316L stainless steel and has a case diameter of 42.5 mm (45.5 mm including the crown) with a thickness of 13.3 mm. Lug width is 22 mm and the lug-to-lug is 46 mm.

The sides of the watch case are highly polished while the top of the lugs has a fine-brushed finish. There’s a slight bevel where the case meets the bezel, and it extends all the way down to the lugs.

The 120-click unidirectional bezel has insert made from black aluminum with silver minute markers (combination of dots, lines and Arabic numbers). It has a illuminated pip at 12 o'clock. This is to conform to the ISO6425 standards for diving watches. It also features a two-tiered groove pattern that allows for a sure grip. Unlike my earlier SKX009, this new piece has a bezel fully painted black. 

The dial is black and the hour markers are circle markers painted with LumiBrite. The 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock markers are more pill-like in shape whereas the 12 o'clock marker is like an upside down triangle. There is no marker for 3 o'clock. Instead, a day and date aperture is provided. The day wheel is bilingual (Spanish and English), and Saturday is represented in blue text and Sunday in red. With the date and day wheels having black on white background colour scheme, the aperture does appear to have some semblance to the other markers.

The hours hand is sword shaped while the minutes hand is arrow shaped with a broad base. Both of theses two main hands are needle tipped. The hours and minutes hands are also painted with LumiBrite and surrounded in chrome. The seconds hand has a long counterbalance with a lumed ball end bordered in black trim. The rest of the seconds hand is painted white.

The illumination is very good. On the right is a lume shot of the watch.

The logo is positioned below the 12 o’clock marker, with the word “AUTOMATIC” right below “SEIKO.” On the bottom half is the depth rating, and it reads “DIVER’S 200m” in red. The sloping chapter ring which is also black but with white line minute markers helps create an illusion of a wider dial surface than actual. Meanwhile, on top of the watch case is a chamfered glass made from Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex crystal.

The screw-down crown is located at 4 o'clock and has a pair of protective shoulders protruding out of the casing to protect it from impact. The unsigned crown is quite large and features coin edging.

The solid screw-down case-back is decorated by the famous tsunami logo. The technical information about the watch are etched along the perimeter of the case back. Underneath it is Seiko's generic workhouse automatic caliber, the 7S26. This movement comprises of four primarymoving parts. It features a quickset day & date display, automatic bi-directional winding (via Seiko’s patented Magic Lever system), 21 jewels, operating frequency of 21,600 bph. Unlike the more modern movements by Seiko, the 7S26 is non-handwinding and non-hacking. In terms of accuracy, Seiko quote an error range at approximately -20 to +40 seconds per day. The movement can be adjusted to achieve greater accuracy if required.

The Jubilee bracelet is a design that is old school. It is synonymous with Rolex watches and the construction is more complex than say an Oyster bracelet (this is a common design copied by many watch manufacturers). The three piece construction for the middle link is what makes it unique as well as the "D" shape profile of the side links.

The end-inks are not solid. The links are attached using simple friction pins and resizing the bracelet is easy. From the lugs it starts with a width of 22 mm and it tapers down to 18 mm at the clasp. The claps uses a simple friction mechanism to fasten with an additional safety lever to secure it. The clasp has brand stamp into the metal part of the safety lever. Interestingly, the clasp has six (6) micro-adjustment points for precise sizing. Due to this, for the first time in my watch collecting hobby history, I did not have to take away any links to resize a bracelet that came from a new watch straight from the box. I suspect the presence of a lot of micro-adjustment points on the clasp is to compensate for the lack of a 'Divers' Extension' system on the bracelet.

This is in fact the first Jubilee bracelet to join the collection. Quite impressed with the look and feel of the bracelet. Not as stiff as an Oyster bracelet but more flexible. In the photos above, you can see how easily the bracelet can bend on to itself.

The watch appears to come in two references; the SKX007KD as well as the SKX007K2. Both are correct although they tell you two different things about the watch.

Let's look at the SKX007K2 first. The first 6 alphanumeric combination tells you the model number. The next letter "K" tells you that it was made outside Japan (for Japanese made watches the suffix "J" will be present). The only way to know the country of origin would be to open the case-back to see whether it is stated. As it stands now, there are no country-of-origin markings externally. It could possible come from Malaysia, Thailand or China (these are the countries that I currently know have Seiko watch factories). Next, the number "2" signifies that this particular unit comes with a Jubilee bracelet ("1" is for rubber strap; "3" for Oyster bracelet).
The "D" on the SKX007KD signifies that this unit is a Japan import, meaning that it was made outside of Japan but imported into Japan for domestic sale.

The Wearing Experience

Compared to the rubber strapped SKX009, the bracelet SKX007 is so much more comfortable to wear. Unlike the rubber strap version, the Jubilee bracelet does not pinch the skin and feel abrasive all the time.  Also, the likelihood the bracelet will suffer 'natural failure' in the next 5 years is close to impossible. Compare to a rubber strap that is expected to fail after three years: OMG Moment: Seiko SKX009K1 Automatic Professional Diver 200M Rubber Strap Disintegration.

I truly appreciate the way the vintage styling of the bracelet dresses the watch. Being heavy and robust helps balance the weight distribution instead of concentrating it squarely on the watch casing. It makes the SKX007 feel and look more valuable. 

Below is a short video of the watch on my wrist.

The Buying Experience

In Kuala Lumpur, the cheapest SKX007K2 that I could find was priced at RM999.00 (plus RM7.00 for courier). Its MSRP is listed at RM1,764.00. However, I was able to get it via Amazon for just RM976.02 (RM807.53/USD195.98 for the watch and RM168.49/USD40.89 for courier). Using the AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping via DHL, I was able to get the watch within the week.

On Another Note

I realized after reading my earlier review that was written back in 2014 on the SKX009, I did not cover a lot of things about the genesis as well as other important intricate details about the watch. It was interesting to see how far I have grown in terms of my understanding about watches.

Photo Gallery

1 comment:

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