Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Seiko Recraft Neo Sports UFO SRPC13K1 Limited Edition (similar to SRPC15K1 & SRPC16K1) - The brand scores again, A Review (plus Video)

Seiko came out with another re-craft series. This time it is the re-interpretation of the famous UFO model of 1969; the 6106-6430. Unlike the other re-craft models, this new series uses the newer 4R36 automatic movement instead of the 7S26 and is a limited edition timepiece of just 1,969 examples per model. There are three different models to choose from. My favorite is the SRPC13K1 because of the green dial.

The "Seikomatic 5" 6100 series was a family of mechanical watch movements from Seiko in the 1960's and 1970's. Produced from 1967 through 1974, the 6100 family was used in many high-end Seiko watches. It was available in both regular 21,600 bph and high-beat 36,000 bph versions with both manual winding and automatic systems.

Below are two examples of the 6106-6430 watches which the new re-crafted series get its inspiration. Since the original model was first introduced in 1969, Seiko has decided to limit the production to just 1,969 examples (for each model under the series - more about the various model later in the review).


6106-6430: Kanji Model
6106-6430: A7250 Model
The SRPC13K1 is made out of stainless steel with a combination of polished and brushed surfaces. The watch casing is 43.5 mm wide from left to right and 43.5 mm from top to bottom. The hidden lugs help keep the overall shape to be symmetrical. The lugs are capable of hosting straps of up to 22 mm in width. The height is approximately 13.4 mm tall.

The watch comes with a display screw-down case-back. Both the front and back of the watch is protected by Hardlex crystal. The front crystal is boxed with a slight dome which in itself is rather unique. The crown is a push pull system and located at the 4 o'clock position. When pushed in, the crown in partially flushed with the casing. The watch has been rated to 10 ATM or 100 meters.


The Series

This latest re-craft series by Seiko comes in a set of three:


SRPC13K1
MSRP: EUR230.58
SRPC15K1
MSRP: EUR247.11
 
SRPC16K1
MSRP: EUR247.11

Note the MSRP quoted was obtained from a Spanish website. At the moment, I don't the complete detail how much each of the model is priced in Malaysia. I only know the SRPC13K1 is listed at MYR1,234.90. All models come with leather straps and limited to 1,969 units each.


The Watch

The watch is virtually circular since the right-left length and lug-to-lug length are the same. It has a lot of beveled surfaces which are either brushed or polished. It comes with a flat bezel ring which is polished and within it is a black section insert that creates some definition to the dial. The unsigned crown is partially recessed at 4 o'clock when not required. The box Hardlex crystal is raised about 1 mm beyond the fixed bezel surface and is slightly domed. This has the effect of refracting light when viewed at an angle.



Before we continue on with the review, I would like to touch on the colour of the dial. In the promotional brochures, the SRPC13K1 is said to have a green dial. To me, it looks very green kelp-like which would make some reviewers insist that it's blue. In other words, the dial is painted in green with deep aqua shade in matte finish. Some of you may not see it as green. Either way, if it is pleasing to your eyes, does it really matter?



The watch has a deep sloping chapter ring with minute and sub-minute markers in lines and Arabic numbering. The chapter ring is substantial and it reduced the actual dial surface to just 27 mm wide. It was designed in such a manner because the indexes on the chapter ring is considered a primary timing scale. On the dial surface, only the line hour markers are shown. The only differences are for the 12 o'clock where it is a two-line marker and the 3 o'clock where it is substituted with a day and date aperture. The hour markers are covered with the luminous Lumibrite paint.

Apart from the analogue three hand, the other complication available on this watch is the day and date complication. The day and date aperture is framed in metal with black text on white background wheels. The language option for the day wheel is either Roman numerals or English. Located at the 3 o'clock position in lieu of the hour marker, the information is clear to see.

The seconds hand on the SRPC13K1 is similar to the original 6106-6430; a tapered needle shaped hand in orange. The hours and minutes hands are also slightly tapered at the front with two framed areas painted with luminous LumiBrite on each hands.

There are only three lines of texts on the dial. The top half of the dial has the metallic badge for the brand. The bottom half have the word "AUTOMATIC" as well a series of coded texts in micro font size at the edge of the dial and chapter ring. Being uncluttered from too much texts and graphics makes the watch very pleasing to the eye.



The screw-down display case-back has the words "LIMITED EDITION" painted in gold colour across the Hardlex crystal. However, Seiko does not indicate the limited edition number on the watch or on the guarantee card itself. A running serial number is all that we have to go on.

Through the display case-back we can see the Seiko automatic 4R36 movement. The 4R36 is the current base movement by Seiko that appeared around 2011. This movement features automatic winding with the manual winding mechanism with seconds hand stop (hacking) capability. The design consists of 169 parts. The movement also has day and date functions. The regulation mechanism on the 4R36 is the ETACHRON system. It uses 24 jewels and has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. The movement beats at 21,600 bph nor 3 Hertz. Error rate is between +45 and -35 seconds per day. Although the error rate as reported by the manufacturer appears high, in reality, the actual performance is much better even when it comes straight out of the box.



The watch is paired with a double layered brown calf leather with orange stitching near the four corners of the lugs. The leather is smooth but stiff straight from the box. With wearing time, I suspect the leather would start to soften up. The straps are secured with a signed buckle.



I believe the hidden lugs is a design feature that defines the model. On the wrist, the watch casing appears floating hence the nickname "UFO" does seems appropriate for this model. However, the major advantage of the hidden lug design is that it makes it wearable by practically everyone, even those with small wrists. The measurement between lug bar to lug bar is just 33 mm across compared to 48 mm for a similar sized watch but with standard lugs. In the previous photo above (see the case-back photo), you can see how close the straps are.



The box Hardlex crystal with a slight dome is a departure from Seiko especially for its more affordable designs. Generally, one would see Seiko use such designs on the more premium models. I am actually pleased that Seiko decided to use the design. By using their in-house Hardlex crystal material, the price remains affordable. 

The Packaging

Unlike other typical recraft models, the watch box is not a simple square unit. Instead, it is more rectangle in nature. In two parts, the outer part is a white cardboard box with the brand printed at the top. It is 15.5 cm by 8.0 cm by 6.0 cm in dimensions and within the box there are sections for the guarantee document and manual as well as the main watch box.



The main watch box has the following dimensions; 15.0 cm by 7.5 cm by 4.3 cm. Made out of thick black cardboard, the brand is printed in silver at the corner. The top also opens with a hinge at the back.



Here you will find the watch attached to a single slip ring of the inner base as well as a very interesting set of texts printed on the top part of the inner cover. It gives a glimpse of the strategy that Seiko has to revitalize its old iconic designs decades ago with modern interpretation and manufacturing techniques and quality. Expect to see more coming out of Seiko in the near future.




The Pricing

I got the watch for RM900 from my dealer in Mid Valley, Megamall. The serial number is 702632.


The Wearing Experience

The only discomfort I felt when wearing this watch is the stiff leather strap. To be fair, I should give a week of two of continuous wearing to make the leather more supple. Other than that, the watch wears nicely on the wrist.


 
Those with small wrists will also find this watch comfortable to wear. It can be used in almost all occasions including formal wear. The lack of any sharp angles on the watch casing minimizes the possibility of snagging on cuffs etc. 

Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.




CONCLUSION

The design is iconic. The hidden lugs and the box domed crystal are nice design touches that make this model ever so special considering the price point it's set at. Hard to imagine any brand to be able to produce such a value-for-money timepiece. Seiko definitely scores another point with this recraft. A thumbs up from me.


Photo Gallery




2 comments:

  1. Two thumbs up! Im tempted to have it! Do you have any idea, which shop still have it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a LE piece. The main AD for Malaysia only imported a few into the country. I suggest you try Amazon or Ebay.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

CONTRIBUTE FOR THE UPKEEP OF THIS BLOG

Any contributions is appreciated!