Saturday, February 27, 2021

SeiyaJapan Original Watch Automatic Prototype 15pcs New - The Ideal Design By The Brand Owner Himself, A Review (plus Video)

Back in 2017, I ordered SeiyaJapan's first designed watch, the SeiyaJapan Original Watch Automatic A167-A (Dial Type A). The watch was officially offered to the public in the later part of 2016. SeiyaJapan has two options available, the Type A is more vintage in appearance while the Type B is more contemporary. The major differences are in the style of hands and the design of the time scale. For more information about the watch, please refer to this link.

In 2020, SeiyaJapan came up with another option but with a few tweaks based on feedbacks received as well as personal preference by the owner of brand itself, Mr. Seiya Kobayashi. To be honest, I did not noticed this new offering by SeiyaJapan until I received a personal email from Mr. Seiya.  

After reading the listing on SeiyaJapan's website, the SeiyaJapan Original Watch Automatic Prototype 15pcs New (let's call it the Prototype from now on) was designed based on Mr. Seiya's own personal preference. There are a number of departures from the two earlier models.

Within a week of the email, the watch arrived in Kuala Lumpur courtesy of Mr. Seiya Kobayashi.

This is the second watch under the SeiyaJapan brand to be reviewed. This piece was based on the same chassis as the earlier piece, a simple 38 mm military style design. Made out of 316L stainless steel, it has brushed and polished surfaces. 

Below is a short comparison of the main differences identified.

A167-A (Dial Type A)A167-B (Dial Type B)Prototype 15 pcs New
SeiyaJapan A dial with
railway track markers
and date aperture
SeiyaJapan B dial with
line markers
and date aperture
SeiyaJapan B dial with
railway track markers

Cathedral & syringe
hands
Sword handsSword & rectangular
hands
No "S" logoNo "S" logo"S" logo included
"SeiyaJapan A" notation"SeiyaJapan B" notation"SeiyaJapan A" notation
Date complicationDate complicationNo date complication
Super-LumiNova on:
Green for hands and 11 dots
(1 to 11 o'clock);
Blue for the 2 dots at
12 o'clock
Super-LumiNova on:
Green for hands and 4
rectangles at 3, 6, 9 &
12 o'clock
Super-LumiNova on:
Green for hands; Blue for
the 13 dots (one at 1 to 11 o'clock
and two for 12 o'clock) as well 
as for all the Arabic numbers


The Watch

The watch is sized in a sweet zone where it would be well placed on most wrists. With a diameter of 38 mm and a lug-to-lug length of 41 mm, the watch can be used in most occasions and by both sexes. 


The primary purpose of the watch is just to tell time. Mr. Seiya discarded the date aperture that was present on the two earlier models as he felt the need to make the watch as simple and utilitarian as possible. I agree with his design focus as eliminating the date aperture eliminated one of my pet peeves: the non-asymmetrical effect created by the placement of the date aperture. In the current form, the timing scale is not interrupted at all. 

The almost sterile dial has something not seen before in the earlier models; the "S" logo of the brand in dark ink at the center of the upper quadrant. You can barely discerned it from far. I suppose SeiyaJapan must have realised the importance of a logo on a watch and decided to add it in for this model.

The choice of hands is interesting. There appear to be two different designs, one for the hours hand and one for the minutes hand. Similar to many dive watches with a 'Plongeur'-style hands, the minutes hand is more pronounced, albeit having the same colour with the hours hand. By nipping the tip of the hours hand, making it square, there is no danger of mistakenly referring to the wrong hand to tell the time. If it was up to me, I would prefer the use of colours (perhaps orange for the minutes hand) for the differentiation, while keeping the design of the hands to be similar.


Capping the dial is a dome sapphire crystal and protected by a high fixed bezel. Although you can seen the beveled edge of the crystal, it is below the top part of the bezel which should block any side impact. 


The sterile screw-down crown is similar to the previous two models. I half expected the logo to be etched on the crown surface considering the same is already on the dial.

You can also see in the photo above the screws for the lug bars. SeiyaJapan appears not to like springbars on its models.


Where the luminous Super-LumiNova paint is used, differs from the first two models. As highlighted in the comparison table above, the blue and green colours of the Super-LumiNova were used and painted on many more areas. The most obvious was the use of the luminous paint on the Arabic numbers as well. This is a good idea as it definitely not confuse a user what time it is especially in the dark. The assumption that the user will know how to read the time because he would be aware of his wrist relative to the dial is an acceptable argument but if the situation is chaotic, a numbered reference is always better. 


Like the earlier models, there is a display case-back that shows the Miyota 9015 movement. The window is made of mineral glass. The Miyota 9015 movement has 24 jewels and operates at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour or 4 Hertz. It has a power reserve of 42 hours and a factory guaranteed accuracy of between -10 seconds per day and +30 seconds per day.

The movement has hours, minutes, seconds and date complications. It also has a hacking (seconds hand stop) mechanism. However for this Prototype model, the date disk is hidden. When using the crown to adjust the time, there will be one position that does not seem to do anything; this is when the date adjustment system gets engaged.


Provided with the package are four sets of straps. SeiyaJapan have special nicknames for the various straps. Apart from the Cotton (khaki nylon) strap which is part of the standard package, there are also a Nero (black leather), a NATO (black nylon) and a Camel (dark brown leather) straps. A signed polishing cloth is also provided.


The straps are connected to the watch via lug-bars with screws. An additional set of lug-bars with screws are also provided with the package. The tool to make the change, a precision screwdriver, is also added.


All the straps provided are signed.


The strap that comes standard with the watch is the Cotton, made out of a khaki nylon type material. It has a rough texture and after wearing it for a week, it has a distress look to it. Around the buckle holes, some of the threads have frayed. The nature of the material is something one must get used too. Some of you may not be able to accept such a look.



The Wearing Experience 

The 38 mm watch wears well. It sits in a sweat spot that can cater for almost everyone (male or female) that wants a simple, hardy and yet elegant timepiece. Below is a video of the watch on my 6.75 inch wrist.

 

Eliminating the date window makes a lot of difference to the visual presentation of the watch. I personally hate breaking up the timing scale for a date aperture as it disrupt the symmetry of the watch. What I really want a watch to tell me is just the time. The day or date is secondary.


This model fits perfectly my ideal definition of a beater watch. Simple, rugged, functional and for all occasions, the Prototype is able to blend itself seamlessly. Just a change of the strap transforms the watch from looking at eased in one extreme environment to another; from the deep forest to the boardroom, this watch carries itself elegantly.

It definitely has my vote as one of the best beater watch around.




Specifications 
  • Three-hand black dial analog watch
  • 316L stainless steel case construction 
  • Hands and indexes painted with luminous Super-LumiNova
  • Screw down crown 
  • Domed sapphire crystal (front) 
  • Mineral crystal (back) 
  • Screw-down display case-back 
  • Diameter: 38 mm (excluding crown); 41 mm (including crown)
  • Length: 41 mm (lug-to-lug) 
  • Thickness: 11 mm 
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters) 
  • Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic 
  • Jewels: 24
  • Diameter: 26 mm
  • Height: 3.9 mm
  • Complications: hours, minutes, seconds, date, hand wind, hacking
  • Rotor winding direction: clockwise (uni-directional)
  • Mainspring fully wound by rotating the ratchet wheel 7.5 times/turning the crown 40 times
  • Frequency: 28,800 BPH (4 Hertz) 
  • Accuracy: -10 sec/day ~ +30 sec/day 
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours 
  • Designed in 2009
  • Lug Width: 22 mm
  • Screw-in lug bars
  • Option of 4 (1 on the watch plus 3 extras) straps provided 
  • Original box
  • Flat-head screw driver
  • Two spare sets of screw-in lug bars
  • A SeiyaJapan branded polishing cloth
  • One year warranty
  • Acquired: 2 February 2020
  • MSRP: USD448 (was given by SeiyaJapan to do a review)
  • Serial Number: A1670287

Photo Gallery

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