Seiko Air Divers 200M Prospex Special Edition, PADI. Automatic.
This is my 4th Seiko Diver. I started to own these in the 1980’s. For the most part they did a decent job. The most recently retired “Monster” that I owned was really all not that durable, in fact I was rather surprised how tender of a time piece it was. The other 2 previous divers held up very well but the automatic movements suffered overtime with loss of accuracy. Seiko has a “factory” service center located in Northern New Jersey. Just sending in your watch is a $100.00 dollar minimum endeavor, then they hit you with the repair bill. There are various jewelers on the Internet that specialize in rebuilding/servicing Seiko divers but most have a 6 month waiting list and costs start at about $350.00 and go from there. For that reason the Seiko brand came into question when you consider this would be watch number 4 with 3 others collecting dust. For my hard earned dollar it seems like it’s a throw away watch when the service costs are far greater than what the watch is worth. This recent Seiko diver purchase was very carefully considered. I needed a watch that could be hand wound, fully waterproof, had a day date feature, a rotating bezel and good lume for dark conditions. Based on reviews from watch geeks the world over, the 4R36 Seiko movement was accurate, durable and a step up over previous divers automatic movements. As far as fit and finish, this model watch with it’s all stainless steel band definitely has some wrist weight. The band fits beautifully on the wrist with adjustments on the clasp end to facilitate a real decent fit as far as rigid bands go. I normally wear a nylon 5 ring military type band for my needs and had planned on swapping this stainless band out but it fits so well I am holding off. The bezel on this model is very nice. It has nice movement and is easy to grasp and does not feel cheap. The day date feature is easy to use and view. The lume is bright even after 8 hours all things considered. The PADI model has a blue dial coupled with a blue and red bezel. Based on advertising images on the web I was a little concerned that the watch was going to be a little brighter and showier than I originally had wanted, but after receiving the watch I was delighted that the face and bezel were closer to a hue that bordered on black. The red was also closer to a maroon not a bright red. Since wearing the watch I have noticed no time loss/gain as of yet. I am really hoping they got this movement right for the long haul. I work in a very rural setting so having cell signal, watch battery replacement abilities and all the other luxuries of civilization is not really an option. That reason coupled with long periods of winter darkness made a solar powered model not a good choice either. The PADI version is a bit dressier which I wanted without being overbearing or gaudy. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give the Seiko Prospex PADI diver a solid 10 for the money. Let’s hope that it’s intended purpose of keeping accurate time in harsh conditions stays strong.Read full review
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