closing tag is in template navbar
Time Factors Watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 30 of 30

Thread: SEIKO Transocean SBDC039 - Review

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3

    SEIKO Transocean SBDC039 - Review

    I usually wait a week or so before posting a review on a newly acquired model but there has been some questions about when I'll post a review so here we go.

    Introduction



    The SEIKO Transocean is a new model released 2016 as part of the Prospex line.
    Prospex is the SEIKO professional line with (among other models) ISO-certified diver's watches.
    The concept of the Prospex line is not new, SEIKO has released professional diver's watches since the 60s, but somewhere around 2014 the line Prospex was reinvented with the introduction of a new X logo and global wide marketing (and availability).
    Before 2014 many of the Prospex line watches were strictly made and sold for the Japanese market, the Transocean however is still a JDM (Japanese domestic market) model.

    The Transocean is in many ways a classic SEIKO tool diver's watch. It's not overly expensive with a price tag of Y130 000 + tax, it has a divers clasp extension and a lot of lume on dial and hands.
    However, since 2014 we have seen a spread of the use of technical materials from SEIKO, the Transocean boasts both "Diashield coating" for scratch proofing and a sapphire crystal (with anti-reflecting coating of course).
    "Diashield" and sapphire crystals have previously not been used by SEIKO for watches at this price point and Diashield was for many years used only on titanium watches like the JDM SEIKO Brightz titanium models.
    Now these "features" are spreading to other models which I think makes SEIKO Prospex watches even more interesting than before. Another nice upgrade is the bezel which seems to be made in one piece and is marketed as "ceramic". For me this is especially interesting since SEIKO usually (with some exceptions) use the term "hard-coated metal". I don't know if there is a difference in materials or just a new terminology for an old technology, but interesting non the less. The 6R15 movement inside (21600bph, +50hrs, hack, wind) is of course a middle tier SEIKO movement logical for this price point. I would have preferred it to have the 28800bph 8L movement but the 6R is OK in my book since it keeps the price down.

    The Transocean is marketed as a model for both business and sports activities (like scuba diving), it's supposed to be a model which transcends trends so to speak. That makes the Diashield, sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel even more logical.





    • Measurements: 45mm x 45mm x 13,8mm
    • Movement: 6R15: 21600bph, hack function, manual & automatic winding, 50 hrs power reserve.
    • Material: Steel with Diashield coating, sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel.
    • Price: 130 000 yen + tax.
    • AD: Japan only model.



    Bracelet

    Let's start with the bracelet instead of the case this time since it is the signature feature of this model.
    The first thing you notice is the integrated bracelet with the end pieces of the bracelet slightly raised and therefore slightly hiding and protecting the bezel. The bezel as you can see is held in place by small screws at 6 o clock and 12 o clock.



    The links are flat and of "H type", the first model I saw from SEIKO with H-type links was the SBGX117 back in 2014 and it seems to be a type of construction they are going for with more new models. As usual with diver's watches SEIKO uses friction pins instead of screws which is preferred by me since screws require loc tite.


    Clasp

    The Transocean uses the new type of clasp which was introduced 2014 with the new "Kinetic Tuna" (SUN019, SUN021). The clasp isn't "stamped" like common SEIKO clasps, it is a little thicker and a lot more sturdy. This is an upgrade SEIKO fans have waited many years for and I think it's surprising that it hasn't gotten more focus since it was introduced. The diver's extension is of the type we are used to from the SEIKO "Sumo" (SBDC001), it does the trick but not more than that.


    Case



    The case measures 45mm x 45mm x 13.8mm. The case is marketed as "curved for wearing pleasure" and for me the UFO shape of the underside of the case is classic SEIKO. The sides are slanted to allow for turning the hand/wrist without bumping the watch. It makes for great wear-ability even on large watch models like the Transocean or the Tuna.




    The overall shape of the case reminds me very much of the Tuna models but in a more dress like manner. The lugs are curved downwards and the lug/lug distance is short making the watch wear smaller than expected from a 45mm case. Sides are polished and the upper is brushed the classic SEIKO way.


    Caseback

    The case-back is recessed into the case which is an interesting and comfortable solution not common on SEIKOs. It also gives the watch an interesting look when viewed from the side.


    Bezel

    The bezel is as mentioned earlier made in one piece ceramics and the markings are lasered into the bezel. This of course makes the bezel shift color depending on light-conditions. The bezel is slightly raised and protects the crystal and is easy to grip where the bracelet isn't raised.

    A closer look


    The dial is black and the hands have the new SEIKO diver's style shape. When viewed at certain angles in certain light you can see that the dial isn't all black, but textured. The lume is as as expected with SEIKOs brilliant (although not the new formula) and the indexes have a nice depth to them. The new style hands are slightly folded in the middle.

    On the wrist


    The watch wears very good thanks to the downward lugs and the short lug/lug distance. There is not much to complain about when it comes to wear ability. The new clasp makes for a balanced weight distribution and the crown @ 4 o clock lets you flex your wrist either way without being hindered.

    Conclusion

    So is the new SEIKO Transocean a Sumokiller or a new style of Tuna? I say it's both. The Transocean has a lot in common with the 300m Tuna models but has a more stylish look to it. The only thing that makes it look like a tool watch is the size, If it were 42mm then most people would consider it an office watch.

    The upgraded materials (sapphire, ceramics, Diashield) is a good start package to keep the watch looking fresh for a long time, this combined with the integrated bracelet is perhaps the "office" part of the watch while the overall case design and the size speaks more to the diver's watch lover in me.
    The definition of a dress watch and the definition of a diver's watch has changed over the past years and the Transocean model is a logic model for that reason. It doesn't fill a void since most people nowadays are comfortable to use a diver's watch at work but somehow the concept makes sense to me and the model fits perfectly in the line up between the Sumo and the 300m Tuna.
    Last edited by yonsson; 27th September 2016 at 06:57.

  2. #2
    Good review. I've owned this watch and it is a great looking watch. I found it fairly heavy though and the inability to have the option to take it off the bracelet and put it on a rubber or nato killed it for me. If at any point Seiko bring out a rubber strap to fit it I would buy one again in a heartbeat.

  3. #3
    Master vagabond's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Here and There....
    Posts
    5,540
    Thanks for the review - I wasn't aware of this model previously and it has made me want to try one of these now. Very badly!

  4. #4
    Grand Master Daddelvirks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Leiden- Netherlands
    Posts
    32,145
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks Yonsson,

    Great review and as usual accompanied by fine pics as well.

    My interest is still there :)

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  5. #5
    Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Melton Mowbray, Uk
    Posts
    1,341
    Great review, thanks.

    Someday I hope Seiko starts making smaller dive watches , their 44-45mm policy is keeping me away!!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post

    A closer look


    The dial is black and the hands have the new SEIKO diver's style shape. When viewed at certain angles in certain light you can see that the dial isn't all black, but textured. The lume is as as expected with SEIKOs brilliant (although not the new formula) and the indexes have a nice depth to them. The new style hands are slightly folded in the middle.
    Nice review and watch also. I don´t want to spoil this (as it seems to be habit with Seikos) but is that chapter ring really so aligned as it seems to be? So OK in 12 and 6 o´clock but a little bit side on left side? Especially visible on 9.

    I know. We shouldn´t look dials on screen size.....

    JP

  7. #7
    Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Melton Mowbray, Uk
    Posts
    1,341
    Quote Originally Posted by JP (Europe) View Post
    Nice review and watch also. I don´t want to spoil this (as it seems to be habit with Seikos) but is that chapter ring really so aligned as it seems to be? So OK in 12 and 6 o´clock but a little bit side on left side? Especially visible on 9.

    I know. We shouldn´t look dials on screen size.....

    JP
    Hadn't noticed, but my god, they all look awful. 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 look terrible - hope its a camera/photo thing

  8. #8
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by steppy View Post
    Hadn't noticed, but my god, they all look awful. 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 look terrible - hope its a camera/photo thing

    Almost all of the photos are taken at a slight angle, that in combination with the depth of the chapter ring makes them look misaligned while IRL they are not.

    I know there are seiko models which have this problem but this example doesn't. It's very hard to take pictures 100% from the front but I have tried my best on the picture above.

    Edit: Google parallax phenomenon
    Last edited by yonsson; 13th April 2016 at 17:49.

  9. #9
    Master geordie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    Posts
    1,661
    Now that's a very pretty watch, very nice indeed

    Is the bezel lumed as well or just the dial/hands?

  10. #10
    Nice review and pictures. Love the watch too with its angular design and bracelet. Bit big for my tastes though. It's cool Seiko are putting diashield coatings on steel watches, and just more watches.

    A "hard-coated metal" bezel sounds like IP of TiAlN or something, which is a ceramic. Not sure how this differs from a "ceramic" bezel!

  11. #11
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by geordie View Post
    Now that's a very pretty watch, very nice indeed

    Is the bezel lumed as well or just the dial/hands?
    Dial, hands and lume pip (not the markings).

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerf View Post
    Nice review and pictures. Love the watch too with its angular design and bracelet. Bit big for my tastes though. It's cool Seiko are putting diashield coatings on steel watches, and just more watches.

    A "hard-coated metal" bezel sounds like IP of TiAlN or something, which is a ceramic. Not sure how this differs from a "ceramic" bezel!
    SEIKO ceramics is "Zirconium dioxide". I thought I had added that info in the introduction but I was too fast in the trigger.

    I recently asked SEIKO about the difference and here is a direct quote from the answer I got:

    "Regarding your enquiry about the bezel material, we would like to explain briefly about the difference of two product:

    The material of "Had coating" is Stainless Steel. Black colored material is coated electrically on the Stainless Steel. Naturally, it is strong enough for daily usage.
    The bezel material for SBDC039 is "Fine ceramic", itself. The featuring of fine ceramic is strong and toughness; it has almost three times to four times harder on the Vickers scale than stainless steel.

    We hope the above explanation is clear for you to know that those are totally different materials.
    We also hope you will continue to enjoy wearing your Seiko watch with satisfaction."
    Last edited by yonsson; 13th April 2016 at 18:11.

  12. #12
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,394
    Blog Entries
    5
    An excellent review as always. Thanks for the taking the time.

    That deployant clasp looks great. 20mm I presume?

  13. #13
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    An excellent review as always. Thanks for the taking the time.

    That deployant clasp looks great. 20mm I presume?
    Thanks! My guess is 20mm but I don't have a ruler nearby at the moment.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Town and country
    Posts
    3,521
    Thanks, great work on the review.

  15. #15
    Thanks for a nice review and great pics.
    Looks the part and I like it quite a bit.
    Unfair to mention Sumo and this in same sentence as this seems leagues ahead of Sumo.
    45mm size might be a deterrent for many.
    All in all, nice work by Seiko.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Daddelvirks View Post
    Thanks Yonsson,

    Great review and as usual accompanied by fine pics as well.

    My interest is still there :)

    Daddel.
    Get one,Richard. You know you want one.
    I thought you were going to be the first one here with this.
    Are you ok with 45 mm?

  17. #17
    Excellent review. Take a bow that man! Quite taken with the white version but think that it may wear quite large on my little wrists, despite the short lug to lug.

  18. #18
    From the watch size and proportions, this definitely looks like a tool watch, but a very well finished one!
    I am loving the texture on that dial, the angular hands, the asymetric crown, and the ceramic bezel.
    A truly nice watch, which will not look out of place in the office, if your wrist size can accomodate for the somewhat large case width.

  19. #19
    Craftsman FellBasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    North West UK
    Posts
    428

    Beautiful looking watch!

    But why 45 mm!! Looks great on your wrist but too big for me.

  20. #20
    Craftsman ELD1970's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    London.
    Posts
    286
    Great review, thanks for the information.

  21. #21
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    22,582
    Blog Entries
    25
    Thanks for an excellent review!

    I had thought that this might be intended as an eventual replacement for the Sumo but it seems not. It is clearly at a different level to the Sumo.

  22. #22
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    An excellent review as always. Thanks for the taking the time.

    That deployant clasp looks great. 20mm I presume?
    Bracelet tapers to 18mm at the clasp.

  23. #23
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    3,346
    What sort of accuracy are you getting from it? Thanks in advance😉

  24. #24
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit View Post
    What sort of accuracy are you getting from it? Thanks in advance
    Running a little fast (+10) so far but I got it only 2 days ago. If it won't settle I'll get it regulated.
    Last edited by yonsson; 14th April 2016 at 09:59.

  25. #25
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    3,346
    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    Running a little fast (+10) so far but I got it only 2 . If it won't settle I'll get it regulated.
    Thank you. Hope it settles down without the need to have it regulated.

  26. #26
    Grand Master Daddelvirks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Leiden- Netherlands
    Posts
    32,145
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Get one,Richard. You know you want one.
    I thought you were going to be the first one here with this.
    Are you ok with 45 mm?
    Yep,

    It wears smaller, like my blue Tuna does, due to the T-rex lugs :)

    And, I'm not buying a lot these days, also one in one out for me.

    When looking at my 856 right now, I'm thinking there's not much more you would want from a watch if you like the design that is.

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  27. #27
    Master wildheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Essex - Hopefully on a golf course!
    Posts
    7,990
    Great review thank you, but as with the Tuna they are just too heavy. I loved my SBBN 0015 but the weight with or without the bracelet just made it uncomfortable for me.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Daddelvirks View Post
    When looking at my 856 right now, I'm thinking there's not much more you would want from a watch if you like the design that is.
    I know how you feel about the 856: It's beautiful, though I can understand people wanting bigger, shinier, more complicated etc :p

  29. #29
    Nice writeup, Johan.

    Also owning one of these (Ben's old one), I agree with your observations. I think they've tried to position the watch in the upper-midground above the Sumo, but below the MM, so the use of upgraded materials/coatings and a slightly dressier look signifies this.

    The clasp is definitely an improvement over some of Seiko's other offerings. (But to be fair, the Monster bracelet has the same clasp - not sure if this used to be the case).

    The size/wearability is obviously difficult to assess without trying one on, but it definitely doesn't wear as large as you would expect for 45mm - much smaller on the wrist that a Planet Ocean 45.5mm for example. Defintely alright on 6.5-7" wrists IMO.

  30. #30
    Master yonsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sweden & yonsson.com
    Posts
    2,755
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by robcat View Post
    Nice writeup, Johan.

    Also owning one of these (Ben's old one), I agree with your observations. I think they've tried to position the watch in the upper-midground above the Sumo, but below the MM, so the use of upgraded materials/coatings and a slightly dressier look signifies this.

    The clasp is definitely an improvement over some of Seiko's other offerings. (But to be fair, the Monster bracelet has the same clasp - not sure if this used to be the case).

    The size/wearability is obviously difficult to assess without trying one on, but it definitely doesn't wear as large as you would expect for 45mm - much smaller on the wrist that a Planet Ocean 45.5mm for example. Defintely alright on 6.5-7" wrists IMO.
    Thanks! I don't know about what clasp the new monster uses but I agree the clasp is a great upgrade.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Do Not Sell My Personal Information