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Thread: Review: SEIKO Transocean Chronograph SBEC003

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Sweden &
    Blog Entries

    Review: SEIKO Transocean Chronograph SBEC003


    SEIKO Transocean Chronograph (SBEC003)
    was quietly launched during Baselworld 2016 as a model for the Japan domestic market under the Prospex line. There are three colors: 001: Black dial, 002: Black dial and black case, 003: Blue sunburst dial. There are also non chronograph versions and two spring drive GMT versions available.

    The Prospex line was updated around 2014 when most models got an update regarding materials and clasps, a new Prospex logo was also incorporated and the line launched globally.

    Some models are still exclusive for the Japanese market, probably because they are produced in small numbers and considered (by SEIKO) to have a high price tag. These models often incorporate better materials, with the SBEC003 this means Diashield scratch resistant coating, sapphire crystal and a solid zirconium ceramics bezel. The Transocean models also have the solid clasp first introduced with the SUN019/021 2014.


    Measurements: 46,5mm x 53mm (lug lug) x 16mm.

    Movement: 8R49, column wheel chronograph with three vertical clutches, 28800bph, hack function, manual and & automatic winding, 45 hrs power reserve. 12 hrs, 30 min chronograph. Basically a 8R48 with other date wheel and better shock absorption.

    Materials: Steel with Diashield coating, zirconium bezel, sapphire crystal.
    Weight: 242 grams.
    Price: 320 000 yen + tax.
    Special edition: Collaboration with Rising Wave Japan.

    Bracelet and clasp

    The bracelet has the new H-type friction springs bracelet links just like the regular Transocean model.

    The clasp is as I mentioned the new style introduced 2014, a long awaited uptake for the regular stamped clasped usually used by SEIKO. The sold clasp has much less rattle than the stamped versions. The divers extension is pretty pointless if you ask me since it only has one length when used.


    The case measures 46,5mm x 53mm x 16mm, considerably larger than the regular Transocean case (+1,5mm in width, +8mm lug/lug, +2,2mm in thickness). This also increases the weight by almost 40 grams to a staggering 242 grams.

    The underside of the case is convex as most Seikos are to improve the wearability. The finish is polished on the sides and has a brushes upper case. The lug/lug is no longer short as with the regular Transocean model.

    The sharp crown protectors are a screwed on solution which is negative from a aesthetic point of view but good when it comes to service. The opposite side has a similar solution with a screwed on protective case plate. The crown has a ceramic (I think) protective tip.

    The crown has screw down function but the pushers don't have another licking solution. The pushers are locked from functioning by a socket which locks the pushers from being able to be pressed in when the socket is screwed to the outmost position. When the socket is screwed in, the pushers can be used. This is a pretty smart solution since it doesn't wear on the gasket every time you want to lock the pushers.


    The bezel is as mentioned earlier made of one piece zirconium 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. The bezel is slightly protected by the integrated bracelet.


    The back of the case is cone shaped and has the SEIKO wave & regular information. Clean as always.

    A closer look

    I'm sure the new hands are somewhat of a controversy but I like them. They are thick and very legible both during daylight and in the dark. The sweep seconds hand has lume, a necessity to pass the ISO6425 certification for divers watches. The date is upright and very discrete with white numbers on a black date wheel.

    The blue sunburst dial is beautiful and shifts from almost black to bright blue depending on light conditions. The cut out chapter ring gives a nice depth to the dial.

    On the wrist

    The chronograph version has a completely different feel on the wrist to the regular three handed version. The regular version feels slim and has a weight distribution which makes it feel comfortable and slim, a divers watch suited for daily use.

    The chronograph version however feels very top heavy, being 242 grams and 16mm thick. The width however is no problem and the hand can move freely thanks to the case shape. For me, the chronograph version is too big to be used as an everyday watch.


    My expectations for this model was high, in theory it's pretty much a perfect watch for me. A diver's chronograph with a subtle sunburst dial and integrated bracelet, ceramic bezel and with diashield coating, that sounds perfect to me.

    The SBEC003 is however a hit and a miss for me, it looks fantastic but it's way too thick and heavy, resulting in a watch not comfortable enough for everyday use. And it's a shame because it is a great concept, this model would be close to perfect if made in titanium like the spring drive GMT version. The price is three times as high as the three handed version so I don't think that is to much to ask for when it comes to SEIKO and their usually extremely competitive pricing. Hopefully I'll get the chance to try the spring drive titanium version as well in the future.
    Last edited by yonsson; 21st November 2016 at 13:24.

  2. #2
    While it's probably a little too big and heavy for me there's not denying it's a good looking and well specced watch.

  3. #3
    Craftsman Shounen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Lovely watch and as you've already said it would be perfect if made of titanium.
    Thx for sharing your impressions.
    Great pictures.

  4. #4
    Master kungfugerbil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Whitby (not the one in Ontario)
    Great review :)

    That blue dial is lovely...

  5. #5
    Master vagabond's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Here and There....
    That does look really nice - I was very tempted by the non-chrono version that was on the SC recently.

    At 45+mm the chrono is perhaps a bit too big for me and from your review, probably too heavy as well. It's certainly a looker though.......

  6. #6
    Another great review from you.
    I love the watch from what I have seen so far.
    Too bad it is too big and heavy
    For you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Great review, thanks and looks like a nice piece - now I like a chunky watch ,is it just me or do these recient seikos seem to have quite narrow bracelets? I prefer somthing slightly wider

  8. #8
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    London, England
    Blog Entries
    Excellent review, thank you. That's a rather interesting watch from Seiko.

  9. #9
    Superb review, thank you. The dial looks great but the case and bracelet look awful. There's no flow whatsoever.

  10. #10
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    London, England
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony-GB View Post
    the case and bracelet look awful. There's no flow whatsoever.
    Conversely, for me, it's the angular nature of both the case and bracelet that make this a particularly interesting-looking watch. :-)

  11. #11
    Grand Master andrewcregan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Highlands, Scotland
    Always an interesting review thank you.
    I am particularly enjoying my non Chrono version of this watch, the SBDC047.
    Last edited by andrewcregan; 22nd November 2016 at 08:36.

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