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Thread: Seiko mid range divers

  1. #1
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Seiko mid range divers

    I recently had the chance to pick up a couple of mid range Seiko divers (albeit ltd edition variants) and have been very impressed. I wanted to make a comparison with my MM300 to see what delta there was in quality.

    First up was the Thai market SPB099J1 'Zimbe' Shogun. Limited to 500 pieces the watch is based on the standard titanium Shogun but has a cyclops and a sapphire crystal upgrade. RRP was around £1300 in Thailand although now these are trading at prices at least double that.

    The watch is (IMHO) stunning with an amazing red sunburst dial with gold accents. From a form perspective I actually think it is the best watch suited for diving I have had - better than the MM300, much better than the Rolex Sub and Omega Planet Oceans etc. Of course it is not a better watch than them but it is better suited for the purpose of diving (well the non limited version would be). Lightweight, supremely comfortable, very few shiny surfaces (which would alert fish), amazing lume. If you want a mechanical watch to go diving with my advice is get a Shogun over a MM300. The lightness and balanced feeling on the wrist is superb. This watch does what it says on the tin. The Zimbe edition just happens to look cool :). Fit and form wise it is below the MM300. No adjustable clasp (although there is a divers extension) and a courser bezel action being the most glaring. Pin links which are optimal for diving and keep the weight down. Lots of talk about the 'workhorse' movement in this watch not befitting the price point but it has the same accuracy and power reserve as the unadjusted Grand Seiko movement in the MM300 so I don't get the issue.

    Yesterday the so called 'MM200' arrived, again in limited edition format (green dial SPB105J1). This is a stainless steel watch on bracelet and therefore the comparisons with the MM300 are more easily made.

    First off again I believe the watch is stunning. The gold hands against the green dial is wonderful and brings comparisons with the SLA019 limited edition. The watch has a sapphire crystal and I believe an anodized aluminium bezel and feels very solid. Again no adjustable clasp (but again with the presence of the wet suit extension), pin links and nicely finished but the MM300 has a smoother bezel, supposedly better movement (but the point I made with the Zimbe still applies) although I believe the MM200 looks better and certainly feels less top heavy and chunky on the wrist.

    RRP is £980 and I got 10% off using a discount code - it is cracking value at that price. Given the limited edition nature of the watch further discounts are unlikely and whilst it won't see Daytona levels of price appreciation like the Zimbe it should hold value better than the standard model. As a diver it would do a decent job but the Shogun is I believe an absolute point of reference for divers watches and would be more suited to that duty (albeit you would want to get the standard Shogun and not the bright red Zimbe version)

    Couple of quick pics

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by ryanb741; 11th September 2019 at 23:35.

  2. #2
    The so called 'MM200' (hate that name....) is a very good watch.

    I've been wearing a 'Turtle' a lot recently and if I'm honest thats as much as most people need, especially for one like myself who isn't necessarily the biggest dive fan. But the step up to the so called 'mid range' is definitely worth it.

    I've eyed up some variant of the SPDC061 for a while. I may try one myself at some point if funds allow next year. I however very much dislike cyclops and that Shogun is no exception!!!!

  3. #3
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    That green dial MM200 is lovely, as is the red dial on the Shogun.

    I've not been paying attention to Seiko divers. Is the MM200 a replacement for the Sumo, or what? I've lost track of them all. While I wasn't looking Seiko seems to have brought out a load of new divers designs.

  4. #4
    I must confess I do like the new shoguns, however I do think Seiko prices are now getting silly, some of the limited edition Turtles £600 and the Shoguns as you say changing hands at multiple thousands, and really these prices are because a sapphire crystal or a different coloured dial. I guess its all about what floats peoples boat.

  5. #5
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    That green dial MM200 is lovely, as is the red dial on the Shogun.

    I've not been paying attention to Seiko divers. Is the MM200 a replacement for the Sumo, or what? I've lost track of them all. While I wasn't looking Seiko seems to have brought out a load of new divers designs.
    There is a new Sumo just released (around £750 or so). The MM200 iteration has been out for around 18 months or so and seems to get a plethora of special edition dials. There is a version with an amazing bottle blue sunburst effect as well.

    I believe the Shogun is being discontinued hence I was delighted to get the Zimbe version of what is already a hard to find watch in standard guise let alone Zimbe.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevecross View Post
    I must confess I do like the new shoguns, however I do think Seiko prices are now getting silly, some of the limited edition Turtles £600 and the Shoguns as you say changing hands at multiple thousands, and really these prices are because a sapphire crystal or a different coloured dial. I guess its all about what floats peoples boat.
    And about to get more expensive. When I was in asia a couple of weeks there was a sudden Grand Seiko price increase of 17% aligned with an edict from Seiko that no discount above 10%. This happened in both Taiwan and Thailand. No idea if this is coming our way but as asian RRP was similar to UK I have to assume it wasnt to balance out pricing disparities (in fact the US still has the lowest RRPs). And if you see what Seiko are doing with the current range they are discontinuing and bringing out a new version at a materially higher price point as they shift upmarket. The new Alpinists will be around £850 for example. I suspect the days of the £250 Seiko are going if not already gone.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Master Gavbaz's Avatar
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    Love the Zimbe green. I have the blue variant and for me it is better than my MM300. Far less top heavy, wears a lot smaller than the size suggests, similar quality level and I love the dial.




    Enjoy them. Great pickups Ryan.

  8. #8
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    I love that green MM200. Since getting my black dial variant I've really fallen for these and I keep eyeing up other dials, like this one …



    I love the coin collection you get with the Zimbe as well

    When you say 'no adjustable clasp' I assume you mean no ratcheting clasp because there are 4 micro-holes.

    EDIT: Just realised that the green SPB isn't the Zimbe version with the coins.
    Last edited by Onelasttime; 12th September 2019 at 11:14.

  9. #9
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Another MM200 fan here - I bought an SPB083 (the blue dial version shown above) and it's a stunner. The movement may "only" be a 6R15 but it performs really well both for accuracy and power reserve, the case finishing in particular is excellent and I love the bezel action and the way the bezel "drops" between the lugs. It's a stupidly classy diver and - in my view at least - extremely good value given the quality. Can I resist the grey-dialled one, I wonder...?

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    Some great pictures there and very tempted to get one. however I get so confused and lost with all that Seiko has to offer !

  11. #11
    Apprentice Jobbo's Avatar
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    I bought an MM200 on a whim in Macy's in April - cost just over £500 at the exchange rate on the day (on the silicon strap), though I spent a further £160 on the OEM bracelet. The lacquered bezel looks blue/petrol blue or black depending on the light.



    I didn't check the specs before I bought it; I just tried it on and it looked perfect. Had I noticed that it was 44mm before trying I might have been wary but it definitely shrinks; it doesn't feel significantly bigger than my Seamaster 300M.

  12. #12
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobbo View Post
    . Had I noticed that it was 44mm before trying I might have been wary but it definitely shrinks; it doesn't feel significantly bigger than my Seamaster 300M.
    Agreed - on paper it sounds like an oversized non-starter (for me at least) but the profile and short lugs help it fit really nicely. I like the way the case is undercut, too - makes it supremely comfortable.

    As an aside, I didn't realise you'd joined: a belated "nice to see you".

  13. #13
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherCain View Post
    Agreed - on paper it sounds like an oversized non-starter (for me at least) but the profile and short lugs help it fit really nicely. I like the way the case is undercut, too - makes it supremely comfortable.
    Exactly this. I gave up 42mm+ watches ages ago but really wanted to try an MM300 so bought the next nearest thing to see if I could wear it. I was pleasantly surprised.


  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    +1

    I love mine. A cracking watch and finish for the price. Wears smaller than it's size, which is great for my slim wrist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kidsteruk View Post
    +1
    I love mine. A cracking watch and finish for the price. Wears smaller than it's size, which is great for my slim wrist.
    Totally agree - I also have a black MM200 (SPB077J1) version.

    It is a great watch, but I need to raise some funds so I'm actually looking to sell it on if anyone is looking for one? PM me.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ENES View Post
    Totally agree - I also have a black MM200 (SPB077J1) version.

    It is a great watch, but I need to raise some funds so I'm actually looking to sell it on if anyone is looking for one? PM me.
    You havent got a spare shogun to sell by any chance?

  17. #17
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENES View Post
    Totally agree - I also have a black MM200 (SPB077J1) version.

    It is a great watch, but I need to raise some funds so I'm actually looking to sell it on if anyone is looking for one? PM me.
    Naughty! You need to have been a member here for 6 months and made 250 posts before you can sell anything. The boss has been known to ban or zero the post count of non-compilers.

  18. #18
    Master Neely8's Avatar
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    Another fan here, mine’s the Great Blue Hole version.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Naughty! You need to have been a member here for 6 months and made 250 posts before you can sell anything. The boss has been known to ban or zero the post count of non-compilers.
    😳


    Sorry no spare Shogun...

  20. #20
    Master Glen Goyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    And about to get more expensive. When I was in asia a couple of weeks there was a sudden Grand Seiko price increase of 17% aligned with an edict from Seiko that no discount above 10%. This happened in both Taiwan and Thailand. No idea if this is coming our way but as asian RRP was similar to UK I have to assume it wasnt to balance out pricing disparities (in fact the US still has the lowest RRPs). And if you see what Seiko are doing with the current range they are discontinuing and bringing out a new version at a materially higher price point as they shift upmarket. The new Alpinists will be around £850 for example. I suspect the days of the £250 Seiko are going if not already gone.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    I agree. Also cancelling the SKX forces potential Seiko customers up to more expensive models. In their defence, they were cheap compared to other brands.

    Hope GS price increase does not happen here. Still hoping to get a snowflake in the next year if all goes well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    There is a new Sumo just released (around £750 or so). The MM200 iteration has been out for around 18 months or so and seems to get a plethora of special edition dials. There is a version with an amazing bottle blue sunburst effect as well.
    Thanks. Ouch to £750 for the Sumo!

    Seiko have seen how Rolex is going...

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I believe the Shogun is being discontinued hence I was delighted to get the Zimbe version of what is already a hard to find watch in standard guise let alone Zimbe.
    Again! That's the second time. The revived Shogun hasn't been in production all that long as I recall.

  22. #22
    Master
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    Never had a Seiko diver. Have often looked but always get very confused with the Seiko line-up, also the prices across the Seiko range seem to go from relatively low to quite high. Is there a simple place to get some info on how the range is constructed?

  23. #23
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Never had a Seiko diver. Have often looked but always get very confused with the Seiko line-up, also the prices across the Seiko range seem to go from relatively low to quite high. Is there a simple place to get some info on how the range is constructed?
    Seiko are going through some price changes at the minute in an effort to realign the prices in an upward direction.

    Would suggest looking at the Prospex lineup.

    At a glance it goes SRP at the bottom, SPB then SLA. Hope that doesn't offend anyone somehow.

  24. #24
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    Also find the range very confusing.

    However have narrowed it down to a prospex of the samurai variety that I'm interested in most.

    .... Awaits someone telling me that's not an option :D

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan1981 View Post
    Also find the range very confusing.

    However have narrowed it down to a prospex of the samurai variety that I'm interested in most.

    .... Awaits someone telling me that's not an option :D

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
    The Samurai is definitely an option, and a very very good one at that. It's sits in a similar price range, perhaps a smidge more than the turtle re-issues, both are still typical superb Seiko bargain buys, relatively speaking of course.
    The Sumo used to sit just a little higher than these, but now it seems have elevated to what used to be Shogun money. So maybe the turtles are the "new" skx's, with the samurais sitting slightly above perhaps?

  26. #26
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Seiko are going through some price changes at the minute in an effort to realign the prices in an upward direction.

    Would suggest looking at the Prospex lineup.

    At a glance it goes SRP at the bottom, SPB then SLA. Hope that doesn't offend anyone somehow.
    Thanks, that helps give me a guide.
    What are the main differences between the watches in the Prospex line?

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