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Thread: Seiko Caesar. The BIG big Kinetic diver.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Seiko Caesar. The BIG big Kinetic diver.

    For posterity I'm going to try and record my thoughts on a few of the more unusual watches I've had on my wrist.

    This time around is the Seiko Caesar, the biggest Kinetic watch in the Seiko back catalogue.

    Seiko produced four models of the Caesar, all now very sought after;
    SNDA13 - 7t92-0JG0 - Black dial. Quartz chronograph.
    SNDA15 - 7t92-0JG0 - Yellow dial. Quartz chronograph.
    SKA383 - 5m62-0BR0 - Black dial. Kinetic diver.
    SKA385 - 5m62-0BR0 - Yellow dial. Kinetic diver.

    This was a weird range - a huge oversized diver released for a very limited time to limited markets (Japan, Thailand and North America, as far as I can ascertain). It came out in about 2006 when Seiko were trying to tempt the dive market with quirky models such as the original Yellow Monster, the Boss (or Big Boss) which was their oddly unpopular left-hander, and the weird, chunky looking Seiko Starfish. Nothing wrong with breaking the mould once in a while, I suppose, and this was definitely one of the forerunners from the "bigger is better" school of thought.

    The case is solid steel with quite crisp edges. The body of the case itself has a sharp bevel which gives it a reverse conical appearance, a shape which is followed by the bezel. The result is a case measuring an already respectable 41mm at its base but an enormous 46mm across the bezel. To counter the angle of the case the crown has had to be blown up in size lest it be lost in the gap between wrist and bezel, giving us an enormous steel crown (with sloped edges, copying the lines of the case) which protrudes 5mm from the side of the case. And because the crown has been oversized, the power reserve button has had to go the same way and pokes out almost as far.
    None of that is really an issue, I like oversized dive watches, but the shape of the crown and the fact that it sticks out so far means that it ends up digging into the back of my hand, resulting in a red dent after long periods of wear.

    The watch has a standard uni-directional 120 position bezel which due to its conical shape is very user friendly, it is easy to get a good grip of it even with gloves on. It is a really smart design, the only negative being that the insert is also tilted so modding on this watch is out of the question (in fact, I've never even seen a Seiko factory replacement for this model). Bezel text is the standard display of decompression times spread into ten minute increments and presented as silver text on a black background, but due to its depth this also has space for an inner display with the reverse pattern showing black minute markers on a silver background.

    Mineral crystal is the order of the day as far as a glass. Usually I would pull my face at that but again because of the shape of the bezel this one sits recessed by a couple of millimetres so it has an extra layer of protection - the heavy steel bezel takes any knocks which might otherwise have damaged the glass. Even so, it's a 3mm "Hardlex" mineral glass so still built to take a bit of stick. Thankfully, NO CYCLOPS LENS! So it's just a clear, unobstructed view of the dial.

    Now one of the negatives... the bracelet.
    Quality is excellent, but the fit is integrated so no chance of swapping this out for something lightweight. Personally I would want this on rubber.
    The lug width is still 20mm, but the fact that the thick solid lugs extend to 28mm means that nothing other than this bracelet look quite right on it. The modern Seiko Z-20 fits, but it looks completely lost on this massive lump of steel case.
    Still, it's a solid link 35X7-G-C bracelet. Brushed links with polished joining sections (another mini-moan of mine to be honest) and push-pins with the collars to hold them tightly in place. Wet-suit extension built into the clasp. Micro-adjustment on the clasp. Everything you need, nothing you don't.

    The dial is matte black with plain white text/logo. Huge hands, white steel frames with incredible luminova infill, very impressive in the dark for a short time but it soon fades of course. Good clear hour markers in thickly applied lume, they have even been domed rather than left flat so they appear glossy in daylight, a nice effect.
    Date window at 3, it's so unobtrusive you'd be forgiven for forgetting all about it.

    The movement is of course the Kinetic powered 5M62. Seiko produced hundreds of models with this calibre - it's the third (?) generation Seiko Kinetic movement and it felt like they had finally dragged the technology far enough that it was fully sustainable. The previous (40-series) had about a one month power reserve. The series before that (3m23, 25 etc) had only a few days! With this new Kinetic 5m62, 63, 65 etc the watches would fully charge the capacitor (the rechargeable battery which holds the power) in approximately 500 revolutions and hold a solid 6 month power reserve.
    It is a standard three hand analogue display with date complication. Tried and tested, the classic!

    In summary, I really like this one. There isn't a current market equivalent which is unusual for Seiko - instead of revamping and re-releasing this one they produced it for a couple of years and then allowed it to fade to obscurity. Until about three or four years ago I was unaware the range even existed.
    The size and weight is an issue for some but I'm not too fussed about it (I probably wouldn't want it for daily wear). My only gripe with this is the fact that the crown pokes out and has an angled head.

    Case: 46mm case diameter. 48.5mm diameter with the crown. 14mm deep.
    W/R: 200m rated.
    Bezel: 120 click, uni-directional.
    Crown: Screw down (also screw-down pusher)
    Glass: Mineral (Hardlex).
    Bracelet: 20mm lugs, fixed bracelet with wetsuit extension.
    Movement: Kinetic 3rd gen, 5M62.

    Some snaps of mine.

  2. #2
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    North and South.
    Thanks for posting, Seiko diving watches seem to be a little less adventurous in their designs at the moment.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  3. #3
    Craftsman RogertheDodger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Woodley, Berkshire.
    If anyone wants to see what the yellow version looks like (this is the quartz variant, based on the 7T92 movement) here's mine for comparison.

  4. #4
    Master James_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Central Scotland
    I had a yellow one. Too big and heavy and the kinetic movement was a bitch to keep the charge up

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