If you know me, you know two things about me: I love watches and I smell, faintly, of ferret. That’s why I’d like to share my excitement at this review of the new Seiko SRP313K1 “Orange Monster,” one of the nicest and least expensive automatic diving watches you can buy.
I’m a huge fan of the Seiko Orange Monster. It’s a perfect “first watch” for a beginning collector and at about $300 it’s not very expensive. It has a solid case and bezel, a very legible face, excellent lume, and the band can last years. In fact, my Dad’s old Seiko diver from the 1970s had a rubber band that finally snapped in 2009. These new models are on-par in terms of quality and durability.
The new divers in this series have an improved movement, the 4R36. This movement has a “hacking” seconds hand – that is you can stop it when you pull the crown all the way out, thereby allowing you and your crack commando unit that was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit to synchronize your watches. This model also allows you to hand-wind the movement, a valuable feature if you plan on setting this automatic down for a longer length of time.
The “New Monster” comes in multiple face styles including traditional orange with silver bezel, orange with black bezel, and a weird sunburst style that is a bit jarring to my purist’s sensibilities. I’ve found it for $289 online but expect it to be fairly hard to find in the U.S. until Seiko finally realizes that no one wants quartz dress watches that sell for $500 at Zales and instead wants these things. Seiko so rarely brings their truly great watches to the U.S. (I would kill to get a Golgo 13 watch, for example) so if you can spot one of these and it’s under $300 you should probably pick it up.
You can read the full review of the New “Orange Monster” here but I’ll try to pick one up to talk about for our upcoming gift guide. You know, for science.