Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Seiko SNKF05K1 - Big Freakin Seiko (BFS)

My quartz lacoste watch, that I wear on the field, finally gave up on me. I thought to myself that this is the perfect excuse to get myself a BFS which I have been lusting for ever since I saw the BFS thread here at PWC. While still out of the country I posted a WTB here at PWC and thanks to the folks who replied, a day after coming back home, I started hunting down a BFS.

The hunt brought me to Farmers Plaza in Cubao and there I saw 2 versions of the BFS, the black dialed SNKF07K and the blue dialed SNKF05K. After much deliberation, I got myself the SNKF05K. As I'm no watch expert, moreso a seiko expert, this post is by no means an expert review but just an article where I can share my first impressions of the watch and the info I have researched that eventually led to my purchase. Maybe some other PWCer will find this useful and catch the bug that a lot of the folks here have caught. This is my first time to write anything close to a review...

The Unboxing

1st Impressions

Why Blue?

I was initially planning to get the SNKF11K1 BFS. But only the SNKF05K and 07K versions were available. Since the SNKF11K1 had a black dial, I was leaning towards the black faced version but somehow when I tried on the blue dialed version, it just sang to me. Maybe it was the blue raw jeans I was wearing that day, but i found that the deep dark blue dial of the watch looked more interesting than the black faced dial of the SNKF07K. And when sunlight hits the dial, it changes from very dark blue to chrome blue. It's like having the black and blue dials in one!

The Movement

The BFS houses a caliber 7s26B movement with 21 jewels, beating at 21,600bph. It is an automatic, non-hacking movement with power reserves of up to 42 hours. I havent tested it's accuracy yet but according to a review I have read, its at 40 sec/day, which I think is too much. Can anyone validate this information?

Apart from h,m, and s, the movement also has day (in two languages) and date complications. The crown on this watch is non-locking. Would have been nice if it was a screwed-in crown but one just has to remember that it is intended as a sports watch (not a diver) priced at around 120USD. Would be difficult to get everything we want at that price point.

The Case

The case is a big one: a 44mm piece of metal that has been nicely shaped and finished by Seiko. The case is mostly brushed except the sides which are polished. I find that this combination actually looks good and breaks the monotonous look of the watch.

The case is only 11.5mm thin, which makes the watch look a little less intimidating than what one would expect from a 44mm watch, especially for a twig wrist like me (6.5mm). The lug-lug length is 51mm, which I initially though was too big. But thanks to the downward curving lugs, it actually fits well on my wrist with just a tiny bit of lug overhang. The lug size by the way is 24mm.

The case has a fixed bezel with a knurled side and a brushed "face". This might look confusing to some since knurled finishing is usually applied to something that moves. But again, I think the knurling of the side of the bezel fits the watch since it matches the finish of the crown. The combination of brushed, polished, and knurled surfaces really works for this watch.

The case back is a plain and solid stainless steel with the case number and "Seiko" engraved on it.

The Bracelet

The watch comes with a brushed steel bracelet. The middle link of the bracelet is huge and really dominates the appearance of the bracelet. I actually think it fits the image of the BFS, that being BIG. I had mine adjusted and three links were taken out. Now I find that the watch sometimes moves to the top of my wrist and is not exactly centered. I may try to bring it to a shop and have it adjusted again.

The clasp on this watch is pretty good. It employs a triple lock system with a twin push button system to release the clasp.

The Dial

The dial of the watch is simple with wedge type hour markers, split number 12 and 6, and an outer chapter ring with line minute and second markers. The chapter ring provides a certain depth to the watch which I really like, and adds a little bit of interest to the otherwise simple dial. Because of the unclattered lay out and the high contrast provided by the white over dark blue, I find the dial very easy to read.

The day and the date is shown on window on the 3 o'clock position. The text is white (except Sun which is red) printed on black. I wish they had made it blue instead so that it matches the dial of the watch. The days are available in 2 languages: English and Italian I think, or maybe Spanish.

The hands are quite beautiful and very easy to read as the main body is white, with a strip of lume in the middle. The rear part of the hands is finished with glossy black paint. The second hand is chromed with a lume pointer.

The only other text on the dial is a silver embossed Seiko at the 12 o'clock position and Automatic 100M at the 6 o'clock position.

The lume on this watch is Seiko's LumiBrite. It gives of the usual greenish/bluish lume which is bright and decent, but doesn't last too long.

Again here is a collage of the pictures Ive taken:

Image Image
Image Image

And of course, a lume and wrist shot.

Here are the SNKF05K’s specs which I have gathered from various sites in the web.

Diameter: 46 mm (w/o crown), 47.5 mm (w/crown)
Bezel diameter: 43mm
Lug-to-lug: 51 mm
Thickness: 11.5 mm
Lug width: 24 mm
Caseback type: 7s26-02Z0
Construction: Stainless steel
Crystal: Hardlex glass, flat profile
Bezel: Fixed
W.R. rating: 100m
Finish: Brushed, except the side of the case which is polished

Color: Blue
Luminous material: LumiBrite™
Indices: wedge shaped hour markers except 12 and 6, which are large split arabic number. Outer chapter ring had line minute markers.

Caliber: 7s26B, 21 jewels (7s26B from Oct 2006 onwards)
Movement: Automatic, non-hacking
Beat rate: 21,600 bph (6 beats/sec)
Loss/gain: Less than 40 sec/day
Power reserve: About 42 hours
Calendar: Day/date, dual language (Eng/Roman)
Crown: Non-locking type

Overall the watch is pure value for its price tag. I actually think its cheaper than the Lacoste watch it's replacing, but hopefully will have a longer life.

Hope you enjoyed the (long) read! Please share your comments


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