A Review of the Seiko "Black Monster" SKX779

Home, 2006-09-11

Seiko SKX779 200 metre "Black Monster" (BM)
Case, Crown, and Crystal
Dial and Hands
Movement
Bezel
Bracelet
Conclusion
Links

Seiko SKX779 200 metre "Black Monster" (BM)Contents

( A Note on Watch Reviews.)

The BM was introduced by Seiko in 2002, together with its sister, SKX781, the "Orange Monster" (OM). The Seiko Monsters are not produced anymore but can still be bought from many places on the Internet. They are very popular and the BM was of June 2004, the number one watch on the Top 20 "Poor Man's" Forum Watch List.

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Two things convinced me to buy this watch: this review at The PuristS and the low price.

The watch was probably produced in Singapore.

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The watch came in a basic but nice cardboard/cloth box.

The watch is as impressive in the hand as I expected from photos.

Case, Crown, and CrystalContents

The case is a combination of brushed and polished steel. It is a rather large watch, but the case design with the lugs placed closely to the case makes it wear like a smaller watch. I find it fits my 6.5" wrist ok.

Case 42--47mm
Lug tip to lug tip 48mm
Lug spacing 20mm
Height 13mm
Weight (watch) 90g
Weight (bracelet) 80g

Dimensions (measured).

There are some "protection" around the bezel in the top and bottom, (this can also be seen on some of Seiko's professional divers), but I fail to see the practial properties. At the bottom this extends up to the crown at 4 and continues about 1mm after the crown. It does not curve around the unsigned crown. Even though the crown is large, the "grip" is not that good (but still ok). The back is the same as found on most modern Seiko divers with the tsunami wave logo and some text about the watch. There are drilled holes into the lugs, which makes it easy to change straps etc. The crystal is domed mineral (Seiko's Hardlex), without any coatings, however, the dome-shape reduces glare (and fingerprints). The watch is water resistant to 200 meter.

Dial and HandsContents

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Hand and dial details.

The watch is easy to read: the hands are well-designed and there are small marks on the chapther ring, making it easy to read the exact time (on many diver's the hours are only marked with a fat marker).

The dial on the BM is a little busy and I could have done well without the day and some of the print in the bottom. The printing of the day does not match the style of the date (also the day disc is glossy and the date disc matte), and generally the quality of the printing could be better. The Lumibrite on the hands and dial has the same color and the luminosity is the best I have seen on a non-radioactive watch.

The sides of the hands are not painted consistently, but it is rather hard to spot.

MovementContents

The movement is a Seiko 7S26 (Seiko's replacement for the 7002) used in the inexpensive Seiko automatics. It cannot be wound or hacked. I have read somewhere that the 7S26 is designed to be robust and it might require less service than most ETA movements. It takes 2-3 hours for the movement to change the day and date. The movement is described in more detail here: http://www.thepurists.com/watch/features/8ohms/7s26/.

When I got the watch it gained around 10 seconds a day. After I regulated it looses around 4-5 seconds a day. I was impressed by how good the movement looked, it looks much better than I had expected (the photos in the review on The PuristS does not lie). However, I was a disappointed to see how scratched the movement and back was.

BezelContents

The BM has a large engraved brushed steel bezel. It is unidirectional and has 120 stops per round. It is easily turned (perhaps to easily), also with gloves. The bezel is not perfectly aligned to the case.

BraceletContents

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The BM came on an impressive steel bracelet with brushed and polished solid links. There is no traditional endlinks (to come loose) on the bracelet. The bracelet is comfortable.

Note: While resizing the bracelet I found that the pins on both side of the arrows on the links with arrows can be pushed out, which means that all the links with arrows on can be removed.

ConclusionContents

The BM is an amazing watch at the price: the finish is ok and Seiko sets the standard for luminosity.

LinksContents