Seiko SKX7 Automatic (old) – $172 | Seiko SRP3 Automatic (new) – $200
The Seiko Monster is quite possibly the perfect summertime automatic. It’s certainly wearable and then some, year round, but for the summer in particular? Whether you’re water-skiing (update: perhaps it’s not the best for water skiing), sweating buckets doing yard work, or hosing down the dog after she rolled in something dead on the trail (seriously Matilda, just once, could you not find the rankest corpse in earshot?), Seiko’s line of monsters are tough enough to handle it.
True dive watches with a 200 m water resistance rating, a beefy case & screw down crown, good lume and a toothy rotating bezel– the Monsters are pretty much legends in the watch community at large. The fact that they’re so affordable also helps.
The Monster was not “broke”. But Seiko “fixed” it. And they did a fine job.
Kirk? Meet Picard.
Same large case (43 – 42mm, but wears a touch smaller), same toothy bezel, same water resistance rating. Stylistically, there’s a few changes. The hands and indices are now pointy all around and lined in red, and gone are the Arabic minute numerals. So they gave it a little color on the hands, but made the dial less busy. Some will like it, some won’t.
The biggest switch is at the crown, and what that crown is your access point for. Unscrewing the crown on the old model can be a little harsh on the fingers, and the edges they put on the crown didn’t help a lot for grip. On the new model the crown has diamond pattern knurling, and it’s noticeably easier to grip. Nice change from Seiko.
But the most impactful change is in the movement. The new option is hackable (the seconds hand stops when you pull the crown out fully, meaning you can set a more precise time)… and you can hand wind it at the crown…
Alright, so it’s not THAT big of a deal, but if you wear multiple watches during the week, chances are one or more of your automatics will stop (assuming you don’t use a watch winder). Hand-winding is a good way to kick start them once they’ve run out of power, or, to make sure they’ll make it through the night if you haven’t worn it that day.
The two crowns. Top: the older version. Bottom: the 2nd generation.
Pricing is all over the place, but when it comes to the black dial/rubber strap options shown here, the 1st generation model is costing a little bit less than the new 2nd generation. Amazon has the old option for around $170 depending on the band/dial color/etc… while the 2nd generation is more like $200.
Are those new features worth an extra $30? Maybe, maybe not. But when the supply of the 1st generation runs out, it’s nice to know that the new Monster will be a worthy successor with an improved movement.
Thoughts on the new Monster’s design? It’s not a big difference, but is the more aggressive look a turn off? Leave it all in the comments section below…