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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My collection has been missing a permanent dive watch for several years and hopefully I have found “the one.” I just took possession of a Seiko SBDX001 Marinemaster.

I’ve always liked the design, feel and fit of Seiko dive watches. I’ve owned – and flipped – a couple of SKX009s, an Orange Monster, a Sumo, and a several 6309s. I just couldn’t get over the non-hackable/non-windable nature of the low end Seiko movements. I was hoping the Sumo would fill the bill, but as I feared, the proportions just didn’t work for me, though the quality was great. The lugs are too long, and the head is visually too large for a 20mm bracelet. There are probably few divers that offer the bang for the buck that the Sumo does.

Other divers I’ve tried include a Sinn U1. A great watch. The design is one-of-a-kind, and the submarine steel case is off-the-charts badass cool. But that’s its downfall. It’s just too toolish to wear to the office or with anything other than casual clothes (IMHO). But I loved the fit of it; the short lugs worked well with my 7.25” wrist size. Also had a Marathon GSAR, which was closer to what I was looking for, but a little small and ultimately too military-ish. The proportions looked “off” to me, too thick for the width of the case.

I gave the Steinhart Ocean series a try. Several tries, in fact. But the Submariner homage case doesn’t fit my wrist well when sized up to 42mm and they just always felt a bit ungainly on my 7” wrist. Same problem that I had with the Sumo…the case was too long.

My Omega Planet Ocean 2500C 42mm was going to be “the one.” It was a beautiful watch. But I just never really fell in love with it and it spent a lot of time sitting on the shelf. Getting the fit just right proved elusive. I bought an extra half link, plus tried it on the rubber strap, but it always seemed to be too tight or too loose. Plus, it was too far in the other direction from tool watch. The diver in my collection is to be one that I’m not afraid of putting a mark on it, which is probably why the PO spent so much time napping. I didn’t really want to wear a $4,000 watch in casual settings for fear of putting a ding into it. So it was flipped when I found a good deal on my grail, a Rolex GMT Master II.

So the collection has its two main foundations, the GMT Master and a Speedmaster Pro. But I wanted a dive watch still, and none of the ones I’d tried had really stood the test of time. The MM was a watch I learned about when I first started researching watches seriously about 15 years ago or so. I’ve always been a Seiko fan. My first watch was a hand-me-down Business A from my dad. And besides the divers listed above, I’ve owned a bunch of others over the years. But for whatever reason – finances or being drawn to other brands – I had never really given it a serious thought.

Until now.

I’d been wearing my 6309 a lot lately, just enjoying the “Seiko-ness” of it, but wishing it had a bit more je ne sais quoi. Not to knock a classic, but the 6309 is pretty basic compared to my other watches and I wanted a diver with a bit more bling and presence. But not too much of either.

I started looking at the MM again, and realized that prices have come down quite a bit over the past few months. What was once a $2,400 watch was now selling for around $2,000 at trusted Japan-based dealers. So I decided, why not? I fired off an order to Seiya and had this beauty on my wrist within a few days.

Fast forward to now. I’ve held off posting this to see if the initial excitement of a new watch would wear off and I’d find myself casting longing glances at something else. So far, my commitment is solid. It took a day or two to get used to the heft of it, and the clasp rubbed my wrist a bit until I formed a callus. I really like the way the thickness of it is compensated for by the sculptured case sides. It’s kind of like the first time you pick up a Fender Stratocaster (if you know anything about guitars). They’re both very curvaceous, and just sort of meld themselves into you. So the 44mm width, and 14+mm thickness of the MM doesn’t really feel as big as the dimensions would suggest it would. To compare, my Sinn U1 was roughly the same dimensions, but it always felt like I had a U-Boat hanging off my wrist (and I’m not talking about the watch brand). The MM doesn’t call a lot of attention to itself.

The quality of the finish is superb. In a league with top Swiss brands. But not in a super blingy, look-at-me way. Just in a manner that indicates that this is a quality timepiece. The lume is standard-setting, as you would expect from Seiko. The domed Hardlex crystal creates just the right amount of distortion and depth to the dial. Most impressive is the bezel, both in its ease of use and feel, as well as in appearance.

The 8L35 movement is robust and smooth, as befits its Grand Seiko lineage. While it’s unadjusted, my watch seems to be running at about +7/secs a day right out of the box, which I’m very happy with. I’m hoping that with a few weeks of use, it may improve somewhat. But even if not, it’s perfectly acceptable performance.

If I were going to change anything, it would be the length of the bracelet links, and the crown. I think the bracelet would fit more people, better, with a more flexible bracelet. And, the clasp, while its strong and sturdy, is pretty utilitarian. But the sliding adjustment for a wetsuit allows on-the-fly resizing when you need a bit more slack or want to wear it over a sleeve. The action of screwing down the crown isn’t up to that of other divers I’ve owned, and nowhere near the smoothness of the GMT-Master II in my collection. But it’s fine, just use a careful hand and don’t rush the process lest you cross-thread the crown. Again, utility over refinement.

I could go on, but the MM is already a pretty well-thought of watch on WUS. It seems like there’s always a lot of agonizing that goes on over this watch, and I see them get flipped fairly frequently. So I thought I’d post my experience if it might be helpful for any of you fence-sitters out there.

 

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Your sig line is classic!

Congrats on your new MM, looks great.
 
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Stellar read, thanks for sharing. I am finding the longer I own my MM300, the more I appreciate and love it, have not been able to say that with any other watch I have owned. Congratulations!
 

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Thanks for the insight and enjoy since you have lusted for her.
The MM300 is like a beautiful woman, lots of nice curves to look at and to get excited for, unfortunately the only drawback is, no sex to have.
 

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Congrats, very well written piece, hopefully I am getting one tomorrow, I can't wait!

Just an update, my MM300 is in...
 

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Nice write up on your new acquisition. The MM300 is a beautiful dive watch. Love the picture too! Any chance it was taken at Cannon Beach?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice write up on your new acquisition. The MM300 is a beautiful dive watch. Love the picture too! Any chance it was taken at Cannon Beach?
No, at Pacific City, home of the "other" Haystack Rock on the Oregon Coast, and Pelican Brew Pub. Good eye, though. You know your Oregon Coast landmarks!
 
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Congrats and welcome to the club:-!

BTW...excellent write up!

50 years from now...... they'll still be talking about the Marine Master:-!

Cheers
Shannon
 

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Threads like this make want to trade my Seamaster in to help pay for an MM,

But where in North America can it get serviced?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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that watch bought me to WUS..... still pulls the heart strings.
 
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Sounds like this was a long journey for you, glad you are happy with your purchase! If my wrists were bigger I would be wearing one too. Thanks for the post and the story.
 
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