Orange Monster vs Ecozilla is a debate which is as long standing as the two watches themselves. Both have legions of loyal fans, both are convincingly chunky, macho and reliable as well as being extremely competitively priced.
At the higher end of the food chain, or dive watch scale, the same debate rages about the Rolex Submariner versus the Omega Seamaster, but today we focus on dive watch bottom feeders, these two worthy Japanese contributions to the underwater world.
Seiko Orange Monster
Seiko’s SKX781 or Orange Monster receives almost universal praise from anyone that comes into close contact with it. The SKX781 has been described as a “rite of passage” diver’s watch, a watch you acquire and admire on your way towards your Rolex Submariner or Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Ecozilla aside, you will struggle to find an automatic diving watch that looks as good and is as affordable as the Orange Monster.
The watch features Seiko’s trusty calibre 7S26 self winding automatic movement with 21 jewels. It is trusty too. You can leave this watch in a drawer for months on end, give it a little tap and it starts up immediately and keeps remarkably accurate time. It’s housed in a beefy 42mm stainless steel case that has a thickness of 13mm.
With day and date at three o'clock and the crown at 4 o'clock, the watch is water resistant to 200 metres, and is famous for its eye catching bright orange dial and big bold luminous hour markers. It has great heft to it too. And never mind about underwater, the Monster shines like a lumilite beacon of truth while watching movie blockbusters in your local cinema. The stainless steel strap is of great quality, but can easily be changed to a chunky rubber strap, according to preference.
2013 Seiko Orange Monster
The Orange Monster has had a recent facelift with the introduction 2013 Orange Monster. The new version has shark teeth style markers surrounding the orange dial, and is certainly a worthy successor to the original. But the SKX781 remains An excellent investment and a great starting point for any entry level watch collector. Still widely available from around $200.
The Citizen EcoZilla, or to give it its full name, the Citizen BJ8050-08E Eco-Drive Professional watch is nicknamed ‘EcoZilla’ thanks to what was once held to be its wrist devouring proportions. Well, maybe at one time it was considered unusually large, but it has undoubtedly been tamed by the size of modern watches and is today nothing remarkable in terms of its size. It measures 46mm diameter with a case thickness of 18mm. The mineral crystal is 6mm thick. Despite its size, the Ecozilla is made from light weight titanium which means it’s not heavy or uncomfortable to wear. Like the Orange Monster, the Zilla also offers supreme readability with the date at 3 o'clock and with chunky luminous hands and hour markers. The Citizen Ecozilla has equally large read out numerals on its unidirectional bezel, with an imposing rounded shape.
The major difference between Seiko Orange Monster and Zilla is the movement. Where the Monster is automatic, the Ecozilla is powered by Citizen’s excellent Eco Drive technology that continues to charge the watch in both natural and indoor light. The Ecozilla runs on a Calibre B873 Japanese movement which, being quartz, shades it in terms of accuracy and reliability over the Seiko. It also has a huge180 day power reserve, with a low charge warning when there is less than 3 days of power remaining.
The Citizen EcoZilla goes a further 100 metres deeper than the Monster - 300 metres, so it’s a pretty serious dive instrument. Like the Seiko Orange Monster, the Citizen Ecozilla is also available from about $200.
As all Watchuseek dive forum readers know, they are both great budget dive watches, and if you can’t decide between them don’t hesitate to get them both.
As usual some of the best pictures are by Watchuseek members so thanks Jason Penney for the two main pictures of the Monster and the Ecozilla.