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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After looking at a Marine Master 600 (MM600 Model SBDB011) for a couple years I picked up one from Seiya a few months back now that they are discontinued. Here are my thoughts after a few months of ownership and use.
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I own a Marine Master 300 (MM300) as well as the MM600 so I'll mix in my views between the two and other thoughts.

Size and Weight

I have used the MM300 extensively for about nine years and have in fact dived with it many times. The MM600 is a larger watch, but mostly it's good bit taller than the MM300. However the MM600 Titanium construction is considerably lighter when on the bracelet. When on rubber straps the MM300 and MM600 are about the same weight.

The MM600 is a tall watch. I have not had a problem with the height and I have wrists over 7.5" so the size is not overwhelming. But if you don't like tall watches you don't want the MM600. It is about 1-2mm taller than the MM300 for comparison so really I didn't have any issues making the switch.
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Looking down on the watch the size is good for my relatively flat and wide wrists. But clearly looking at the watch profile it's tall. It's not the worst I've seen, but if you have puny wrists you should not get this watch.
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Design

Compared to the MM300 directly, they are both basically brothers. The MM600 is a scaled up version, but I find the MM600 bezel turns nicer and I like the sawtooth look on it vs. the MM300 a bit more. Some people don't like the bolts on the MM600 but I do. I think it's a neat look and practical feature to remove the bezel easily for cleaning.
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Overall the watch is not for dress, but is very casual yet would probably look OK with office attire. Of course it would look great with a wetsuit or other water sports.

Dial

The dial on the MM600 looks like a stamped process to raise the dial indicators and then lume is applied. Although I think the MM300 looks maybe a little nicer with the applied indicators (or perhaps hand applied lume), the MM600 dial is very well executed and the fit and finish on the watch approaches a Grand Seiko (GS) I also own. Considering the price point difference between the MM600 and GS watches it really is so close I have a hard time telling the difference even under magnification. The GS I own is more bling, but the MM600 really is well done for what it sells for and what it is (dive watch).

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The dial text on the MM600 is well executed and tidy. It says what needs to be said without turning into a novel as other superlative brands like to do.

The matte black finish of the dial shows no distracting reflections or serious glare.

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The dial size of the MM300 looks much smaller now that I've been using the MM600 a bit. Maybe my eyes have adjusted, but I find the MM600's larger dial easier to read. The interior chapter ring has 24 hour markings for the GMT function, but they're pretty small in practice and hard to read. The chapter ring markers though are easy to read for minute graduations.

The MM600 dial is really deep. When in the dark the crystal captures the lume in a way that gives an illusion that is almost a couple inches deep. It's really a cool play on the light and pretty unique. I've not seen this effect before on other watches I've owned.

Hands

The MM300 hands are nicer polished, but the MM600 hands are still excellent and very legible. For the record I think the MM300 hands are probably the nicest I've seen on any watch even at very high price points with the polished blade edges, so most all watches have a hard time topping the MM300 in this area.

The MM600 hands are legible and well lumed. The GMT hand is a smaller all white non-lume indicator. I thought it would be too close in color to be confusing, but really it's unobtrusive and I have no problem telling the time with the MM600 regardless of the white GMT hand. In the dark, only the hour/minute hands are lumed so it's very easy to tell in the dark what time it is without the GMT hand interfering.
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The seconds hand is a sword type with lume opposite the seconds indicator sweep. It's legible in the dark and the polished chrome captures the light and makes the SD movement even more mesmerizing than it usually is.

Interestingly, the seconds hand does not have the usual hole for the spindle. The center area is polished and clean like the rest of the hand. It has a really nice look.

Date Wheel

The date wheel is black on white and very legible. The size is good even for my aging eyes and easily read. The date window is slightly raised on the edges like the number indicators.

Power Indicator and Reserve

A lot of people dislike power indicators, but I like them. I have several watches and it lets me know how much power is left with a glance without needing to wind unnecessarily. The power indicator on the MM600 is an applied chrome gauge and looks nicer than painted gauges. Yes, it does that weird Seiko upside down gauge where the lower position is full and up is empty. It must be a Japanese thing.

Power reserve is an honest 72 hours or so. The watch can easily sit all weekend and most of Monday and keep just as accurate time as if it were worn. The power gauge hand is polished chrome like the seconds hand and matches the overall look of the watch seamlessly.

Crystal

The crystal is beveled and this captures the lume and indicators to create a doubled up effect at the edges when viewed straight on the dial. Almost like a prism magnification effect. It's hard to explain, but it's a good look and pretty unique.
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The crystal is sapphire and is slightly below the bezel which protects it from impacts. I have not scratched or smacked the crystal yet as a result. I don't think the crystal is AR externally coated, but I've not noticed any bad glare to say I miss it. I don't like external AR coatings anyway as they always scratch and look horrible from then on.

Bezel

The bezel appears to be simply painted on or some kind of hard paint/enamel process. The text is clean and crisp. The 12 o'clock pip is lumed. The bezel action is extremely smooth with 120 clicks. It compares to any other high end diver I've tried in terms of feel. The bezel lines up with the 12 o'clock marker.

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Bezel Maintenance

I did manage to gunk up the bezel action in my short ownership period (water exposure) which I think flushed out the grease. This made it hard to turn but is easily fixed. I simply removed the two bolts, lifted off the bezel, lifted out the spring halves, and gave it a clean. then I applied some lithium grease around the inside of the bezel (there is a very small o-ring inside the bezel to give friction). Then I dropped in the bezel springs, dropped on the bezel and put in the bolt clamps again. It was a five minute job with no chance of damaging the case as can happen with prying off press fit bezels like on the MM300 to clean them. It now works like new again (maybe better!).

Band

The band is all titanium with an adjustable clasp largely identical to the MM300. It has several pin micro adjust points to help get an initial fit after removing links. Then you can use the clasp itself to loosen/tigthen probably a good 1" or so of extra wrist size to adjust for swelling or a wetsuit. The links are brushed with some polished bits. They are held in with pins so to remove links you'll need the right tool or see a watchmaker that knows what they are doing to have it done.

The lugs on the watch make it only fit this band unless you do the Sinn modification for a rubber strap. Since I almost never change watch straps and like metal bands, this isn't an issue for me. But if you like changing bands around the MM600 is not for you. I am quite happy with the MM600 band and have no intent on swapping it so this doesn't bother me.

Case and Band Fit and Finish

The case and band are using the Zaratsu finish. The case mirror finish was just as good as my MM300 which was just as good as the GS watch I own. They are all mirror finish and excellent. You can tell they put a lot of work into polishing these watches and the MM600 is no exception.

The case is Diashield coated and so far I have to say it has no major scratches despite almost daily use the past few months. There are some hair line scratches, but it's no worse than any stainless watch I've owned.

The watch band (clasp especially) does however show the usual scuff marks from desks, etc. Either it's not diashield treated or I suspect the brushed finish there just shows marks better as it is getting more abuse from tables, chairs, etc. all day.
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The caseback is a screw down type and has the Seiko Marine Master wave. The text is crisply executed with the movement number, etc. The caseback has a pronouced dome to it that makes the watch taller than it could be if it were flat.

Lume

It's thermonuclear! Honestly really bright and this is what Seiko is known for. It easily lasts all night on my nightstand even with no particular effort to charge it before bed. If you charge it in front of a light bulb you an almost read by it for a few minutes until it tones down somewhat. I did it once, and it was so bright on my nightstand I had to turn it face down as it was keeping me awake with the light in my face.

The hand lume matches the dial lume and is bright and clear.

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Spring Drive Accuracy, Movement and Build

I love Spring Drives. They are the Seiko flagship movement and I've never owned one that was not a hot performer in the accuracy department. This MM600 is no exception and is about +0.1spd. Over 51 days I tracked it, the watch gained 4.4 seconds. And the variance was always +0.1spd no matter what I was doing. Spring Drives do not care about watch position.
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The watch crown winds as smoothly as my GS watch. The Spring Drive winds to full power very quickly with just normal activity and no need to manually wind the watch if you wear it every few days.

This watch is a true GMT movement. Meaning you set the time by setting the GMT hand on your local time while hacking the seconds. When you push the crown in to the first position the seconds hand starts and you can then set the hour to your local time and the watch will keep running. Each hour position jumps ahead so you can quickly adjust time zones (or DST) without stopping the watch. This is also how you set the date, but it's a bit cumbersome as you need to rotate through each 24 hours to move the date wheel. You can however go forwards and backwards to get to the day more quickly.

Dive Rating

The MM600 is rated for 600m which is a ridiculous rating to be honest. The watch case and crystal are thick enough that I believe Seiko, but as a recreational diver the deepest I've ever been was 40m and that is plenty deep for anyone except commercial divers. And I'll tell you what, at 40m you need to worry about a lot of stuff potentially going wrong and a dive watch flooding ain't one of them. I wish companies would stop making ridiculously rated dive watches and make some that are reasonably rated and a lot thinner. If you get to a point where flooding the MM600 is an issue, you won't need to know what time it is because you'll be dead anyway.

Overall
  • Great fit and finish. On par with my GS watch.
  • Accuracy is superb as Spring Drive's are known for.
  • Seiko lume is the best in the business.
  • It's a tall watch and has a larger face than the MM300. Small wrists should avoid.
  • 600m resistance rating is ridiculous and makes the watch over built and thick.
  • Sawtooth bezel aesthetic is cool looking.
  • Bolts to hold down bezel for maintenance is practical but some may not like.
  • Bolts limit band choices severely.
  • Band is good build and easy to adjust.
  • Case polish is excellent and durable for Titanium (or even stainless).
  • Hands are legible and well executed.
  • Dial face is nicely finished and blemish free.
  • Lightweight and wears well for the size.
Overall, I'd say it's a keeper. The MM600 is good big brother to my MM300 and I love looking at the seconds hand sweep. In a way, I've been wearing the MM600 a lot more (and my MM300 is now in Japan getting serviced). Each has it's pros and cons, but for the price the MM600 is really good deal for a Spring Drive watch with this level of finish and quality. Pick one up if you can find one.
 

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Excellent comprehensive and nuanced review. I really enjoyed reading it.

I found your comments about the Diashield to be spot on. On polished surfaces, it's very effective. My SNR029 had a run-in with a granite countertop and the net result was a very fine, almost imperceptible hairline on a polished part of the case. However, many links and the clasp show scuffing that is consistent with uncoated grade 2 titanium (such as my Pelagos LHD). From a materials perspective, the Diashield is hard but thin so that if the underlying surface is soft and finely textured, it won't prevent shifting the metal. This is how brushed surfaces mostly take damage.

Good description of the classical GMT function. Perhaps the most intelligible write up I've ever read on how it works.

Well done. While much too large for me to wear, I consider the MM60 to be a kindred spirit to the MM300 and my own SNR029.
 

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Excellent write up! This was my first spring drive, and I love the design. When I travel, I use this as a daily wear watch.

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Thanks for the write up. I’d love a MM600 but have had to write it off as “too big” for me. :(
 

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Great review .
I too enjoyed reading it.
I reiterate everything you say .
I am on my second sbdb001 .
I stupidly sold the first one .
I managed to get another nos one.
This one ain't going anywhere.
It's an awesome unique watch and I love it.

Enjoy yours


Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
 

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It’s a great watch. However, at its price point it would be foolish to choose a new one over the LX300.
The SD600 needs a refresh!


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Grand Seiko SBGA229 Spring Drive Diver
Seiko SNR029 LX300, SBDX012 50th MM300, SBBN040 Golden Tuna
Tudor Pelagos LHD
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
It’s a great watch. However, at its price point it would be foolish to choose a new one over the LX300.
The SD600 needs a refresh!


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Grand Seiko SBGA229 Spring Drive Diver
Seiko SNR029 LX300, SBDX012 50th MM300, SBBN040 Golden Tuna
Tudor Pelagos LHD
I did look at that watch, but it was 2X more expensive and a little too close in look to my MM300. I may save my pennies though. I'd like to have a MM300 sized watch but with SD movement eventually.
 

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I did look at that watch, but it was 2X more expensive and a little too close in look to my MM300. I may save my pennies though. I'd like to have a MM300 sized watch but with SD movement eventually.
Well yeah, that’s why I said buying a new SD600 would be foolish. A used one is a no-brainer.
Also, I have an SBDX012, it is nothing like the MM300.
The MM300 is a Miata compared to the LX300’s Lamborghini.


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Grand Seiko SBGA229 Spring Drive Diver
Seiko SNR029 LX300, SBDX012 50th MM300, SBBN040 Golden Tuna
Tudor Pelagos LHD
 
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