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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been eyeing these SBEBxxx's since the black, gray and this here red triumvirate were announced in Japan back in spring of '14. The still high Japan street price of around $200 is what kept me from getting one. Since then, the lineup has burgeoned into a few other, sometimes enticing colors and also a different, a bit dressier case. In the interim, I also got to know Seiko digitals firsthand with two purchases of other models. These two stood apart from my other digitals with a more upscale feel, brought on by better materials in general and the Hardlex crystal in particular; unique features and perhaps most notable of all, loud and pleasant sounding, real-world, it'll-wake-you-up alarms.

Fast forward to a month or two ago, when Amazon US seemed to get ahold of a boatload of these at surplus prices and started the by-now familiar up-and-down price dance on each of the five variants that they had (the three originals plus two Mt. Fuji LEs). Patiently observing these price fluctuations, I found myself "helpless" to not order this SBEB003 when, for a short time of a little longer than a day, the price dropped dramatically to a new, camelcamelcamel.com-verified record low. Even though I had misgivings about the purchase afterwards (I really don't need any more watches!) and tried unsuccessfully to cancel the order, this very quickly proved to be the absolute best bargain in my fairly large collection.

Received the other night, I got to open it yesterday as follows:

Box containing the watch and a micro-SD card


Both items checked out


Case sleeve top


...And side with ID sticker


Warranty, manual and case with the 8 preprogrammed summits on a map motif


...Liberated


Tumbled in transit watch on its side already displays a pleasing profile, fit and finish.


The rounded octagon casetop looks far less odd in real-life. FRI 1:48 AM Tokyo time, 12 hours ahead of EST of THU 11:48 AM.


Mt. Kosciuszko at 7310 ft (2228 m) is the highest peak in Australia. Who knew?!


Good materials, drilled lugs, red IP metal buckle, thick and narrow ventilated band with a "keeper's keeper" nub at the end; all very nice touches.


Caseback


Cool, smooth black "liquid" finish on case and buttons


Caseback closeup


Buttons under the eaves: Tastefully carved-out case side partially recesses the buttons.


And the last two


...Parting shots
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Thanks for posting your thoughts and the nice pics.

I see Amazon still has this model for under $50. Probably can't beat it for this price.

Someone else posted some pics showing the altimeter and barometer in action. Does it also have a compass?

Edit: I see from an Amazon review that it does have a compass and thermometer, so it's a true ABC watch.
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

A digital watch needs a CDT.
I agree. I only have one modern digital watch without a CDT. It's my Casio PAS-400B Fishing Timer. I bought it because it shows both sunrise/sunset and moon phase. I don't have any other watches that do this.
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Nice AirWatch, you've got the Red one! I have the Blue. The price was irresistible, it beats even the cheapest ABC from Casio, the SGW1000. And it has solar, which SGW1000 does not.

cabin4.jpg cabin3.jpg seikomtfuji.jpg

For Gary, guess you've already found your answers. But here again, yes it's full ABC, so compass is available, but correct, no timer! When I got time tonight, I will gather my pics and write a more thorough review. But for those who wonders, here are 2 major complains for this watch.

1) 6 buttons operation, could get a little confusing at times. Especially for us Casio-phils, who's used to the Casio buttons layout, could be a bit of learning curve.

2) The band! Grown man's watch with a kid's band! It's proprietary lug size too at around 17mm. There's a narrow section on each side of the band, too, which further decrease the comfort (at least for me).
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Thank you all. I usually try to answer each and every post individually, but I'm going out-of-town tomorrow and I'm already past my bedtime. So, here're some quick responses.

@GaryK30: Thanks for looking. Yeah, yes to compass and no to CDT. A fellow member (evertonian, I believe) bought this when in Japan just as it had come out there. He started a very nice thread on it. The few critical responses hammered it so hard, mostly on it not having a CDT that it probably made him think the better of ever coming back to that thread. His contribution remains as a worthwhile read nonetheless.

@Rocat: Thank you, buddy! I'll get your comparo pics as soon as I get a chance.

@Watch-Geekmaster (did you just recently become a "master", by the way?): Thanks! Lemme break into song here: "Juuust the two of us...". Never mind. Look, not to put you on the spot or anything, but just so you know, I'd love it if you could do your writeup right here. Whatever you could contribute, I'm sure will be well worth seeing.

Here's an anime pic from last night (with the watch still on Tokyo time) for the WRUWs which I passed over in favor of the second shot.





See y'all in a day or two. Be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Nice pictures as always AirWatch. How about a few comparison photos with known watches to help us judge the size?
OK, so I just gathered around a few Casios for size comparison shots. In this gang of 6, the SBEB003 falls between the smallest GWM5610 and the next bigger Casio up, DW6900. But you'd be wrong to think that the Seiko wears similarly to either of these or any of the other Casios here. SBEB003 speaks Seiko's design language and its proportions and feel on the wrist are far more akin to the venerable 300m Tuna than anything else that I have in my collection.

Back to the size comparison here, I, admittedly, could've used a more suitable lens for the task at hand, but, since I didn't, this might help give you an idea of how each of these watches' sizes measure up in at-a-glance, side-by-side comparison:

1- Rangeman: Looks much bigger

2- PRW6000: Looks much bigger

3- PAW2000: Looks bigger

4- DW6900: Looks nearly the same

5- GWM5610: Looks smaller

And a composite of the shots
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Thanks, Airwatch. Saw some Seiko digitals in Japan last October, and while I love the idea of them, THOSE STRAPS turned me off them. But for less than $60, great deal, get another strap, LOL. But for 200,000+ Yen, not so much. And I need a CDT!
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

To fix the strap issue, one could use a Morellato fabric strap as I have on my PRG-270. One could squeeze the 18mm version into the 17mm spring bar gap. P9250041.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

The band though it may initially look odd, is a well thought-out design that works very well in active situations, especially outdoors in warm weather. The narrowness together with the ventilation do do wonders in comfort when it's time to work up a sweat.

 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

The band though it may initially look odd, is a well thought-out design that works very well in active situations, especially outdoors in warm weather. The narrowness together with the ventilation do do wonders in comfort when it's time to work up a sweat.

Hmm, how lightweight is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Just yesterday, February 1, Seiko Japan announced and made available for preorder, the further evolution of the Prospex Alpinist SBEBxxx in the form 5 variants of the Bluetooth, Fieldsensor, Android-app and sunrise/sunset function equipped Prospex Alpinist SBELxxx lineup. These added features, from what I could surmise from reading the Google Translate hack-job, mainly facilitate and make for more accurate climb preplanning and comparison of actual performance to plan, while offering some fun features like adding photos of the climb to the results in the phone app.

Here's the Seiko Japan announcement in not too intelligble English: Google Translate

And in original Japanese: <セイコー プロスペックス> 登山用ソーラーデジタルウオッチ「アルピニスト」から、 Bluetooth®でスマートフォンと連携し、登山計画をサポートする新モデルが登場 ~ 専用アプリケーションにプリセットされた「日本百名山」おすすめルートで、登山計画を簡単作成 ~|セイコーウオッチ株式会社

And the 4 regular and one LE models and their Japan street prices, available for preorder now and delivery on June 10, 2016:

SBEL001 33,200 yen


SBEL003 33,200 yen


SBEL005 33,200 yen


SBEL007 34,000 yen


SBEL009 limited edition 38,800 yen
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

@Watch-Geekmaster (did you just recently become a "master", by the way?): Thanks! Lemme break into song here: "Juuust the two of us...". Never mind. Look, not to put you on the spot or anything, but just so you know, I'd love it if you could do your writeup right here. Whatever you could contribute, I'm sure will be well worth seeing.
Yes, I changed the username recently in light of all the "master" namings for G's. ;-) Besides having the "2014" year number in the username is kind of lame. By the way, someone replied to your mirror thread in the Digital/ABC forum with the same watch I have. So it's not just the 2 of us, LOL.

I wrote the in depth review finally! It's in its own thread in the Digital/ABC forum, which I think it's a more appropriate place for it.
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f296/depth-review-seiko-prospex-abc-s822-comparison-prg270-2870010.html
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Just yesterday, February 1, Seiko Japan announced and made available for preorder, the further evolution of the Prospex Alpinist SBEBxxx in the form 5 variants of the Bluetooth, Fieldsensor, Android-app and sunrise/sunset function...
Looks like Seiko's stepping up the competition with Casio Protreks! Casio better watch out! ;-)
 

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Looks nice I like the positive face. The digits font look a bit slim to me. Suunto Vector has the best digits size and shape I ever used. Never liked the blocky Suunto Core font.
Will see what it looks like when it comes out.
 

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Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

OK, so I just gathered around a few Casios for size comparison shots. In this gang of 6, the SBEB003 falls between the smallest GWM5610 and the next bigger Casio up, DW6900. But you'd be wrong to think that the Seiko wears similarly to either of these or any of the other Casios here. SBEB003 speaks Seiko's design language and its proportions and feel on the wrist are far more akin to the venerable 300m Tuna than anything else that I have in my collection.

Back to the size comparison here, I, admittedly, could've used a more suitable lens for the task at hand, but, since I didn't, this might help give you an idea of how each of these watches' sizes measure up in at-a-glance, side-by-side comparison:

1- Rangeman: Looks much bigger

2- PRW6000: Looks much bigger

3- PAW2000: Looks bigger

4- DW6900: Looks nearly the same

5- GWM5610: Looks smaller

And a composite of the shots
Thanks for the comparison. My god this watch looks huge....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Seiko ABC SBEB003

Thanks for the comparison. My god this watch looks huge....
You're welcome, rogt! Yeah, that might be so, but it really doesn't wear as big as it looks, it's a comfortable, tidy fit on the wrist.
 
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