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I know many G-Shock fans are also fond of Seiko’s “Spirit Digital / Power Design Project Digital” – the SBPG001. It’s similar, in concept, to the well-loved Casio GW-M5600. As one of Seiko’s very few digitals introduced during a 20-year hiatus, it’s generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm. I know it was well-reviewed and discussed HERE and HERE.

I’ve just purchased the Seiko SBPG001 and posted up a review and comparison to the Casio GW-M5600 in the Casio G-Shock forum, as well as below:

I’ve seen this watch (ref. SBPG001) referred to by a couple of nicknames, including “Spirit Digital” and “Power Design Project Digital”. Well, I’ve just purchased one, and after living with it for a few days, here are some initial impressions & review points:

Glamour shots courtesy of Tanaka:





It's very nice, and a great compliment to the Casio G-Shock GW-M5600 I own and enjoy. (Apologies in advance that I’m just not a great watch photographer. Caution, glare and reflections ahead!)






Physical characteristics

· The case and bracelet are large and stately -- a bold presence, but in a subtle way. It’s eyecatching, without shouting.

· I don’t normally like wearing a large watch, but this one seems different, being the sleeker digital format with a tapered & beveled shape that makes its 41mm size very manageable for me.

· The watch is hefty, dense, and very well crafted and finished. Seiko’s meticulous attention to detail is evident. And the lustrous, satin finely brushed finish give the watch an expensive look and feel that’s hard to capture in pictures.

· The solid link bracelet, in shape and construction, actually reminds me a lot of the one on the Rolex OysterQuartz. Nice clasp with three holes for micro-adjustment. Conventional pinned links for easy removal.









General operation and display

· I very much like the setup and the "flow" of the features and screens, maybe even better than the Casio way (again, my reference point is the GW-M5600). Very well thought out and quick & intuitive to use.

· The LCD display panel is large and "airy", as it takes up a higher proportion of the front of the watch than the Casio . . . which means the digits and information have more room to breathe. I never would have said the Casio display looked small or crowded, until now that I have a point of comparison that sort of makes it look that way.

· The space surrounding the display is very clean and sparse compared to the Casio, which is festooned with words and decorations like a Nascar.

· The words on the Seiko bezel sort of “float” above the smoked gray mirror-like solar panel that’s below the glass, a nice touch that you don’t appreciate from the pictures.

· The little indicators for battery charge level and atomic synch reception are cool – they’re styled like those on a cell phone. Seiko provides dedicated “AM”, “PM” and “DST” indicators for main, secondary, and dual time displays, plus little blinking icons whenever the stopwatch and/or timer are running.

· I like the line of dot-matrix text at the bottom of the display. It provides flexibility, and makes many of the modes that much easier to use and quickly interpret. Casio should consider implementing a similar concept.

· There’s a fun “test” screen where you can see all the elements of the LCD display:





Features and other aspects...

· The alarm sound is plenty loud (unlike the GW-M5600, which has been compared to a gnat’s fart) and has a pleasant warbling tone, almost like a vintage cell phone ring.

· It lacks an hourly chime option (an unusual omission).

· The luminescence is adequate, but not quite as vividly bright as the Casio.

· The dual time mode is very well done and it’s super easy to scroll through the zones, make your selection, and swap back & forth between home & dual time zones.

· I appreciate that there are two separate time zones for UTC and for London – to account for the difference between “pure” GMT time and London’s daylight savings time.

· And, finally, praise the Lord – the Seiko shows the time in the secondary display in all modes, and has a 10 hour countdown timer capability!

· Here’s a link to the pdf owner’s manual.




In summary, this is a very nice watch. I think it plays the role of a “business suitable” version of a GW-M5600, and is actually superior to it in several ways. It's not a bargain (like I would say the GW-M5600 is), but I do believe that its overall thoughtfulness of design, its heft, craftsmanship, and fit & finish, and frankly, its rarity & uniqueness, all combine to provide a level of quality commensurate with the price.

Cheers,

Dave

PS - Talk about timely delivery service . . . I placed my online order on Sunday evening to Seiya in Japan, and Wednesday at noon it was on my wrist in Minnesota.

Final glamour shots, courtesy of Molle:








Dave
 

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Awesome write up! Thoroughly enjoyed this one and I love this watch. One day....digital will be back in. One of those trends that comes back around. I'm watching Roger Moore do his 007 on the "spy who loved me." They just showed his Seiko and it looks uncannily familiar to this model! Thanks for this very fun read and pictorial! :)
 

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Nice! That Seiko is really starting to grow on me. It's just so retro-awesome.
 

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This Seiko with the exchange rate has approached the US$300 price barrier. More than I am willing to pay for a retro themed LCD Seiko.

Until then, my Junghans Mega 1000 fulfills my craving of an avant garde, LCD, radio controlled timepiece quite nicely:

 

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Wow,

Looks like a really nice watch.

Any one have any more +/- comments on the one?

So, Where can I get one? I posted a Want to buy on the forum; hope one comes along
 

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This is a seriously cool looking watch. Takes me way back to my childhood when digital was the coolest thing ever.
 

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Thanks for the review.
It looks like I could put a leather strap on this. Correct?
Do you know of any later developments which I should consider which are all digital, shows time of day in stopwatch mode, and will accept a leather strap?
Thank you,
Alan
 

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Hi!

Thank you for this nice review. I just ordered one in Japan. It was because I read some bad reviews about the Junghans Mega 1000. And I like the design.
Hopefully I will get it soon!

Best regards from Switzerland
Felix
 

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Does the radio controlled work worldwide ? . Couple unusual functions no hourly chime and timer only 10hours but guess that's long enough .I want one ,wad a big fan of the digital as a kid .Display looks easy to read and is different to the common digital,band looks cool and classic LCD from 80s look .Thanks for review downloaded PDF manual now im having a squiz.
 

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How is it holding up over time? I was unnerved to read a number of complaints about the solar recharging failing at some point... replacing the battery wouldn't solve it. NEVER EVER see a post like that about a CASIO. :roll:
 

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I've decided to keep the one I had for sale here (scored some extra links for the bracelet). Curious to hear from other owners on the above issue, of which I was not aware.
 
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