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Hi all

Received my Seiko Spirit SCVS003 yesterday (30/12/06) and thought I'd post some impressions.

My attraction to this watch was twofold:

1. I was looking for a modern, elegent Seiko equivalent to my Seiko Sportsmaster from 1969.



2. I really love the style of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra but unfortunately I can't justify that kind of outlay.

Having asked on a few forums the Spirit SCVS003 was drawn to my attention, and it seemed to get very favourable reviews from owners.

It is known as the poor mans Grand Seiko and if you see the two side by side you can really see why. Image courtesy of chiukh2007, many thanks.



The dimensions

Width exc crown 38mm
With crown 40mm
Dial width 30mm
Lug to lug 45mm
Depth 12mm
Lug width 20mm
Crown width 7mm

Please note all dimensions are taken by me with a tape measure so they won't be entirely accurate.

Accuracy

OK I've only had it for 28 hours, it's been on my wrist thoughout, but so far it's been very impressive having gained a total of 4 seconds in that period. Well within chronometer standards.

The movement

Seiko's new 6R15B 23 jewel movement, a huge improvement over the ubiquitous 7S26, for the following reasons:

1. It's hand windable
2. It hacks
3. From what I've read and from my example it seems a lot more accurate

Apparently, it's still a pain in the proverbial to regulate just like the 7S26, however with its increased accuracy I don't think this will be an issue for most people.

Features

Sapphire crystal on dial
Display back with hardex glass
Water resistant to 100m

Case

Finished to Seiko's usual very high standards, it's highly polished with a satin finish on the lug details. The display back has a narrow bezel with the details stamped into the stainless steel. The 7mm width of the crown makes it a joy to operate the manual winding has a light resistance and makes a satisfying mechanical noise.

The bracelet

Agian up to Seiko's very high standards. It's solid stainless steel with a depth of 3mm. The design is very akin to the Tag Heuer Autavia bracelet except the Seiko has 5 central bars as opposed to the Autavia's 7. It's very comfortable on the wrist and isn't a hair puller (and believe me I should know). It employs the same, slighly fiddly, pin and sleeve system as the monsters. The only slight negative is the lack of fine tuning holes on the clasp making adjustment a bit hit or miss.

A note to all you thick wristers out there, the bracelet is designed for slim Japanese wrists (as this is a Japanese market only watch) and it wouldn't be long enough for anyone with a wrist over 7 1/2 inches. On the monster I take out 4 links to fit my 6 3/4 inch wrist, on the Spirit I only had to take out 2 links.

Having said that it looks very good on a black leather strap, better IMHO, so I don't really think it's an issue. Image again courtesy of chiukh2007, many thanks.



Negatives

There are only 2 things I can critisise about this watch
1. AR coating - I'm not sure whether it has any or not, but the dial being very black does reflect quite a lot. The Sapphire crystal also seems to be a magnate for dust and fingerprints. Especially noticable when trying to take pictures
.
2. The lack of fine tuning holes on the bracelet and that's all really.

The positives

See all of the above, but especially the movement accuracy and the sapphire crystal. Not forgetting the biggest positive of all, the price. How much do you think it costs? Remember chronometer accuracy, sapphire crystal, Seiko's excellent finishing, robustness and reliability. Or put it another way, how much would an equivalent Swiss watch cost?

Well here's the deal, or should I say steal, this watch imported from Japan and including postage, customs charge (£9) and Parcel Force's rip off 'handling fee'
(£16.50) it cost me the £160. In my book that's a bargain.

So there you have it, my initial impressions are very favourable to say the least and if anyone needs an elegant, understated watch, look no further. The only reason that I can see for not buying this watch over a Swiss counterpart is snobbery. Here's some pics to hopefully illustrate my point.











And a shot for Stefan as he love to see my hairy wrists



If anyone wants to know any more just get in touch.

And lastly a public thank you to all the people who recommeded this watch and wrote at length to help me. You know who you are, many thanks, you were not wrong.

Cheers

Gary
 

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Hi Agent Orange, congratulations on your new Spirit|>

I got one about four weeks ago and would echo everything you said, beautiful watch;-)
 

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Hi Gary,

An excellent choice!! I love my Spirit and I think your review said all of the things I would say! A very well written review. Seiko has hit a home run with the Spirit and I agree there really is no better watch for the money or even if you had the money out there in its class.

I am glad you made the choice to buy one and am glad you like it so much. My impressions were much the same as yours! Enjoy and wear in good health! Happy New Year to you and all on the Seiko Forum:-!

Robzilla
 

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Hi Gary,
Wonderful review! I agree with all your imprssions. I had 3 Spirits (SCVS001, 003 and 007) just because I was not sure which style I liked more. Finally I sold the 001 and 007 and only keeping the 003 which I think is the best.
Happy New Year and Buy more watches in 2007!
chiukh2007

 

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Those are really good looking! Definetely a watch I could see myself wearing. You can tell that that is one quality timepeice. Seiko rules all!
 

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The new Seiko Spirit uses 6R15B compared to the earlier same models which housed the 6R15A. Does anyone know what is the difference between the 6R15A and 6R15B? Thanks.
 

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Hi Gary,

congrats! I own two SCVS003 for over one year now, where I use one on the initial bracelet as a beater and one on a brown leather band as dresser.

Your review takes exact the same points, I've been reporting, when I got mine over a year ago. And yes, thes are the only two shortcomings I was able to detect as well - well maybe one additional, that is somehow a compromise between design and pure function. The dauphine style hands were one of the main attractions to me, but I really have to point out, that there readability in the night is not as good as that one of straight hands, i.e. it's not so easy to distinguish between the hour and the minute hand. Another little minus is simply based on personal preferences - I would really prefer to have a steel back.

However, in my opinion the watch is one of ther biggest "bang for a buck" around and I can only highly recommened the purchase of one.

Btw: here's a pic of the 003 on a brownish leather strap (cheap purchase from watch store in Poland):


Cheers,

Axel
 
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Thanks Gary,

Posted a copy of your review on our Review section (Public Forum)

Very interesting read. :-! :-!
 

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The new Seiko Spirit uses 6R15B compared to the earlier same models which housed the 6R15A. Does anyone know what is the difference between the 6R15A and 6R15B? Thanks.
Difference Between 6R15A & 6R15B

Hi, just received my Seiko Spirit SCVS003 in the post from Japan (23 Jan 2007). Having seen the pictures that Jurgen posted, I had to have one. All the other excellent photos and reviews were really helpful. Took me a while to track down a dependable vendor.

I emailed the query about the movement to Seiya Kobayashi of Seiyajapan.com and he explained that the 6R15B uses 6 different parts compared to the 6R15A. The 6 parts are all from the new 6R20 movement used in the Premier range. Seiko decided to do this to achieve economies of scale through mainstreaming the parts for the production of both watches.

There is no quality difference between the two movements, this is merely a cost cutting exercise.

The different parts are; the barrel and train wheel bridge, the movement barrel (complete), the centre wheel & pinion, the ratchet wheel, the oscillating weight and the ratchet wheel screw.

My watch has the later 6R15B, although Seiya's website photos show a 6R15A movement. I paid £138 for the watch, £9 duty and 13.50 to Parcelthief (or whatever they're called) for handling!!

Also, I had 3 extra links put in as my wrist is 8.5 inches. I took this precaution as so many people said that the bracelet can only fit 7.5 inch wrists at the largest. Upon receipt, I was surprised to find that I had to take all 3 links out! The bracelet fitted perfectly in the original size - don't know what happened there. Shame, coz Seiko charged £14 for supplying the 3 links!

Best Wishes

Gary
 

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Hi Agent Orange,
Do you still own this watch? I had it for more than three years and to this day, the time has never been accurate. The time lags a lot when I check after a few days. I keep it on, shake it (since it is automatic) and twist the knob a few times. It is frustrating that such a fine piece is not doing its job.

Do you know what the problem is? Thanks.
 
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