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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With North American currencies favourable against the Japanese yen, it seems that JDM products are dropping significantly in price. Like many, I have had a strong interest in the Seiko Sumo (or possibly even a Shogun) for some time now. The Sumo is widely available now for well under $500. Are there other similar, classically-styled automatic divers that can seriously challenge the Sumo at this price point? I have considered the Benarus Sea Snake long and hard, but the pull just hasn't been strong enough for me to hit the "buy" button and it is at a higher price point. My latest acquisition was a black-dialed Certina DS Action Diver - which is an absolutely gorgeous piece - so I would be open to something in blue (possibly white) to diversify a bit. Appreciate any advice.
 

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Speaking of uniqueness and heritage, it's very very hard beat the Sumo\Blumo for the price.
Since you are from Canada, I would suggest you to check the blue Halios Tropik out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Speaking of uniqueness and heritage, it's very very hard beat the Sumo\Blumo for the price.
Since you are from Canada, I would suggest you to check the blue Halios Tropik out.
Thank you for the advice on the Halios product. The Tropik seems pretty nice for the price, though a bracelet would be nice. Looks like one will be available separately. Can you comment on the blue? Are the web pics at their site accurate in that regard? Is this a better quality product than something like an Armida A2? Definitely has a more unique styling.
 

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Thank you for the advice on the Halios product. The Tropik seems pretty nice for the price, though a bracelet would be nice. Looks like one will be available separately. Can you comment on the blue? Are the web pics at their site accurate in that regard? Is this a better quality product than something like an Armida A2? Definitely has a more unique styling.
Can't comment on the blue since I don't own one, I can comment about the Halios quality though.
Unique reasonably priced and very well built divers, you can't really go wrong, seriously, I'm not biased, furthermore Jason CS is top notch.
I did also own an Armida A2, and too be frank I wasn't so impressed, the price I paid for it was fair though.
That's all I can say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fair to say you would recommend the Sumo over the Armida, then? Thx.

Can't comment on the blue since I don't own one, I can comment about the Halios quality though.
Unique reasonably priced and very well built divers, you can't really go wrong, seriously, I'm not biased, furthermore Jason CS is top notch.
I did also own an Armida A2, and too be frank I wasn't so impressed, the price I paid for it was fair though.
That's all I can say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess Helson could be in the equation as well, but there is something about the squared off lugs on the SD that doesn't appeal to me much. I know that a lot of people love them and the quality is solid. Always liked the Boschett pieces as well, but the new RR would come in at close to a grand with duties/import fees to Canada.
 

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Well, now let me give you a differing opinion.
Having owned Halios Holotype & Halios Blue Ring, handled Seiko Sumo, own Seiko Samurai and presently wearing Armida A1 -- I recommend Armida. I gave the Holotype to my brother as a gift and ordered the Blue Ring (this is when the watch was first introduced). Compared to the Holotype the Blue Ring was a real disappointment. Blue Ring (has numerous fans on this forum) didn't have the same rugged, over-built, TOOL quality of the Holotype. When I opened the box instead of "wow" great watch, instead it was more like "huh?"Blue Ring bezel was lacking in height and mass, and the numbers were crammed between the minute markers. I returned the Blue Ring for full refund no problem as did my friend who ordered at the same time. I get the feeling from looking at pictures that the Tropik would be disappointing as well. It is all a matter of personal preference, but that is my opinion regarding Halios' current offering. Might just be exactly the style for someone else, but not for me.

There is really no comparision between sapphire and hardlex (mineral glass). Sapphire wins on scratch-resistance and the high dome crystals offered by Armida are simply beautiful. Why was I disappointed when I first handled the SUMO ? Perhaps because of all the hype and the difficulty in getting SUMO. When I ordered the Samurai, the Prospex series was hard to get in the USA, and the Samurai was discontinued. Anyway, friend of mine has the SUMO and for sure it is a nice watch, but the smallish tapering bracelet, mineral glass, and semi-shrouded bezel all minimize the otherwise greater potential for a full-blown TOOL.

If you prefer "dress" divers and you are concerned about going too big -- then SUMO is your watch. However, if you want greater wrist presence, more TOOL, more bezel, Sapphire, greater depth rating (for what that's worth), and Submariner style, than the ARMIDA A2 is your watch. If you want to go even bigger and want to keep the SUMO look w/ vintage 4 o'clock crown, then save for A1 (or shop the forum as I did). A1's high-dome and sapphire bezel are really quite amazing. A1 lume is pretty much as good as it gets. But be warned A1 is a big watch, and may even present a challenge to wear if you are not accustomed to big, heavy watches.

Underwhelmed by SUMO -- I'm not the only one.
https://www.watchuseek.com/f21/underwhelmed-seiko-sumo-705982.html

Remember too, that the SUMO is an incredibly photogenic watch. Looks great magnified 5x on the screen all shiny and glossy. But up close and personal it just didn't wow me. And I think this has something to do with the high expectations placed on this watch that certainly appeals to fans of vintage dive watch style. What the SUMO gives up in weight and TOOL quality it makes up for in casual ease and dress duty.

I hope this helps.

RHINO
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That does help, Rhino. I always appreciate well-reasoned counterpoint. I am wary of the size of the Armida A1, but could probably pull it off. The bracelet on the Sumo is certainly a concern - seems they skimped on it a bit and focused their efforts on the watch head. The shrouded bezel is ok with me and was actually also part of the attraction to the Sea Snake (along with the sapphire bezel, which also seems a bit wide though and the new bracelet does not appeal to me). The Raven products are also nice, but again edging up in cost a bit after import.
 

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You can NOT beat the Sumo for it's price point. In fact I think the Sumo is as nice as my 1800.00 Aquadive BS100.
 

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Having worn a Sumo,a Helson & own 2 Armida I must say there is no comparison.

I am a huge Seiko fan but for roughly the same money as the Sumo Helson & Armida watches are just better.The manufacture is the same but the details are massively different-Crown,crystal,bezel,dial,lugs..you name it H & A offer a unique,rugged & better though out watch.

For my money & your budget I'd buy a Seiko 007 & an Armida A8.I would be one happy collector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do agree with some of your ideas here. Sapphire, better bracelets, perhaps better movements (wide open for debate on that point though) seem to indicate that some of the micro's do offer better outright value for money. To that equation the Seiko offers up lineage, refinement, in-house movement, superb case etc. There are great arguments on both sides for certain.

Having worn a Sumo,a Helson & own 2 Armida I must say there is no comparison.

I am a huge Seiko fan but for roughly the same money as the Sumo Helson & Armida watches are just better.The manufacture is the same but the details are massively different-Crown,crystal,bezel,dial,lugs..you name it H & A offer a unique,rugged & better though out watch.

For my money & your budget I'd buy a Seiko 007 & an Armida A8.I would be one happy collector.
 

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I don't think any of the mentioned watches would be a mistake. I have owned a dozen mid to mid high end Seiko and all were very nice. Also had a1x3 , a5 and a2. Happy with all of them. Owned a dozen Henson and no Iissues there either. Had a Hali is puck also a killer watch. You need to decide what's important to you not what we like. Quality on all ab I be mentioned brands is great.
 

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I do agree with some of your ideas here. Sapphire, better bracelets, perhaps better movements (wide open for debate on that point though) seem to indicate that some of the micro's do offer better outright value for money. To that equation the Seiko offers up lineage, refinement, in-house movement, superb case etc. There are great arguments on both sides for certain.
Ain't little this.

I owned two Sumo's, one black and one blue, and it ain't the perfect diver, but those who think that for $485 can grab something better buying a Chinese wannabe Rolex Sub or Sandoz Typhoon with a sapphire crystal on it, then be it. :-d
 

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Take a look at the Orient M Force 2011, it is very nice and has the same movement that the 300 meter Pro Saturation diver. Amazon has had these for $350 - $400.
 

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What's wrong with Chinese ? Do you remember when Made in Japan was synonymous w/ cheap toys, and then cheap economy cars. Now some of the foremost optics and sophisticated luxury automobiles are made in Japan.

People's Republic of China (PRC) is not far behind and may have actually surpassed Japan in the world of manufactured technologies and achievements being the 3rd country to put a man in space and with full nuclear armament. PRC is planning a manned space station, and manned trips to the moon and mars. The only thing that is cheap is labor and currency controlled by political parties and worldwide financial institutions and monetary systems.

Science and technology in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Royal Society in a 2011 report on academic publishing stated that in share of English scientific research papers the United States was first followed by China, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. The report predicted that China would overtake the United States some time before 2020, possibly as early as 2013.






Ain't little this.

I owned two Sumo's, one black and one blue, and it ain't the perfect diver, but those who think that for $485 can grab something better buying a Chinese wannabe Rolex Sub or Sandoz Typhoon with a sapphire crystal on it, then be it. :-d
 

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LOL Why so defensive?
Nothing wrong with China and I have a strong feeling that the Sumo case and bracelet are made there as well, heck, even the Swiss Big Boys are outsourcing parts there.
That being said, I don't think Chinese it's a derogatory term to use either. You American, I'm Italian, Armida is Chinese, Seiko is Japanese and so on...

What's wrong with Chinese ? Do you remember when Made in Japan was synonymous w/ cheap toys, and then cheap economy cars. Now some of the foremost optics and sophisticated luxury automobiles are made in Japan.

People's Republic of China (PRC) is not far behind and may have actually surpassed Japan in the world of manufactured technologies and achievements being the 3rd country to put a man in space and with full nuclear armament. PRC is planning a manned space station, and manned trips to the moon and mars. The only thing that is cheap is labor and currency controlled by political parties and worldwide financial institutions and monetary systems.

Science and technology in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Royal Society in a 2011 report on academic publishing stated that in share of English scientific research papers the United States was first followed by China, the UK, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. The report predicted that China would overtake the United States some time before 2020, possibly as early as 2013.
 

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I finally got to handle a sumo in person last year from another watch enthusiast here in Edmonton and the first thing that struck me about it was how classy it looked. Yes it is understanded when comparing it to some of the micro monstrosities out there but it is a totally different look as well. I quite liked and would compare the finish to the style of a rolex or Omega with the amount of polished surfaces on it. Armida has always come across as a bit tacky (IMO) yes they have adequate components for the price but they are just another micro brand using a stock case and taking cues from popular watches in the past.
 
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