Saturday, March 25, 2006

Seiko Monster Review SKX779

On a nylon band for a change of pace

I wasn't originally going to write this review because it seemed to me that there was nothing much left to say about this excellent watch. However, after living with the Monster for a few weeks now, I just couldn't resist putting my own two cents in.

The Seiko Monster is one of those rare products that rightly seems like it should cost a lot more than it does. From its massive stainless steel case to its big solid-link bracelet everything about the Monster says first class. Its hard to explain it but this watch has that perfectly designed and assembled look about it that sometimes you don't see on watches that cost twice the Monster's price or more. Count on this big Seiko being noticed by anyone who appreciates nice watches. Its really that well done.

Externally, the Monster is 42mm in diameter (not including the crown), 12mm in thickness and has a 20mm band lug width (although the stock bracelet flares out to a width of 24mm thus making the lugs look much wider). The watch is equipped with a very large stainless steel unidirectional diver's bezel (with its own luminous marker embedded) and a screw-down crown. Water resistance is rated at 200 meters and the crystal is made of Seiko's proprietary Hardlex reinforced mineral glass (Hardlex sort of splits the difference between regular mineral glass, which scratches very easily, and sapphire, which is best at resisting scratches but is expensive and can shatter when knocked.) Additionally, it deserves noting that the bracelet on the Monster is exceptionally well done. It is a heavy, solid link design (including solid end-links thankfully) that frankly seems better made than any other watch bracelet that I have ever encountered, irrespective of price. The bracelet uses a double locking clasp and includes a diver's extension. Lastly, the Monster's lume is, far and away, the best light activated lume available anywhere. Expose this watch to light for a little while and it will remain visible in darkness for at least eight hours. It may last longer for all I know but that is as long as I have tested it. With the exception of tritium lume watches (and their lume does lose power over a number of years) the Monster is as good as it gets when it comes to visibility in the dark.

Internally, this Seiko is powered by a 7s26 21 jewel automatic movement. This is a very popular movement among Seiko models and is renowned for its durability and longevity. 7S26s have been known to run reliably for ten years or more with no maintenance and are reputed to be very resistant to abuse. It should be noted that the 7S26 will neither hack or handwind, if those features are important to you. To wind the watch, you just set it and give it a shake. The automatic winding mechanism takes over from there and your normal body motions throughout the day will provide a day or so worth of power at a time. Seiko's automatic winding mechanism is considered to be among the best in the industry. For a detailed explanation of its operation, check out this fine review by The Purists.

All told, it is my personal belief that you can't go wrong with this watch. Truthfully, if I could only own one watch (horrors!), the Monster would likely be it. It has no real weaknesses (the inability to hack or handwind might bother some folks but it has no practical effect on the use of the watch) and it possess loads of strengths. If you want a very high quality watch that will give trouble free service under all conditions for many years, look no further. Best of all, the Monster is a bargain. New examples regularly appear on ebay in the low to mid hundred dollar range, the PMWF Sales Corner seems to regularly have them in stock for very good prices (and Reto and Helen are a pleasure to deal with). I happened to get mine while vacationing in the Philippines at the Seiko store in the Glorietta Mall in Makati (Very nice folks there by the way. Great place to buy a watch.) I really can't sing this one's praises enough.


Blogger Speedmaster said...

Great review and watch! I'm wearing the orange monster as I type this. ;-)


5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. Everything you said was spot on! The Seiko Monster is hands down the best automatic watch in it's price range. I've seen some Swiss made automatic watches costing several times more that don't come even close to the style and workmanship of the Monster. No matter whether you get a Black Monster or an Orange Moster, you will not be disappointed.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, with your review I've went out to get me a monster. An Orange one with the plastic strap that is..Now that I've worn it everyday to work for two month's, I've got to testify that this indeed is a great watch! I've got lots of compliment while wearing it.


4:26 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Good to hear. I still wear mine regularly after a year.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that I bought my Orange Monster several months ago based partly on your review and I couldn't be happier. Wear it with the rubber strap and it has a tough no-nonsense look. Put it on the bracelet and it'll go well in the dressiest of environments. And you weren't exaggerating about the lume. My wife often comments that it scares her when she wakes up in the middle of the night and sees it still glowing brightly.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

The Monster is easily the best deal going in my opinion. It really has no significant weaknesses.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the watch but it does have weaknesses. It can't be manually wound and it does not hack. Other than that I love it.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Very true. However, Seiko's decision to leave these features contributes to the overall ruggedness of the movement.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

That should be "leave out these features"

duh :)

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review! I've had my black monster for about 6 months now and to be honest i prefere it more to my Omega Seamaster, and it holds better time!Totaly Recommended

11:29 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Couldn't have said it better. Still the best deal going.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought an Orange Monster for my younger brother and a Black Monster for my son. They are extremely happy with them but somehow the black one is not as accurate as the orange one by a few seconds a day. I had it AGraphed by a watchsmith friend who works with Seiko and now it's fine. Ed is on the bullseye: this is great value particularly because it uses the 7S26 movement, a durable piece of work.

7:12 PM  
Blogger niels said...

this all being 2 years ago by now, and Seiko having switched from the 7S26 to the 7S36 in the meantime, does anyone know what the difference would be?

I was looking at the Seiko 5 Sports 200m Auto SKZ207, wich I think looks even better than the monster, though I have been unable to see it for real so far, wich uses the same movement.

The reason I even started searching around the net and ended up finding your blog, was a customer complaint on, saying that the watch would not last through the night. He was complaining that it did not have enough power reserve and would constantly stop running in the middle of the night.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

If a Monster does not last through the night, it is either defective or the wearer has not moved around enough to charge up the mainspring. As far as I know, the 7S36 is the same as the 7S26 but with one jewel added.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on Ed! the Seiko Monster is going to be cult watch as years go by, and i've been collecting must-have watches for several years now. I'm glad I read your review, the next day i went to the nearest mall (also here in the Philippines) and got me the black faced Monster - I couldnt believe the price!!! she'll be alongside my Omega Speedmaster Cal. 861 (moonwatch) amongst other collectibles. Notably, she'll be the only non-swiss watch in my collection. regards, Renavartio..

5:32 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Cool. The Monster is still one of the best deals going in my book. Which mall out of curiosity?

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I have been a Seiko watch fan for many years. Actually more than I want to admit! Anyway, I bought a Orange Monster about 3 years ago and really liked it. I eventually bought an Eco-Zilla, trying to get better accuracy and have a " Professional Dive Watch ". I found the extra weight and size was too much. I sold the Eco-Zilla and bought a BM. I now realize that the Monster series watch can't be beat. I won't give up either Monster...ever. Roger

8:35 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Well put indeed :)

9:06 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I have a seiko monster,and the bezel will not turn,what can I do.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Sounds like something jammed in the bezel spring. A jeweler should be able to remove the bezel and free whatever has stuck it. Shouldn't be a big deal really.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ed, i got it in SM Megamall. The watch shop looked a lot older, no fancy displays and dimly lit compared to the other watch shops around it but there it was, the Seiko Black Monster! Without hesitation i snapped it up! Since then i wear it every other day.
regards, Renavartio

12:32 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Still the best deal going in my opinion.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ed - April 2009 - three years after your original post was written.
This morning I went ahead and ordered a Black Monster. Three weeks ago I received a Botta UNO
12H automatic watch. It has a single hour hand on a white faced dial...and thats about it.Time is silent and motionless. Minimalistic - fit for a monk.
I felt I needed to complete and contradict my initial purchase with
another time piece. So, I decided to introduce the Black Monster.
A monk and a monster...each in his turn will adorn my wrist.
Although I am yet to receive my watch (in two weeks time)I would already like to bring to your attention that your words and images assisted me in taking the plunge. Your writing was rational and friendly, as for your well taken photos, they served as a tool for evaluating and perceiving the watch. You managed to convey mass, weight, form and style while leaving place for further dicovery.
It is quite astounding how one can purchase an object which is to be worn like a uniform or piece of jewelry without ever trying it on. A lot of intuition is needed to evaluate the approximate feel and fantasize (on) the wear. Your words and images were the lines I wrote my opinions on. I will further share my thoughts with you once I receive the White Box with The Black Monster. In the mean time the Monk knows nothing...Ilan

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Great review. I ordered one based on your comments. I just received it this morning and you certainly are spot on. It is great great with my brushed watchadoo. Thanks a lot.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

The Monster is still my go-to watch for roughing it. It's amazing haow much abusee this one has taken without complaint.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Recevied my BM yesterday...and well it's worthy of the praise it draws.
Hard to believe how much creative watch design you get for the money.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, with your review I've went out to get my Black & Orange Monsters. Both my Rolex Sea Dweller & Sinn U1SDR are sitting in my drawer since.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

It's hard to put this one down for sure :)

10:52 PM  
Blogger beagleblogger said...

Hi Ed, Great Review...thanks! Do you by chance know what stores I could pick up a Seiko Monster...or are they only available online? I'd like to try one one.

I'm an aspiring, yet very amateur watch collector. I tell my wife I'll stop buying watching when she stops buying hand bags!

Thanks Again!

Tacoma, WA

8:14 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I know the NY Tourneau had them. They are pretty hard to find outside of the web though. I think I'll try that line on my wife :)

8:27 PM  
Blogger beagleblogger said...

Awesome, thanks Ed!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous LNS-Front242 said...

Clap clap clap on the reviews everyone, everybody's comments are top notch. I like my "Seiko Black Monster" very much hands down just like - Apollo said, better than my orange faced Hamilton divers watch. I bought mine in the Grand Cayman's when my Hamilton imploded on me during a night dive, it had a very small scratch ( not deep ) over the number 7. I'm glad I went with this rugged looking watch, and to think - "no" more winding or batteries ever. Good ol' Army - WOOHA!!!!

10:24 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Good stuff! :)

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Troy D. said...

Great review Ed! I (like most of the comments left here) have just ordered the Seiko Black Monster... it was such a good I ended up paying extra in shipping to get it next business day!

Thanks again for a great review, it pushed me over the edge (in a good way) to get this watch.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Finally! Been hooked on this watch for a long time. It has just been a matter of time before I ordered it. Never seen or tried it IRL however.
Read this review quite a few times.

Three days ago I ordered it... should have it within 3-5 days!!!

Thanks Ed, and all others who commented.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

You won't be disappointed :)

1:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Guys,
Great comments, all! YOur reviews prompted me to purchase an OM. I've got most of the collectible (past and future) Seikos, but I could not be more excited about this one. At least till my next Seiko Diver fix. Maybe not even then! I know, I'm hopeless, but my wifes' purse buying is getting in the way of my watch collecting! Cheers Boys, Bob

6:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Guys,
Great comments, all! YOur reviews prompted me to purchase an OM. I've got most of the collectible (past and future) Seikos, but I could not be more excited about this one. At least till my next Seiko Diver fix. Maybe not even then! I know, I'm hopeless, but my wifes' purse buying is getting in the way of my watch collecting! Cheers Boys, Bob

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got the 100M Baby Monster and aside from an initial conception that it was a bit small next to the 50mm+ Giants I usually go for, I am definately digging the design.

However the lack of a handwind feature is really, really frustrating. I wore it all day yesterday and it still stopped rather early this morning. Pulling out the crown to the second stop and twiddling it a bit got it moving again, so i'm wondering could the movement have a bug somewhere? I go through a ritualised winding process of all my autos every evening, seems I might have to finally give in and purchase a winder for the Seiko...

5:31 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Something doesn't sound right there. A Seiko 7s26 movement should have at least a 36 hour power reserve when fully wound over a day's wearing. That movement might have some issues.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous jimmy122 said...

So I wanted a watch that I would use for swimming and/or diving and even though my other(high-end)watches are rated 200m & 300m I still wouldn't go diving or even swimming with them. So I read all the reviews and all the positive comments. I also liked the looks of the Monster. I Received mine 2 weeks ago with a rubber bracelet but had separately ordered the steel bracelet because I prefer the steel look.

Anyway, for a while things were OK then as I was exploring the watch I noticed the the case back wasn't fully screwed in (was the watch opened before?.. maybe) so I screwed it tight (I have some watch repair tools) and after that there was this miserable rattling sound when ever I moved the watch, and I know that its not the self winding mechanism. Of course I noticed that this only happened after I had tightened the case-back I loosened it back and eventually the rattle would go away leaving only the sound of the rotor as I shook the watch. So to investigate this further I had decided to remove the case-back altogether. I realized that the rotor was a bit wobbly around it's rotating axis. And realizing this leads to the reason behind the rattling sound, which is that the rotor hits against the inside of the case-back. I started srcewing in the case-back again and I would shake the watch every half turn and soon enough the rattling sound would come back as I screwed in tighter. And "No, I'm not over tightening it, the rattle starts half way, there is no way the watch would be water resistant if it was left at that.

Eventually I wanted to know if any body had any more information on that rattling sound and even better has anyone had a look inside there watch before and checked on how solid the rotor was or wasn't fixed to it's rotational axis?

Thanks to you all in advance and I hope you had better luck with your Monsters.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I've never heard of a Monster with that issue. Sounds like a defective build.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous jimmy122 said...

But I heard people complaining about this rattling noise more than a few times. No one mentioned a real reason behind it as they all were told by others that it was normal. I don't think anyone considered opening their watch to check it out though.

Anyway I'm guessing this might affect the watches power reserve as the rotor wouldn't spin as often as it would had it been steadier. So I've decided to run a few test to measure the watches power reserve capabilities and if that fails I'll return it back.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Elijah said...

hello Ed, i just bought myself an Orange Monster and i must say i am very pleased, the watch is very solid and seems to be well made, i did a lot of research before making my purchase and thanks to folks like you it made my choice alot easier, i have one question that maybe you can help me with, i was wondering how or where the "Monster" moniker came from, i looked thru WUS forums and didn't find the answer, thanks in advance, Elijah

12:08 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

That is still something of a mystery. See here:


8:50 AM  
Anonymous Elijah said...

wow thanks for the link, even though it doesnt cleary answer my quest it adds even more mystique and personal value to the watch, i think i just may have to grab a black monster now also lol

12:16 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I know what you mean :)

12:24 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Great Review - I recently caught the Seiko bug having bought a 7002 diver for 60.00 on Ebay. Naturally I was led towards the Tuna divers, but not having the monetary means I looked at other models. It seems to me the Monsters have Tuna like qualities including some added protection around the stem. It's settled, I'm going to buy a Monster.

Has anyone had any experience with the Singapore Seiko dealers on Ebay?

Thanks - Bob; Camas WA

9:36 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I'm pretty sure I've ordered from Singapore in the past without a problem. Good choice btw. The Monster is still the best deal going in my opinion. It still amazes me that this watch is as affordable as it is. Enjoy.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Just received a Seiko Monster via Princeton Watches, and I really don't find it all that big. You can certainly see the family lineage with the older divers like the 7002, especially on the case back. Not too big, not too small, it's very nice. Thanks Ed

1:55 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

It is still the best deal going

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope i get one of these soon

10:51 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Happy hunting. You will not be disappointed :)

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am thinking of getting this as a gift fir a friend. He doesn't really like wearing a watch. Do you think the weight of the Monster will be an issue ie too heavy? Also do you think this suits a 40+ guy whi is generally in casual wear? Thanks.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

The Monster is a diver's sport watch so casual wear should fit just fine. Weight is another issue. It is a heavy piece. That's the trade off that strength and robustness exacts.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Is this clock water proof or is just another fancy and crappy watch.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Andy Leo said...

Thks Ed for the review. I'm in Indonesia and tomorrow going to Singapore hunting that Monster :)

And how is your Orange Monster? Still working after so many year?

Andy, Feb 2012

7:21 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Happy hunting! I've personally never had a Seiko fail on me :)

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Andy Leo said...

After went to about 7 shops, finally found the Black Monster with a great price :)

Wearing it now. Hope it will last very long...

10:25 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Excellent! I've worn mine like a beater for years now and it still looks and runs great.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cant help it but comment. after letting it sit for almost 6 months i am wearing it again today. Bought it about 2 years ago it still looks and runs great. Accuracy is good although it cannot beat my skx 007 which is for some reasons is deadly accurate with less than a minute variation a month.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Andy Leo said...

After wearing my Black Monster for 8 months everyday, I'm really satisfied with this great watch. It's as accurate as a quartz for 8 months it only gained 10 SECONDS!!! I compare it with online atomic clock.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thnaks for the review. After this one I bought one Seiko Black Monster for my self too. What can I say now, this one is the best automatic watch in it's price range. Thanks :)

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Millsy said...

I bought the Orange Monster with black strap and love it! Great review..

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review! I just purchased a black monster from a gentleman on a popular watch forum, of which I am a member. I went with a black Monster thinking that it would would go with anything I wear, from jeans to a suit. I should have it in a week. I can't wait to get it!

One question for you Ed, do you know what the life expectancy the lume has? At some point it will have to begin to fade. Can it be re-lumed? Would it have to be sent back to Seiko for that?

Thanks again for your review and thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments about your experience with this legendary watch!


6:54 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I've seen no indication that superluminova fades with time. Mine still glows as bright as always.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

I just bought an Orange Monster on eBay, because I wanted to try an orange-faced watch. I am a watchmaker, and so I see a lot of different watches, including many which sell for 10-20 times what this one does. All I can say is "wow." This thing is a quality piece. The machining is lovely, and it's got a rugged, masculine design that doesn't look like it's a knockoff of some other watch, but is highly functional at the same time. The bezel has better tactile feel than any I've ever tried -including $8000 Submariners, and the bracelet is really quite exquisite. The whole thing feels like it's built like a Sherman tank. The crystal is very very slightly domed to better deflect scratches, but is also recessed below the bezel, so it's less likely to be struck in the first place. (I constantly replace shattered crystals on other watches, so this eminently practical design is very impressive to me.) The screw-down crown has a solid feel, and operates smoothly, and I don't feel like I could wear it out anytime soon with repeated use. Best of all, because of the unbelievably low price, one can actually appreciate the virtues of this watch by wearing it daily and subjecting it to the rough treatment it was designed to endure -something one probably doesn't wish to do with a watch which costs as much as a car.

I only have two quibbles. The Seiko bracelets are not fun to size because of their dual-collar pin design. I don't know whether this design provides any advantages over traditional pins-and-tubes or not, but they are a pain. Fortunately, once sized, one probably will never have to worry about it again, and the clasp has four micro-adjustment holes, so it's really a non-issue.

Secondly, my Orange Monster seems to not have lume as bright as those on the Internet -but I wonder whether my expectations were a little high. Maybe cameras tend to make the lume look brighter than it is, or the photos are taken an instant after exposing the watch to bright light? I left my watch in a very bright bathroom for 15 minutes, as the manual recommends (10 minutes in light of at least 500 lux) and after about 4 hours, it was glowing dully, but it was glowing. I don't think it would be noticeable on a nightstand from any distance, though. Either way, it is better than the lume on my Hamilton.

All in all, this watch is an awesome value, and, even if it cost a thousand dollars more than it does, it would still be an awesome value. Seriously, this is a great timepiece.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings from Finland.
I just bought Black monster as a Christmas gift for myself.
I have to agree with you.. This watch is amazing, and despite owning many watches, this one gets most wrist time!
Lume is great, and I think the power reserve of this watch is around 40 hours, which is enough.
Enjoy your monsters gentlemen!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let it be known this is one heavy motha and IMO the fit of the bracelet is paramount to Monster bliss.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, I agree with every statement that you have made in the post and I really appreciate your effort in gathering up the information for Seiko Prospex Diver 6R15 Automatic Sbdc001 200M. Thanks for it.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Santana said...

Hi Ed,

I have an SKX779 black with a busted engine 7S26. Question is can i buy another cheap Seiko with 7S26 or Seiko5 and do engine transplant? I value my SKX779 as it was a present from someone who has passed.


4:52 AM  
Blogger Creation Watches said...

I am searching this watch from long time. I would like to buy this watch. Thank you so much for posting this!Click here for Velatura

5:18 AM  
Blogger jade said...

it deserves noting that the bracelet on the Monster is exceptionally well done. Watch Collector

5:12 PM  

Thu mua: A beautiful monster, look like a pit

4:52 AM  

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