Could the Seiko SSB031 be described as a budget Omega Speedmaster? Well, let’s see; it features a black dial sporting 3 sub-dials, an easy bracelet, and it even features a tachymeter on the black bezel. Of course, this Seiko doesn’t have the exact same attention to detail or high-end parts as the Speedmaster, but that’s forgivable since it’s cost is thousands of dollars less than the Omega’s. It appears to be, then, that this watch could indeed serve as the poor man’s Speedmaster. This isn’t a blatant copycat design actually, as the SSB031 uses lots of original features and design elements to set itself apart from other similar pieces. A sporty-but-classy design with some exciting functionality make this a very interesting watch.
The SSB031’s 40-millimeter stainless-steel case is characterized by way of a large bezel with a tachymeter scale for measuring speed in white numerals. This ion-plated fixed bezel features a shiny black finish that goes great with the black dial. The case measures 47 mm from lug to lug, so this is a watch that should fit pretty much any wrist.
The case sides are polished, making them prone to accumulating fingerprints. I must say i enjoy how a fluted chronograph pushers emit an enjoyable click when pressed down. The crown does not screw down, nevertheless the SSB031 is still rated as waterproof to 100 meters – suited to swimming and snorkeling, although not scuba diving. The screwed-down case back features a very simple design; just the Seiko name stamped in the middle, with some basic information such as the movement type and water resistance rating across the edge.
Hands and hour markers are luminescent, use LumiBrite so they really glow very well. The three sub-dials include these functions: a seconds counter at 6 o’clock which serves as opposed to a second-hand, a 24-hour dial at 3 o’clock, and 60-minute chronograph timer at 9 o’clock which shows the accumulated time the chronograph has measured when running. The date window is crammed in to the 4:30 position at a somewhat awkward angle. Because it is printed white on black, it could be hard to distinguish from another markings on the busy dial face.
The white applied markers, which may have a stainless-steel outline, look like well-crafted and complement the look of this watch nicely. Accent marks at 12, 6, 3, and 9 o’clock positions match the red chronograph hand. Speaking of the chronograph hand, Personally i think I would reiterate this point: this is not a second-hand, it is only employed for the chronograph (stopwatch) function. With 5 ticks per second, this chronograph function emulates a mechanical watch movement. Note that if you wish to heavily utilize this does not include a split up timing function. The chapter ring, the angled part of the dial containing the next and sub-second markers, is very deep. While this implies the case must be slightly thicker to allow for it, I believe this deep-dish look is fantastic with this design and is totally worth any added bulk it creates. The dial window, like so many Seikos, uses Hardlex crystal.
Here’s where things get really interesting: The SSB031 uses what’s called a mecha-quartz movement, the caliber 6T63. Because the name implies, this is a quartz movement that borrows features from mechanical watches. For instance, while normal quartz movements tick once every second, the chronograph hand on the SSB031 moves 5 times per second, as fast as numerous automatic watches’second hands.
To use the chronograph function, press the utmost effective pushed to begin the timer, and use the bottom pusher to snap the chronograph hand immediately back to the 12 o’clock position, another function similar to a mechanical movement. This is a very appealing function that could entice some mechanical watch purists to at the least have a second look at this watch. This movement works on the battery by having an estimated life of 3 years.
A 20-mm metal band comes standard on the SSB031. With hollow end links and a brushed steel finish, this bracelet features a lightweight, cheap feel to it. While it should be a comfortable band for most wearers, it doesn’t quite match the heft and grandeur of the rest of the watch. Additionally it features a dual push button deployment clasp and two micro-adjustment holes for choosing the best fit.
So, as the SSB031 does a good impression of a watch that costs thousands of dollars, it also includes many interesting features and functions making it an appealing watch in its right. The mechanical-style chronograph function in particular is a superb feature that few name-brand watches in this price range can match. Currently, some outlets are offering this model at a portion of the suggested $425 retail price, so it’s possible to locate this watch at an outstanding bargain. If you should be on the market for a stylish and technical timepiece, I wouldn’t hesitate to give this Seiko a try.