Thursday, May 12, 2011

More "Casualties" Arising from Seiko's Latest Product Consolidation Efforts


Yesterday I was perusing the official Seiko Japan web page (www.seiko-watch.co.jp) and while checking out the mechanical watches under the "Brightz Phoenix" lineup, I discovered that the pair of 8L35 powered 200m divers (Models SAGQ005 & SAGQ007 respectively) are suddenly missing from the product catalog. My hunch is that these models did not sell well upon their 2010 introduction at Basel World (And to much fanfare in part of Seiko executives at the time). While I never had the pleasure to handle one it seems to me they looked a bit too generic given their $2K+ price tag. They actually have a strong resemblance to the now popular 7S26 powered Seiko divers nicknamed "Stargate".


Also, don't doubt for a minute that the unfortunate early March earthquake events in Japan are playing a key role in the product "Axing" frenzy at Seiko during the past month or so.

I don't foresee direct replacements for these Brightz Phoenix 8L35 mechanical divers. The only "survivors" so equipped with the 8L35 are the ever popular and now over a decade old Seiko Prospex Marine Master 300m watch and the Brightz Phoenix 8L35 "Dress" versions under model numbers SAGQ001 and 003.

Finally, it is important to clarify that the SAGQ007 was a limited edition version of 500 pieces.

Yeoman Blog is a big fan of these watches and he added the SAGQ007 as recently as last December. Excellent review with photos here.

Promotional video of the Brightz Phoenix divers:


2 comments:

Spin Doctor said...

I wonder if the days of the 300M Marine Master are also numbered. I guess as long as the caliber stays in production so will the model as that is a popular one, but you still have to wonder.

Also how much longer on the workhorses....the Monster and SKX007? There have been rumors that the 7s26 caliber will eventually be replaced and I'm sure the models will go with it.

JapanWatchConnection said...

I agree, Spin Doctor. I think the days of the MM300 may well be numbered but I think the model will survive to fight another day. There have been rumors about its dismissal but I think the MM300 may have another year or two left in the production line. Its been a fairly popular watch ever since since 2001 debut in Japan.

The 7S26 is a bit more enigmatic and here is why. The 7S26A was originally introduced in early 1996, so this caliber has been in continued production for 15 years, not an eternity but definitely a long time. Back in 2008 Seiko introduced the calibers 4r15/16 (Date/day-date respectively) and many believed the 4R family signaled the doomsday for the 7S26. But so far that hasn't happened and in despite of the few (And welcomed) refinements afforded by the 4R movements like 50+ hour power reserve and Spron 510 mainspring material, the 7S remains as popular as ever and new Thailand made entry level Seiko divers continue to be made and introduced. Meanwhile, very few Seiko watches offer the newer 4R movement which is a direct offspring of the 7S family.

Seiko's strategy with the 7S and derivative entry level mechanical movements is very puzzling to me at least.