Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review of Seiko Solar Diver SNE107

When it comes to Professional Diver's, quartz models are slim pickings so when I see something interesting I want to give it a try. I had been looking for something with a 3 o'clock crown, traditional case shape with a budget price tag for a while. I decided to give the Seiko SNE107 a spin.

The Seiko SNE107 was released in 2011 in Seiko's Solar line of watches. Surprisingly, the model is compliant with the specifications outlined in ISO6425 for divers watches and is usually something I look for in selecting a diver style watch. Why? Well simply it demonstrates that the manufacturer is committed to the model in order to not only design but also test the watch per the ISO6425 requirements. I say "surprisingly" because this model is clearly a budget, entry level model (available online for around $200 US) and it always amazes me that a manufacturer like Seiko is willing to invest the extra expense necessary for ISO6425 compliance when most owners of this model will not even be aware of the significance if the "Diver's" text on the dial.

I've been wearing this model for a couple of months now and I have to say that its really grown on me. Looks great in the stock bracelet, Nato, as well as an after market Bonetto Cinturini natural rubber strap. As an aside, if you haven't tried a Bonetto Cinturini strap (sometimes called Italian rubber), you need to. Today. They are fantastic. The flexibility of silicone but the durability of resin. Wonderful stuff.

The good. I love the normal 42mm size. Finishing is good. Simply elegant case shape. Drilled lug holes makes strap changes a breeze. Good size fluted crown with a shape reminiscent of other Seiko diver models.


By far my favorite feature of this model is the dial and hand set with the obvious Seiko DNA programmed into the design. I love the white hands as they just jump off the dial making the time instantly readable. Lume is pretty good and about the same as the SKX007.

Also as a pleasant surprise, as a solar model, the dial is very well done. It has a dark charcoal color with a sun burst effect, but there is no visible translucence at all. I've tried in all kinds of lighting, and I can't see any of the solar panel underneath. Also a nice surprise is the use of a larger lume dot on the second hand as well as the day indicator. These are typically not seen on quartz models for reasons I suppose have to do with minimizing power consumption, but since this is a solar charged model the extra energy can be expended.

The bad. The bezel is the first thing that jumps out at you. It is instantly polarizing. I admit that it was a little off putting to me at first, but I've grown to accept it. The bezel is actually well constructed. Milled from steel and nicely finished. Wonderful bezel action which is typical of all Seiko divers I've handled.

The bracelet is pretty weak. A shame really because of the construction does not match the quality of the rest of the watch. End links are folded. Fortunately the inclusion of the drilled lug holes makes bracelet installation and removal a lot easier. The rest of the links are solid, but don't be fooled like I was. These are not a true 5 link bracelet. Its actually a milled link with these little C shaped clips used for polished cosmetic accent. The links are held together with pins and an interior collar, but was frustrating to size myself due to trying to keep all the little pieces together.

Lastly, although I like the use of the black day and date wheel with white text, Seiko used the blue SAT and red SUN which are impossible to read against the black field.

All in all I'd recommend the SNE107. If you are interested in an orange dial you can check out the SNE109 which I like with the matching black trimmed hands and index markers. Its not going to be an heirloom watch, but I'll have some fun wearing it until I get bored with it or something else better comes along.

Nuts and Bolts
Caliber V158
Crystal 30mm
Bezel 42mm
Case 42mm without crown
Case 45mm with crown
Lug Width 20mm
Lug to lug 49mm
Height 14mm

Here's a good video I found on youtube.

1 comment:

Jéjé said...

Excellent review,
got myself one of those a while back and it a great budget diver. I love the dial and the lume is absolutely great.
One of the late models that Seiko can be proud of IMHO.