"Elegant, versatile, accurate movement"
Loved this watch as soon as I received it from Amazon. I was actually debating between ordering it off Seiyajapan and Amazon, but in the end opting for Amazon for the Amazon Prime shipping. Keep in mind, I have several watches that fall into the sub 500 pricing category (Citizen, Orient, Timex, Seiko etc.), and this and Seiko SARB065 (Cocktail Time) have been my favourite watch under 500.
Ah the first impression, when this first hit my palms, I immediately thought that the weight and quality of this timepiece was so similar to that of my Grand Seiko. This watch is truly a Grand Seiko without the 'grand pricing'.
If you are interested in the history of this piece, just know that it is derived from the Spirit line by Seiko, which was created as a line of formal dress watches a bit less complex than the Premier. As opposed to it's brothers and sisters in the Spirit line, the Seiko SARB033 is completely mechanical.
Case Finishing and Design
As you run your fingers down the case finishing, you can immediately tell that this watch is not like your average sub 100 Seiko 5, as the finishing on the case is extremely well made.
There are slight polishing on the side of the casing, with it's lugs curved downwards. You can tell the casing is extremely well made and feels solid - it can be compared to the Prospex series, without the bulkiness.
The dial is well protected behind a Sapphire crystal, however they went with a see-through Hardlex back, I would've obviously liked Sapphire, but it was no biggie.
Seiko SARB033 Movement
One of the reasons why the movement is proudly presented in the back is because this is one of Seiko's more premium movements -in fact the rotor striping shows that it is not your average 4R36 caliber movement (Seiko 5). This beautiful watch is powered by the workhorse otherwise known as the 6R15, which can be hacked and hand wound.
Seiko SARB033 Pros and Cons
In-house Movement (6R15 caliber)
Sapphire Crystal, with a Hardlex movement display on the back
Hacking and Hand wound option
Made in Japan (meaning at least 50% of the value is from Japan)
Made for relatively small wrists with a dial of 38mm
Lume could be a bit brighter
Some reports of inconsistent time keeping (simple fix)
If you've read this far, it means you're probably on the fence about the watch. Let me tell you this: SARB033 isn't widely known for nothing, this will be one of the best bang for buck watch on the market. It'll set you back a little less than 500 USD, but it's damn worth it.
Amazon usually have some sales on this product, feel free to check it out: