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Review: Seiko SNDA65

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Featured | Popular | Review | 07.18.2011

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It’s been a few weeks since I received my Seiko 65 chrono, and in that time it has become a staple of my watch rotation.  Its style is versatile, and as I mentioned in my initial impressions, the chronograph offers unique functionality.  Since first getting the 65, I’ve addressed my only major gripe with the watch, its strap, with zulu and bond straps.  Pictures and more after the jump.

Case: Stainless Steel with black ion coating
Movement: Seiko 7T92 quartz 1/20 second chronograph w/ date
Dial: Black w/ while detail
Lens: Seiko Hardlex Crystal
Case Back: screwdown stainless steel
Strap: Black Double Layered Nylon w/ Steel Buckle
Water Res.: 10atm (100m/330ft)
Dimensions: 43.5mm
Crown: Push/pull
Thickness: 11mm
Lug Width: 22mm
Warranty: 1 year

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Seiko 65, this watch provides a lot of complexity and styling in an affordable and incredibly versatile package.  The face features an active second dial at nine o’clock, a 1/20 second dial and 12 hr dial for the chronograph, oversized 12, 3, 6, and 9 digits, a non-rotating inner bezel with hour and minute marks and the Seiko insignia.   Comparably thick hour and minute hands and the orange active second hand make reading the busy face easy.  Meanwhile, the lume is incredibly bright and responsive to even a bit of exposure to daylight or your average office lighting.  Zach and I have checked the 65′s lume to that of the Lum-Tec M33, and the Seiko definitely holds its own.  I will say that I find the date function slightly difficult to read, given that it is very thin white text on black, which is not conducive to legibility.

Adding to the complexity of the 65 is the 1/20 second chronograph function. Basically, when the chrono is in action, you
have the large orange second hand ticking, a 1/20 second hand spinning one rotation per second and a 12 hour dial spinning with hands for both hours and minutes.  That’s pretty impressive. Unfortunately we don’t have any videos of this (yet) but here’s one I found floating around the internet.  Take note of when the chrono is reset: the 12 hour dial goes CRAZY!  This may seem like a silly function to geek out about, but seeing all these dials in action is a lot of fun. And although I don’t have much daily-use for such a precision chrono, having the added accuracy is reassuring of the quality of the watch.

As you may remember from my initial impressions post, my major beef with the 65 is the strap that it comes with.  It is completely boring and poorly made.  However, throw on a more quality strap and the 65 comes alive.  I purchased two Zulu
straps, one military green and one Bond style, both from broadarrow.net, a great site if you’re in the market for watch straps of all varieties.  With each strap I purchased, the sheen of the higher quality nylon really complements the somewhat reflective black ion coated 65 case.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the Seiko is definitely shinier than many pictures posted online may suggest.  This isn’t a bad thing, but the strap that comes with the 65 is matte, and makes the sheen of the 65 seem awkward.  A more appropriately styled strap really brings the watch together, and makes the natural sheen of the case more appealing.

Especially with these new straps to utilize, my favorite feature of the 65 is its versatility in styling. The Seiko 65 goes with
many outfits.  Put on a military green strap and you have a casual watch that you can wear on the weekend or to the office on Fridays.  Throw on a Bond strap and your all set for a pair of khaki shorts and boat shoes (or something to that more preppy effect).  The Seiko is definitely a watch you can wear everyday, and frankly, it’s the watch that you should wear everyday.  It’s beautiful, well designed, unique and versitle.  Not to mention, it can garner some attention.  I work with a watch-head with an affinity for Sinn’s, and he has made note of my 65′s styling.  And if you recall back to my first impressions post, so have others.

In closing, I’d just like to say that the Seiko SNDA65 is an incredible watch, for its styling and for its value.  In many ways, it really epitomizes what worn&wound is all about: it’s a watch you can afford, a watch that’s beautifully made, and a watch that you’ll want to wear.

  • John Weiss

    This review has gotten me very angry! It’s so compelling that I may be forced, against my will, to buy this damn Seiko, and the last thing I need is another watch. The only point that I differ with you about concerns the date indicator. I like the fact that it’s a bit obscure. It doesn’t interfere with the clean design of the face. Does a very sporty chronograph really need a date in the first place? The Rolex Daytona, undoubtedly one of the most famous chronographs, went out of their way to HIDE the date function. Until very recently, the Daytona did not use a Rolex movement. They chose the Zenith El Primero, which has a date mechanism. I’m glad they covered it up.

  • Tim Bascom

    Thanks for such an informative review on a great watch that often gets overlooked.

    I have the stainless version of this watch and it has been a reliable, steady performer for over a year.

    Seiko, as most know, succeeds in the “band for the buck” territory better than most. With this watch they’ve really proven that point.

  • Matt

    Good review and excellent photos. I’ve had this watch for about a year and agree that it’s a perfect piece to wear every day. The lume, while bright initially, doesn’t seem to last very long. Also the chrono buttons are too easily pressed and I often look down to see it whizzing away. These are minor issues however and don’t take away from this brilliant watch. Thanks for the photos with the different straps, I will have to try some of those.

  • Nigel Andrew

    Hello,

    The previous post claims that the chrono buttons are easily pressed. Would you agree? If this watch was to be worn on the left hand, how likely would it be that the chrono buttons are accidentally pressed? I just wanted to know if the chrono buttons are sensitive or quite sturdy. Thanks!

    • w&w

      The chrono buttons on the SNDA65 are rather easy to press, but not so much so that the chrono function is activated by accident very easily. I wear the watch on my left hand and it almost never happens.

  • http://URL Nigel Andrew

    Thank you. This may be the next watch for me to pick up. Even though this is a 43mm watch, it does not seem big on my 7 inch wrist. I like that lol.

    I was also considering the Citizen Nighthawk, you did a phenomenal job on that review. Do you have any side by side images of the SNDA65 with the Nighthawk? I thought I would ask since the Nighthawk looks huge.

  • http://URL Chris

    Just picked up this watch. Threw it on a bond nato and it looks great. Great piece.

  • http://URL Max

    What size maratac bond zulu strap do i want? 22mm? 21?

    • w&w

      Hi Max. You’ll want a 22.

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://URL kevin parsons

    I have this watch and the only complaint I have is the hour hand is just slightly loose,it falls where it should be but i cant seem to buy a timepiece no matter what the price without something being loose.other than that it keeps perfect time and very accurate,i will probably just wait to fix the loose hand when the watch needs serviced cause everytime i take a watch to a repair shop to fix a minor problem it leaves with more than i took it in for>more loose hands,dirt inside the crystal.

  • http://URL Phil

    I realize this post is old but hope I can find an answer here. How do I remove the original strap?

  • http://URL Batterylife

    Hi does anyone know the batterylife of this watch? You don’t have to wind it right?

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  • http://URL Dan Brown

    Great review! This one is next on my “gotta have” list.

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  • http://URL walk

    Does the SNDA65 only come in black or is there a silver stainless steel version as well? Reason I ask is because Amazon has this listed for sale, but the pic shows the watch having a silver case instead of the dark grey/black shown in your review.

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