Initial Impressions: Seiko SNDA65 Chronograph

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Today I received in the mail my Seiko SNDA65 black chronograph, which I purchased about a week ago for just over $150.  The chronograph is powered by a Seiko quartz movement and features a large second hand, 1/20 second dial and a minute/hour dial.  The watch also consists of a stainless-steel case with black ion finish measuring 43.5 mm wide and 11mm thick, and a hardlex crystal (Seiko’s proprietary hardened mineral crystal).  Lastly, the 65 comes with a black canvas strap.

I first became aware of the 65 while I was poking around the internet for nice, modestly priced watches (a common practice here at worn&wound).  After being drawn in by the 65’s great looks and even better price (anywhere from the $150 I paid to around $180), I started looking into some forums for what other watch enthusiasts had to say.  Well, as it turns out, the 65 has a bit of a following.  Just search watchuseek for SNDA65 and you’ll see what I mean.  In this particular post, I was intrigued by the comparison of the 65 to the decidedly more expensive (and appropriately beautiful) Sinn 756.  Regardless of whether you agree with the comparison or not, the 65’s attractive design, unique chronograph and very reasonable price make it a really interesting piece.  To my excitement, I was able to find the 65 for just $156, no tax or shipping expenses required, at the online retailer mwave.com.  At such a reasonable price I felt comfortable pulling the trigger, and so here it is today.

So far, I’ve only had the watch for the better part of an afternoon, so my judgments are strictly superficial.  There’s a lot of depth to the 65, thanks to the raised internal bezel of the face and the recessed date function.  The complexity of the chronograph is well balanced with simple black and white coloring (with an orange accent on the second hands), as well as the sleek, simple design of the watchcase.  The black ion coating is nice, though this was a bit of a wildcard, as many of the pictures of the watch online made the case appear much more matte than it actually is in person.  The integration of the six, nine and twelve into the chronograph function is nice, though not as elegantly implemented as on other watches, such as the Steinhart Nav B Chrono.  Lastly, the size and feel of the 65 is just right.  It has a nice weight to it, and the 43.5mm x 11mm case sits nicely on my wrist.  In fact, compared to the similarly sized Tsovet SVT-FW44 reviewed a few weeks ago, the Seiko seems downright svelte.

So far the only major negative of the 65 is its strap.  It feels and looks cheap.  I think I will look for a replacement NATO strap.  I’ll be sure to check back in once I find a solution.  In the meantime, got any suggestions?

Blake is one of the co-founders of Worn & Wound. He spends most of his time focused on day-to-day operations and he oversees all aspects of the Windup Watch Fair. Most days you'll find him wearing one of Worn & Wound's Limited Edition watches.
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