Seiko Marinemaster: a genuine jump in quality?

Hi all,

I‘ve been mulling and pondering my watch purchasing roadmap for 2023. I’ve long considered getting a higher-end Seiko. I‘m not sure Grand Seiko is for me—I’d be too worried about scratching it. I’d like opinions on whether there is a tangible jump in quality from the $1300 dollar Divers to the SLA Marinemaster series (the ones that come in around $3200). 
I know the movement is better. How about everything else? Finishing, wearability, general QC…
Not interested in alternatives in the $3K range. I have a few other watches in that range.

·

Be prepared for a significant heavier watch. I spent a few minutes with my kitchen scale. Here are my results: 

  • Model, head only, with stock bracelet (all sized to my wrist)  
  • Shogun, 72 g, 120 g
  • (modern) Willard, 84 g, 173 g
  • (modern) 62MAS, 84 g, 173 g
  • Monster, 92 g, 174 g
  • (discont.) MM200 89 g, 176 g
  • Sumo, 95 g, 179 g
  • Turtle, 93 g, 187 g (168 g on aftermarket jubilee)
  • MM300 121 g, 207g (156 g with the camo rubber+clasp in the photo below)

With a bracelet a MM300 wears quite well, ignoring the heft of the watch. On a NATO or a rubber with a normal tang, the MM300 tends to be a top-heavy watch, i.e. it demands a tighter fit. If you pair it with a more substantial rubber band, like a Crafter Blue it becomes a super wearable watch with tanklike build quality. 

If you go through my gallery you'll find a good assortment of MM300 on various bands & bracelets. 

Image
·
Hans_B

Be prepared for a significant heavier watch. I spent a few minutes with my kitchen scale. Here are my results: 

  • Model, head only, with stock bracelet (all sized to my wrist)  
  • Shogun, 72 g, 120 g
  • (modern) Willard, 84 g, 173 g
  • (modern) 62MAS, 84 g, 173 g
  • Monster, 92 g, 174 g
  • (discont.) MM200 89 g, 176 g
  • Sumo, 95 g, 179 g
  • Turtle, 93 g, 187 g (168 g on aftermarket jubilee)
  • MM300 121 g, 207g (156 g with the camo rubber+clasp in the photo below)

With a bracelet a MM300 wears quite well, ignoring the heft of the watch. On a NATO or a rubber with a normal tang, the MM300 tends to be a top-heavy watch, i.e. it demands a tighter fit. If you pair it with a more substantial rubber band, like a Crafter Blue it becomes a super wearable watch with tanklike build quality. 

If you go through my gallery you'll find a good assortment of MM300 on various bands & bracelets. 

Image

Holy F@€K! That is a very heavy watch. I agree that such weight requires a substantial strap. 

The Artem Sailcloth with the RM deployant is what I got on my heaviest watch. It’s 6mm thick at the top and works very well after it is worn for a while and bends to the shape of the wrist.

·

Thanks for the info, @Hans_B ! Your gallery is very helpful. Would you say the case finishing on your MM300 is a tangible step up from your modern Willard?

·

@Fuzzbottle The MM300's case finishing is quite different to that of the Willard, so comparing is a bit difficult. But yes, the MM300's case finishing blows the Willard's out of the water. 

I suggest you watch a few youtube videos, this channel presents many if not all Seikos: https://www.youtube.com/@EscapementWatch/videos 

You could go and find a SLA055 or SLA057 - they don't have a bracelet, though. These are basically next-level MM200s with a MM300-like finish. And because they're lighter, they're much more comfortable. Granted, the price is also next level...