Behold! A Well Regulated Seiko Turtle (not quite a review)

I find that a fair chunk of my watch collection are Seikos, but is it because Seikos fit my income bracket better than other watches, or is it because I am a masochist who secretly enjoys getting riled up due to the somewhat infuriating design choices Seiko watches have?

Take for instance, this Seiko Special Edition PADI Turtle. I got it because my collection lacked a good solid everyday dive watch, and I liked the look of the blue dial and pepsi bezel.

But what I didn't like was trying to size the bracelet. Both my Seiko 5 GMT and my Seiko Flightmaster used plain ol' pins to keep their bracelets together, and were really easy to size to my gargantuan wrist size. (One link removed for each watch.)

But The Seiko Turtle?

That was my introduction to Pin and Collar. Which sadly isn't a BDSM term, but a way to over-complicate something that should be really simple.

I took one link out. I didn't lose any of the collars. but I got cold feet and put the link back and just really cinched up the micro adjustment instead. What used to take ten minutes stretched into an hour of fiddling with that damnable collar, which kept popping out of it's place when I breathed on it, or just looked at it funny.

But I think I have reinstalled it properly, since it's been like a week and the bracelet hasn't fallen apart yet, and now I'm wondering if I shouldn't try again now that I've apparently figured out how to do pin and collar. Maybe take a 6 o'clock link out, and set the micro adjust to the second position instead of having it on the fourth?

Me, a glutton for punishment?

Yes.

And then there's the second thing I needed to do in order to get this watch to the point where I was happy with it.

You see, it came to me 28 seconds fast.

And accuracy matters to me. It matters a lot.

I can live with anything that's -5 to +5 seconds a day. +28 seconds?

+28 seconds.

Nope. I need to fix this.

In a previous life, I had a job that required me to adjust and calibrate MICR readers. What's MICR? It's the weird numbers on the bottom of your check. They look weird because they are printed on ink that can hold a magnetic charge, and can be read more accurately by machine than OCR. But the MICR reader needs to be set at a paper's width against the roller. Too tight, and the cheques jam in the machine, too loose,and the reader can't actually read them. There was technically a procedure to set the MICR reader with a set of gauges, but I was taught to do this by hand.

Watch regulation is way harder to do than MICR calibration.

And it's super hard when you are trying to do it with just a phone app and a spring bar removal tool to nudge the regulation bit distances that cannot be seen with the human eye.

I spent 20 minutes trying to get the regulation right, and almost skittered the spring bar tool into the hair spring. Which would've basically destroyed the movement. Thankfully, I only hit the balance wheel instead.

But when I put the case back on, and left it alone for a few hours, I discovered that it was now -33 seconds slow.

Seeing red, I opened the case again, and set my phone microphone right on top of the balance wheel to try to get an accurate reading after each adjustment.

An hour and 17 minutes later, I finally got the app to say +1.3 seconds fast. Which was good enough for me.

Three days later, the Turtle still hits the mark. Every minute, when the second hand hits the 12 o'clock position, my phone's clock also turns over to the next minute. It's bang on!

I guess that's why watch collecting appeals to me. It's the pursuit of excellence, the pursuit of mastery. A chance to pit my stubbornness against the most fiddly of machines. (All repairs are ultimately a contest between the pigheaded stubbornness of the repairer and the machine getting repaired. The watch only wins when you give up.)

And having put all of this stress and anxiety into this watch, I can now say that it's my new favourite! The bezel is much more easy to twist than the one on my Casio Duro or on my Bulova Devil Diver. Sounds different too. More like someone slowly riffling a pack of cards. Very relaxing.

Very very relaxing.

Reply

Love the pepsi

CastellxMets

Love the pepsi

I like mine, but I wear my steeldive willard more. Its more accurate as well. I put mine on an Uncle Seiko Irezumi strap.

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Crazy_Dana

I like mine, but I wear my steeldive willard more. Its more accurate as well. I put mine on an Uncle Seiko Irezumi strap.

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Yeah, but Chinese watches come with a Seiko movement that's near perfectly adjusted and regulated from the factory, and I want the horrible misery of trying to do it myself.

I Need my Pain.

Or at least some frustration that I can actually do something about~

Lufty_Luft

Yeah, but Chinese watches come with a Seiko movement that's near perfectly adjusted and regulated from the factory, and I want the horrible misery of trying to do it myself.

I Need my Pain.

Or at least some frustration that I can actually do something about~

Then explain why the Steeldive Keeps better time than the 鈥渞eal鈥 Seiko?

Crazy_Dana

Then explain why the Steeldive Keeps better time than the 鈥渞eal鈥 Seiko?

Because the labour in China's cheap enough to have someone take the time to re-regulate the watch movement properly. Seiko just does it via machine (20-40 seconds variability natch~)

The movements are capable of so much more, but the cost in labour to wring that out of the watch, plus the need to have room for more accurate luxury brand lines means that Seiko just slops the movements out.

Lufty_Luft

Because the labour in China's cheap enough to have someone take the time to re-regulate the watch movement properly. Seiko just does it via machine (20-40 seconds variability natch~)

The movements are capable of so much more, but the cost in labour to wring that out of the watch, plus the need to have room for more accurate luxury brand lines means that Seiko just slops the movements out.

So its better to buy Steeldive than Seiko. Got it.

Crazy_Dana

So its better to buy Steeldive than Seiko. Got it.

Well, Seiko does have better lume...

And each watch offers the thrilling experience of trying to regulate it yourself~

So I guess it's a tie?