There is a reason why this watch, well-known for being an excellent value, is considered to be a monster. The Seiko Orange Monster is more specifically known as the SKX781. Now, you can see exactly why adopters of this magnificent watch have opted to calling it the “Orange Monster”. The reason it is nicknamed the “Orange Monster” is fairly obvious, the dial is the first thing you will notice about the watch and it is colored bright orange. This also sets this automatic dive watch apart from the pack and is hard to forget about.
Holding the watch, you can feel just how heavy it is. It is 43mm in diameter — a “monster” of a watch. The bracelet and the case are both made of hardy stainless steel and is very sturdy. The watch also has pierced lugs (a.k.a. drilled lugs) which means you can easily take the bracelet off and replace with a rubber strap it if it is your liking. The screwed down crown is at the four o’clock position which is much different than the usual three o’clock position. This is actually an added bonus however because the large crown will not dig into your wrist when flexing.
As mentioned previously, the Seiko Orange Monster is an automatic dive watch. This means, it is run by an 7s26 automatic movement (in Seiko’s case) versus being run by a quartz movement. There are pros and cons of course. A pro being that you do not need batteries to run this watch– just a swing of your arm. Another positive is that you know this watch can take a beating. One negative aspect of an automatic movement is that it is less accurate than a quartz movement and the time may need to be reset to keep it from running too fast or too long every few days.
The Seiko Orange Monster was most definitely made with divers in mind. The watch is heavy, the Hardlex chyrstal is strong. Hardlex chrystal is Seiko’s own brand of mineral glass and is less scratch-resistant but stronger. It can go up to 200m (about 650 feet). The watch also has a diver’s extension along with the double locking clasp (very nice). The dive extension comes in handy when having to fit an automatic dive watch over a wet suit.
The case on a Seiko Orange Monster is a great piece of engineering. It is think and made of hardy stainless steel. The rotating bezel actually sits within the case for added protection.
The rotating bezel is a nice feature on this watch and most likely, one of the best rotating bezels I have seen on an automatic dive watch. That is noteworthy because it is also one of the cheaper dive watches on the market. The bezel is uni-directional which means that you can turn it only in one direction (counter-clockwise) and if you ever pick up this watch for yourself, you’ll see how smooth you can rotate it. The bezel does have bezel guards to protect it in case of bumping into anything. The bezel also protects the Hardlex chrystal so you would have to be a pretty unlucky guy to shatter it.
This watch has one of the brightest dials you may find in an automatic dive watch. An issue this watch has is its unability to stop the second hand– you just can’t stop it. There is a neat little trick you can try to get it to stop though: just apply a little bit of back pressure to the crown, you can momentarily stop the second-hand. Of course, this is not really recommended because it isn’t that great for the automatic movement itself.
Instead of the typical numbered dial, this watch has a bright luminous paint in replacement. When you turn off the lights, this watch will glow and make it easy for you to read what time it is even when it is pitch black. The only part of the watch that is slightly confusing is the three o’clock area. This watch keeps track of the day and date. You can change the day-date indication depending on the direction you rotate the crown and comes in two languages: English and Spanish. However, because of the day-date indication, there is no bright lume for the three o’clock area which is a little awkward. But, the Seiko Orange Monster actually has one of the brightest lumes I have seen.
There is no doubt that the Seiko Orange Monster is a monster of a watch and beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder when it comes to this watch. Beauty or not, there is no denying the engineering or value of this watch. The Seiko Orange Monster automatic dive watch only costs around $200 which is a deal compared to most dive watches on the market. The only brands that have been able to offer dive watches at such an affordable price is also Invicta. Many Seiko collectors have confessed as to having the “Orange Monster” be their favorite watch and many divers love this watch.
Question is: How are you going to feel about it?