Swiss watches are the epitome of craftsmanship. It’s no surprise that their pieces cost an arm and a leg. The Blanc Pan Fifty Fathoms is one of the most expensive Swiss dive watches around. Seiko decided to tribute the piece, producing the SNZH57. Also known as the Seiko 55 Fathoms, we’ve discussed quite a bit about it below.
Before you move onto our review, give the below table a read:
We think it did a decent job paying homage to the Blanc Pan Fifty Fathoms. It’s not identical, but there’s a clear resemblance.
To begin with, both timepieces have a black and gold face. The Seiko watch’s dial is black, having rhomboid markers that have a gold hue to them. In the Blanc Pan piece, its markers are not rhomboid – they’re more triangular. It has Arabic numerals mixed in there as well. The Seiko SNZH57 also has a calendar, while its counterpart does not.
The watch is not too big. Its case stretches 1.65 inches (42.1 mm) across. The Seiko device isn’t light but it’s got some heft to it. It comes in at 5.82 ounces (164.9 grams). If you’re wondering, the Fifty fathoms has a 1.77 inches (45 mm) case – unfortunately, we don’t know how much it weighs.
Overall, we think the tribute timepiece looks expensive. Its gold and black colourway does the trick. It feels expensive too, as it’s not that light. We also appreciate that its body is quality stainless steel.
Something that elevates its look is its skeleton case. The timepiece has many gears in motion. You’ll be stunned watching them move.
We think wearing the Seiko 55 Fathoms is comfortable. Its strap is stainless steel, which doesn’t collect sweat. Its Swiss counterpart has a high-quality leather strap. It screams money, but the material causes you to sweat. Another issue about leather is that many people are allergic to it. As the material in their straps is so different, this is another thing that doesn’t make them look identical.
The crystal on the timepiece is Hardlex. It’s on many Seiko devices. It’s tougher than mineral but can’t beat sapphire. No surprise, the Fifty Fathoms comes with a sapphire window.
The gold hour markers contrast sharply against the black dial, making the watch easy to read. We especially find it easy as there is a serious lume on its markers. It’s the brand’s favourite LumiBrite. The luminous paint provides 3-5 hours of glow. This is 10 times more than normal pigments. It is on its hands too.
As you know, there’s a calendar on the device. This isn’t on the Blanc Pan Fifty Fathoms. It reads the day as well as the date. This is something not a lot of watches do.
If you look at its bezel, you’ll notice toothed edges. They aren’t that prominent. Its duping has more shark-like teeth.
Just like its strap, the SNZH57’s case and bezel are stainless steel.
It’s an automatic device. The Seiko SNZH57 comes with the 7S36 movement. It has a 41-hour power reserve and 21 jewels inside its gears. You’re probably wondering what a power reserve and watch jewel are. Power reserves are how long you’ll be able to have an automatic watch off your wrist. It needs the kinetic energy you produce to keep its gears moving.
Watch gears regularly deal with friction. To prevent them from affecting accuracy, jewels are placed between them. The more jewels present, the lesser the effect of friction will be. 21 is pretty standard.
What about the Blanc Pan? Well, it’s also automatic. It comes with the Caliber 1315 movement. You’re getting an impressive 150-hour power reserve and 35 jewels on its gears.
Hacking and self-winding are features common in automatic pieces. If you didn’t know, self-winding is when you manually wind your timepiece. Hacking is when you halt its seconds’ hand, to adjust it. The Seiko 55 Fathoms doesn’t come with the two.
The H57 isn’t as water-resistant as its premium counterpart. The 55 fathoms can handle 1000 feet (300 meters) underwater. The Seiko watch is only resistant to 330 feet (100 meters). Its stainless-steel body helps keep water off. The material is not only waterproof but it doesn’t corrode. You can’t dive with the timepiece. Seiko says that you can only snorkel and swim with it. Unfortunately, it’s not ISO 6425 certified.
As you know, there is lume in its dial. It’s LumiBrite, which is bright. You can easily read its face when submerged underwater. Its crown is sealed up well. This prevents water from wrecking its insides.
The Seiko piece is a great tribute watch. Let’s see how well it fares against alternatives below.
The watch looks more like the Blanc Pan than the SNZH57 – its strap is black unlike its brother’s.
The timepiece comes with a black and gold dial. The hour markers on it are white with gold outlining them. They are full of luminous paint. Unfortunately, it’s not LumiBrite. The 3950A’s hands are full of lume too.
Its gun-metal body is stainless steel. It’s quality steel, so it can withstand all kinds of drops. It’s also resistant to corrosion and rusting.
The watch can handle quite the dip underwater. Its water resistance is 330 feet (100 meters). Stuhrling says you can snorkel with it on, but not dive.
Its case is closer in size to the Fifty Fathoms than the SNZH57. It’s 1.73 inches (44 mm). This may unfortunately be too big for you if you have smaller wrists. The 3950A.9 will weigh your wrist down. It’s over 15 ounces (425.2 grams). This makes it feel rich, though.
The timepiece is not automatic. It’s a Japanese quartz device. It has the ultra-accurate Japanese Miyota inside of it.
It has regular mineral instead of a Hardlex crystal. If you remember, you’d know that it’s not as resistant.
The watch doesn’t look much like the Blanc Pan. You don’t have to look too close to realize why – its body is gold. Thankfully its dial has some black on it. But we noticed that the black on its dial is more of a grey. Just like its sibling, it comes with a calendar on its face. They look pretty similar.
The SNZH60 isn’t that big. It’s the same size as its brother. It weighs as much too. Yes, its body is stainless steel. We’re happy that it’s great quality.
There is lume on its dial. You’re met with LumiBrite again. The pigment is on its markers as well as watch hands.
What glass is on its display? Seiko’s favourite Hardlex. If you remember, you’d know that it’s not as tough as Blanc Pan’s sapphire crystal.
The timepiece can handle the same amount of water as its counterpart. This unfortunately means that it’s not as water-resistant as the Fifty Fathoms.
Of course, the device is automatic. It comes with the 7S36-04N0 movement. It has 23 jewels and a 43-hour power reserve. These are way better than the ones the SNZH57 was offering.
The SNZH55 is as big as its alternative, so it’s smaller than the Fifty Fathoms. Weight-wise, it’s a bit heavier than the SNZH57. It looks more like a Fifty Fathom variant than the original as it comes with a black and silver body. Yes, quality stainless steel is used. This lets the timepiece withstand all kinds of scratches.
There is luminous paint all over its dial. As you can guess, it’s LumiBrite. We aren’t too mad as the pigment is really good.
There’s a calendar in the 3 o'clock position. It reads the day as well as the date, but the day can be harder to read. The glass on its window is hardlex.
The timepiece is automatic. The movement in it is the 7S36. You get 23 jewels as well as a 43-hour power reserve. Similar to the entry above, it has a better movement than its counterpart.
It’s not the most water-resistant piece. It can only handle 330 feet (100 meters) so you can’t dive with it.
The watch does a good job paying homage to the Blanc Pan piece. Not only does it resemble the latter, but it looks pretty expensive. The gold and black colour way does the trick. This is great considering that the timepiece isn’t that expensive. The Seiko fifty five fathoms is durable too – it comes with a quality stainless steel body and a resistant mineral.