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The Seiko Flightmaster SNA411 - A Pilot's Life For Me

July 28, 2021

Pilot watches not only look cool, but they're handy when in the air. One of the most famous is the Seiko Flightmaster SnA411, and we took the ultimate look at it below.

The Watch - At A Glance

The SNA411 is a pretty cool watch, but before we get into the good stuff, it’s only right that we look at its specs. 

Preview
Seiko Men's SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph Watch
Movement
Japanese Quartz
Colour
Black and silver
Strap
Stainless steel
Size
1.65 inches (42 mm)
Water Resistance
660 feet (200 m)
More Information
Preview
Seiko Men's SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph Watch
Movement
Japanese Quartz
Colour
Black and silver
Strap
Stainless steel
Size
1.65 inches (42 mm)
Water Resistance
660 feet (200 m)
More Information
SNA411

The Watch - A Review

Dial

You might be intimidated by its dial. There’s a multitude of rings, each with their own function. From a distance, reading the SNA41 is hard. Don't be afraid to get up close and personal.

There are large, circular markers. Around them is a ring with the minutes passed. The circles are full of LumiBrite; you’ll be able to tell the time in the dimmest settings.

In the 3 o’clock position, there is a date window. It's easy to read.

You’re getting 3 sub-dials. Two of them are chronographs. They let you measure up to 60 minutes and 1/5th of a second.

There's a slide rule bezel - it helps with calculations and unit conversions. Whether you're a pilot or not, you'd agree that it adds a cool design element.

The model rocks a black dial, with its hands being off-white. There’s a pop of colour with the bright yellow on its the second hand.

The chronograph watch has Hardlex as its crystal. It is Seiko’s version of mineral glass and is the more scratch resistant crystal. It’s engineered to be shatter-resistant after all.

Case & Strap

You're getting a stainless steel case. This means corrosion won't be an issue. You’re bound to drop the flightmaster a couple of times, but thanks to the stainless steel, it won’t get banged up.

Its case size is 1.65 inches (42 mm). In our books, the unit is not too big or small. It isn’t too thick either. You're getting a case thickness of 0.511 inches (13 mm) - you’ll be able to wear it without straining your wrists.

There's a range of bezel indents, making it robust. It has a crown and large buttons, which catch your eye as well. The buttons weren't just placed to spice things up. They work its chronographs.

While on the topic of its crown, it’s grooved thoroughly. This helps with grip.

Strap wise, we don’t have much to say. It’s made from stainless steel like the rest of the piece. There are 4 links and a push button clasp. Using the clasp is as easy as it sounds.

Movement

You're looking at a quartz chronograph watch. The brand Seiko is a fan of adding the mechanism in their series. To be more specific, it houses the calibre 7t62. It allows the center chronograph to tick 5 times per second.

There is an alarm. It functions as a dial that can track the time in a separate time zone too. This is pretty handy when flying.

Any watch enthusiast would tell you that quartz mechanisms are more accurate than mechanical counterparts. They have the less parts, so there's less room for error.

Water Resistance

The majority of pilots pieces are water-resistant. The Flightmaster is no exception. It can handle 660 feet (200 meters) underwater. You can't dive with it. However, surface water sports and snorkeling are possible.

The fact that its dial is full of large markers is appreciated. You'll easily be able to spot them when submerged, especially since they're full of lume.

If we didn't mention it earlier, the tool watch comes with a bi directional rotating bezel. It ticks as it turns, telling you when to get out of the water.

You don't have to worry about water getting inside of it. Its case back was sealed tight. The item also has a screwed down crown. And as it's made from stainless steel, it's thoroughly waterproof.

Alternatives

Considering the content discussed in our review, the Seiko SNA411 is a great watch. It's a flight chronograph that looks and feels expensive - its watch price isn't that bad either. But we took a look at equally superb options below. Read ahead.

Seiko Men's SND255P1

Resistance Rating

Like the Seiko SNA411, it can handle considerable depths underwater. That being said, it's not as resistant as it. Its rating falls a bit short at 330 feet (100 meters) . Similar to the SNA411, the company advises to not dive with it on.

It comes with a screwed-down crown and a completely sealed back. It has a rotating bezel which helps with underwater use. It’s not bi directional, though; it's unidirectional.

If you look at its dial, you’ll see lume all over it. This helps when you’re submerged.

Case & Strap

It's made from stainless steel. Its face isn’t that large - its case measures 1.61 inches (41 mm) across. You're getting a thickness of 0.39 inches (10 mm). It's thin, so it looks chic.

Its stainless steel band has a deployant clasp attached.

Dial

The dial is a stunning blue. It has cylindrical markers that replace numerals. In the 3 o’clock position, there's a calendar, but it only reads the day’s date.

As mentioned, there's lume on it. Its markings are full of LumiBrite. That's why they're tainted a yellow hue.

While the Seiko SNA411’s seconds’ hand was bright yellow, the SND’s is orange. It might be easier to spot in the dark.

There are 3 sub-dials. The model comes with 2 chronographs, as well as a dual-time zone feature.

Crystal wise, hardlex is present. It can handle a beating. It's not the strongest, though - don't get too rough with it.

There's a rotary slide rule bezel as well. Unit conversions and calculations can be made.

Movement

The SND houses a Japanese quartz movement. Instead of the caliber 7T62, the 7T92 is present. It allows for a chronograph that reads to 1/20th of a second. We're happy to say that it also comes with an alarm function.

Seiko SSB031 Men's Chronograph

Resistance Rating

It has good water resistance. But it still pales in comparison to its counterpart. You'll only be able to go 330 feet (100 meters) underwater. Considering its resistance rating, diving won't be possible.

There's a screwed-down crown and sealed back. You don't have to worry about water getting inside.

Of course, it's made from stainless steel. This not only makes it corrosion resistant, but it'll also be superbly water proof.

Case & Strap

The unit comes with a stainless steel bracelet. Unlike its alternative, it is made from 3 links. Attached to it is a deployment clasp.

Its case is on the smaller side. It measures 1.57 inches (40 mm) across. If you have a smaller wrist, the SSB031 would be ideal.

It’s not too thick either. It comes in at 0.43 inches (11 mm), which is moderately thin.

There's a tachymeter on its bezel. Spoiler alert, one of its features is a chronograph. You can use the tachymeter along with it to read the speed and distance between points.

Dial

If you're wondering about its crystal hardlex is present. As mentioned, it can handle a beating. But it's not the strongest glass around, that crown goes to sapphire.

Its face is completely black, with rectangular markings that replace Arabic numerals. They’re large and full of lume. The seconds' hand is red, with red accents also in the North, South, East and West positions.

There are 3 sub-dials. All three of them are chronographsOne of them reads up to 60 minutes, the other 60 seconds and the third one, 1/10th of a second.

There’s an outer ring that tells you the minutes passed.

Movement

It rocks a Quartz movement. Instead of the caliber 7T62, the 6T63 mechanism is housed. Like the SNA411, its chronograph ticks 5 times per second.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with an alarm function.

Casio Men's EF527D-1AV

Resistance Rating

The model can handle 330 feet (100 meters) underwater. With such a water resistance, diving won't be possible.

There are large rectangular markers. They're full of lume. The thing is, we don't know the name of the pigment used. It makes its dial easy to read when submerged, though.

The device was made from quality stainless steel. Water flicks off easily. Liquids won't enter either, there's a screwed down crown and thoroughly closed back.

Case & Strap

As mentioned, it's big. Its case stretches 1.79 inches (45.5 mm) across. If you have a smaller wrists, you'll still be able to wear it. It's just that it might look awkward on you. Attached to its strap is a durable deployant clasp.

Dial

Its face is a pitch black. Its markers are white, so they pop. Its seconds' hand is a deep red - you'll be able to spot it from across the room.

There are three chronographs. The last one reads up to 1/20th of a second.

As it's not a Seiko product, hardlex isn't on its front. You're getting regular mineral. Like the majority of alternatives in our review, an outer ring with the minutes passed is present.

Sadly, we don't know the name of its lume. It's pretty bright, as you know.

You don't have to look hard to notice the slide rule. it's a feature that's become a staple in pilot watches.

Movement

In terms of its movement quartz is by your side. What's great is that the unit is solar powered. All kinds of light sources power it. Other than this, not much information is known.

No, its quartz movement doesn't come with an alarm.

Conclusion

What did you think about our review? The tool watch has a functional slide rule bezel, thorough chronograph functionality, and a chronograph alarm. The fact that it’s durable and has an accurate Japanese Quartz movement makes it an even more tempting purchase.

That being said, the alternatives are great and all watch enthusiast approved; they're also within the same price range as the Seiko SNA411. From the assortment, we think the SND255P1 is the best. It looks the chicest from the other items discussed.

If you're not going to pick the pilots piece up, use the content we discussed to snag an equally decent unit.

Author
Thomas Vanderlaan
When Thomas Vanderlaan was a child, the moment he learned about mechanical watches he was hooked. His first love being mechanical watches, he decided to pursue a career in engineering as he was entranced by the science behind its gears. As the years passed, his passion grew. Although he worked a hectic career as an automobile engineer, he’d always collect watches during his spare time.
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