How could we review the Seiko SARB035 without talking about its good looks? It’s classic looking, but most importantly, elegant. The 035 is called a Baby Grand Seiko for a reason. It’s near-identical to timepieces from the line. Grand Seiko has watches that are over $10,000, so we’re over the moon about this.
It doesn’t come with a sunburst effect, but you’ll definitely see its dial sparkle when held just right. The sheen is soft and subtle, helping the watch look expensive.
If you know anything about watches, you’d know that sapphire windows are the best there is. No surprise, the SARB035 comes with a sapphire lens. You don’t get regular sapphire either. Instead, its lens comes with additional scratch resistance.
There’s a catch to it, however. It isn’t genuine sapphire. Instead, a synthetic version.
You get dauphine markers that are grandfather clock-like. We would have loved some large, Arabic numerals. But obviously, this would’ve ruined the watch’s vintage look.
The edges of the SARB035’s markers are covered in luminous paint and so are its hands. We’re a fan of Seiko’s LumiBrite
, which is why we’re glad to see it on the timepiece. The paint is arguably the best on the market.
There’s a calendar feature that we appreciate. Although it’s small, it’s in an easy-to-read font, so we have no complaints.
What helps the watch look so regal is its size. You might not guess this from the pictures online, but its case is only 1.511 inches (38.4 mm) across. If you have larger hands, stay away from the SARB035 though, you’ll look like a giant with it on.
The Seiko SARB035 is made from regular, stainless steel. It’s not surgical grade which means it’s not as resistant as we’d like. Then again, it’s not like you’ll be dunking it in the pool every other week. So, you should be good.
You’ll notice that its body is pearl-like. This is as its case and bracelet have been polished. The slight sheen goes hand-in-hand with the one on its dial.
Let’s turn the SARB035 on its side:
You’ll see a bit of curvature to it. It’s very Grand Seiko-like to have a concaved case.
In terms of its crown, it’s not the largest, so we couldn’t grip it as easily as we’d like. However, it comes with ample texturing, so gripping it is certainly not difficult.
We don’t have much to say about its bezel, other than it being made from the same steel as before.
We just have to talk about its back. The SARB035 is an automatic watch. So, it’s only natural that it has several gears inside it. You can peek through its exposed back case to see them move. It’s mesmerizing, to say the least.
Its bracelet is an oyster strap. It adds a business casual feel to the timepiece. If you weren’t aware, oyster straps are seen in more expensive watches. For starters, it’s present in the Rolex Submariner.
The watch has a push deployment clasp. With such a clasp, taking the SARB035 off is as easy as the literal push of a button.
If you know anything about Seiko, you’d know that the majority of its watches are Japanese automatics. The SARB035 is no different.
It comes with the 6R15 Caliber movement. This is one of the brand’s best, and due to it, the SARB has 23 jewels inside its gears. Along with it, a 50-hour power reserve is at your disposal.
The more jewels a watch has, the smoother its gears will run. The norm is 17, which is why the 23 are so great.
Essentially, automatic watches become a part of you. Their gears stop moving if they don’t have enough kinetic energy. This is why a power reserve as large as the SARB035’s is appreciated. It’s an enormous window of time to not have the watch on.
The 6R15 also lets you hand wind and hack the timepiece. These are things you see in the best automatic watches, so the SARB035 doesn’t disappoint.
In my books, a great watch has to have considerable water resistance. No surprise, the SARB can withstand a 330 foot (100 m) dip underwater. Such depths are seen in dive watches, but Seiko advises you to not dive with it on. Instead, use it for some light swimming or snorkeling.
As mentioned, LumiBrite is a marvelous luminous paint. That’s why it’s bright enough for such depths.
Being a pretty water-resistant watch, it’s unfortunate that its bezel doesn’t rotate. This means you can’t time yourself underwater. However, remember that the timepiece isn’t a dive watch, nor a waterproof one.
Moving on, it has an impeccably screwed-down crown and case. These are staples for watches that are resistant to such depths. Its stainless-steel body helps as well. The material is easy to clean and keeps corrosion at bay.