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SEIKO SEA URCHIN
A COMPLETE WATCH REVIEW [2020 UPDATE]

The Seiko Sea Urchin is a great substitute for the Submariner.

Although it’s a cheaper alternative, it packs quite a punch. 

The Watch - At A Glance

Before we dive into everything you need to know, let’s talk a bit about the Sea Urchin’s features.
Preview
Seiko Sea Urchin
Seiko 5 Automatic Black Dial Stainless Steel Men's Watch SNZF17
Colour
Red, Blue and Silver
Movement
Automatic
Bezel
Stainless Steel
Case
Stainless Steel
Strap
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
330 feet (100 m)
Face Size
1.65 inches (42 mm)
More Information
Seiko Sea Urchin
Preview
Seiko 5 Automatic Black Dial Stainless Steel Men's Watch SNZF17
Colour
Red, Blue and Silver
Movement
Automatic
Bezel
Stainless Steel
Case
Stainless Steel
Strap
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
330 feet (100 m)
Face Size
1.65 inches (42 mm)
More Information

Seiko Sea Urchin

A Run Down

swimming
snorkeling
diving

Appearance

The appearance of the Sea Urchin is very striking. If you’re a fan of Seiko watches, you’ll recognize its design anywhere. 

It boasts the same Pepsi look as the SKX009. The Seiko Sea Urchin does this by having a gradient of blue and red on its bezel.

This contrasts against the darkness of the display and the brightness of the stainless steel bracelet. 

The Pepsi version is the most common snzf15 model out there. However, there’s another one for you to choose from. It comes with a completely black bezel. The black of the bezel is identical to the displays.

Movement

The Urchin is an automatic watch. It utilizes the 7S36 movement. 

Its gears move quite smooth because of the addition of jewels. There are 23 in place, helping the gears glide smoothly. 

Because of the 7S36 movement, you have a day-date function to always be ahead of things. 

Since it’s an automatic watch, you may be wondering how long its power reserve is. (The reserve is how long the watch can last without being worn. Once this time is up, its gears would start to act up).

Well: 

In terms of the Seiko Sea Urchin, it has a reserve of 43 hours. 43 hours on standby is something to be impressed about, so keep this in mind. 

All this is great, but the watch doesn’t have a hacking feature. Nor does it come with a self winder

You may be wondering how many ticks per second it has. The Sea Urchin functions at 6.

Water Resistance, Crown & Bezel

The Urchin is a watch fit for aquatic use. Because of this, you can take it deep underwater. It can last up to 330 feet (100 m) down there. 

Although it’s not the deepest you could go, such depths are great for thorough swimming. You could try to snorkel with it, but you’ll have to be very careful.

It comes with a bezel fit for divers. It’s unidirectional and moves smoothly. 

Its crown has been sealed thoroughly to prevent water from entering. Seiko took the extra precaution and made sure its crown is recessed.

Being recessed, having the watch on is more comfortable. The crown won’t dig into you. If you’re like me, this happens more times than you’d like.

Dial

The dial is perfect for underwater use. If you take a closer look at the watch, you’ll notice that its markings (that replace the numerals) are on the chunkier side. This is the same for the clock’s hands as well. 

Although they help you tell the time better, they make the display look crowded. If you have poor eyesight, this may not be the best for you. This is ironic as it was made larger to see them better.

Now: 

 The hour marker is enormous. So, you have ample space to place luminous paint. 

The paint used on the Sea Urchin is LumiBrite. If you didn’t know, LumiBrite can last up to 5 hours once fully charged. To charge it up, you’ll have to expose it to direct sunlight. 

The display is covered with a Hardlex Crystal window. It helps keep scruffs at bay and is tough. However, it isn’t the toughest material out there.

It comes with a day and date function. Even though it’s functional, Seiko slipped up. The day is in red and the date is in blue. The colours are too dark to easily read. This can be a problem if you want to check it underwater.

Case & Strap

The case is made from stainless steel. Its sides are brushed. You can see the material stretch across the watch. It encompasses it completely, even having a strap made from it.

In terms of the strap, it comes with a deployment buckle.

Other than that, there isn’t anything too important to mention about its case. We’ve seen everything about it in other dive watches, especially Seiko’s. 

If you’re wondering how big it is, it stretches 1.65 inches (42 mm) across.

Alternatives

As you can clearly see, the Seiko Sea Urchin is a fabulous watch to own. 

Yes, it’s great but there are many alternatives that do as good of a job. 

Here are some of our favorites:

ORIENT RAY II

The RAY II is a solid diving watch. Like the Sea Urchin, it was built as a cheaper alternative for the Rolex Submariner. So, how does it fair? 

Movement
The Orient RAY II is an automatic watch. It utilizes 22 jewels to keep its gears as smooth as possible. Similar to the Sea Urchin, it has a power reserve of over 40 hours. 

It differs in terms of the Urchin as it possesses the ability to hack the watch. This allows you to change its seconds, making it more accurate. It also comes with a hand winder as well.

Water Resistance
Its water resistance is identical to the Sea Urchin. They both can travel up to 660 feet (200 m) underwater. The Orient RAY II comes with a rotating bezel and fixed crown too.

Its bezel is perfect for diving. It clicks, allowing you to hear better while submerged. 

Dial 
It’s reminiscent of the Urchin as it doesn’t have Arabic numerals. This was done in a bid to resemble the Rolex Submariner. 

You’ll notice that the indentations are on the larger side. This is the same for the clock hands. This allows for a better canvas for the luminous paint. 

The display is protected by a mineral window.

Case 
The case is made from stainless steel. It translates to the bezel but not the strap as it’s made from rubber. You may be wondering how big it is. It stretches up to 1.61 inches (41 mm).

CITIZEN ECO DRIVER PRO MASTER

It too was created as a cheaper alternative to the Rolex Submariner. Hence, it’s good enough to go head-to-head with the Seiko Sea Urchin. 

Movement 
It’s a solar-powered watch. So far, we’ve not discussed one of these. It utilizes light from natural sources to keep its battery intact. Once fully charged, it can last up to 6 months according to the manufacturer. 

As it’s solar-powered, you will never have to worry about battery spills again.

Water Resistance 
With the Eco Driver by your side, you can go up to 660 feet (200 m) underwater. 

Yes, the bezel turns. Although it has a 120 clicks system, it isn’t the best. The watch does not offer loud clicks as it should. Thankfully, it isn’t stiff so you can easily adjust it.

The bezel is made from aluminum, making it much better for underwater use.

It also utilizes the aqua tone BGW9. The paint allows for some bright luminosity. This helps especially when submerged.

The polyurethane strap it comes with also makes swimming easier as well. Water glides off easily and all you need is to wipe it down to clean it.

Case
When you look at the case, you’ll see something strange about the crown. It’s positioned at 4 o’clock and not 3. According to Citizen, this is to prevent you from constantly jamming your hand into the sides. 

This isn’t identical to the Seiko Sea Urchin, but its crown was recessed to have the same effect. 

The case is made from stainless steel. It encompasses the deep blue of the bezel. The blue translates to the display as well. 

You’ll notice that the bezel has been toothed, giving it edges. This makes for a pleasant design. 

Display 
The display has a mineral window. This isn’t something to be excited about as mineral isn’t the hardest material out there. However, it does a good job of keeping scratches away. 

There are no Arabic numerals. Instead, there are circles that act as indentations. You’ll notice they’re large in size, like the Sea Urchin. This is to allow for ample space for the lume to act on. 

In terms of the dial, the display is black. This contrasts with the red hands of the watch and the slight greenish hue of the circular markings. 

SEIKO SKX009

So far, this is probably the only watch that looks identical to the Seiko Sea Urchin. So, how will it fair? 

Movement 
The SKX009 is an automatic watch. It has a power reserve of 41 hours, so it’s somewhat similar to the Sea Urchin.

Like the Urchin, it doesn’t have a hand-winding option. It won’t let you hack it as well. It’s jeweled too. It has 21 of them in there.

Water Resistance 
The watch can last up to 660 feet (200 m) underwater. In fact, it’s an ISO-certified dive watch so you know it’s the real deal: ISO-6425

It uses LumiBrite, making it easy to see when submerged. Its bezels are marked very clearly; these sharp indentations help with diving. 

Of course, its bezel rotates.

Dial 
The SKX009 comes with a Hardlex Crystal mirror that’s pretty much in all Seiko watches. Hardlex is a good material but it isn’t the most thorough.

The Hardlex Crystal window has been anti glared. This makes it easy to use the watch even in the sunniest environments. 

When you look at the display, you’ll notice that its hands are quite pointy. This is a cool add-on. 

Case 
The case is made from stainless steel. The same can be said for the bezel. You’ll notice that its crown is placed at 4 o’clock. Once again, this is to avoid jamming your finger in. 

The bezel of the watch is the most eye-catching. It has the Pepsi gradient that we all love. It complements the stainless steel strap greatly.

Conclusion

With the above points in mind, it’s easy to see that the Seiko Sea Urchin is a great watch to own. If you’re interested in similar watches, there are two alternative options that were just as good. 

These were: 

• The Orient Ray II
• SKX009 

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