Seiko is known for selling quality watches at affordable prices. It’s considered one of the best alternatives for luxury models that are several times more expensive than budget watches. This is especially applicable to special timepieces like diving, pilot, sports, and chronograph watches.
One notable chronograph watch from Seiko is the SSB031 because of its overall appearance and performance. Many think that it’s a great alternative to the Omega Speedmaster. If you’re currently on a budget, but you want to wear a watch that has the same appeal as the Speedmaster, then you may want to consider the Seiko SSB031.
What’s The Seiko SSB031 Known For?
The Seiko SSB031 is dubbed by many as the budget Omega Speedmaster because of its look and feel. The three subdials and the tachymeter bezel of the SSB031 have uncanny similarities with the Speedmaster that those who see it will instantly contrast and compare the two watches. The Seiko SSB031 may not have the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail found on the Speedmaster, but this is acceptable considering the former is way cheaper than the latter.
On the north, east, south, and west positions of the dial are red-colored markings. Combined with the red-colored central hand, the watch presents a design that looks like a radar. This gives the Seiko SSB031 a unique appeal that no other model from Seiko exhibits.
But don’t mistake the Seiko SSB031 as a homage Speedmaster model. This Seiko model has an identity of its own and that’s what you’ll know more about in this article.
Design and Movement
The Seiko SSB031 has a stainless steel case that measures 40mm wide and 11mm thick. Lug-to-lug measurement is 47mm, giving the watch a significant wrist presence. The good thing here is that it’s not as thick as other sports watches, which is a plus point, especially if you want to wear it for formal occasions.
The Seiko SSB031 comes with a standard stainless steel band with a brushed finish and hollow end links. It’s lightweight and feels cheap, contrary to its solid and heavy-duty look. But despite the flimsy feel of the bracelet, the watch is comfortable to wear.
The chronograph pushers have a fluted design and produce a satisfying click when pressed. The crown pushers have a modern look similar to professional timers used in sports events.
The ion-plated bezel of the Seiko SSB031 has a shiny black finish and is fixed in position. It has a tachymeter scale printed in white, making it highly visible because of the great color contrast.
The Seiko SSB031 has a deeply angled chapter ring with millisecond markings. The black and white contrast of the chapter ring markings is similar to that on the bezel, and this helps in giving the watch a nice contrast.
The watch also has applied hour markers that have stainless steel linings for extra emphasis. The dial also features chunky hands for better visibility. Both the hands and hour markers are filled with LumiBrite that glows brightly in the dark.
The date window can be found crammed at the 4:30 position. Its awkward position, thin font, and black and white color combination that’s hard to distinguish against the rest of the watch don’t help in making the feature visible.
The most notable feature of the Seiko SSB031 is the chronograph subdials. These chronograph subdials have 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour scales. These subdials are highly visible and are easy to read in an instant.
The dial is protected by Hardlex crystal which is the component often used in Seiko watches. This type of crystal may not be as durable as sapphire crystal, but it helps in bringing down the cost of the watch by a huge amount. Nonetheless, Hardlex crystal is very durable and can withstand occasional drops, bumps, and scratches.
The Seiko SSB031 houses what’s called a mecha-quartz movement. The calibre 6T63 combines the swift and smooth hand movement of automatic watches while using an energy-efficient quartz engine. The battery is estimated to last up to 3 years.
Here are some points to consider that will help you decide whether you should buy the Seiko SSB031 or not.
The clasp has micro-adjustments for best fitting. This is important, especially for heavy watches, so that they won’t move around while wearing them.
The sweeping movement of the central chronograph hand is very precise that it falls exactly on the millisecond markings on the chapter ring. This is not an obvious feature, but this tells a lot about the reliability of the movement installed inside the SSB031.
The case of the Seiko SSB031 has brushed lugs while its sides are polished, giving a contrasting texture appropriate for a sports watch. However, the polished portion of the case is quite susceptible to fingerprint smudges.
Questions About Seiko SSB031 Chronograph
Is the Seiko SSB031 water-resistant?
The Seiko SSB031 has a 100-meter water resistance rating which is okay for swimming and snorkeling. It’s definitely not designed for diving.
Can I change the strap of the SSB031?
You can easily switch the strap to a leather one without the bringing it to a repair shop.
Why is the second hand not moving?
The red second hand is not an actual second hand but a chronograph hand that moves 5 ticks per second. This is how chronograph watches are usually designed, so you don’t have to be surprised with how the watch works.
The Seiko SSB031 is a good alternative to more expensive watches that cost thousands of dollars more, even when they just feature the same functions. The mechanical chronograph of the SSB031 works just the same way it does on more expensive models, so there’s no reason not to choose this over costlier brands, especially when you’re on a budget.
The Seiko SSB031 presents a sports chronograph appeal that you’d expect from pricier brands. But for less than $150, you’ll get a timepiece with exceptional value for money that other watches in the same range will have a hard time beating.