Quick Facts:

  • 42.5mm diameter face
  • 21 jewel automatic movement
  • One way 120-click rotating bezel
  • Calendar with day and date
  • Hardlex glass protection
  • Extremely popular for a reason
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The Seiko SKX781 delivers some of the best value out of all automatic watches under $2,000. Its orange face is nothing short of gorgeous hinting towards the practicality and sheer aesthetic impact that this watch makes. Let's see what makes it tick.

Features

  • Hardlex glass protection
  • 21 jewel automatic movement
  • No battery, charges using kinetic energy
  • High-visibility orange dial
  • Screw down crown and case back
  • One way 120-click rotating bezel
  • 42.5mm diameter face
  • Silver-tone stainless steel case
  • Fold-over clasp with safety
  • Calendar with day and date
  • 7.04 oz. weight
  • Water resistant to 200 meters (660 ft.) depth

Pros

  • Reliable self-winding movement
  • High water resistance suited to recreational scuba diving
  • Great visibility in low light conditions
  • Safety clasp prevents accidental button presses
  • Fully automatic – no batteries
  • Eye-catching design
  • Near unbeatable clarity at a glance
  • High scratch and glare resistance
  • Expensive, heavy feeling on your arm
  • 36-hour power reserve
  • Quick-charging Lumibrite hands, markers and bezel

Cons

  • 21 jewel movement instead of 25
  • Link pins are hard to remove

Summary

From the onset, the Seiko SKX781 is a stunning watch. Dubbed ‘The Orange Monster,’ you’ll struggle to match its style and versatility. What is remarkably commendable is that it functions equally as well as it looks. From ease of use to the innovative orange, this is a watch that works. Even the water resistance is higher than leading automatic watches under $2,000.

Instead of sapphire, Seiko has gone for Hardlex which comes close in performance but doesn’t quite meet the same scratch resistance. You are, however, given a watch face with unparalleled clarity in all lighting conditions.

Advanced Luminescence

Lumibrite hands and markers cast across the orange backing in such a way that the time and day are always crystal clear even if underwater. This material is well known for just how fast it charges and how long it manages to hold its bright luminescence. Certain compromises have been made to reach the low price point of this value-packed automatic watch. Instead of a 25 jewel motor, a 21 has been employed. What is surprising is just how well this movement keeps time, outperforming most competing self-winding watches. Wear it for eight hours a day, and you’ve got a watch that never needs winding.

Outstanding Timing

On average, the Seiko SKX781 loses under 10 seconds a day which gives it excellent timing. The one-way bezel is machined with both upper and lower guards which ensure that there is no unwanted shifting. You’ll also find that the Hardlex crystal and overall quality of construction give this watch much higher durability than similar offerings.

It fits tight, looks great and is sure to last you many years. The 7S26 movement featured is one of the best in Seiko’s lineup. You’ll struggle to match its practical value as a day to day watch which can also be used as a divers watch and for sport

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