Review: Seiko SKX781 ‘Orange Monster’

The first person ever to consider putting the words ‘orange’ and ‘dial’ into one sentence would have thought that the idea was either absolutely spectacular or absolutely horrendous. Luckily for that individual, orange dials are much loved by today’s watch enthusiasts. Sure, there are people that think orange dials look horrible, but from the observable general consensus, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Today, we will be taking a look at arguably the most popular orange-dialed wristwatch present, the Seiko Orange Monster.

In case you didn’t notice, the wristwatches we review on SHIKAISEKI are either from our personal watch collection or have been under personal handling for a designated period of time. The first two content releases on SHIKAISEKI have been published by Shi Kai, but our third content release (this one!) is published by myself, Seong Shik. Before I dive into the review of my Seiko Orange Monster, I would like to share one fun fact about my watch collecting journey. Shi Kai is the one that got me into watches (and also PC gaming), so if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today writing this review on SHIKAISEKI.

If you’re a watch collector or someone who is interested in watches, you certainly would have seen or heard of the brand name ‘Seiko.’ As a household name in watch collecting and everything watches, Seiko Holdings Corporation was founded in 1881, with their clock production commencing in 1892. Their first wristwatch under the brand name was not until 1924, which kickstarted the respectable legacy of the ‘Seiko’ brand name.

Source: Seiko Official Website

Seiko produces many different types of watches, which includes quartz, kinetic, solar and mechanical movements, ranging from 50 USD all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. I personally think that Seiko is the jack of all trades, and master of all. The quality of the timepiece is reflected well in the price point, with even the more affordable models showing great quality. The timepieces in the higher price points…that’s a total different story, and we’ll save that for another time.

Now, the Orange Monster. If I were to describe it using one word, it would be ‘unique.’ A watch with great presence, and most importantly,that orange colored dial. Without that orange colored dial, the Orange Monster would not have received as much love as it did.

Taking a look at the specifications, this Orange Monster of mine is the first generation model with the model number SKX781. The case size is a rather big 43mm, which may put off those with a small wrist (myself and Shi Kai included). However, a relatively short lug-to-lug length of 48mm makes the watch wear smaller than the numbers suggest. If you have a small wrist, don’t worry, the Orange Monster should be fine for most wrists.

The movement inside is the legendary 7S26 movement with 21 jewels, which is a proven workhorse as its history suggests. The movement beats at 21,600 bph, having a power reserve of 40 hours. As it is the 7S26 movement, there is no hacking and handwinding. However, the movement has both a day and date complication to keep the day/date tracking easy for the owner. Next to the day/date complication is the large, protruding screw-down crown with crown guards at the 4 o’clock position, making the grip and time-changing a breeze. The bezel is a 120-click unidirectional bezel, meaning that the bezel can only be turned counterclockwise. The bezel movement itself is smooth and not too hard, which I personally believe is perfect.

As the Orange Monster is a legitimate dive watch, it boasts a depth rating of 200m, meaning that you can dive in 200 meters with this watch on. I highly doubt I’ll go in any deeper than a swimming pool or snorkeling. As the name suggests, this Monster is quite a hefty watch, with great wrist presence once you put it on. A great size-weight combo for all wrist types.

As the Orange Monster has been discontinued for some time, the now limited number of it has unfortunately led to prices skyrocketing. From a brief search, we can see that the prices range from 300 USD up to 600 USD and above. For the movement that the watch carries, those numbers are definitely way too high, which is purely a result of the love for the orange dial and the fact that it is limited in numbers. If you’re looking for the first generation,expect yourself to pay very high numbers. Is it worth it though? In my honest opinion, no. However, if you can somehow find an Orange Monster for a bargain, you definitely should take up the chance. I got my Orange Monster from my older brother who had purchased it when it was still in production. Lots of dings and scratches, but as it is a diver-cum-tool watch, I can only say that it makes the watch even more beautiful. 

TLDR: Fantastic diver-cum-tool watch. If you can find a really good deal, go for it. If not, may not be worth the high price.

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