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Old 1 August 2020, 04:10 PM   #1
dualcarb
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My quick take on the Seiko SPB149J1

I was smitten by the Tudor BB58 black the moment it was released. But I canít justify buying another expensive watch, by my standards. After looking at pictures that was posted, going out and seeing how all the AD windows are empty of the 58...I finally went out last month and put my name on a list. I donít have a big wrist, and six and a half inches are skinny...even by Asian standards. I wish I had bigger wrists.

Which is why the PAM1312 44mm is my absolute max. I always thought that the 40mm six digit Rolex was the max, till I tried on the PAM.



And after the six digit cases, I wanted to get me something just a touch smaller. Hence the BB58. As I canít go back to a five digit Rolex after wearing six digits for so long...

Between the time that I was waiting for the BB58 and actually getting to try it on the wrist...I made the mistake of looking at the new 62MAS reissues from Seiko. This article from Hodinkee which introduced all four of them didnít help either...and after a quick search on the net and Seiko boutiques around Hong Kong, I found that the SPB149J1 was rather elusive too. I did get to try on the SPB143 and SPB147...and needless to say...I LOVE IT!!! But I have to hold off till I got to try on the BB58.


I still have the blue dial limited edition SPB149J1 to try on.

Last week, the AD called and the BB58 black that I wanted came in. I regret to say that I forgot to take pics, as I was already dreaming of the blue dial of the SPB149J1. I was shown many many pics from a friend in Singapore who managed to snag one. I had to decline the 58 and let someone else buy it. Trying it on the wrist as compared to the Seikos, didnít really do it for me. Believe it or not.

And yesterday, just like any other day during Covid-19, we sat home with the kids screaming, shouting and causing a ruckus...I got a call from the Seiko AD here in HK saying that an SPB149J1 was in and it was mine if I wanted it.

Needless to say...I rushed out, came home and sized the bracelet right away.

I was wearing a Submariner at the time and I made a quick comparison.

I was right...the Seiko was just a touch smaller, not too much...just right...case size and thickness is very very similar...but just that tiny bit smaller and thinner on the Seiko


As you can see, the caseback on the sub will cause a slight ďbumpĒ.

And today, I compared it with another Seiko classic...the SKX009


I noticed that the cases between the SKX and the SPB is also very similar despite the fact that on the Seiko web, it says that the SPB is 40.5mm.

I then placed both of the Seikos next to my PAM

And here you can see that 44mm of the PAM is not too overwhelming, which is why I find that my skinny six and a half inch wrist is able to carry it.

Now back to the SPB149J1...the sunburst dial is amazing, and the very dark blue matt bezel insert goes so well with it. If you were to compare the bezel insert of the Submariner with it, you can almost see the colour difference between the two.

Wearing it around the apartment after sizing it yesterday and today, I find that it is light, but not so that it feels insignificant. The rubber bracelet that comes with it is soft and flexible. And I prefer the watch on rubber more than the bracelet because of the diver extension which kinda ďdigsĒ into the lower bit of my wrist. This is due to the fact that I like to wear my watches snug. Overall, it is a good good buy and the blue is not too overwhelming like in the stock photos on the Seiko web. It is a dark hue and the yellow second hand and text does not pop as much and is difficult to tell, which in my books, make it subtle but interesting. It truly is a wonderful watch and I have no regrets picking this one over the BB58. Please donít get me wrong...the BB is a great watch...I just prefer this one as Seiko traditionally makes really big sized divers, and some of them are truly thick too...so when this was released, I canít believe the specs. This is close to being the perfect watch...thank you for reading and I hope that this will help future buyers make a comparison...

Have a good weekend all...


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Old 1 August 2020, 08:46 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your impressions and lots of details. The new Seiko looks great on your wrist. I like the blue more than I expected to.

Nice PAM, too, BTW
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Old 1 August 2020, 08:51 PM   #3
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That looks great on you Patrick; great write-up too. Hope all is well with you. Let's catch up for a long overdue drink and watch-shop walkabout when things get somewhere near back to normal.
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Old 1 August 2020, 09:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for your thoughts, the 149 is really great. Great watch for the $$
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Old 1 August 2020, 09:24 PM   #5
1William
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Congratulations. Great review and a very cool watch. I also own the SPB149 and concur with the facts in your review. I tend to gravitate toward larger watches but the SPB149, 143 and the 147 are perfect in fit and wear for me. Enjoy.
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Old 1 August 2020, 09:28 PM   #6
kevn00
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thanks for sharing. I may have done the same if i didn't get the bb58 a few months before the spb149 announcement.
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Old 1 August 2020, 09:32 PM   #7
brandrea
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Thnaks for sharing your thoughts and your collection Patrick

I LOVE the case finishing and lug holes on your 149
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Old 1 August 2020, 10:16 PM   #8
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Superb incoming - great photos and write up, thank you! The watch is nice, too.
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Old 1 August 2020, 11:40 PM   #9
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May you wear it in good health - Congrats!
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Old 1 August 2020, 11:48 PM   #10
scarlet knight
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Thank you for your review and pix! Enjoy your watches.
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Old 2 August 2020, 02:26 AM   #11
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Great review Patrick, thanks for writing it. I agree with your sentiments on the 149. It is a special watch.
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Old 2 August 2020, 03:28 AM   #12
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BAC3D2FD-18C2-492D-8589-E7103487EE67.jpeg
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I picked up a 149 also, and I find it slightly larger than my 5 digit 14060M. My wrist is just over 7 3/4Ē and it wears great. Iím really impressed with it as well. So far my accuracy is +2 s p/d, but Iím not holding my breath. I fully expect to take it to my AD for a regulation in about a month. Congrats on your new watch!
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Old 2 August 2020, 04:18 AM   #13
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Great write up and pictures. Fantastic collection.

Enjoy it!

I've had my deposit on a SPB145 since may and my AD said August. So any day. I have yet to see someone post the SPB145. Hope to be the first and join the crew here!
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Old 3 August 2020, 12:56 AM   #14
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Great review! I loved the comparisons with the other watches.

The PAM looks bigger because of the strap width - it's very wide.

No doubt that Seiko looks amazing on the factory blue rubber strap. I prefer to wear all of my Seiko diver's on the rubber strap. I hate to say this put it's true - Seiko puts Rolex to shame with case finishing!!!!!!
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Old 3 August 2020, 02:59 AM   #15
ap1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brich436 View Post
Great review! I loved the comparisons with the other watches.

The PAM looks bigger because of the strap width - it's very wide.

No doubt that Seiko looks amazing on the factory blue rubber strap. I prefer to wear all of my Seiko diver's on the rubber strap. I hate to say this put it's true - Seiko puts Rolex to shame with case finishing!!!!!!
Lol, sure
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Old 3 August 2020, 03:16 PM   #16
dualcarb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEC View Post
Thanks for sharing your impressions and lots of details. The new Seiko looks great on your wrist. I like the blue more than I expected to.

Nice PAM, too, BTW
Thanks bro, I was surprised that I prefer the blue compared to the brown/black which was I initially wanted
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Expat Beast View Post
That looks great on you Patrick; great write-up too. Hope all is well with you. Let's catch up for a long overdue drink and watch-shop walkabout when things get somewhere near back to normal.
Yes sir...it certainly is overdue...canít wait till all of this is over and we can sit down and talk watches again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts, the 149 is really great. Great watch for the $$
It absolutely is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1William View Post
Congratulations. Great review and a very cool watch. I also own the SPB149 and concur with the facts in your review. I tend to gravitate toward larger watches but the SPB149, 143 and the 147 are perfect in fit and wear for me. Enjoy.
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevn00 View Post
thanks for sharing. I may have done the same if i didn't get the bb58 a few months before the spb149 announcement.
Enjoy your 58, that watch has a special place in my heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brandrea View Post
Thnaks for sharing your thoughts and your collection Patrick
My pleasure

I LOVE the case finishing and lug holes on your 149
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cru Jones View Post
Superb incoming - great photos and write up, thank you! The watch is nice, too.
Thank you very much sir...I am in the process of sourcing straps for this baby

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL31 View Post
May you wear it in good health - Congrats!
Thank you so much

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet knight View Post
Thank you for your review and pix! Enjoy your watches.
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom5518 View Post
Great review Patrick, thanks for writing it. I agree with your sentiments on the 149. It is a special watch.
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK737 View Post
Attachment 1154198
Attachment 1154199
I picked up a 149 also, and I find it slightly larger than my 5 digit 14060M. My wrist is just over 7 3/4Ē and it wears great. Iím really impressed with it as well. So far my accuracy is +2 s p/d, but Iím not holding my breath. I fully expect to take it to my AD for a regulation in about a month. Congrats on your new watch!
Thank you and congrats to you too. Enjoy this beauty...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunTzu View Post
Great write up and pictures. Fantastic collection.

Enjoy it!

I've had my deposit on a SPB145 since may and my AD said August. So any day. I have yet to see someone post the SPB145. Hope to be the first and join the crew here!
Thank you and looking forward to your incoming post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brich436 View Post
Great review! I loved the comparisons with the other watches.

The PAM looks bigger because of the strap width - it's very wide.

No doubt that Seiko looks amazing on the factory blue rubber strap. I prefer to wear all of my Seiko diver's on the rubber strap. I hate to say this put it's true - Seiko puts Rolex to shame with case finishing!!!!!!
Itís true, I agree with you and I prefer my seiko divers on rubber compared to steel

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Lol, sure
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Old 5 August 2020, 03:10 AM   #17
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Great review, and interesting size comparison with the Submariner!
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Old 5 August 2020, 10:21 PM   #18
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Dare I say it? The Seiko looks much better than the 6 digit Rolex. I am in a similar situation, recently tried on the BB58 and it did nothing for me. I just realized this morning after reading the Hondinkee article that these existed... I wanted the SL017 or the new 037, but they are just too much, and after making a lowish offer on an overpriced SAL017, I wrote them off...and then I saw these and they seem to be just right...I'd probably go for the 143, but I'd like to see the 149 in person before deciding.
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Old 6 August 2020, 06:24 AM   #19
dualcarb
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Originally Posted by Timeless Lux Watches View Post
Great review, and interesting size comparison with the Submariner!
Thank you, I made some inquires before the purchase and confirmed that it was a touch smaller than a six digit sub. I even wore my sub to view the watch before purchase just to make sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnuyork View Post
Dare I say it? The Seiko looks much better than the 6 digit Rolex. I am in a similar situation, recently tried on the BB58 and it did nothing for me. I just realized this morning after reading the Hondinkee article that these existed... I wanted the SL017 or the new 037, but they are just too much, and after making a lowish offer on an overpriced SAL017, I wrote them off...and then I saw these and they seem to be just right...I'd probably go for the 143, but I'd like to see the 149 in person before deciding.
I think so too in some ways...the case is more proportional although it manages to retain a very angular look. I tried on the 017 the moment it was released and was not too impressed by how tall the case is. This is true with most modern ďhigher endĒ Seiko. I tried on several manual winding Grand Seiko at 37mm and 40mm and was little disappointed by the 19mm lugs on a 40mm case which is a little thick. One of the reasons why I sold off my SBGR083. But this...this is perfect in every way...esp price
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Old 6 August 2020, 07:31 AM   #20
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Yes, I noticed that these 40.5 mm variants are less thick than the SL 017/037... Is that due to a flatter crystal? or is the case really that much thicker?

One thing I really do like better about the 017/037 better is the thinner bezel. I wish they had that on these. My only gripe, but a small one.
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Old 6 August 2020, 03:49 PM   #21
dualcarb
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Yes, I noticed that these 40.5 mm variants are less thick than the SL 017/037... Is that due to a flatter crystal? or is the case really that much thicker?

One thing I really do like better about the 017/037 better is the thinner bezel. I wish they had that on these. My only gripe, but a small one.

I also prefer the thinner bezel of the 017 037. And it really sits taller for some strange reason. Donít know if it is the crystal or caseback. The 149 has a huge setback too...the diver extension on the steel bracelet.

See how it kinda ďsticksĒ out and digs into the bottom of my wrist.


And this is the result of it at the end of the day...

So what I did was to switch the clasp over from my SKX009


And now, life is perfect...see how much ďflatterĒ it is?


I was wearing it in the summer heat with my wrist expanding a little...and no issues.

I did order another clasp from Strapcode and it should be arriving today. Letís see how that goes.


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Old 6 August 2020, 09:33 PM   #22
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^ Good change
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Old 7 August 2020, 06:12 PM   #23
dualcarb
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^ Good change

Thank you...and an update...Strapcode clasp came in and the circumference of the hole for the springbar on the strapcode bracelet is a little too big for my Seiko steel bracelet. So I had to use the springbars that came with the watch. But the drilled holes on the clasp that allows us to micro adjust the size on the clasp itself is also a little bigger than the original Seiko one, so there is a little bit of play. So the clasp from the SKX went back on and strapcode one is sitting in my box. Donít get me wrong, strapcode makes amazingly solid and great products. It just didnít mate well with the Seiko bracelet that I wanted to use it with. I will await for my uncle Seiko waffle strap and see if there is another steel bracelet that will go with the watch.


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Old 8 August 2020, 11:25 PM   #24
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Is there a way to take out the extension like a Rolex seadweller and reattach bracelet without it, I’m considering selling my bracelet off if. It. The watch is a strap monster
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Old 10 August 2020, 12:03 PM   #25
dualcarb
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Is there a way to take out the extension like a Rolex seadweller and reattach bracelet without it, Iím considering selling my bracelet off if. It. The watch is a strap monster

Unfortunately no...clasp change is the only cure. I like the clasp that it came in. Shame that the diver extension is stuck on it and not an individual piece


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