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kevkojak

Collections within collections... The Seiko Executive.

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Another look at a relatively obscure Seiko range today, the Executive Chronograph.

This is a massively under-appreciated range of chronographs built to exceptional standards.
They look amazing, they weigh a ton and they were (are) constructed using the very best materials, yet they never took off in the UK the way they should have done. 

There have been two generations of the Executive (coincidentally I have never heard the name of the range outside of the Seiko catalogue), and only the first gen made it to the UK.

First issued in 2005, the Executive is a heavy (close to 200 grams with all the links fitted) dress chronograph.
Immediately of course we have an oxymoron. Chrono's aren't dressy, they are traditionally big sporty lumps, generally designed for sports and racing. Still, Seiko went their own way with this one and touted it more as a dress watch with chronograph feature, and priced it way above the standard fare.  When I worked in a Seiko shop in 2009 they stocked these, and while a basic 7t62 was around the £160-£180 price point these were in a league of their own, retailing at almost double.

Only two watches in this early range, both model 7t62-0EW0
SNA525. Stainless steel case and bracelet. Sapphire Crystal glass. Black dial with silver Roman Numerals and thick silver minute tracks around the deeply recessed sub-dials.

SNA526. Steel case and bracelet with gold tracks in the bracelet and gold ring around the bezel. Sapphire Crystal glass. Silver dial, heavily textured. As above but gold details rather than silver.

Identical dimensions, they are heavy watches and look imposing on the wrist too, with a case diameter of 42mm, stretching to 46mm when taking into account the chunky tapered crown, and sitting 10mm deep.
The bracelets are not joined directly to the case, instead being pinned to a slightly longer hinged section allowing the watch to sit flat even on a large wrist.
Bracelet links are not folded steel or hollow metal, instead they are solid steel, drilled for a split-pin. They look, feel and are top quality for the time.
As mentioned, the glass is scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal. (although check out my black one - scratched over the 4 numeral... don't ask!).

In short, with an RRP of £299 in steel and £325 in bi-metal this was a lot of watch for the money. Better still, you can find them second hand for under £100 all day long!
Sadly they weren't a "best seller" over here in the UK, so while they were made from 2005 to 2009, the range was then pulled and we weren't treated to the even better second generation....

 

 

The second gen is much harder to come by, again they weren't cheap new and they were import only. As much as I hate to say it, there are a lot of more tempting choices with £300 to spend on a foreign market Seiko.

This time there were four watches in the range, released in 2010 and (I believe) discontinued two years later.  All bracelet models as far as I can tell, though the 21mm lugs allow a strap to be fitted as with mine.
  They were;

SNAE29 - Steel case. Sapphire glass. Textured silver dial. Glossy black Roman numerals.  Recessed sub-dials.
SNAE31 - Steel case. Sapphire glass. Textured black dial. Polished steel Roman numerals. Recessed sub-dials.
SNAE32 - Steel case with gold bezel. Sapphire glass. Textured silver dial. Polished gold Roman numerals. Recessed sub-dials.
SNAE51 - Steel case. Sapphire glass. Textured brown/burgundy dial. Polished steel Roman numerals. Recessed sub-dials.

Now, it's only after stumbling across that '51 model on WatchSleuth that I knew it existed, it had totally eluded me until then! Not only that, there are a couple of "Old Stock" models still available from Amazon (£200-ish). 

The watch has very similar dimensions to the original range, with a 42.5mm case diameter and the same 46mm total width.
The bracelet is a nice change, with a 7 bar "gate" style instead of the heavier 5 bar from the original. 
Once again it's a solid steel piece, and again the model uses a Sapphire glass (watchsleuth have it wrong, stating Hardlex).

Sadly, because this range didn't make it to the UK I can't quote RRP, but a couple of the import sites have it at £260-ish, so it appears to be a step below the first gen.

 

All in all this is an affordable but undeniably high end Seiko chronograph. They make a perfect "go-to" for any occasion and on the second hand market they won't break the bank.
Six watches make up the "set" and with patience, I think you could build the entire collection for £500, the price of a low-end Swiss alternative.

 

Here are some pictures of my three (both first gen models and the SNAE29), and stock images of the remainder.

 

 

DSC07534.jpg

DSC07535.jpg

DSC07538.jpg

DSC07539.jpg

DSC07540.jpg

 

 

ase1.jpg

ase2.jpg

ase3.jpg
 

 

 

Edited by kevkojak
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Very interesting , I’m starting to develop an interest in these old seiko Chronos

 

thank you

 

edit Oops.  Just been on the bay and bought the bi metal first gen.  

 

£75.00.  Could get messy this

Edited by Laughing gravy
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2 hours ago, Laughing gravy said:

Very interesting , I’m starting to develop an interest in these old seiko Chronos

 

thank you

 

edit Oops.  Just been on the bay and bought the bi metal first gen.  

 

£75.00.  Could get messy this

That was a cracking buy, looked in really nice condition that one.

If you need links I have a few spare for this bi-metal model (not sure I have any plain steel ones).

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2 hours ago, kevkojak said:

That was a cracking buy, looked in really nice condition that one.

If you need links I have a few spare for this bi-metal model (not sure I have any plain steel ones).

top man, thanks for the offer, and giving me confidence I haven't bought a pup

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Another interesting read Kev, I looked at these during my short lived chrono faze and if my wrist size was 7 inch or more and not 6 they would be fine! Like you say they are superbly made made heavy lumps and on my wrist in my eye just look a bit to flash. I really liked the look of my t34 royal oak for example when it was in the box, but on the wrist i felt a bit brash in it (i guess a rolex sub etc wouldnt do for me either! ;-). Only seiko chrono i can really live with in experience of owning a few recently is the t92 flighty the bezel makes it wear smaller and somehow the case is more bland and less ornate on the 92 than even the 32 never mind some of the 62's. So i'll stick with Seiko chronos and love the looks and quality of some of the specials but on the wrist the 92 wears a bit more conservatively. Not saying a nice 32 panda isnt still on the list one day when ive saved up. But at the moment along with the flighty as a beater im going back to smaller vintage 'daily wearers' and dress watches. But yeh the Executives really are high quality looking things. 

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Thanks Kev a very informative post :yes: 

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