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Seiko SARB033 6 months on.

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I bought my Sarb back in February and given the uphoria that seems to be spreading and pushing prices to 500 quid and north of that in some adverts. I thought I'd give my thoughts in a new thread. Ive worn my 2017 example day in day out for about 6 months and rarely taken it off. I paid 340 quid for mine. 

Since feb there seems to have been all sorts revisiting these on their youtube channels and all full of enthusiasm for the humble sarb and all pushing prices north. So it would be in my interests to agree with them I suppose. But...me agree, go on I'd rather say how I really find the sarb0...

First of all forget the guff, that this is a 5k Date Just for 500 quid. Its not. A longines LLD at 1500 quid would beat the sarb into fits. I know because ive had one. The sarb isnt in my view after starring at it, removing the bracelet etc and generally examining the finishing comparing lugs etc. Anything like as special as made out. Good yes, for a few hundred quid new it was superb in 2010 but that special? No its not. Not really. 

Im contradicting my first thoughts really in the thread when i got my watch, but you can blame the honey moon period and the fact id lived 12 months with various vintage watches. And lets face it even a vintage Omega or Rolex with a plastic crystal would still make a sarb feel special...

So the sarb had to settle in so i could say how it really looks and feels. 

The thing that complicates things is the fact there are lots of rubbish watches for 300 quid or more. So the sarbs 33 and 35 immediately feel superb, if used to the normal fodder in this price range.

However certain things confirm that the sarb was intended to be and is only a 300 quid watch. The finish on the lugs around the holes for the spring bars and the lack of perfect uniformity and slight variances on the machining ontop of the lug profiles. Not bad, but most certainly only in the 300 quid category. 

However stepping back and looking at the watch as a whole. It is still a cracker at the original price. Its a great looker, the black dial is superb and bronze in the sun and the sapphire crystal is nice, even if it does not have AR and is the same as on a 150 quid seiko coutura kinetic....the view back is hardlex and yes mines scratched now.

The bracelet? Well i could not get a good fit with 1 micro, and beleive it or not when dismantled with pliers....it is a folded link bracelet. They are not forged. Ask me how i know ;-)....the clasp has an unsightly gap. Overall? A longines hydroconquest at 800 quid new puts the sarbs bracelet to shame. But remember the sarb is was and always will be a 300 quid watch. So therefore the bracelet is quiet good...solid milled clasp. Even if the clasp pins seem to have the strength of a diecast metal...go on ask me how i know. So in that case, paying 500 quid for a used sarb would be silly when 500 buys a used longines Hydroconquest.

I think my conclusion after 6 months is it is no where in the league of the swiss watches ive had in the circa 700 to 1000 pounds bracket. But it shouldnt be, we should not expect that of it. 

However it is better than the Tissot Visodate i paid 350 quid for. A lot better at least in looks and feel and probably in robustness. Ignoring the bracelet, which i binned. The seiko Sarb033 is a robust 100m cross between sporty and daily wearer. Its no dress watch and hence why the visodate feels weak next to the sarb. The sarb may lack some finesse but it is very strongly made in that sense, its a honest 300 quid watch which will last most of us out. Even the time keeping has been good.

I suppose ive sounded harsh on the satb. And it might sound like im not that keen. But there in lies the rub...despite the fact i can see the reality of the sarb after wearing mine for 6 months. I still love it and given the choice between keeping it or having a swap for my old longines hydroconquest, then i would still keep the humble sarb. I wouldnt even part with it to have my LLD back, or even my 1994 Tudor Prince with its acrylic crystal....which seems contradictory i suppose. Having said all that I would not pay 500 quid for a sarb either.

But would I sell it for 500 and buy anything else that is currently available for 500? I really cant say anything tempts me out of my sarb in its price range. So despite all its short comings and despite the frankly silly prices being asked. Im still keeping mine. I like it, it always feels right.




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just looking back at some of the old watches i had on flickr and to be bluntly honest, this 38mm seiko 5 was almost as good as the sarb033 so the sarb is either over rated, or more likely, this 5...is a bit of a bargain...


you know lads? I think sometimes we get lead along like the donkey following a carrot...that 50 quid seiko 5 was brill. Makes you wonder....


why pay 500 or even 300 hundred for a sarb...when that is 38mm...the lume is better and the case is spot on? @Cassie-O do you still have your 5 like this? Should have kept mine and not bothered. I think I said at the time these were the best real world watches. 

@mcb2007 makes you wonder why we bother eh mate carrot and donkey eh. :watch: sometimes i do feel daft. BTW your profile pic made me laugh. :laugh: nice one. 


where next. 

@BondandBigM where next....


I need guidance....perhaps divine intervention lol.

Edited by Nigelp
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trip down memory lane...

one of the omegas on the abc pump of one of the cl500s...i did not like that watch beautifully made, just naff. 

35348350680_c6b3d87271_k.jpgIMG_0862 by

and some of the bills for just one of the cl500's. all good fun.

39341892495_2084dadc54_k.jpgIMG_1569 by

said cl500...and i lost the private plate, which i'd bought for mum (beryl) when i let the car go.

40172016132_b9ce319911_k.jpgIMG_1554 by

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On 26/07/2020 at 20:00, Nigelp said:

@Cassie-O do you still have your 5 like this?

I still have mine, and love it! :king:

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