Review: The Blue Monster aka the Seiko SKZ213K1
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. For those of us who love us some Orange Monster, the Blue Monster is a tough purchase to stomach. Why improve on perfection? Why spend a few hundred on a new diver when old faithful will do? Well, friends, the Blue Monster aka the SKZ213K1, is a limited edition beast with a mission – to make you part with a few hundred bucks to own a limited edition diver with charm, pedigree, and definite bulk.
The Blue Monster runs a 7S36 movement with 23 jewels and Day/Date. It’s a non-hacking movement, so you can’t synchronize your watches before the family heads to the Cinnabon, but the 7S36 is related to the 7S26, a workhorse unparalleled in the mass-market movement.
This automatic movement powers two fat arrow hands and a red-tipped arrow seconds hand. The pips appear at each hour and the lume is much improved over the Orange Monster’s – it’s quite bright in almost any low-light environment. The blue face contrasts nicely with the light green lume and the red and blue bezel makes an interesting, if overtly patriotic, statement.
The bezel is quite nice and rotates with a solid click, an improvement over the Orange Monster’s sharp clicks. The watch is water resistant to 200 meters and the screw down crown and heavy case bear this out.
This Blue Monster is clearly an improvement over the more common Seiko divers that we all know and love. The band, however, could be melted down and made into rubber bracelet buckles because it is one of the most uncomfortable steel bands I’ve ever worn. The clasp is quite nice and the little extender designed for wetsuits is sufficiently cool, but after a few hours the band becomes a shackle and digs into the flesh with a nefarious glee. Seiko – you got this one wrong.
With a rubber strap, however, I couldn’t imaging a more striking watch on the wrist of a Seiko lover. It’s got it all – limited edition charm, sexy colors, and a delightful heft. The Blue Monster is just that – another Seiko monster. But for Monster lovers, it’s a must-have.