I’ve been searching for something in Seiko’s current lineup, that echos an equivalent quality and value proposition to the SARB033 / 035 models of yesteryear. Today Gnomon watches have listed two new JDM models that look incredibly familiar! Could this be the SARB replacement?
Without having handled this in person, I can not review this piece or provide a recommendation, however I can look at the details and provide some speculation from afar.
The design asthetics place this in solid SARB terriorty but there are certainly some differences. The rarely seen dommed hardlex crystal. The humble 4R35 calibre. The sharper angles on the midcase and the 40mm case diameter. It’s familiar but when looking closer I wouldn’t blame you if you thought this was a step back, afterall comparing specs on paper sees the SARB ahead overall. However as is with most of Seiko’s current offerings, the new entry level is definitely a step ahead of the Seiko 5’s of the past and as such, Seiko is trying to reset our expectations of what an entry level Seiko looks like (and costs). Regardless, one can not deny the beauty of this piece. It’s a marvel.
The wonder of the SARB line, was that for about $350 USD you could pick up a Seiko with one of their midrange 6R movements, a sapphire crystal, arguably one of their better bracelets, a comfortable 38mm case diameter and an all around Seiko classic that has been loved and adored by most, if not all Seiko fans and enthusiasts.
So did they do the SARB justice? Personally I can’t see it. With the step back in specs and an increase in price, I find myself still yearning for that ol’ SARB. And with them still listed on the likes of Amazon and eBay for a comparable price, it’s certainly tempting to pull the trigger.
The price of the SZSB011 comes in at $488 USD and is currently available for purchase at http://www.gnomonwatches.com. I have no affiliation with the site, however can totally stand behind them as one of the best. Great aftersales experience and fast shipping with DHL Express.
You can find out more about this piece on the Gnomon Watches website here: https://www.gnomonwatches.com/products/spirit-automatic-classic-white-ref-szsb011