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Seiko SBQJ015 Perpetual Calendar GMT Review

by The Review CrewJuly 18, 2010

When I realized that most of my collection had shifted toward divers and sports watches, I started to keep an eye out for something a little more elegant — something that might be slightly more at home with dress shirt than a 15mm high piece of military equipment or a plastic digital G-Shock. The problem was that I refuse to sacrifice functionality for looks. I love handsome watches, but they have to work as well as they look, or I’m not interested.

The Seiko SBQJ015 is an excellent balance. It’s a handsome watch with just the right amount of bling for me (meaning very little), and it has an incredibly impressive list of features:

•Titanium case and bracelet tempered with a process Seiko calls Diashield which essentially makes the titanium much harder than stainless steel. (I’ve worn mine in all kinds of situations, and it doesn’t have a single scratch.)
•Sapphire crystal.
•Perpetual calendar.
•GMT hand.
•Independently adjustable hour hand which allows you adjust the time when traveling between time zones without having to stop the watch or change the minutes.
•Equipped with Sieko’s famous 8F56 movement which is accurate to within ±20 seconds per year. That’s about as much variance as you can expect to see per month in an average non-atomic quartz watch.
•10-year battery.
•Water-resistent to 100 meters, or about 330 feet.
•A perfect 40mm in diameter (for my narrow wrist, anyway) excluding the crown, and about 44mm total.

If you’re thinking this is too good to be true, I thought the same thing. The Seiko SBQJ015 is a great looking watch that is every bit as advanced and functional as it is handsome. Since I tend to only break it out when I want to wear something a little nicer than usual, I love the fact that it has a perpetual calendar, 10-year battery, and that it runs with such accuracy. That means I can pull it out of my Pelican-case-turned-watch-box and throw it on without having to worry about whether I need to set it or change the battery before I go.

And then there’s the scratch-resistance, water-resistance, and the sapphire crystal — just in case your nice quiet evening out on the town turns unexpectedly rough (bar fight, falling into a pool, daring rescue, high-speed chase, etc.). And if this watch isn’t already versatile enough, it’s the perfect travel instrument since the minute hand can be independently adjusted, the GMT hand can maintain your home time, and it can easily worn with a shirt and tie or jeans and a T-shirt.

The SBQJ015 is getting increasingly difficult to find, so if you come across one, don’t hesitate (it was never sold in the US and stocks overseas seem to be dwindling). It’s a great addition to any collection since it will always be ready for you when you need it.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.