If there is one watch company I can always recommend, it's Seiko. Your friend who knows nothing about watches needs something to wear every day? Seiko. New enthusiast wants a quality automatic for bargain price? Seiko. Aspiring watch snob wants in-house manufacture movement and everything else, but can't afford a Rolex? Seiko. They just deliver excellent quality and value at every price point. It's great, but after a while, you take it for granted. Soon you start thinking, "Oh dude, they're nice, but when are they going to follow something special? Well, my jaded Seiko afficianado, how about a limited edition model, like today's subject, the Homage to Mt. Fuji.
In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named Mt. Fuji a World Heritage Site. In honor of this event, Seiko released three limited edition Seiko 5 sports watch's, each with similar blue and pearl design cues, and proudly bearing the words “Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage” around their display case backs. Thanks to a fellow watch nerd, I got may hands on a brand new SRP783 for some quality wrist time.
This is a sizable sport watch, measuring 44mm across, nearly 13mm thick, and just under 50mm long - not so large as to overwhelm my 6.5" wrist, but more than enough to occupy every bit of it. The matte stainless steel case is round with broad, angular lugs that extend beyond its perimeter for a stepped appearence. Its large crown is of the push-pull variety, as you might expect given the watch's 100m water resistance rating. Typical of the Seiko 5 series, it is unsigned.
A dark blue compass bezel sets off the dual layered dial, which features a blue rehaut bearing the minute index, and a ring of blocky, cut-away markers over a guillioche pearl white surface below. Day and date appear in a 3 o'clock window. The hands are broad swords, nearly identical to those of the SBDC "Sumo" models, and the red-tipped second hand carries a matching "5" on its tail. Dial text is consistent with other Seiko 5s: an applied brand and logo followed by the word "Sports" up top is balanced by "Limited Edition", "Automatic", and "100M" below. Personally, I could have lived without having "Limited Edition" emblazoned on the dial (generally, the more loudly that stays is proclaimed, the less believable it becomes), but I can appreciate its symmetry with text at the top. This quibble aside, it is a gorgeous dial. It's sheer size, pleasing color, and shimmering effect caught the eye of many an admirer in the wild, including many who knew nothing of watches but found the Mt. Fuji pretty enough to complement.
A see through case back ringed with "Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage Limited Edition" reveals the 4R36 movement within. Used in many modern Seikos, this 24 jewel automatic hacks, hand winds, and hums at 21.6k bph. Power reserve is over 41 hours from fully wound. it is a solid performer. is neatly finished, if not particularly decorated. Up front, a flat Hardex (Seiko's proprietary mineral) crystal protects the face.
The watch comes standard with a 22mm blue rubber strap that complements the blue on its face. Like other Seiko rubber, I found it perfectly serviceable, but unpleasantly stiff. I would have preferred a bracelet, but a simple strap would be easy enough, particularly given the Mt. Fuji's drilled lugs.
Finally, if there is one thing we have all come to expect from a Seiko Sports watch, it is brilliant night visibility. The SRP783 does not disappoint, rewarding its wearer with a strong green glow from the ample surface area on its hands and markers.
I enjoyed my time with the SRP783. As I am neither a diehard collector of Seiko limited editions nor Mt. Fuji heritage memorabilia, the commemorative hook was lost on me, but I appreciated its style and utility. It lists for $350, but a cursory Google search turned up sales as low as $187, which is a very appealing price for this watch. If you are looking for a refreshing blue and white sport watch to complete your summer wardrobe, the Seiko SRP783 is well worth a look.
Pro: Lovely dial and color combination
Con: Stiff strap