Saturday, October 22, 2011

Watch Radar: Seiko SARB045 & Casio G-Shock G5600CC-2

This is the inaugural post for the "Watch Radar" series, which will sporadically feature the watches that are showing up on my purchasing radar.  This post is occasioned by the future acquisition of two new outgrowths of my blue dial obsession: the automatic Seiko SARB045 and the digital quartz Casio G-Shock G5600CC-2.

Seiko SARB045
Seiko's SARB series of watches are Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) models that occupy its mid-range mechanical lineup.

Powered by the 6r15 series of automatic movements, which is a hackable and handwindable update to their venerable 7s26 movement, the SARB045 also features a deep blue dial that appears to rival the vibrancy of the "electric blue" Seamaster:

Because I'm crazy when it comes to blue dials, and because the notion of a sapphire-sandwiched automatic with a manufacture (if mid-range) movement for well less than a grand intrigues me, I decided to brave the overly strong yen and minor customs charge with importing watches from Japan and purchased one from a Rakuten dealer.  Though my first foray with a Rakuten purchase ended with the watch evidently disappearing en route and a chargeback, my second attempt to acquire the watch in question (a blue dialed Grand Seiko SBGX065 - which will definitely feature in an upcoming Watch I'm Wearing post) from a different Rakuten seller was a success, so I'm hoping for a similarly smooth experience with this seller.

Because I've recently pared down my collection to a single automatic, the SARB will eventually go head-to-head with the electric blue Seamaster, with the loser possibly ending up on eBay or a watch sales forum.

G-Shock G5600CC-2
I really wanted a vibrant blue G-Shock back when I first was looking to fill the digital quartz slot in my watch box (a position that went to the nearly all-titanium JDM model ProTrek that, at 44mm wide, is borderline too big for my wrist), but no serious contender existed at the time.  The G5600CC-2 is a 2011 model that fits my G-Shock wishlist almost perfectly, down to the form factor of the most venerable of G-Shock models, a blue negative LCD display, and Tough Solar tech without atomic clock syncing (which sadly does not work in Hawai`i).  After several unsuccessful attempts to grab this one at a bargain price from Hong Kong eBay sellers, I went with a low-priced and somewhat unknown online retailer based in New Jersey.  If all goes well, I'll follow up with a review of both the watch and the seller in the weeks to come.  If it doesn't, then it'll be PayPal Protection or chargeback time again (both of which will probably be future topics on Goods to Buy's eBay Primer).

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