It is not by chance that I am writing this article about the Seiko Marinemaster 300 only now. I am into watches for a little less than 10 years and I think my focus and priorities (watch related of course) have matured a bit.
I have started collecting Gshocks (I think that for the rest of my life I will smile whenever I see one and have to invest efforts in resisting impulse buying one more often than I expect) and then slowly entered the non-Gshock territory with couple of Seikos vintage and modern.
My first Seiko diver was an SKX009. In the last 5-6 years, I had more than 30 Seiko divers modern and vintage. Among these were some notable examples: 62mas, Willard, Turtle, SBGA029, SLGA001, SLA017, SBBN011. My first higher end serious diver was an SBDX017 which I bought a while back from Seiya-san (lovely person with an amazing customer oriented focus and respect for his work and partners).
I felt I was skipping the line by moving from an SKX to a Seiko Marinemaster 300 without experiencing (in this exact order J) a Monster, a Turtle, a Samurai, a Sumo, a Shogun and only after….the MM300. Back then, I was so much focused on the details of each dimension (length, thickness, diameter, etc) and each half of millimeter (regardless how it felt on the wrist) was making a difference in my head and I had my doubts when reading the MM300 specs sheet.
Based on the dimensions alone, the Seiko Marinemaster 300 was appearing gargantuan. I wore that SBDX017 most of the time on the bracelet with a not so optimal length adjustment (I only learned that later…) and I was almost always feeling the presence of that watch on my wrist digging into my hand, limiting my wrist movement when I was wearing her. I was wearing my watches back then below my wrist bone – is called “ulna” J.
The watch is big (height, diameter and weight wise) and the wrong bracelet/band length combined with incorrect position on the wrist…makes her unwearable. Aspect that made me sell her. Since then I bought and sold (too) many Seiko divers and almost religiously with a certain frequency, I was going back to the articles and videos of the Seiko Marinemaster 300. From an aesthetic perspective, in my humble opinion, this watch best represents the essence of all Seiko divers since early 60’s until the present days.
The case shape (so much reminiscent of the 6159-7000 – which I was so close to get one recently…) combined with the dial design create the perfect (again, IMHO) visual and wearing experience.
When I realized I had no choice but to rebuy a Seiko Marinemaster 300 I started the hunt. In the meantime, the new SLAs reissues were flooding the local dealers, sales posts on forums and ebay. They are nice, with the ceramic bezel and sapphire crystal.
However, these additional upgrades do not compensate for the aesthetic parts which are downs sides for me. Diashield is an upgrade, but IMO, only on paper, as it is not the shield of the Starship Enterprise and you will get scratches on. My SBDX017 had some in the relatively short period I had her. The Prospex logo on the dial and crown is bursting my bubble big time. Yes, I am in that category of Seiko WIS which cannot stand the X. The machine applied flat lume with greenish tint is creating a sterile look which I don’t like. I enjoy a lot the lumpy creamy color of the hand applied lume on the 001.
So, for these reasons, I started to look for the SBDX001. I was lucky to find one in good condition and from the last year of manufacture of this model (before SBDX017 was launched) so, in theory, it should have the MEMS technology for some of the movement parts. I am yet to have this confirmation soon when I will send the watch for a service.
The review of this watch can be summarized in one sentence: if you like divers (not necessarily only Seiko) and you want a reliable watch with an iconic look (that will bring you a smile on your face every time you look at her), get the MM300 and stop looking at other watches J Seriously! When I look back to pics of all the other divers I had and if I were to put them into a boiling pot, and somehow collect the steam and pass it through a cooled serpentine and then froze the condensate, it will result this Seiko Marinemaster 300. SBDX001 for me and for you might as well be any other variation. I counted 6 or 7 iterations that were launched after the SBDX001.
There are plenty of reviews out there (forums, articles and YT) on this watch with a lot of valuable info. If you want to see this exact watch’s review, Andrei from Brave Beaters made an amazing job here. I won’t go into specifics of the case, dial, dimensions, movement and so on because if you read this article chances are you already know them by heart J and if not I urge you to look them up J.
What I can say is that if you have a fairly medium size wrist (17cm or higher – measured above the wrist bone! J) with a reasonable top flat surface of close to 50mm (so the watch length will not exceed your wrist) you can wear her! The watch on the bracelet is close to 200g. So is a heavy watch. But….If you wear her snugly above the wrist bone you won’t feel it’s presence that much.
The OEM rubber strap of this model is an amazing looking one, but it has some personality when it comes to conforming on the wrist. Especially when new. So I urge you to apply the boiling water in a mug treatment (if you do not know it already….you should have J) and then wear the Seiko Marinemaster 300 on the OEM rubber (above the wrist bone! J) as it is a great alternative to the OEM metal bracelet. On a nato is OKish however it makes it even taller. On a leather I am still deciding which 7Friends&Watches leather strap to choose.
So to any of you reading this article, thinking to either get now the MM300 or try something else before (as you may not be ready for any reason): please get the MM300! You won’t regret it!
I am refraining myself in saying that I will never sell this watch. To be honest, after I got it the second time, I ended up selling her, as I was going through a short but intense Swiss phase. But I got back on (sushi) track and rebought her. Since I already rebought this watch twice, the reasons that made me part with her in the past are now long forgotten so I can easily say that: if someone wakes me up in the middle of the night and asks me to choose only one watch from my collection to wear for the rest of my life…the answer will be: SBDX001!