The Sarb035 is an under the radar timepiece with the finesse & capability to replace almost any watch in your collection.
Seiko SARB035 Review
In my previous article I revealed how I once held the title of a Seiko snob, but that the Alpinist (Sarb017) had opened my eyes to what the brand was truly about. It was that watch that inspired the purchase of my second Seiko, the Sarb035, a gorgeously simplistic timepiece that draws it’s looks from the Grand Seiko line.
Like the Alpinist, the Sarb035 has a well proportioned 38mm case with both brushed and polished edges. However the level of this finishing is even further elevated compared to the 017. While the plain bezel is highly polished, the top layer of the lugs are finely brushed vertically, giving a clear definition from the face of the watch. The bottom layer of the lugs is separated from the top by a chamfered lip, and this is also highly polished on the top and around the back of the watch, sandwiching the brushed layer between two sparkling surfaces to really show off the craftsmanship.
The use of an uncluttered cream dial is the biggest similarity this watch has with many of the much pricier Grand Seiko line. Whilst it is evident the 035 isn’t as refined as its high end cousins, the striking steel reverse sword hands & applied batons play wonderfully with the light, often going unnoticed until you catch it at the right angle. The date is framed in steel, blending in nicely with the batons but also cutting the contrast of the cream dial and white date wheel.
The steel Seiko logo has once again been applied at 12 o’clock, with the word ‘Automatic’ printed in the same flowing font as the Alpinist and ’23 Jewels’ in block capitals appearing at 6 o’clock, each offsetting one another. Interestingly, this watch has a generous amount of lume applied to the hands, as well as small pips being placed on the inside edge of the batons, making the dial appear much smaller than it is when illuminated in the dark.
At 3 o’clock we find the traditional signed single crown which, although not screw down, helps maintain the watch’s impressive 100 metre water resistance. Around the back we find a display case back showing off the same movement found in the Alpinist; Seiko’s 6R15 with Diashock protection. Although a nice touch on a dressier piece, this exhibition case back is perhaps an unnecessary touch considering the movement isn’t particularly well decorated. You’ll also find all the relevant information about the watch inscribed around the Hardlex window.
This watch comes on a quality, solid stainless steel bracelet with solid end links, a great addition to a watch at this price point. The fact I am yet to wear it in this configuration just goes to show how versatile this piece is; it looks great on any colour or style leather, but I’ve mostly been wearing it on NATO and perlon straps.
Much like the Sarb017, I’m finding it very difficult to pinpoint any negatives about this watch. Sharing the same movement brings me back to the time keeping, something that could be improved, but in reality this only loses a handful of seconds each day. Whilst the front of the watch sports sapphire crystal, the display back uses Seiko’s Hardlex, though again this is hardly a pressing issue. The biggest downfall has to come down to the fact that this is also a Japanese Domestic Model, making sourcing one for yourself a little more difficult than an international release, though by no means impossible.
Overall the Sarb035 is a watch I’m very happy with having in my collection, and one that I find myself falling back on more than most others. With the ability to dress this watch up or down, it’s 100 metre water resistance and under the radar looks, partnered with the fact Seiko also have it available in black (Sarb033), I would go as far to say that this piece would make the perfect one watch collection.
I hope you enjoyed this Seiko SARB035 Review!
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