Home Featured Article Battle of the $1,000 (ish) Divers: Seiko SPB143 vs. Doxa Sub 200

Battle of the $1,000 (ish) Divers: Seiko SPB143 vs. Doxa Sub 200

by Ed Jelley

In case you had requested me just a few months in the past, I don’t suppose I’d ever think about eliminating my Doxa Sub 200. After spending a while with a overview unit, I knew I wanted so as to add one to my very own assortment. A number of days after sending it again, the wrestle was actual and I ended up impulse shopping for one. I used to be as joyful as may be with the watch, carrying it proudly almost day-after-day by way of the lock down. It actually shines on the comfy beads of rice bracelet, and clothes down simply as nicely on a gray nato strap throughout a fishing run. The whole lot was nice…then all of it got here crashing down. No, I’m not speaking about quarantine life generally, I’m speaking concerning the arrival of my pal’s Seiko SPB143. Positive, you might inform from the advertising photographs that this one was going to be good, however upon seeing it within the metallic (socially distanced and open air), I started to query issues with the Doxa. After doing a weeks-long swap of the Doxa for the Seiko with my buddy Shane, the query of whether or not or to not flip the Doxa for the Seiko was burning in my mind after we swapped again. Was it only a honeymoon section? Would I miss the Seiko greater than I needed to maintain the Doxa? Is there room in my assortment for each? Most watch collectors know this practice of thought all too nicely.

This isn’t essentially an article about which watch is best, as a result of magnificence (and performance) is within the eye of the beholder. We posted a aspect by aspect photograph on Instagram that bought a ton of consideration, and individuals are fairly torn on which one they’d choose. I’ve gotten a number of questions myself on which one is “higher”, and what higher solution to reply that than with just a few thousand phrases and a few aspect by aspect photographs. Please understand that this isn’t the be-all and end-all “which watch is best”, it’s one watch author’s opinion. That stated, be happy to pontificate within the feedback on which watch you want higher and why, we’d love to listen to it. 

On paper, the watches are fairly comparable. Every is a 200m rated dive watch that lands proper round a thousand bucks. The Doxa is available in at $990, whereas the Seiko will drain your checking account by $1170. Doxa’s case measures in at 42mm that includes curved lugs and a slim profile with a beautiful domed sapphire up prime, however wears smaller than the measurements counsel. The Seiko is a chunky 40.5mm, that includes a daring brushed stainless-steel bezel and a 60’s model barrel-shaped dive watch case — it wears a bit bigger than the measurements counsel, however on no account is it a monster on the wrist. So we’ve two 60’s-inspired dive watches that put on roughly the identical on wrist, each with rectangular indices, each rated to 200m of water resistance, they usually’re about the identical value. Is one higher than the opposite? Let’s attempt to break it down as greatest as we are able to. 

First, you are able to do some analysis by testing my overview of the Doxa Sub 200, and Zach’s in depth review of the SPB149.

The Case

The most important distinction between the 2 watches is within the case dimension and design. Seiko takes a extra conventional strategy with a barrel-shaped case and flat brief lugs. In profile, the case curves to hug the wrist. The stainless-steel case measures in at 40.5mm, however wears a bit chunkier than the size suggest. The 47.8mm lug-to-lug size is rattling close to excellent on my 6.75” wrist as nicely. Seiko handled the case with their DiaShield additional laborious coating that can assist stand as much as scratches, whereas the Doxa lacks any type of anti-scratch tech. The Sub 200’s case is flatter in profile, and options some very nice ending with crisp, clear transitions between brushed and polished surfaces. You’re additionally handled to twisted lugs, which look nice on the watch. Whereas the case of the Doxa options higher ending, the Seiko’s comes off as a no-thrills device watch — which is precisely what it’s. Though the Doxa’s case measures 42mm large, the extremely cheap 45mm lug-to-lug measurement makes the watch put on considerably smaller than the measurements counsel. To me, the Seiko is extra elongated, whereas the Doxa is kind of round in your wrist. 

If I needed to choose a winner, I’d say that the Doxa has a slight edge on case design and execution. The killer profile, twisted lugs, wonderful ending, and exquisite high-domed sapphire are only a bit extra spectacular than Seiko’s tool-like ending. Additionally, the Doxa wears small for its dimension, which is at all times spectacular to see — a watch that many may write off just because “ugh, a 42mm vintage-inspired diver is just too massive”. Properly, laborious disagree there, you’ll want to do this one on to imagine it.

Dial & Bezel

Once more, each the Seiko and Doxa options comparable dials. The dive model dials sport rectangular utilized indices, every stuffed with lume. Straight fingers level to the hours, and minimal textual content is featured all through. Nonetheless, the tip result’s fairly completely different when trying on the watches. The Seiko’s charcoal sunburst dial is solely gorgeous. It performs with the sunshine, reflecting the burst sample with a mixture of highlights and shadows, relying on the angle. The utilized indices are completely executed as nicely. What actually jumps out to me is the ending on the fingers. They’re half polished and half brushed, which supplies them a pleasant pop of glitz whereas retaining legibility. Across the outdoors of the dial, you will have a chunky brushed metal dive bezel that’s daring and aggressive, but nonetheless stays refined because of the polished coin edge. Switching over to the Doxa, there’s a complete lot much less occurring. Rectangular indices stuffed with a creamy lume run across the outdoors of the dial. The fingers are comparable in form to the Seiko, however are totally polished — a function that appears nice from some angles, however negatively impacts legibility from others. I like love love the typeface used on the dial and the minimal utility of textual content. Across the excessive dome sapphire, you’ll discover a sapphire lumed bezel insert. Whereas it appears good, the lume falls flat, and the shine of the sapphire cuts down on legibility. Bezel motion on the Doxa is snappy and agency, whereas the Seiko takes a barely duller and extra clean strategy. Total, the lume on the Doxa is an enormous miss. It doesn’t final lengthy, it’s uneven between the fingers, dial, and bezel, and actually wants an overhaul. The precise reverse is true with the Seiko — it’s brilliant, lasts a very long time, and glows a stupendous teal-green. 

When it comes to the dial and bezel, the Seiko edges out the Doxa. The gorgeous sunburst, clear utilized indices, attractive ending on the fingers, and the general vibe simply work a bit higher. The lume on the Seiko blows the Doxa out of the water, and cause why individuals flock to Seiko dive watches is the legibility and lume.

On The Wrist

I’ve touched on it a number of instances on this article alone, however each watches put on comparable. They’re comfy, simple on the wrist, and look nice. When you get a bit extra shine out of the Doxa, there’s nothing mistaken with the closely brushed end on the Seiko’s case and bracelet. Each watches ship on a bracelet. With the Doxa, you get a extremely articulated beads of rice model bracelet that wears slim and smooth on the wrist. Conserving it secured is a fold over clasp that includes the Doxa fish and their emblem. Seiko’s three hyperlink bracelet is on the alternative finish of the spectrum. It’s hefty and clunky with a moderately unwieldy clasp on the underside. On my 6.75” wrist, the Seiko clasp accounts for roughly 60% of the underside of the bracelet. It interferes with the consolation and suppleness of the bracelet fairly a bit. Take away the bracelet and slap both watch on a nato strap, and also you’re in for a deal with. Each watches excel on a nylon strap. Each bracelet choices are simply okay, and I want the basic look of a gray nato. 

On the wrist, each watches are in a lifeless warmth. The Doxa is bit shinier and ornate, whereas the Seiko’s toolish brushing is modest and difficult. Each will excel in numerous conditions. You can extra simply costume the Doxa up a bit on the BoR bracelet, whereas the Seiko is the proper device look ahead to almost any exercise. Each watches put on comfortably, look nice, and are sized nicely for almost any wrist. This spherical is a tie.

Standout Options

These watches every have just a few tips up their sleeves. Contained in the Seiko, you’ll discover Seiko’s personal 6R35 motion, which runs for a powerful 70 hours between windings. I like the addition of a extra premium motion with an extended energy reserve — it’s excellent for the continual watch swapper. Your complete case and bracelet on the Seiko are handled with a transparent DiaSheild coating. It’s a brilliant laborious clear coat that resists scratches and can end in a watch that appears newer for longer. Each watches sport a domed sapphire crystal sitting atop the case, however the Doxa’s takes issues to the following stage. It’s a brilliant excessive dome that reads extra like acrylic, however has the scratch-resistance of sapphire. It’s a deal with to take a look at, and one of many essential causes I added the Doxa to my assortment. The Doxa’s premium options are inclined to fall a bit flat, primarily the sapphire lumed bezel. It simply wants extra lume. The shine and scratch resistance are nice, however it will be good if it functioned as meant. Contained in the Doxa, there’s an ETA 2824-2 motion inside, which is turning into more durable to search out in smaller manufacturers — a pleasant contact. One other of the standout options on the Doxa is the ending. I discussed the specifics earlier, however it’s value stating once more how the brushed and polished surfaces work together with mild. 

I’ve to offer this spherical to the Seiko. The upgraded motion and anti-scratch coating edge out the sapphire bezel on the Doxa, which as a essential promoting level, falls a bit flat. The SPB143 actually appears like a strong device watch, with the tech and specs to again it up. The standout options are executed higher than these on the Doxa. 


Right here we’re…the conclusion. Right here’s the place you count on me to say on the document that one watch is best than the opposite. Properly…I can’t. I simply can’t. There’s quite a bit to love about each watches, and I do imagine that there’s room for each in your assortment. The Seiko is the platonic excellent of what a Seiko dive watch ought to be with the aesthetic and tech to again it up. It’s a device that occurs to look and put on higher than most instruments on the market. The Doxa however is a little more stylized, a contact extra classic trying, and has a bit extra of a bling issue. I’m on no account calling the Doxa a dressy diver, however the improbable case ending, lovely crystal and vintage-inspired beads of rice bracelet put the Doxa in a little bit of a unique class of diver than the Seiko. Initially, once I borrowed the Seiko for a full week, I assumed upon getting my Doxa again that I’d instantly promote it off and snag a Seiko. I didn’t although. I genuinely imagine that whereas the 2 watches share many comparable specs, measurements, and mid-century dive watch design cues, they’re really completely different beasts. There are conditions through which I’d attain for the Seiko over the Doxa, and vice versa. The reality is, I’m in search of a solution to justify selecting up a Seiko. As a die-hard fan of the model, the SPB149 is a strong watch that many Seiko followers like myself will really feel the necessity to personal. As for ditching the Doxa, there’s simply one thing charming and enjoyable concerning the watch that I’d discover myself lacking. For me, solely a big period of time with each watches in my field would inform who’s the winner, however for now, it’s a draw.

What do you suppose? Seiko or Doxa, and why? Ensure that to tell us within the feedback under. 

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The submit Battle of the $1,000 (ish) Divers: Seiko SPB143 vs. Doxa Sub 200 appeared first on Worn & Wound.

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