Featuring the same simple but reliable 7S26 automatic movement, this cheap Seiko was exalted by my fellow dive watch forum brethren as being THE Seiko diver to own as it represented huge value thanks to an excellent bracelet, good bezel action, and stupendously bright lume.
The main reason for Seiko to update the SKX Monsters (which are still quite popular) was to include a new movement as the caliber 7S26 had grown a little old and many owners wanted hacking (where the second-hand stops when the crown is pulled out) and hand winding (rather than just automatic winding).
I know that the original Black Monster was one of the first watches that ignited my love for dive watches and I have no doubt that the new SRP family will have the same effect for many future watch nerds.
The new Monster can be had in a total of five versions spanning a standard black dial (SRP307K1), orange dial (SRP309K1), black case with an orange/brown sunburst dial (SRP311K1), black dial with red markers (SRP313K1), and lastly with a black bezel and chapter ring over an orange dial (SRP315K1).
If you plan on using the Monster as a weekend beater or a dedicated dive watch, then the SKX range is still a pretty good buy as the hand winding and hacking may not be worth the additional funds.
Something of a dive watch “rite of passage,” the drug of choice is often the SKX779/SKX781 (orange and black, respectively) dubbed “The Monster.” Years ago, after buying and very much loving an SKX007, I was on the hunt for my next diver and came across the unique and rather un-pretty SKX779 “Black Monster”.
Being a relatively cash-poor student at the time, I looked at this sub $200 Seiko diver with much excitement and soon took delivery of my very own SKX779 Black Monster.
Seiko has also opted for a knurled crown on the new Monster that is similar in look and feels to the crown fitted on the Marathon TSAR/GSAR divers.
Seiko must have noticed the widespread online fandom for the Monster as they released a cheaper Seiko 5 version (the 7S36 powered SNZF range) and then more recently they began teasing the existence of a full-fledged Monster update which we review in this article.
It is great to see Seiko increase the value in their entry level divers and I will keep my fingers tightly crossed with the hopes that Seiko offers the same 4R36 movement update to more of the SKX range, especially the SKX007 and 009.
Seiko would be releasing a follow-up to their forum darling and not only would it retain much of the original styling, but it would also now be powered by their 4R36 automatic movement which features both hacking and hand winding. Check out more of WatchAffairs reviews and drop us your email to stand a chance to win our monthly exclusive watch giveaways