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Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 Review: The Best Chronograph You Shouldn’t Buy?

  • Apr 23, 2024
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Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 Review: The Best Chronograph You Shouldn’t Buy?

Keeping track of elapsed time is probably one of the most useful watch complications you can have, whether it’s tracking hours or as little as 30 seconds to time the perfect double shot of a delicate and juicy espresso to start your morning. Knowing your time is what makes things that much better.

That’s why I’m offering this Seiko SSC813 review. Here, I’ll discuss the Seiko chronograph nicknamed the Seitona (SSC813) and how it could possibly be one of the best chronograph offerings from Seiko since the original Speedtimers from the late 60s.

Key Takeaways

  • The Seiko SSC813 ‘Seitona’ Chronograph could be one of Seiko’s best chronograph offerings since the original Speedtimers from the late 60s.
  • It comes in a sweet Goldilocks size of 39 millimeters and has impressive proportions that make it super comfortable to wear and operate.
  • The watch has a fauxtina-like (manufactured patina to add a vintage characteristic to watches) handset that adds vintage character, and the treated steel bezel looks almost like ceramic.
  • The SSC813 is part of the legendary Speedtimer line, which is slowly being reborn and paying homage to older Speedtimer references.
  • The watch’s proportions and Panda color scheme make it versatile for different straps, allowing you to freshen up the look.
  • However, the exposed solar cells on the subdials and the steep price point of almost $700 may be turn-offs for some people.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-proportioned 39mm case
  • Skin diver-esque case design with compact pushers and large crown
  • Fauxtina-like handset adds vintage character
  • Treated steel bezel looks almost like ceramic
  • Part of the legendary Speedtimer line
  • Versatile Panda color scheme that works well with different straps
  • Power reserve indicator function
Cons
  • Exposed solar cells on the subdials
  • Pusher feedback isn’t the most satisfying
  • Steep price point of almost $700 for a solar-powered chronograph
  • Value for money might not be justified compared to other options in the same price range
  • Some people may not be fans of the fauxtina-like handset

First Impressions

I know this watch has been out for quite some time, but I finally had the chance to get my hands on one from a friendly viewer of the channel. My uncle. (Thanks, Uncle!) To be honest, I’ve seen this Seiko SSC813 review circulate all over social media and in my YouTube feed quite a bit. However, I never really had the urge to dig deeper into this watch, maybe because I knew it was a solar chronograph offering from Seiko.

Not that there’s anything wrong with solar technology. I actually own quite a few solar watches myself. My main worry was that sometimes when watch houses offer solar movement, especially complicated watches like chronographs, they tend to be a little chunky. It wasn’t until I read into the sizing specs and started this Seiko SSC813 review that I realized it came in a sweet Goldilocks size of 39 millimeters. In hand, I was pleasantly surprised with its proportions.

Design and Comfort

From the skin diver-esque case design to its pushers, it’s super comfortable to wear and operate once it’s on the wrist. I think this is where the watch really shines. After spending some time with this watch, I realized that this is probably one of the most comfortable chronographs I’ve ever had.

The compact pushers and large crown make it really easy to press and set the time. Now, the pusher feedback isn’t the most satisfying, but there is a definite click when you push it in if that’s something you want. There is also a nice little function to tell your power reserve on the watch by pressing the bottom pusher. It’s a pretty convenient feature, especially if you haven’t worn this watch in a while or don’t plan to make it your daily wear.

Dial and Hands

One thing I noticed on the dial of the watch is the handset. It has this fauxtina-like hands set, which I don’t really know if I’m a fan of, but it adds a bit of vintage character to this otherwise Speedtimer homage.

Speaking of homages, this watch is nicknamed the Seitona since it looks a lot like a ceramic Panda Daytona from Rolex. But really, any Panda dial with a black bezel will look relatively the same in terms of the color scheme, but this Seiko SSC813 definitely has its own unique design and charm.

The bezel looks almost like ceramic, and to the naked eye, it might just fool you, but it’s actually a treated steel bezel with polished and brushed accents that follow the same details of the case, which is polished on the sides and a satin concentric brushing on the top, which I think complements the watch really well given its sporty nature.

Proportions and Versatility

Now, my absolute favorite part about this watch, and I know I’m going to repeat myself, is the proportions. Photos of the watch online don’t really show off how proportional it is. If you ever have the chance to try this Seiko SSC813 on, I highly encourage you to do so. It might just push you over the edge on whether or not you want to own it. Also, because of its Panda color scheme and wearability, it takes straps really well if you’re like me, who likes to change out the look of your watch based on your outfit, or you’re just not a fan of the bracelet, which honestly isn’t that bad as other people are saying it is. Having a versatile watch like the Speedtimer can really freshen up the look of your watch and hopefully keep you from buying another watch whenever you get bored of the look.

Drawbacks and Value

Now, even though there are a lot of good things going on with this watch, there are actually a couple of things that put me off. One is how the solar cells are exposed a bit on the subdials.

Yes, I get that light has to pass through the dial somehow to charge the watch, but unlike Citizen with their Eco-Drive watches, they do a much better job of hiding the cells, whereas the ones on a few solar Seikos I’ve come across, they can usually easily be seen. This is really nitpicking at the watch, but I expect a little more care in that department for the price point. And that’s something you should really consider – the value you’re getting.

At roughly $700, I think it’s a pretty steep price point for a solar-powered chronograph. As you all know, for $700, there is a massive selection of watches you can choose from, some of which phase into the lower-tier luxury territory. I mean, it’s a great watch with its proportions and has all the right looks, but to me, the value you’re getting out of it isn’t really worth the price tag.

Video Review

Final Thoughts

However, if you’re really interested in this watch and don’t mind paying the price, I highly recommend visiting your local Seiko dealer and seeing if they can give you a discount. I’ve always had some luck getting to know some people at the Seiko stores, and they always go out of the way just to give a fairer price on their watches. So give it a shot.

In the end, if you like something and you think it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on, it’s a good watch, and no one else’s opinion really matters.

To me, this is one of Seiko’s best-looking chronographs in a long time. As I said before, I’ve always been a big fan of the Speedtimer line. With these first passes of the modern Speedtimer, I think Seiko might be on the right path to reviving this once-legendary line.


Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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