Tim puts a case forward for the Seiko SARB033 being the best everyday watch!
Daily watches. Versatility, reliability and a ‘grab and go’ nature all play a part when deciding on which watch to rock as a daily watch. Of course, these watches are going to be very personal picks, inherently each of our individual requirements for what makes a good daily watch can vary massively on what we all do on a regular basis.
For me, a good daily watch is something that doesn’t get in the way of my life. It needs to be something that is under the radar when preoccupied. Comfort is also important which is why case proportions matter. Finally, it needs to be reliable in every sense of the word. I can’t have this thing failing on me as I go about my day.So what is my personal daily watch, and why? Simply put, at the moment, it's the Seiko SARB033. I have other watches in my collection that have been regular daily wears previously, but recently I find myself reaching for the SARB more than most. And here's why...
The best everyday watch
I believe the Seiko SARB033 is the best everyday watch. When it comes to affordable watches, the SARB033 is the best daily watch in my collection due to certain features all coming together that play off each other incredibly well.
Firstly we have dimensions. At 38mm wide with a lug to lug distance of 44mm and a thickness of 11mm the SARB is a dream to wear. It fits like a glove, understandably being compared to the Datejust and Day-Date from Rolex. It's not too big as to feel clunky or unnecessary, it’s well rounded, balanced and usable.
Next, we have the design of the watch and this is where my personal preference really steps up a gear. With the dauphine hands, multi facets applied hour markers, long sweeping seconds hand with large counterbalance and bare essentials black dial configuration, there is no doubt the SARB033 is more of a dress-up kind of person. And yet it doesn’t feel like it is missing anything. The watch has plenty of bright lume, the date is in-offence with an overriding sense of simplicity at its core.
It’s understandable why this watch has picked up the nickname of ‘baby Grand Seiko’.
Of course, being something I look to depend on day in day out the watch needs to offer tangible usability. The Seiko 6R15 automatic movement has 50 hours of power, with hand winding, 23 jewels and is hacking - in a mechanical watch that retails for less than £500 this is a huge bonus. I never worry about the watch running low on power throughout the week, even if for a day I want to wear something different.
I already mentioned this in terms of design, but the date window is also extremely useful. Some people love them, some hate them but I regularly surprise myself with how often I look at my wrist to see what the date is. It’s a vital part of the SARB’s value proposition; even more so as a daily.
There is nothing on this watch I don't use and benefit from every day, and that is a hugely underrated bonus.
And finally, we have the price point. When I picked this watch up in 2016 I paid just £240 via well known Japanese based dealer SeiyaJapan. Since then the SARB series has been discontinued by Seiko and now seems to sell on the second hand market around the £400 price point and up. These price points are both a comfortable amount to spend on a watch that if I scratch it, knock it or it gets scuffed up, I’m not going to be too concerned.
The watch has a stainless steel case so you don’t really have any concerns about it not being able to handle everyday life either.Another aspect of this is feeling comfortable wearing the watch in a range of different environments, times of day and places. The moment you start worrying about the value of the watch on your wrist isn’t a moment I want to have when wearing a watch on a daily basis.
Watch straps for the Seiko SARB033
When it comes to straps for the SARB, I try to keep things simple, versatile and in line with my style. Of course, there is the steel bracelet that comes with the watch. It’s a solid, versatile look but I prefer to play with some of our watch straps.
The Simple Handmade in Chocolate Brown was the first strap I put the SARB on when I added it to my collection and it's a combination that still gets regular wear today.
Another combination that I enjoy is the Clanville Horween Leather strap in Vintage Brown. Although the colour is a similar match to the previous strap, this option offers centralised stitching which naturally brings to eye and attention more towards the dial of the watch.Failing that, the Witley in Grey Matt is arguably the best pick of the bunch here as its stitching less design feels modern. This is probably the most versatile option we’ve taken a look at as grey works with pretty much any outfit colour and a 2mm taper isn’t as severe as a 4mm one.
Best everyday watch alternatives
It’s worth coming clean here and mentioning this wasn’t a one-horse race. The Rolex Submariner and even my recently acquired Cartier Tank are both joint second.
However, these watches lean quite heavily into their respective categories of sports watch and dress watch a little too much for me to always feel comfortable strapping them to my wrist. The three watches are pieces that regularly are 'grab and go' options for me, but at the moment the SARB is the one that requires the least thought making it numero uno.
Speak to any watch collector and they will eventually use the word ‘versatility. It’s an attractive trait and when we spend a noticeable amount on a watch, it's natural to feel we have to gravitate towards watches that are versatile so we feel we’re getting good value for and use out of them.
A good daily watch should allow me to focus on my daily tasks at hand with the watch only entering my mind when it comes to finding out what the time is. For that reason, my Seiko SARB more often than not will be on my wrist.Be sure to keep an eye out on the site in the coming weeks to hear more from the rest of the team as they explore their very own daily watch picks and why it works for them.
What is your best everyday watch?
We want to hear from you on this! What is your daily watch and why? Do you rock something from Seiko on a regular basis?
Maybe you opt for something from Omega? Or possibly you’re able to dress up a little more and reach for a Vacheron Constantin on the regular or something from Cartier like their Santos Dumont?
Drop a comment below...
Keep an eye on the site over the coming weeks as we will hear from the rest of the team as they select their favourite everyday watch; spoilers, we have a quartz movement featured!
Still interested in reading more about Seiko? You'll want to check out our most popular Seiko content here!