The Seiko Monster is the dive watch of choice for many watch enthusiasts. How is this “Halloween” variant to live with?
Seiko SRP311 “Halloween Monster” – Long Term Review
The Seiko Monster was originally released as the SKX779 with an orange dial. That watch featured the venerable Seiko 7s26 automatic movement as featured in the Seiko 5 series. It had luminous ‘teeth’ shaped markers, which gave it its name, and it was renowned as being built like a brick. Since then, there have been various versions, each of which has acquired a nickname. This PVD black-case model is commonly called the “Halloween Monster”. Other than the colour scheme, it is mechanically identical to my standard v2 Seiko Monster.
Case and Movement
As part of Seiko’s ‘Superior’ range, the movement in the Seiko Monster is the 4r36 – which hacks and hand winds. For the uninitiated, ‘hacking’ is the ability to stop the second hand when setting the watch to ensure it is accurate. Hand-winding means that you can wind the watch before you wear it, and so you spend less time swirling it in your hand to get it going. The signature partial shroud and crown guards protect the important parts from knocks.
The watch is big, thick and heavy. As the pictures show, despite being well-loved over some time, the watch has barely picked up any noticeable scratches to its PVD coating. The 4 O’clock crown is knurled and feels absolutely solid – this watch really does feel like a tool. Despite its 42.5mm case size, it wears well on smaller wrists, courtesy of its short lugs. You won’t forget you are wearing it, but if you enjoy having a satisfying weight on your wrist, you will love the Seiko monster.
Dial and Hands
The Seiko Monster dial is, I admit, an acquired taste. I personally love the design of the teeth on this version of the dial. You get the usual nuclear lume and a day/date feature. The black-edged hands are really easy to read.
Bracelet and Clasp
The bracelet is superb – very heavy and solid-feeling. The watch has a 20mm lug size, but the bracelet is 22mm wide at the ends, making it look even more substantial. Adjustment is by the world’s most fiddly pin and collar system. Best of luck if you try to adjust it yourself, as the tiny collars are easily lost. It has a diver’s extension to increase its length if you wear it over a wetsuit. Four micro-adjustment positions in the clasp mean it is easy to find a size that fits without constantly adding and removing links.
What I Like
- I am a fan of the Monster’s look and feel – it’s a unique watch
- The watch is built like a tank – it feels indestructible
- The black and orange dial sets it apart from the plain orange version
What I Don’t Like
- I personally prefer the steel Seiko Monster to this PVD black version
- The day and date is occasionally useful but a faff to set
- Sizing the bracelet is a pain
Seiko SRP311 “Halloween Monster” – the WRUK Verdict
Overall, the Seiko Monster is a superb watch that deserves a place in everyone’s collection. For me, however, the standard steel version is a better all-round proposition, and so this watch gets relatively little wear.
Buy a Seiko SRP311 “Halloween Monster”
Although discontinued, you can often find Seiko Monsters for a sensible price on eBay.